CTC Navigation Bootcamp 2018 – Module 3 – Trail Navigation

Now that you are familiar with identifying trails on Google Satellite maps it’s time to get out for some field hands on navigation. In this module you ll identify a trail near your location and navigate the same as one team. This is one of most important assignments to familiarize yourself with trail navigation while planning a hike, run, bike or cycle ride on dirt tracks.
Note – if you haven’t signed up yet for the Bootcamp do so asap over here.


Finding Trails
Open “maps.google.com” in your browser on your laptop (or Google My Maps on your phone)
Create a New Map (see module 1) and name it as “My First Trail Navigation”
Look for blank areas nearby your location – areas with no roads
These will be empty lands, open spaces, paddy fields, forest, lake bunds, city outskirts

Switch to Satellite View, zoom in and look for trails in these areas

Identify one area which has at least 2km of off road trails
Ensure to exclude roads shown in standard Google Map view
Caution: make sure the empty areas are not reserved forest (needs permission), private lands, deep water bodies

Spent sufficient time in searching for the right space with good trails as it ll be a more learningfull navigation experience later on
Trail Map Creation
Once you have identified a suitable area with sufficient trails
Mark various visible trails adding up to at least 2 km in length
Ensure to exclude roads which are present on Google Maps
Carefully inspect the area (zoom in) and mark a few landmarks which stand out: ponds, trees, wells, individual buildings, etc

Now that you have prepared your own map with trails it’s time to go out and explore the same


Open “My Maps” on your Android phone (or “maps.google.com” in browser on iPhone)
Open “My First Trail Navigation” Map

Agree on a convenient common date/time with all members of your team to go out and navigate the trail you created
Meet up at a nearby road, park your vehicles, switch on your phone GPS
Open up “My Tracks” on your Android phone or “Strava” or any other recording app on your iPhone an start recording
Switch back to your trail map in “Google My Maps”, zoom in and start following the trails you created
A good navigator periodically checks that he/she is not deviating away from the trail
Take a photo of the landmarks you marked on your map. Share them to a public album
Once you complete walking all trails, stop recording in “My Tracks” and save the recording as “My First Trail Navigation”
Take a screenshot of the recorded trail
Take a selfie of all team members before you disperse
Completing the assignment
Submit below items in this form to complete module 3:
(Note: only ONE submission per team required)
  • Link to your “My First Trail Map” (share as you did in module 2)
  • Link to screenshot of your recorded trail in public album
  • Link to public google album with photos of landmarks and team selfie
Congrats! You officially just became an explorer who has mastered the are of reading Satellite Maps and navigating your own trails!
Now that you have mastered the art of navigation in the plains it’s time to head out to the mountains in the next module, learning about contour lines, how to read topographic maps and identify hike-able trails in hilly terrains. Stay tuned!
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