“JeePS” Offroad GPS Survey and Trail Mapping Event

Drivers arriving at the Wheelin’ World Offroad (WWO) Park outside Eureka Springs, AR were given a hand-drawn map of the park to navigate the many twisting and intersecting trails, most of which were not marked with any signs and several of which weren’t even named. My wife was the first one to suggest that perhaps we could help improve the experience a bit.

This was the hand-drawn map the owner used prior to our project.

This was the hand-drawn map the owner used prior to our project.

We contacted the owner Dale and struck a deal – I would get to jeep around his park for a few hours with a group of students for free in exchange for a new map. With the UA Student Chapter of the ASPRS we planned, organized and conducted a GPS survey of the WWO Park, partially in Jeeps and other offroad vehicles, and partially on foot.

These flyers were posted around campus to advertise the event, and we had several participants who were not previously part of the organization.

These flyers were posted around campus to advertise the event, and we had several participants who were not previously part of the organization.

The survey took place Saturday March 9, 2013 at the park (10 Mint Ridge Rd, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632 – Lat/Long: 36.348911, -93.747958) and lasted several hours.  It went very well.  We had about 8 vehicles and around 20 or so participants, including three students from the Missouri State Chapter of ASPRS we invited to join us. We used a number of GPS receivers and antennas, with most participants using the Juno 3B, many of which were graciously lent to us by CAST and the University of Arkansas for the event.

Raw GPS Tracks from data collection event.

Raw GPS Tracks from data collection event.

High spatial resolution remotely sensed imagery was used to validate the GPS data. Heads-up on-screen digitizing was performed in ArcGIS to fill in gaps. We worked with Dale to ensure trails were properly named and rated, and as a gesture of gratitude he allowed our group to name one of the new trails in his park. The terrain and project requirements posed many logistical and cartographic challenges during the project, but everyone was pleased with the end product, the result of many hours of hard work.

Final Wheelin' World Offroad Map.

Final Wheelin’ World Offroad Map.

Some photos from the survey