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SHERIDAN — People who can’t fold maps, rejoice.
Bighorn National Forest Public Affairs Specialist Susan Douglas recently announced that forest maps can now be downloaded onto mobile devices for treks into the Bighorn Mountains.
Yes, getting into the mountains is a way to get away from it all, but recreationists who tuck that smartphone into their backpack on their next excursion can declare a no texting or Facebook rule and rejoice in the fact that their mobile map doesn’t have to be “folded” into a crumpled mess.
Bighorn National Forest maps can be downloaded onto mobile devices with at least 1 gigabyte of memory including Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with a 3GS or newer operating system and Android 4 or newer phones and tablets.
The maps are georeferenced with the user’s location appearing as a blue dot. With the app and maps installed, users can view their location, measure distances and areas, plot waypoints, find coordinates, open a current view in Google maps, add notes and enter personalized data, add photos as attributes and view maps offline.
There are two maps available for download.
The Bighorn National Forest visitor map can be downloaded for $4.99 per side — it is split into the north half and south half of the forest — and provides information on services, campgrounds, picnic areas and other attractions in the national forest. It also includes descriptions of travel restrictions, amenities at facilities and points of interest.
A motor vehicle use map is also available. It is a black and white map with few topographic features that provides information about which roads and trails are open to motorized travel, allowed uses by vehicle class, seasonal allowances and other travel rules and regulations.
The motor vehicle use map is a free download.
In areas of the national forest where Internet connections are unavailable, which is most of the Bighorns, the georeferenced maps should be installed before recreationists enter the forest.
To download the maps, users will need Avenza’s free PDF Maps Mobile App, which is available online at pdf-maps.com, Google Play and iTunes. Once the app is downloaded, search for “Bighorn National Forest visitor map” or “Bighorn National Forest MVUM” to download the maps.
For more information about georeferenced maps, click on the maps and publications link on the Bighorn National Forest’s website at fs.usda.gov/bighorn/.