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Old 01-29-2014   #1
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
Upper Missouri GPS Way Point File

You folks helped me with GPS waypoints on the Smith River MT last June. Awesome little river in a beautiful setting. Now if I can get lucky on the permit drawing.

I was just super impressed with what I saw of Montana and hope to get back more.

Going to try again on GPS stuff.

A group of us are planning to canoe the entire Upper MO River from Ft Benton to Kipp Recreation area. Some 148 miles.

I found and purchased a great guide book "Montana's Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River" plus BLM's really neat Boater's Guide series.

There is a table of the assigned camp sites with GPS way point data in both river guides. The river guides show river mile posts every mile on the maps they contain - but no GPS waypoint data.

I contacted the writer of the guide book (also runs a guide service out of Ft Benton) and the BLM office in Ft Benton. Neither knew of such a file. The BLM gent was really great to talk with. He allowed that a GPS waypoint file would be a nice tool for a lot of people. That he would do some research and see if he could find the information for me.

Bottom line, if anyone knows of river mile GPS waypoints for this stretch of the river, please let me know. I will pass the information on to the outfitter and BLM at Ft Benton. Both showed an interest in having this data.

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Old 01-29-2014   #2
deadlizard's Avatar
peoria, Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 125
Do not have one but would make one.....

assuming I could somehow access the source files with the campsites and river miles.

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Old 01-30-2014   #3
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
When you say "there is a table of the assigned camp sites with GPS way point data in both river guides"

Do you mean there is a table with coordinates of each corresponding campsite?

Sounds like DL might have you covered but if you would put those coordinates in an excel spreadsheet (Campsite, LAT and LON each in a separate column) I could turn you out a GPX file in minutes...
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Old 01-30-2014   #4
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
There is a list of the 26 camps and access points

in the book with lat / lons listed. This is the book by the outfitter. I emailed him and he does not have any GPS information.

On the BLM guide books it looks like the maps have the UTM squares and I found on amazon a little plastic gadget that might let me get GPS info off that. I am not familiar with this process but am ordering a how to book on UTM and GPS info. The BLM guide books do have strip maps of the route with indicated mileposts on the map starting from Ft Benton but no lat / lon info for these map marks.

I also contacted BLM Ft Benton and a really co operative Ranger there told me he would see if someone had the river mile post GPS waypoints stashed away.

That is my plan on the camp sites IE spread sheet input to a waypoint creation program.

Appreciate the help, more later as I get info back.
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Old 01-30-2014   #5
deadlizard's Avatar
peoria, Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 125
The program I most use for waypoint files is

USAPhotomaps. It's quite old and there is an issue with reliable map datum downloads since TerraServer went offline. The user can toggle between USGS 7.5 topos or satellite view, each of which require downloading on-the-fly as you work. Does not take long if you have a printed/electronic map with river miles/features to work from. Simply click the USAPhotomap topo at the desired location and add the waypoint.

The program and map data downloads are free. There's a bit of a learning curve but it can be measured in a couple of hours at the most. It's a lot more effort if you have to calculate/create the river mile points yourself.
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Old 01-30-2014   #6
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
Thanks Gene

I have used USAphotomaps back on a older desktop I had. A good product. Now on a Windows 7 desktop and have not down loaded it.

You are correct, a great map product. Did not know the gentleman who wrote the code had taken it down. A big loss to the mapping community with it gone.
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Old 01-31-2014   #7
AirEms's Avatar
GF, Montana
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 95
Hey Okieboater,
Glad you enjoyed the Smith last year. Your trip on the Missouri this year should be just as rewarding. I'm not sure which maps you have but it sounds like they might be the small pamphlet ones with only basic maps and info. There is a map and info booklet published by the BLM "Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument Boaters Guide" The one I have is the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Edition 2005-2006. 65 pages of detailed maps and river history and info. The maps have both river miles and also lat/lon on the map border. You could use these lat/lon to rough out certain spots or camps. Doing it this way would put you within a hundred feet or so of the exact spot. You could always follow the map with google earth and get exact lat/lon reading.
I can't remember if I got my map book at BLM headquarters here in Great Falls or if I found it at Missouri River Outfitters (local boat shop) also here in GF. Anyway I hope this info will be of some use to your trip planning.
Later, Mark
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Old 01-31-2014   #8
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
Appreciate it AirEMS.

Time for me to do some googling
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Old 01-31-2014   #9
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
There is a free software out there called DNR Garmin, (DNRGPS Application: Minnesota DNR) produced by the state of Minnesota I believe that can be really handy at converting data between forms and importing and exporting it off of GPS units. Given the name it's obviously developed for Garmin's GPX files, but I think it can work with others. THere is a table import feature which allows you to take a table of coord's and convert to different file formats or create waypoint files. I've only used it to convert from GPX to shape files once or twice a year so I'm far from an expert but If you find or create a table of lat/longs, it should easily put them in a format you can put onto your GPS vs, typing each in to the unit it'self).

Hope that helps. If you end up with a lot of points and have trouble getting them into a way point file, I could probably help with that via a more robust program as well...
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Old 01-31-2014   #10
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407

Appreciate it.

I do have the two current releases from BLM of the Upper MO river maps. These maps do show some numbers on the blocks which I am investigating if they can show me the as shown on the maps indicated river mile posts GPS. Amazon has a plastic gizmo that is supposed to help with converting this UTM to GPS data.

I could not find the older release of the river guides as posted by AirEMS, I think those must have been a special printing.

My GPS is a Garmin 76 model and I have used the Garmin files from RiverMaps with great success. By the way, no relationship to RiverMaps but their guide books are tied to GPS waypoint files they offer for free. I have most of their work, have used them and am a very happy customer. Gene, Mt Buzz member who posted on this thread, has one of the best web sites for river info and GPS anywhere, check it out!

Any way, appreciate all the info from you Buzzards. We can make the trip just fine with the BLM skinny maps as our group has done the map and compass thing many times.

I am just a retired engineer who likes to mess with gadgets on and off the rivers I am blessed to run.

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