1. #1
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    Default Help making map of fire district - small volunteer dept

    Hi everyone, i'm on a small volunteer dept of 35 guys in a small town in ohio and I would like to make a large map for the station of all the roads, hydrants, and dry hydrants, ponds, ect. I looked at all the pre made maps available and they're very cluttered with things that just aren't useful to us for this purpose. The idea is that most of the time when we arrive at the station for a call, the person that will be driving a truck has a few minuts before another guy shows up to review where the call is and I would like to make a map that's maybe 3'x5' to hang on the wall. Any ideas of where I can get some software to do this and how to go about printing this thing up? We spent a lot of time and money making the station look very nice and I would like to have something that looks better then just a hand drawn map blown up and taped to the wall. I would really like to find some software to make one if at all possible. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome, thanks in advance!

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    Have you contacted the local/county/state public works department? They probably have CAD maps that can be reproduced with just the data layers you want (leaving off the "clutter"). They're likely to be able to print their own maps as well.
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    I agree with DM... They should be able to print out the maps with layers of water main sizes and hydrant locations.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
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    Our county Emergency Management Agency provides us with maps. Ours are 4'x4' i believe, and they have our district outlined on them already.

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    Some high schools may have a Geographic Information System program of some kind (or a local community college). They may be able to help as well. County Planning boards as well.

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    there has to be some city, county, public utility, school district, etc. that already has a map

    borrow it take it to an place that reproduces building plans and have them copy it

    or google, map of the internet of the area you want, take it to the repro place and have them enlarge it


    find some gis person in your area to create it


    than add details as needed.


    http://www.thomasrepro.com/services/scanning.shtml

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    County planning departments often have such GIS info available, and usually can layer information in - like waterways, hydrants, etc. - while leaving out the stuff you don't need.

    Depending on how complex your map is, and if you can't find another source, find a member with a flatbed scanner, and also find someone with a digital projector. Scan in a map of your district (even a roadmap will do, or you could use one of the on-line map programs), then project it on a sheet of plywood (prepainted flat white) and trace away. That'll get you a scale map, and you can add whatever information you want after that.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    Some places I've seen or have obtained them myself: County offices, 911 center (ours has a large plotter), city offices, or even a USDA office.

    The thing about maps is that there's different layers. If you can find someone who has access to the map in the software mode, you can have them turn on/off the layers you want to print them.

    We have several departments around us that actually use the 911 maps with a viewer (Arc viewer, I think it's called) on their station computer. The first guy to arrive pulls up the map and has it ready as other guys come in.

    Now, a suggestion for you. If you get a large map of your jurisdiction, either laminate it or put it behind plexiglass. If you have a major event (tornadoes and ice storms are when I've used this idea), you can plot things on that map. We've plotted storm tracks, damage assessments, locations of units, search grids... all kinds of things. It's one of those things that when you need it, you can't find one, but when you have one it's a life-saver.

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    The beast that is Google may be able to help you out if you are set on designing this yourself... Not sure how many guys in your unit utilize smartphones yet, but being able to access the map from a mobile device would be pretty cool...

    Here's a tutorial on how to create a custom Google Map: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TftFnot5uXw

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    A user on railroad.net seems to like http://www.openstreetmap.org/. Apparently you can generate your own layers. I haven't worked with it at all.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    For low/old tech. Overhead projector of an aerial photo onto the wall of the station. Paint the map right on the wall with the details you want. Local FD has map approx 10x8 on the wall next to the radio. No genset required.

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