Are there any apps to generate maps?

As a local historian I am working on an article about a area with numerous old quarry holes. It occurred to me that if I had an app that could store GPS data points and plot them on a grid I could easily set points at all the corners of the quarries and come up with a map of the area without having to use a surveyor. It’s about an 80 acres site. It has become so wooded that I can’t just use aerial maps like Google to get this information.

There are vintage county tax plat maps, but all they do is draw a square and write, “quarry”.


Do you need something like QGIS?

There are plenty of programs and online tools that can plot GPS tracks over a map, from a .gpx file. I use GPS Visualizer to map bike rides etc but I am sure you could use it to plot the outline of a quarry, etc, if you traced the outline with a GPS unit.

I’ve used ZeeMaps when planning vacations to put markers on the map for points of interest, hotels, restaurants, etc.

That certainly looks like it will do it. I am familiar with the GIS maps the county auditors use.


With QGIS, you can also overlay your datapoints on existing maps, combining layers from your county GIS, aerial maps (just for context), and your own data points. Be sure to georeference them so everything is on the same projection:

I’m having a bit of trouble figuring out what your trying to do. Is your plan to physically go to the quarry corners with your phone

UC Davis has some .pdf’s onlinethat will walk you though using the GPS Essentials app and uploading points to google earth.

And if you want those points and polygons gussied up into a publication-quality map (with no copyright issues), that’s the sort of work I (and possibly at least one other Doper) do.

Yes. For a map to illustrate an article or write a short monograph that should be plenty of accuracy. The hand held GPS units also generate the proper files it seems.

So it is looks like I don’t need an app per se, I need a .gpx file with all the data points and I can load that into various online programs and basically trace the dots.

Dennis is my favorite.

That is a nice simple interface, thanks!

Reading the user manuals from various handheld GPS units it seems they each have their own mapping software you can upload markers to.


To go a different direction: Where is this quarry? Google Earth has some historical photos available, has some as well. Cuyahoga county seems to offer some lidar data, you could do everything you need with lidar

Sure! It’s surprisingly powerful under the hood too. You start with uploading a GPX, then you can choose one or more layers (aerial, topo, your own pictures or diagrams, etc.) to put your dots on, then you can draw shapes and lines to connect them, print it out into a pretty PDF with elevation profiles and all that…

It’s primarily meant for making hiking maps, but should be able to do what you want too. All for free!