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Introduction To Cartography – Mapping the Garden Spot

Inkscape Map Drawing
Libre Office Calc Map Data Spreadsheet

The above two files are a zip file containing an InkScape drawing of the first survey with some preliminary sketches of the garden spot and the Libre Office spreadsheet data of the first survey. This first image below is of the line plot and sketch. This is the actual field sketch. It’s on graph paper like you might find in the Walmart office supply. I would have to go to a real office supply to get the kind I wanted that had two sizes of grid on the same sheet. 5×5 inner squares inside a thicker outer square, same as what you have seen in prior articles in some of the images.

Here we see a line plot drawn in one layer of the InkScape drawing.

Next I circle in red some problem points. A6.1 and E should be the same station or location.

Below A7 should connect to A2 but you see there is 3 to 4 feet between them. Not good.

A5 should have been on top of the end of the compost pile, but did not end up that way on the sketch.

Below i show you on the sketch what was wrong by circling the points with great error. You might also note that where I drew the fence was in error as well.

Here is the full drawing. I think the road might be a bit wide. This image has the sketch underlay that I had scanned in. I traced over the sketch in different layers above it.

This one is without the sketch but includes the line plot.

This one would be what an actual map would look like. It is without the line plot.

This one is the garden details. It shows pump, watering tank, a couple of zai square foot rows and a box. It also shows the placement of a white table I have in the garden. And the chair and bucket sitting where I normally fish.


This layer shows manure and compost.

This one shows road and trails.

Here is the pond layer.

This is the trees, growth and brush layer. The dark green are cedar trees. There is also a persimmon tree and a couple of hardwood trees there.

This is the drops and slopes layer. This reflects changes in terrain elevation.

This is the fence layer.

I had used a cheap $15 lensatic compass for this survey. One of the first things I noticed about this compass was that the compass dial was not floating too smoothly. Nothing like the more expensive military compass. It actually floated more like the tiny compass on the end of the knife or walking stick. I also noticed a lot of trouble with glare when trying to read it. Honestly this compass might have been good for a survival situation where you are trying to find your way through the woodlands but for surveying it was terrible.

You will notice some 8 degree errors and 13 degree errors in the survey data. This probably contributed to the closure problems. I surveyed some lines out to each corner of the garden fence. These stations were 3.1, 4.1,  6.1 and 7.1. I drew dashed lines between the supposed corner post locations. This should represent where the fence would be. On the road side and the pond side the fence is at irregular angles. But on the west side and the south side the fence is square with NS and EW. This seems logical and correct.

I did tape measure all the lines and they should all be good except for one or two where I didn’t have a stable attachment point for the dumb end of the tape. So this may have contributed to the closure errors.

I began to draw the cedar tree artistically with many lines and then decided that it looked cool but was taking a lot of time. Instead, I put them as filled loops. The waves in the pond also take a lot of time but I just like the way it looks. What would really be nice is to be able to outline an area and then draw inside it as though it were a bit map. The fill would be your drawing. If you altered the shape by stretching it, your drawing would also stretch to match. This would make a much more artistic looking map.

To survey this properly I need a better compass and clinometer similar to the Sunnto brand. A better lensatic compass would help as well. For a clinometer I have a phone app clinometer. The problem with this is that you must use a mirror to read it and aim it at the same time. The mirror image is, of course, reversed. It would be nice if they would add a mirror image feature so that you could reverse it in the software and then when you looked into the mirror it would read normal. I did not take any clinometer readings. These lines were very flat.

I could redo some lines of this survey and then re-draw the line plot and see if that helps. I could also re-tape a couple of lines and do the same to see if that would help. If you get the connecting lines close enough you can just move them to match and then stretch or reshape  the sketch to fit. But what I will probably do is resurvey the whole thing with a better compass and clinometer. For this to be used as a solar map I need it to be accurate to the nearest square foot almost.

About Larry Gray

I'm a middle aged man from the (Arkansas) River Valley area of Arkansas. I grew up on a 200 acre poultry and cattle farm. I have almost 2 years of college towards a computer science degree. My careers so far have been restaurant management 5 years, office work with some computer tech work 6 years and trucking 10 years. I've also had some work in nuclear rad work tool room and part time security. I was in the US Army Reserve for 8 years. And like Jack I've been to Honduras, was there for two weeks once. On the side I have been doing and studying computer work, tech and programming my whole life. I was into caving quit heavily from 1990 to 1993. I explored around 150 caves in northern Arkansas area. I did some rock climbing at the time also, which is part of caving actually. I've been more into fishing than hunting. And my trucking career has given me little time for hunting. I'm currently training new truckers at http://www.willisshawexpress.com Willis Shaw Express the first interstate refrigerated/frozen food haulers. I'm not married yet, never have been and have no kids. I currently camp out on a good friend of mine's land in a 22' camper I own. I have no land yet and I'm currently working to pay off around $25K debt. Some of my prepping is on hold til that is done. Until then I can learn more and prepare for prepping. blog.larrydgray.net

2 comments

  1. Looks like you had a right angle at A3.1 and that would have been the best reference point with an east west and a north south axis to identify all other points with greater accuracy in a smaller grid line. I imagine many will find it helpful as a plan is always the first and best step !

    • Yes true. I have some new plans, I will get a laser square/angle finder and measure things a lot more accurately. I will also double check with triangulation. I could even measure a series of right triangles to get a very accurate position from one station to another. And I will be buying the better compass and clinometer.

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