Map Tutorial

Map and Mapping Tips and Tricks


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LANDCRAWLER strives to offer the land buyer (and landowner) the most comprehensive web presentation possible. "Reality" video tours, tons of pictures, detailed descriptions, and yes - one of the most important visuals to the land buyer - boundary maps. LANDCRAWLER is using mapping software technology by TerraStride.

So what can you do with LANDCRAWLER Maps? Quick summary - while holding the subject property boundary lines, you can view Aerial (Satellite), Terrain, Streets, Hybrid (Aerial and Streets), Topographic Quad (Topo), Soil, National Flood Hazard, and Hydrography maps! You can measure the size of lakes, pastures, woods or the distance from point A to point B (how far is the cabin from the road? - with an elevation change chart!), instantly obtain Latitude, Longitude with Elevation for any point on the map! Create great .PDF maps for that remote property without cell coverage... A few basics to consider when you are viewing our maps...


1. There are multiple mapping original sources under consideration when LANDCRAWLER draws the map you see on the web page. It is my experience that none of these original maps will be completely precise!

2. Online county tax maps, which will most often provide "source" information for the map, are often incorrect. This is not to blame the county governments or the software providers - it's beyond the scope of this tutorial but PLSS adjustments, curvature of the earth, etc. are involved here... BTW - do not count on the "acreage" shown on the county tax map or on associated documents to necessarily be what's on the ground. The county will often show deeded acres (which may not have been surveyed) and/or show an acreage based on estimates of their GIS mapping software. The only way to get accurate acreage of a tract of land will be to obtain a modern survey with a competent surveyor. Even with this, 3 competent surveyors could come up with 3 different acreage amounts. One thing I've learned from the land business over 14 years - previous landowners may not have worried about a foot or 2 (or more) off on a line and there are many situations where the owners or neighbors may have fences, etc. that are not going to be right on the line. Bottom line - when buying rural acreage you may need to relax precise expectations in terms of boundary's and acreages!

3. These are estimated maps drawn by the LANDCRAWLER... Considering all of the above, please do not expect 100% accuracy when you view a property map on LANDCRAWLER.COM!!! Now, let's get on with LANDCRAWLER's mapping and how to make the most of it!

For Starters...

1. Unless you are proficient viewing multiple web pages at the same time on your device screen, you may find it beneficial to print out this tutorial. You may be able to "right click" while on the web page for a print option or look for 3 dots (going horizontally or vertically) near the top of your web browser for a print option. 2. Also - note that by "hovering" your cursor over a map symbol or Icon you will generally see an explanation of it's functionality. 3. Move the entire map around by holding down the left mouse button and releasing whenever you want. If you have a touchscreen device, you will likely just hold down your finger on the map and release whenever you want.

LANDCRAWLER Mapping Basics

Let's get started in the upper right hand side of the map...

1. First, you may find it beneficial to click on the 4 outward pointing arrows to "Go Full screen" with the map. If you will be using all the features associated with the map, this is generally a better way to start. Note that full screen mode opens up another web browser tab, so when you are finished with the LANDCRAWLER full screen map, you can click the X on the browser tab for the map. You should then go back to or see the browser tab with all the property details.

2. While viewing the map, click on the (-) symbol to Zoom Out on the map. If you are on a touch screen device, place 2 fingertips apart and away from the subject property and move them towards each other to Zoom Out. This is helpful in seeing the surrounding area, nearby cities, and serves as a "General Locator."

3. Click on the (+) symbol to Zoom In on the map. If you are on a touch screen device, place 2 fingertips near (or on) the subject property and move them away from each other to Zoom Out. This is helpful to close in on food plots, buildings, other features of the property.

4. If you click on the "target" symbol (above the + sign) the map will automatically re-center to your device location.

5. The "Home" icon in the most upper right hand corner will automatically center the subject property.

6. Very Important - The symbol to the immediate left of the "Home" icon - the Earth symbol with the down arrow - will keep the subject property's borders and give you various map types including Aerial (Satellite), Terrain, Streets, Hybrid (Aerial and Streets), Topographic Quad (Topo), Hydrography maps and more! As I mentioned above, you may notice some "jumps" in boundary lines when going from one map type to another - this is because the lines are being "layered" on top of various map sources... It is what it is!

7. The "Hand" symbol will allow you to move around the map - click the "Hand", then click and hold your left mouse button to move the map, release the button when you have the view you want.

NOTE: The Topo map can be one of the most important maps for the land buyer. There will be 20' of elevation change between each line you see on the map. So, where the lines are closer together, it's steeper land, where the lines are further apart, it's less steep land.

Search Tools

1. Moving to the left from the Earth Symbol and Map Types, you have a Search Tool (Magnifying Glass icon). You will be able to search by Address (you can just put in the town and state name), Latitude, Longitude, Section, Township, Range, or Parcel Search (if you happen to have this license from TerraStride).

Frankly, this feature may not apply much to the subject parcel you are evaluating on LANDCRAWLER, but if you would like to use our maps to evaluate other properties, you could do so here! As an example, you could do a search on your home or other property being evaluated, get to that point on the map and use all of our available tools e.g. Topo, Measurement, etc. on the other property. If you want to get back to the LANDCRAWLER property, just click the "Home" icon in the most upper right hand corner and you will automatically center the LANDCRAWLER subject property.

2. If you do not know how to search for the other property but know where it is on the map, you can simply move the map around (hold the left mouse button down or with touch screen, hold and move with your finger) until you reach your destination, then use all the neat tools above.

Measurement Tools

1. Next to the Search icon you will see the first Measurement Tool - with this tool you can measure areas. For example, if you wanted to estimate the size of a pasture, wooded area, or a lake you could use this tool to do so... Click the Tool Icon, then click on the map at the first measurement point, complete the area by double-clicking. You will immediately see the measurements in a pop-up window. Note: you may need to zoom in or out, move the map around to see the final measurement results (it is helpful to be in full-screen mode when using this measurement feature).

2. Next to the Area Measurement tool, is a really cool Distance / Elevation measurement tool. Do you need to measure the distance of a creek with elevation changes for your micro-hydro project? Would you like to know the distance and elevation change to hike up that hill or cut a road to the back of the property? Click the Tool Icon, click your starting point on the map, double-click the ending point. Your line distance will be shown in feet and miles. Click on the "Show Elevation Chart" button to see the elevation changes graphically!

3. Next to the Distance / Elevation tool, you will find the Location / Elevation Tool. Click the Icon, then click anywhere on the map for instant Latitude, Longitude and Elevation!

Other Tools

1. Next to the "Hand" navigation icon, you will find a "Share" icon. This feature allows you to share this map with others. (I say just send them a link to the LANDCRAWLER page of interest!)

2. The "Cache" feature allows you to synch up with your TerraStride software app, if applicable.