Map Terminology

Aerial Photography

An aerial photograph says a thousand words. Many of our clients have owned property for years and after purchasing an aerial photograph map from us realized a whole new dimension to their landscape. At Bismarck Map Company we work with you to determine what type of aerial photography is best suited to fit your use. There are many different types of aerial photography available. Aerial photography can come in true color, black and white, black and white infrared, and color infrared. For very large areas we can use imagery from satellites and mosaic aerial photographs to make your customized map.

Property Bounds

Property bounds on a map or combined with aerial photography or USGS topographic features gives the user an idea as to where a particular property begins and ends. Bismarck Map Company can label approximate dimensions and approximate latitude / longitude coordinates of the property corners for your map. Corner coordinates and property dimensions are helpful by assisting the user in relocating existing property corner monumentation. Using corner coordinates and a handheld GPS unit, the user of the map can navigate to an area close enough to begin to search for the actual property ground monuments. It is important to know that any dimensions or corner coordinates that Bismarck Map Company provides on a map are approximations and cannot be used to establish legal title, boundary lines, or locations of improvements. You should consult with a licensed surveyor for a legal determination of all property bounds. Property bounds are digitized through a legal description. Usually, legal descriptions refer to recorded maps, surveys, or other public documents. These documents can be found at the county courthouse of the county to which the property resides. If you own the property, you will find the legal description of the property on your annual tax statement you receive from the county.

GPS Coordinates

If you collect information with your GPS unit you can transfer those waypoints or routes to your Bismarck Map. Information such as deer stands and trails, hiking, canoeing, snowmobile and ATV trails, property corner monuments, fishing hot spots, anything that can be located on the ground can be transferred onto your Bismarck Map. How do I get the information to you? If you have a home computer with a GPS connecter and an email account you can download the data onto your PC and then email the waypoint. Bismarck Map Company can label each of the features collected with your GPS unit. We can label who's deer stand is whose or the name of a trail, road, etc… It is important for you when ordering a Bismarck Map to know what waypoints or routes you want labeled and what their corresponding names are so we can apply that label to your customized Bismarck Map.

Contours

Bismarck Map Company can add elevation contours to any map. We can add land contours and we can also add water or bathymetric contours to your customized map. You can provide us with existing contour information or we can obtain the information from many public sources. We always label the contours and will even assist you in reading the contour lines once you receive the map.

Reference Grid

Reference grids are a series of evenly spaced special coordinates located on the boundary of your Bismarck Map. It is often standard for the coordinates to be in the latitude/longitude coordinate system, but with a Bismarck Map we will add a reference grid of any coordinate system you choose. You can add Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates that use the metric system for units of measure, State Plane, which uses feet, or any coordinate system you choose. Reference grids are great for use with a GPS unit. We can even place multiple reference grids of different coordinate systems on your Bismarck Map. By having a reference grid on your Bismarck Map you can obtain GPS waypoints out in the field and once back to camp use the collected coordinates to identify on your map the locations of each waypoint. Another way to use your reference grid is to locate a position on your map and use your GPS interactively in the field to navigate to the location.

USGS Topographic Map

As defined by the USGS EROS data center. A digital topographic map image or (DRG) is a scanned image of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) standard series topographic map. The image inside the map neatline is georeferenced to the surface of the earth and fit to the Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection. Bismarck Map Company can get any scale digital topographic map and from almost anywhere in the world. We can layer the topo map with aerial photography, coordinates from your GPS unit, property bounds, and even enhance your topo map for a 3D effect. It's all possible with the Bismarck Map Company.

Other

There are many different data layers currently available for use to make your customized map. Some of our clients in the past want to know where Zip code boundaries are in their community in relation to labeled streets for delivery purposes, some businesses want to know where their branch stores are located within a 5 state region, other businesses want measured rings with community boundaries and labeled streets to determine the cost of delivery or estimate distances to an address from the central office. Bismarck Map Company has worked with many businesses over the years in developing specialized maps for any specific use.

Location

Location is a description of the spatial extents you want present on your map. A location can be a lot in subdivision, the legal description of a parcel, the area around a named lake, the area between two named roads, a full county or counties, etc… For a property map a client would enter a legal description, hunters many times will provide us the township, range and section/s of the area they are interested in covering, someone using a map for a canoe trip would provide us with the river name and a start and end community, we will even use GPS coordinates. Be assured we will contact you if there is any question regarding the extents you want covered in your Bismarck Map. We consider communication with our clients our most important priority. We want you to buy another Bismarck Map someday.

Scale Defined

Once you have chosen the map product the next issue to decide is scale. Different scale maps provide different levels of detail in terms of features presented and area covered.

Simply defined, map scale is the relationship between distance on the map and distance on the ground. That is, there is a direct relationship between a unit of measurement on the map and the actual distance expressed in the same unit of measurement on the ground.

Below is a listing of common map scales and corresponding paper sizes. Each image will have the actual dimensions of the map area, a map information area that will contain title, legend, scale bar, etc..., and a common unit of property (40 acres or 1 square mile which is equivalent to 640 acres).

Paper dimensions of 24" x 36" at a scale of 1 inch = 100 feet

Paper dimensions of 36" x 48" at a scale of 1 inch = 100 feet

Paper dimensions of 24" x 36" at a scale of 1 inch = 200 feet

Paper dimensions of 36" x 48" at a scale of 1 inch = 200 feet

Paper dimensions of 24" x 36" at a scale of 1 inch = 400 feet

Paper dimensions of 36" x 48" at a scale of 1 inch = 400 feet

Paper dimensions of 24" x 36" at a scale of 1 inch = 800 feet

Paper dimensions of 36" x 48" at a scale of 1 inch = 800 feet

Paper dimensions of 24" x 36" at a scale of 1 inch = 1,000 feet

Paper dimensions of 36" x 48" at a scale of 1 inch = 1,000 feet

Paper dimensions of 24" x 36" at a scale of 1 inch = 1/4 mile (1,320 feet)

Paper dimensions of 36" x 48" at a scale of 1 inch = 1/4 mile (1,320 feet)

Paper dimensions of 24" x 36" at a scale of 1 inch = 2,000 feet or USGS 1:24,000

Paper dimensions of 36" x 48" at a scale of 1 inch = 2,000 feet or USGS 1:24,000