Mapping Tools for the Prepper.
Part of building the Bug Out portion of your survival plan is working out the evacuation route. This needs to be done ahead of time. Multiple routes are the norm for serious planners. Getting access to decent mapping tools isn’t too hard, but we’re posting a few of them here anyway. Check these out and see what works for you.
Included on this page are also tools for researching Relocation Data, Crime Statistics and Locations of Felons and Sex Offenders.
National Map – Small Scale Collection – https://nationalmap.gov/small_scale/ The National Map is now offering a collection of small-scale datasets that can be downloaded for free. Although the 1997-2014 Edition of the National Atlas of the United States was retired in September 2014, The National Map recognizes the importance of continuing to make a collection of the small-scale datasets, originally developed for the National Atlas, available to users.
Topographical Maps – http://www.topozone.com/ Topo maps for the entire US. It drills down by state, county and then into quite a selection of features to use as anchors.
Topographical and Aerial Maps for download to your PC, with GPS info. – http://www.jdmcox.com/ Use the USAPhotoMaps program, which should be number 1 on the list of application written by Doug Cox.
Custom Mobile Maps http://www.mapcacher.com/ – Create custom maps that can be printed or loaded to your mobile phone.
Pursue the Outdoors has an interface for the USGS that in itself is not downloadable, but DOES have uses. http://www.pursuetheoutdoors.com/tools/maps/topo.php You can do a screen capture of the area of your interest in map, satellite, hybrid, topo or terrain, and save /print THAT. The detail is wonderful.
National Geographic Topo Maps. On Amazon, you can get various iterations of this software, but this version, while I haven’t used it, looks good.TOPO! Explorer Deluxe
Relocation Data and Crime Statistics
Cost of Living Comparator at Relocation Essentials. This is a tool for comparing the differences of COL between two locations.
ZIPskinny – Census data by ZIP code. Not exactly a mapping tool, but a map-based Census information site that will add meaningful data to your geo-studies. If you have hard copy maps in your hands, you can add meaningful notes to the side columns.
The Census Dot Map – “This is a map of every person counted by the 2010 US, 2011 Canadian, and 2010 Mexican censuses. The map has 454,064,098 dots – one for each person.” Don’t forget to “Toggle Labels” to see roads, city and state names etc….
City Rating Crime Statistics – Crime statistics by state, and safety indicators by city. Amazing site for researching vulnerabilities.
Locate Felons and Sex Offenders
Crime Reports, Community Policing and Neighborhood Crime Statistics – This site has a truly massive search capability, with multiple layers of information you can chose for inclusion into the finished map. In some cases, felons pictures are included.
Felon Spy – Locate felons in your area. You must enter in an address, and then you’ll see a map showing who is nearby. We don’t know how current the information is, but it’s a start – and a good one if you’re looking to move into a neighborhood.
Megan’s Law Sex Offender Search, by State – Locate registered sex offenders in your area. You have a right to know if your children (or you) are at increased risk of criminal activity.
National Sex Offender Public Database – Search by name or ZIP code.
Family Watchdog, National Sex Offender Registry – The search engine in on the left side of the site, which is busy with a lot of other content. Still, the map it produces is useful.
Regarding criminal offender searches. Some data has been reported to be in error, such as when an offender purposely registers at a wrong address. Be careful what you do with the information you collect. As with anything important, verify with other sources, even with a phone call to local police.