Batona Trail Mile Markers

Teegate

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I have a digital gpx version. However, it is not up to date because I believe some changes have been made since I acquired it. I believe it was offered on this site to anyone who wanted it but my memory may be wrong. It may be posted somewhere. Not really sure since it has been quite a while.

I use it all the time. In fact, on Saturday I planed out a route using aerials for our stone searching and at the last minute I remembered to check the file and my route was on the Batona. FYI, that should give you a clue to my last "Where is this." :D
 

Boyd

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The trail is clearly shown as a a green dashed line on my 2020 topo, you can create waypoints by moving the map so the crosshairs are on the desired point, then clicking them. These can then be exported in GPX format as Garmin-compatible waypoints if desired. But that might not be what you have in mind?

NJDEP has a dataset including all the trails on public land here:


However, the download links don't seem to work for me, and it's a big file with trails for the whole state. So, using my own copy of this dataset that I downloaded iin 2020, I just extracted the Batona Trail and exported it as a GPX file. This should work in any app that supports GPX files (there are many) and I have confirmed that it works in Garmin Basecamp. This data was accurate as of 2020, don't know if there have been any changes to the trail since then.

IMPORTANT - GPX files are just text files that conform to a specific standard. But I had a problem uploading the file to the forum, it wouldn't recognize the it even after adding it to .gpx the list of allowed formats. So I just uploaded it as a plain text file with a .txt extension. If you download the file, please change the extension to .gpx
 
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Boyd

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OK - sorry - please disregard the part about text files above. I was able to get .gpx file uploads working (needed to clear my browser cache after changing the forum settings). Here's the .gpx version, let me know if you have any problems with it.

[edit]Sorry, download has been removed. See the post below
 
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lj762

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Hello, there are several maps of the Batona Trail, all different. The trail changes occasionally and maps get out of date.

The most recent accurate one might be the one on openstreetmap.org . This is not official data but is more accurate than the state's data because it is crowd-sourced, partly by actual hikers. But it also has some small errors. Not as many or as large as the state's map on spstrailtracker.nj.gov or the NJGIN data, which have more serious errors.

A better way to access the openstreetmap data is at hiking.waymarkedtrails.org which presents the openstreetmap data as trail relations. It also allows you to directly and easly download a GPX file of the trail track.

If by "mile markers" you are asking about the locations of the half-mile marker signs along the trail, then no there is no public file as far as I know. The trail maintainers have it, there are listings and paper maps in emergency response binders in the state forest offices - or, are supposed to be, and I have my own set. These mile markers are meant for rescue-type operations, so they aren't placed on a typical map.
 
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Boyd

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Not as many or as large as the state's map on spstrailtracker.nj.gov or the NJGIN data, which have more serious errors.

I have no idea how accurate the njgin data is, but will take your word for it. I have removed the .gpx file I posted earlier, so as not to spead data with "serious errors".
 
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teleflux

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Thanks y'all, this is good info!

Yes, I was looking for a map with the half-mile marker signs plotted. I'd love to see those paper versions, but I can understand if it's not really for the public.

I was hiking on the Lenape Trail recently, and the NY–NJ Trail Conference has a really nice map of the whole trail with mile markers, so I figured there must be something similar for the Batona.
 

Boyd

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A better way to access the openstreetmap data is at hiking.waymarkedtrails.org which presents the openstreetmap data as trail relations. It also allows you to directly and easly download a GPX file of the trail track.

Not familiar with that site, but had a quick look and this is the Batona Trail data

https://hiking.waymarkedtrails.org/#route?id=4129027&type=relation

According to the site:

"The elevation profiles are made with elevation data from the ASTER global digital elevation model (GDEM) version 2"

FWIW, ASTER DEM is very low resolution, I use it at boydsmaps to provide elevation data outside of my mid Atlantic LIDAR dataset. Certainly better than nothing, and very useful since it covers the entire world. However the resolution is approximately 100 feet as opposed to my LIDAR dataset with a 4 foot resolution. Probably not an issue for hiking in the Pines where everything is so flat though.
 
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lj762

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I have no idea how accurate the njgin data is, but will take your word for it. I have removed the .gpx file I posted earlier, so as not to spead data with "serious errors".
I should qualify that. The NGIN errors are in isolated areas, and most are relatively small. Sometimes the trail was moved off a road, and nobody told them; the NJGIN data still has the trail following the road. In some places they seem to have just messed up - they are way off where the trail crosses NJ-72; looks like their GPS just stopped tracking for a while and nobody noticed. (Somebody told me they used an "industrial-grade" GPS with some kind of augmentation system, at the time much better than the consumer-grade units we all had.)

I never even noticed elevation data. To me, the trail is pretty much flat, except for Apple Pie Hill and 'Mount Korbar'.

Unfortunately, I looked at the latest GPX file for Batona from waymarkedtrails.org and while it looks OK on a map it is messed up regarding the ordering of segments and points within segments. Trying to follow it probably would not work. It used to be OK, but I think somebody's recent edits on openstreetmap.org introduced some errors that mess up their algorithm for fitting the pieces together. That's the problem with 'crowd-sourced' maps. Not that 'curated' maps don't have their own issues
 

stiltzkin

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Out of curiosity, I put out an inquiry to a representative with the OCSJ. They do indeed have the coordinates of the markers, but were hesitant to share them because of accuracy problems (I suppose they were previously provided to the public at some point, as Guy mentioned, and then people complained). Also, the coordinates have not been kept up to date with the latest changes to the trail route.

They also mentioned that the state is going to put out a new Batona map soon, which is supposed to be considerably better than the one they have out now.

This data could still be crowd-sourced if no one wants to share it. If you're hiking the trail, maybe consider dropping pins as you come across the mile posts - I still think it could make a helpful addition to a map.

