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Survival Atlas?

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posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 03:21 AM
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Recently I had been doing some work with GIS to keep my skills sharp when my dad came to me with an idea. At the time I was working with a scenario of making maps to use on a Bug Out scenario. He put forward that there might be a market for such maps with the survivalist community and since I couldn't find work this might be a way to put myself to work. At first I was dismissive, surely such things already existed.

By survival maps I don't mean just having a route from where you live to your safety zone or meeting point with others in your group. These are maps of waterways (possibly wells), hunting areas, and any major hazards overlaid on a detailed road map. Point being that if you needed to bug out, you could whip out these maps and know along the route where you could stock up on natural supplies, avoid major roadblocks, find far away points from civilized areas, and so on.

Most of the data for these is freely available so I was surprised when I searched for "survival atlas" that I got more returns regarding Atlas Shrugged than anything of this nature. So I am intrigued and beginning to look into seriously making one. I have a few questions though as I am not a survival expert and really I don't even think I qualify as a novice. I am a geographer by training and trade and to me this is a problem that I can sink my teeth into and feel satiated both as a human and a scientist. Currently I'm focusing on my scenario of being in Kansas and evac'ing to one of multiple sites in that state or Missouri as my proof of concept that this is possible. These two states aren't on the cusp of data availability so it is a fair assessment that if the data exists for them, it will for most of the others as well.


Questions:
Is this a feasible idea? (As in would there be a market for this material?)

What other features should be included where possible? (Right now I have all the administrative boundaries including cities, water features excluding wells, hunting areas, topograpy, railroads, all roadways [including gravel roads], and I'm thinking about adding a layer if possible for grocery stores/wal-marts)

What scale is reasonable? (this is a technical question on my part. I could go to the county level but a multi-county map seems to be a better idea for ease of production on my end.)

Am I wrong in that there isn't an already existing product like this?

Would I want to disseminate this via an online source or have it printed and mailed? (There are merits to both. Printed has it there and in your hand. Online allows you to pick and choose the areas you need.)


Thank you for reading and your input if you decide to reply.




posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 04:09 AM
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I think you have a great idea and it's both feasible and very useful. I'd sure want one for the Southwest Missouri area. In fact....I kinda made my own set.


I would offer one thing for your consideration on this though. If I didn't have my own I absolutely would want one. So will 300 million other people. If you don't believe it'll be needed, in your heart of hearts, then by all means, make maps available in a wide way.

However....If you truly believe these will be needed at a time when supplies mean life and discretion means safety, I'd think you may want to consider your desired audience (who are you good with competing with for those spots and resources you've noted) and keep distribution limited to that.

It means I don't get my copy...true..but if your maps match some of mine for Missouri, it also means I won't have hoards of people holding bright maps with x's marking all the interesting spots to fight with.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 04:45 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


This was something I thought of but when I weighed things I felt it best to float the idea out without saying that. Sure many people would want/need this, but how many would actually have the foresight to get this data together let alone the knowledge to use it. I hate the GPS car systems because they've removed basic map skills out of most people's skill set. Let me tell you that I've seen the geographic skill of the upcoming generation first hand, and should a map set like this become useful, most will not be able to use it. I'll stop there because this is a very sore subject for me and I would risk derailing my own topic.

The fact that I am a survival sub-novice is also why I posted the idea here first. There are people here who are experts and likely would be the best people to approach with questions on this topic. I'm on the fence in regards to the likelihood of events. I see coincidences but nothing that screams "Danger Will Robinson!" in the sense this would be used, just enough to make me go "You know...I'm thinking I need insurance". Likely if I were to make this it would be in a limited nature to encourage people to add features they felt they needed to the map (for example open hunting areas doesn't tell you all of the good places to hunt or what is in each area, just those that are supported by states). This could be done by giving a blank regional road map (in your case S.W. Missouri) and an introduction into what they may want to find and mark on it before hand.

I had thought about doing this on a case-by-case "tell me your area" basis. What came to me as the danger with this approach is that it leaves me liable for too much information. I would become a hub for many a people's plans and a danger should I ever have my email hacked for any of a hundred other things happen.



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by Sir Solomon
 



Likely if I were to make this it would be in a limited nature to encourage people to add features they felt they needed to the map (for example open hunting areas doesn't tell you all of the good places to hunt or what is in each area, just those that are supported by states). This could be done by giving a blank regional road map (in your case S.W. Missouri) and an introduction into what they may want to find and mark on it before hand.

Now that sounds like an outstanding idea right there. I could really get interested in seeing that put out. I'd certainly see the need for people who know enough to make use of the instructions you could supply, but still need to put the work in for actually finding and listing the locations unique to their own area.

That would solve a few things at once, wouldn't it? You're not blowing secrets....and God knows, people around here can almost kill over keeping fishing holes secret. I can't imagine the reaction in some circles to a pre-filled treasure map for TSHTF times. lol....Additonally, you're absolutely right in saying that the work you leave for others to do will discourage a large majority of those no one wants to see knowing JUST enough to give other people headaches anyway.

Hey, I think you're really on to something here for a 'kit' type approach to help people make their own bug-out resource map!



