I am not sure how many times a friend or hunting buddy would try to direct me to a good hunting spot by using a landmark like a stream or lake. Although most GPS maps will list streams, rivers and lakes, one is rarely able to search a digital map by entering the name of one of these geological entities.
I am planning an Elk trip this fall into a new area in Colorado. My hunting partner couldn’t direct me any closer to the area we would be hunting besides being “close to Pagosa Springs” and “Fish Creek”. He provided me with a couple other bits of information and after about 2 hours of using Google Earth and squinting at the computer screen, I was able to find what I thought was the right place.
While at an Outdoor Writers Association of American Conference over the weekend, I was introduced to a brand new digital product that would have made my task a whole lot similar. Finding locations by stream and lake landmarks just got a whole lot easier, with the introduction of Steam Map USA.
Steam Map USA is a mobile application that can be applied to an Android or Apple device including cell phones and tablets. It is produced by Gogal Publishing Company, not to be confused with Google, and you can reach their website here.
This is a brand new application that has only been out a few days, but has many GPS features that you are already accustomed to, multiple map types, ability to set waypoints, a built in compass and more. But the unique feature of this application is that you can search for a particular steam, creek, lake or other body of water. The search criteria allows you to enter a search name, State, County and whether you want to search for a stream, river or lake, or all three.
If you don’t select a County, the map will display possible items across the state. That’s how I found “Fish Creek” in my search of Colorado. I knew it was near Pagosa Springs and found the creek in a matter of a minute or two. It was awesome!
Here are some examples of the map options for Stream Maps USA:
These maps are fully functional GPS maps. Using you GPS device and these maps you can see exactly where you are, set waypoints and use the built in compass to provide you direction to your intended goal. Gogal Publishing promises that these map overlays are also available when you do not have access to cell reception as well.
Steam Map USA has grouped states into a number of regions, and should you need to use states from multiple regions, you will have to purchase separate packages. However, at only $8.99 per region these maps are a real bargain.
I have only identified one issue with what I have seen so far. If you are in the Terrain or Satellite view, it can be very difficult to read the stream names. The work around I used was to go to just a “white” view or a “road” view to be able to read the stream names, and once found, switch back to one of the other maps. Personally, I find the terrain view the most useful.
I will be exploring this application some more and may provide an update at a later time.
If you would like to know more about Stream Map USA, you can visit Gogal Publishing Companies Website, and by all means check out this application via Google Play. For $8.99 you will not be disappointed.