A7502874.jpg
 
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Teegate

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I should qualify that. The NGIN errors are in isolated areas, and most are relatively small. Sometimes the trail was moved off a road, and nobody told them; the NJGIN data still has the trail following the road. In some places they seem to have just messed up - they are way off where the trail crosses NJ-72; looks like their GPS just stopped tracking for a while and nobody noticed. (Somebody told me they used an "industrial-grade" GPS with some kind of augmentation system, at the time much better than the consumer-grade units we all had.)

I never even noticed elevation data. To me, the trail is pretty much flat, except for Apple Pie Hill and 'Mount Korbar'.

Unfortunately, I looked at the latest GPX file for Batona from waymarkedtrails.org and while it looks OK on a map it is messed up regarding the ordering of segments and points within segments. Trying to follow it probably would not work. It used to be OK, but I think somebody's recent edits on openstreetmap.org introduced some errors that mess up their algorithm for fitting the pieces together. That's the problem with 'crowd-sourced' maps. Not that 'curated' maps don't have their own issues

I suspect the GPS is the device I saw at Batsto about 10 years ago. It has a screen on it and a plane was flying over and I could see the plane movement on the screen. It was demonstrated to me outside the offices at Batsto by Rob. I should have taken more notice what brand it was.
 

Boyd

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I should qualify that.

Sorry @lj762 , I'm sure you were just trying to be helpful but you seem to be confused. First you said the data from the state had "serious errors", but now you say the errors are "relatively small". You said that the data from waymarkedtrails was "more accurate than the state's data because it is crowd-sourced" but now you're saying it isn't because "that's the problem with 'crowd-sourced' maps".

I tried to help by extracting the Batona trail data from the state dataset, converting it to a GPX file and posting it. But since your post sounded so authoratative, I deleted it and linked to the waymarkedtrails GPX file, which you said was better. With all due respect, your second post sounds more like a complete reversal than a qualification! But it's all good - thanks for updating us. :)

I think OpenStreetMap is a very worthy project and it's helped a lot of people. But the issues with crowd-sourcing that you mention are a real problem, and ultimately that's why I rarely use it. Anyway, if anyone wants the state data, I can re-post the GPX file.

I suspect the GPS is the device I saw at Batsto about 10 years ago. It has a screen on it and a plane was flying over and I could see the plane movement on the screen.

I remember when you posted about that and I thought it was very cool. Now, I think that what you saw was a GPS that had an ADSB receiver. Although I believe the actual purpose of these is to prevent mid-air collisions on planes, they seem to have become a commodity now. Do a search for "ADSB receiver" at Amazon and you'll see quite a few.

I have been logging the GPS coordinates of the markers as I (very slowly) hike the trail.

What's a good place to share this info?

If you're looking for sites to share trail data, there are many but I don't use any of them. If you have a GPX file and want to share it here, you can just attach it to your post since I've changed the site settings to allow uploading them. If it won't let you to select the GPX file as an attachment, clear your browser's cache.
 
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Teegate

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I remember when you posted about that and I thought it was very cool. Now, I think that what you saw was a GPS that had an ADSB receiver. Although I believe the actual purpose of these is to prevent mid-air collisions on planes, they seem to have become a commodity now. Do a search for "ADSB receiver" at Amazon and you'll see quite a few.

Didn't look at all like that. It was a GPS of some sort.
 

Boyd

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I think it was a GPS that had an ADSB receiver inside, I was not suggesting it came from Amazon! Just showing that the technology has become widely available now. I have no idea what device you actually saw.
 
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lj762

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The Batona GPX file from hiking.waymarkedtrails.org is now fixed. As of today it downloads as a single track segment with an overall southbound route, 52.67 miles long. (Before today it downloaded as 10 track segments in mixed-up order and direction.)

Re: GPS units, I think at one point the state used something called a "Trimble GPS". Whether or not today's consumer-grade high-end GPS receivers are as good or better than that professional unit is up for debate. The Garmin GPSMAP 66 and 67 series claim consistent 6' accuracy, even in the woods, and don't even come with WAAS because they don't need it. They receive multiple satellite systems and multiple bands for some of them. In my experience, they are very good, but not as good as they claim.
 

stiltzkin

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You can build an ADS-B receiver for next to nothing using a cheap tuner card originally designed for receiving terrestrial DVB-T television and some open source software. I put one of these together 10 years ago for less than $20. In addition to ADS-B it can tune into air traffic control, AIS (tracking of ships), NOAA weather satellite imagery, all kinds of trunked and simplex radio systems, hospital pager systems, AM/FM, and even shortwave with a converter board. It's neat to scrub the airwaves and see what interesting things you can find.
 
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Boyd

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FlightAware will send you one of theirs and a server to integrate into their network for free IF you're located somewhere they don't already have coverage. I see a variety of devices in the $30-$40 range at Amazon. Not something that I ever looked into before... how do you get data out of these things? I assume it is available via USB in some format and you use special software. But are there API's for accessing it directly? (In case I want to add "planes in the pines" to boydsmaps :D )
 

stiltzkin

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We are a little off topic for this thread now, but yes, there's a ton of free software out there for interfacing with the dongle. A lot of it is linked in the article I posted earlier, although it is from a decade ago and the state of the art has changed a bit. Today you would most likely want to set up something with readsb (this page has more explanation) or maybe tar1090 if you're on Linux. There's different software for other operating systems. You would just need to read the data stream somewhere in your site backend and then interpret and display it on the map.

I pulled mine out of my desk drawer and it still works great. I was able to get a dozen aircraft in about a 30 mile radius in just a few minutes even with the completely un-optimized little whip antenna that it came with. With a better antenna you could do hundreds of miles. This is SDRAngel running on my phone.

A7506895-Enhanced-NR.jpg
 
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