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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I've always relied on the paper Delorme Atlas and Gazetteers. Good stuff and suitable for nav with a compass. Great study tool as well. I keep one in the car and in my personal library (bathroom)


shop.delorme.com...

They've got the software too which is a good planning tool but should not be relied on in the long run.
shop.delorme.com...

Have fun with it!! I'd keep your secret spots to yourself though!!



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 10:27 AM
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reply to post by Sir Solomon
 


2 issues i see here :

1 - anything on the map that is a " rescource " may be of finite utility - would you want others knowing how to access a rescourse you are planning to depend on , ie water , fuel or hunting ?

2 - " honey pots " the presense of valuable rescources of a map , may prompt certain people to set up an ambush to liberate supplies from people who ` follow the map `

not trying to be a wet blanket - just my opinions on the subject



posted on Mar, 13 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by Sir Solomon
 


....sorry... I can't stop the spewing from my mouth-butt



Is this a feasible idea? (As in would there be a market for this material?)


If the scope is as big as "I" picture your idea to be, you could have markets from survivalists, hunters, wild life enthusiast, trail blazers, off-road enthusiast or just about anyone that enjoys the outdoors. The more details, the larger your market will be...




What other features should be included where possible? (Right now I have all the administrative boundaries including cities, water features excluding wells, hunting areas, topography, railroads, all roadways [including gravel roads], and I'm thinking about adding a layer if possible for grocery stores/wal-marts)


You should include known cave systems (ie: whether natural or man-made mines with color coded danger levels for safety of specific mine), hiking and biking trails (the real "boonies" are usually only accessible by 5 mile hike), water supplies... but also known poisoned water / bad water supplies (strychnine, industrial waste, etc), high concentrations of edible natural plants

....and if its an actual hold in your hand atlas (as opposed to a computer application).... you could have inserts (those clear pages like for the projector screens) which you could then overlap the map depending on the scenario (ie: tornado scenario - high-light rarely hit areas, large trenches, or other typically safe areas in green; high-light known buildings with large basements in yellow; high-light "your dead" zones in red OR massive flooding scenario - green for elevations above "X", yellow above "Y", red below "Y"; Nuclear scenarios regarding fall out you could include areas where majority of wind blows through as red and areas of no to little wind as green); Invasion from another country scenario (green has exceptional strategic value for holding ground, yellow for surprise attacks, red is the "dead zone".... for where you want the enemy to be )




What scale is reasonable? (this is a technical question on my part. I could go to the county level but a multi-county map seems to be a better idea for ease of production on my end.)


Well like anything start small (or in this case big)... make a world map and get your basic info down... then once it's done focus on each individual country and you'll be able to insert more information, then sooner or later you can break each country or region down into a book atlas.... but really if you could modify this into a computer program or ipod app that would be sick, (ESPECIALLY if it is something like wikilinks where "locals" can mark their own knowledge.... ), I say this because in a SHTF scenario, instead of taking a hundred books of knowledge I can take one laptop full of pre downloaded info




Am I wrong in that there isn't an already existing product like this?


I'm a cheap bas-turd so if there is it's 200 bucks and I'd rather compile something from multiple sources specific to my region and escape route (depending on scenario).... That’s why an on-line compiler would be sick... you could even select a region and have a list with pics on all edible plants



Would I want to disseminate this via an online source or have it printed and mailed? (There are merits to both. Printed has it there and in your hand. Online allows you to pick and choose the areas you need.)


both... I take it from your experience you could create "water proof paper maps" on your own and once some dough rolls in recycle the funds to a programmer... unless of coarse you draw up an business plan and seek out investors initially...

I wish you the best of luck and look forward to your first addition



edit on 13-3-2012 by FORMe2p00p0n because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 01:27 AM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


An easy way to address is is actually something I heard while listening to the radio in regards to a book on hiding firearms for similar situations. Sell a limited quantity and then that is it. It gets the resource into people's hands and also addresses the issues of their security to an extent.
-------------------

Jibeho that looks very much like what I was thinking of doing. The problem though is that you'd have to purchase one of those for every state. What I'm thinking about is an atlas of the US with each state divided up into sections. Kansas for instance would get 6 (NE, SE, South Central, North Central, SW, and NW) with much of the same information on it, but with some of the information taken from here that likely would never be on such an map. Polluted waterways and nuclear reactors for instance.

--------------------
I have tried to look up the data for some of the ideas posted here. Caves and cave systems data are not existent on the macro scale. GIS is used extensively at the singular cave level and while this is ok if it is something I was planning for myself, is not data worth using for a project like this

For you have some great ideas there, its just that the data doesn't exist for a bunch of them. Edible plant density isn't something that the GIS community has gotten around to cataloging (or the US government amazingly). Hiking and biking trails are possible to an extent, but wouldn't be nearly as easy to find as the "back" gravel roads.

The transparency idea is another great idea. Although scenario-based mapping is possible it would begin to get ridiculous very quickly because I would have sit down and go "ok...which of these possible deaths and collapses of society are possible, and which ones aren't?" I'm not doing that because toes will inevitably be stepped on. Maps of that nature should be made on a person-by-person basis depending on what you feel is the most likely outcome in the future. Possibly a chapter or introduction on basic cartography could/should be included so this could be addressed.

