As seasoned trail runners we appreciate the value of topographic maps rather than satellite images or street maps. Ten years of running in the Pacific Northwest in the USA made us take some of the key features of Green Trails maps for granted. These include:
- – well defined and measured trail segments (green segments between red dots with length in km)
- – intersection elevations in red (allowing for simple navigation using only map and altimeter)
- – simple and consistent styles (solid, dotted, dashed)
- – icons for parking, info and toilets
After a few years living in Nelson we decided to fill the gap and the Kiwi Tracks map renderer was born. The Kiwi Tracks map renderer uses the latest LINZ 1:50,000 data and then renders this using a vector renderer to an appropriate scale for each map. We can render down to about 1:10,000 and still have good looking results. We render using styles very similar to the printed LINZ 1:50,000 maps so that our maps will look and feel familiar.
For track styles we use solid green to represent good runnable and well-marked single track. We switch to dashed if the track is not ideal for trail running (like a paved surface bike track or a gravel road). If the navigation becomes tricky or depends on conditions (like an alpine ridge marked by poles) then we will switch to a dotted style. Our dotted trails are often the same as what DOC refers to as a “route” rather than a “track” (but not always). If we are highlighting a course on the map then we’ll use purple rather than green for the tracks that are part of the course. All our trails have been recently recorded and verified using a hi-res GPS device giving us higher accuracy and more current information than the LINZ tracks.
For example, here is a map of the Mount Robert Loop run. The loop is shown in purple and adjacent trails are shown in green. Segment distances are in km and intersection elevations are in m.