One of the key features of GISsurfer is the ability to display a vast amount of data that is hosted on GIS (Geographical Information System) servers. Using this feature I have produced GISsurfer links that display a variety of recreation maps. Each time you open any of these maps or turn on an overlay layer, the most recent data flows from the GIS server to your screen. To get the most benefit from any map, please click Map tips in the upper left corner. Usually the map legend will be on the 'Map tips' page.

In addition to the GIS overlay layers that are 'on' when the map opens, each map has other overlay layers you can turn on/off and restack. Each layer you turn on is stacked on top of other layers that are on. Thus the order in which you turn layers on greatly affects the appearance of the map.

If you click the 'top' overlay layer then usually you will see a display with all the attribute data the GIS server has for thing that you clicked. Sometimes the attribute data includes a link that leads to more information. Don't know what 'top' means? The GISsurfer Help page will get you up to speed.

Want to make your own customized link for any of these maps?
1. Make the map look on your screen the way you want it to look when it opens.
2. Click Menu ==> Link to this map. Very useful!

The links on this page will likely open in the same browser tab, so use your back button.

Caution! Just because you see it on a map does mean it is true on the ground. For example, various trails you see on these maps have been relocated and the data on the GIS server has not been updated to show the new location. When you leave home to go out and play remember to take along your common sense.

National Forest Trail Map - USGS topo
The basemap is the paper topographic maps that USGS stopped producing years ago. Although various features are out of date the contour lines are a bit more detailed than on newer all digital maps.,-121.550976&zoom=14&basemap=USA_scanned_topo&overlay=Proclaimed_forest,USFS_trail_green,USFS_trail_black_line,Landform_names,All_stream_river_lake,USFS_road_open_black,USFS_road_open_white,USFS_road_closed,USFS_recreation_site&data=

National Forest Trail Map - Forest Service topo (FStopo)
Here is the USFS trail map using the 'USA forest service topo' basemap. This basemap data is hosted on federal servers and is updated by the Forest Service from time to time. The primary difference compared to the old USGS paper topo maps is that the 'USA forest service topo' basemap by itself does not show tree cover and also the contour lines are slightly smoothed.,-121.550976&zoom=14&basemap=USA_forest_service_topo&overlay=2016_tree_cover,USA_main_contour_lines,Proclaimed_forest,Landform_names,All_stream_river_lake,USFS_road_open_black,USFS_road_open_white,USFS_road_closed,USFS_trail_green,USFS_trail_black_line,USFS_recreation_site&data=

Bureau of Land Management Trail Map
The BLM GIS server has several different layers that might have data for roads or trails. To see a list of those layers, open this BLM map and click the basemap button. Mobile users need to scroll down for the 'Overlay' section. Some of these layers apparently have no data. And whether or not a road or trail layer has data might vary from one area to the next.

The map can display each road and trail layer twice. Once as a wide colored line and again using the styling defined on the GIS server. This technique of displaying the data twice makes the road and trail data easy to see on any basemap.

Road layers with a 'Y' in the layer name will display a wide yellow line. Trail layers with a 'G' in the layer name will display a wide green line.,-108.428192&zoom=11&basemap=USA_scanned_topo&overlay=BLM_land_shaded,BLM_land_outline,BLM-Y_road_motorized,BLM_road_motorized,BLM_recreation_facility&data=

National Park Trail Maps
The national park trail maps are on their own web page.

USGS Partner Maps
The USGS is collecting trail data from many different government agencies, from local to federal.,-105.207825&zoom=12&basemap=USA_basemap&overlay=TrailsSegment&data=overlay^name=TrailsSegment^url=^layers=0^dynamicLayers=[{"ID":0,"source":{"type":"mapLayer","mapLayerId":0},"drawingInfo":{"renderer":{"type":"simple","symbol":{"type":"esriSLS","style":"esriSLSSolid","color":[255,0,0,255],"width":1.2}},"showLabels":false}}]

NOAA Marine Charts
NOAA has produced 2 versions of the charts with different symbology. Compare the 2 basemaps "NOAA marine chart" vs "S57 NOAA marine chart".

If you are new to GISsurfer then please read the "Map tips" (link in upper left corner) so you can get the full benefit of the map's features.,-80.870361&zoom=7&basemap=NOAA_marine_chart&overlay=AWOIS_obstructions,ENC_wrecks,AWOIS_wrecks&data=

FAA Flight Charts
There are six sets of FAA charts. Each set displays as a basemap. Open the following map link and scroll to the bottom of the list of basemaps.

If you are new to GISsurfer then please read the "Map tips" (link in upper left corner) so you can get the full benefit of the map's features.

Like to know how it works?

Each map link includes a data parameter that points to a txt file I made and which is online via my server. Anyone can download and open those txt files. Each line that begins with the word "overlay" corresponds to one of the layers the map can display. The overlay line provides the GIS server address for that data along with other information. You will also notice that one txt file can link to other txt files.

If you have some GIS savvy you can make your own txt files using the same syntax, put your txt files online and display whatever GIS data you want to see on a GISsurfer map. I will show you how to put your txt files online at no cost. To read more about the data parameter and other parameters that can be included in a GISsurfer link, open the GISsurfer Help page. Near the top of that page is a link for the PDF file that lists all the parameters you can use in a GISsurfer map link.

GISsurfer 'data' parameter tip

Here is how to make a GISsurfer link that will display GIS information without the need for a txt file. This is a quick and easy solution for making a map to display just a few GIS overlay layers. The following map has two GIS overlay layers. Both layers are 'on' when the map opens.

The data parameter (&data=) is used to identify a variety of information the map can display, including GIS layers. To identify a list of things, use two vertical line characters || to separate the items. Note that the word "overlay" is part of the syntax for the data parameter.

The word "overlay" is also used as a parameter (&overlay=) to identify the GIS layers that are 'on' when the map opens. The layers are turned 'on' in the order they appear in the overlay parameter. The last layer turned on will be on 'top' and therefore can be clicked to display all the attribute data.

Below is a GISsurfer link that uses the data parameter to display a stream gage layer (on 'top' and therefore clickable) and a layer that highlights rivers, streams and lakes.,-121.706543&zoom=9&basemap=USA_basemap&overlay=Lake_river_stream,Stream_gage&data=overlay^name=Lake_river_stream^url=^layers=0||overlay^name=Stream_gage^url=^layers=0