I'll try to fiddle with the data some more and post a prototype map for folks to tear apart if there is still interest in this project.



posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 01:39 AM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


You aren't being a wet blanket at all. In fact that is why I came here to push the idea in the first place. These are concerns that would always be present in any public map publishing. My counter-argument (if you can call it that) is that having a map with pre-made points isn't a replacement for common sense. Some people are going to go "Ok...sure we have wal-marts laid out here, but...pfft...like I'm going to risk my neck for that." Yes there will be honey pots, but this will happen whether or not there is a public map of pre-existing resources. From what I understand this is where you would take the time to scout a resource and make sure it is safe before going in and taking in of what it had to offer.

The public hunting areas data layer is actually pretty amazing in how much area is designated like this. A lot of times if you see one you don't get a good feeling on, there is another just a mile or two away (at least for Kansas and Missouri). The same goes for most water supplies. The problem there becomes what is safe water and what isn't (basically becoming an argument for finding deep spring/wells and river source water really).



posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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....and if its an actual hold in your hand atlas (as opposed to a computer application).... you could have inserts (those clear pages like for the projector screens) which you could then overlap the map depending on the scenario (ie: tornado scenario - high-light rarely hit areas, large trenches, or other typically safe areas in green; high-light known buildings with large basements in yellow; high-light "your dead" zones in red OR massive flooding scenario - green for elevations above "X", yellow above "Y", red below "Y"; Nuclear scenarios regarding fall out you could include areas where majority of wind blows through as red and areas of no to little wind as green); Invasion from another country scenario (green has exceptional strategic value for holding ground, yellow for surprise attacks, red is the "dead zone".... for where you want the enemy to be )


I'm a cheap bas-turd so if there is it's 200 bucks and I'd rather compile something from multiple sources specific to my region and escape route (depending on scenario).... That’s why an on-line compiler would be sick... you could even select a region and have a list with pics on all edible plants


Would I want to disseminate this via an online source or have it printed and mailed? (There are merits to both. Printed has it there and in your hand. Online allows you to pick and choose the areas you need.)


I was about to say have 'overlays' - but start with a street map, with road names and landmarks
then overlay - rivers, creeks, water wells/ aquafers / contour map / known FEMA camps and some other info

^ great idea re: buying per area per-say, due to the size of the US, a state - by - state atlas would be more ideal, and on a business sense makes customers purchase possibly 2/3 books.

best of luck



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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I personally would go with a scale that would cover the continental U.S. here are overlays or subsections I'd be most interested in:

Hazards:
1. Location of nuclear power plants
2. Military bases
3. Dams on river systems that would impede navigation
4. Boundaries of the 3 major electrical grids in the continental US
5. current population densities, as persons per square mile

Travel:
1. River crossings. Not only paved roads, but railroad trestles and pipelines crossing above the surface.
2. local roads that skirt major metropolitan areas
3. rail and power rights-of-way
4. precise location and elevation of major landmarks (towers, mountains, bridges, etc). I know how to navigate by triangulating on landmarks. In mountainous regions, knowing the elevation of different peaks is critical to identifying the proper waypoint
5. Navigation/Airport beacons and frequencies

Land use
1. National and state parks
2. The Appalachian Trail
3. Rivers capable of being canoed
4. Annual rainfall
5. Average last freeze dates
6. Location of aquifers and average depth to water-table
7. Monthly temperature averages
8. Land contour and elevation maps; those used for aviation make excellent mountaineering/hiking maps, and have beacons marked with frequencies.


A number of those maps could be on a continental or regional scale, and still be quite useful. For instance, If I learned that a particular power plant in the NE is being shut down, I can get an idea of its potential scope, and what population densities may be affected---in other words, who might be fleeing in my direction.

Even if I never needed the atlas, it'd be cool just to know some of those things.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 10:27 AM
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I'm personally assembling my own "Survival Atlas" for the surrounding 10 mile area. Reason being, I seriously doubt I'd EVER want to go further than this radius in a SHTF scenario.

Things I'm mapping: (color coding)

1. Gas Stations (including indicating which have Diesel) - YELLOW / ORANGE (Diesel)
2. Food Stores - BLUE
3. Weapons Stores - RED
4. Restaurants - GOLD
5. Auto Parts Stores (specifically ones that carry items for my vehicles) - SILVER
6. Agricultural Supply Stores (especially feed and hay for my horses) - GREEN
7. Convenience Stores (for gas and cigarettes...I don't smoke, but these will be like currency in a SHTF scenario) - BLACK
8. Drug Stores - PINK
9. Medical Supply Stores - WHITE
10. Any place with a large cafeteria (such as schools, hotels, hospitals, etc.) - LIGHT BLUE
11. Hardware Stores - BROWN

Any others would likely fit one of these categories, so the important thing is that I'll know exactly where to look for replenishing anything. Sure, these may be looted fully, but that all depends on the scenario. Also, unlike others, I'll know EXACTLY where to go look.



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