My colleague Randy Mitson, who creates our retail blog, has produced a great map of all the Algonquin Outfitters locations. He did this using a new on-line service that I stumbled upon one day, called GMap. GMap allows anyone to create personal maps using the Google Map database. We've never wanted to link to the Google Map version of where we are, as some of the information they have is incorrect. For example, if you try to find our Oxtongue Lake store using our Dwight, Ontario address, Google Maps will locate it in the village of Magnetawan, a different town located an hour's drive northwest of here. Google Maps is a great tool but apparently not without a few bugs.
Speaking of maps, I'm excited to report that the official Algonquin Park Canoe Routes Map, published by the Friends of Algonquin Park, has undergone a major update. The 2007 edition, sporting a snazzy label stating that it is "park ranger approved," is now compass and GPS compatible. The new map is overlayed with the UTM grid (at a 2000 m interval) as well as latitude and longitude. The new map will be available later this spring at all AO locations as well as the Friends' on-line bookstore.
These new features will make it much easier to plan trips with the Canoe Route Map and use other tools like GPS devices, mapping software and Google Earth for detailed cross referencing. We highly recommend using both the Canoe Route Map and Chrismar Mapping's more detailed Adventure Map series for actual navigation in the field. If you are like many people and are generally bewildered by all those lines and numbers on your map, visit Natural Resources Canada's excellent web page called Topo 101.
By the way, the ice is out!