November 17, 2010

At Last: Nat Geo Maps on a GPS!

National Geographic Maps & Satmap Systems

Announce Alliance to Deliver Digital Mapping for Handheld Sports GPS

For the first time, National Geographic’s suite of Trails Illustrated, TOPO! and Adventure maps are made available on a handheld GPS; Satmap Active 10 TREK Launches in the U.S. this week.

November 17, 2010 - London, England... National Geographic Maps and Satmap Systems today announced the integration of the best-selling National Geographic outdoor recreation maps into the award-winning Satmap Active 10 handheld GPS. This integration is the result of a new product development alliance between the two organizations, both of which will launch the Active 10 TREK for sale in the United States this week.

The content offered on Satmap devices will include the complete line of National Geographic outdoor recreation maps, including the TOPO! USGS topographic map series, the AdventureMap series of international adventure travel maps, and, for the first time on any GPS, National Geographic’s premier Trails Illustrated series of maps for national parks, national forests and many popular recreation areas. National Geographic maps will be available via SD-Cards, which will plug-and-play into the Active 10 TREK handheld GPS.

The alliance brings together the mapping excellence of National Geographic with the engineering expertise of Satmap Systems Ltd., and the result is a product that meets the needs of outdoor enthusiasts. The Active 10 TREK will suit users of all skill levels in all weather conditions throughout the year. It has gained wide acceptance in Europe with outdoor professionals and consumers engaged in various activities such as mountain rescue, hiking, mountain biking, hunting and geocaching.

Charlie Regan, general manager and vice president, National Geographic Maps, said: “National Geographic prides itself on publishing the best maps, whether for outdoor recreation, education, travel or reference. We are pleased to announce this alliance with Satmap and are eager to see outdoor enthusiasts and professionals begin using the Active 10 TREK to guide them on their adventures. Satmap’s sterling reputation and the critical acclaim that their Active 10 has garnered in Europe made the decision to partner, as they expand into the U.S. market, an easy one.”

Richard Calthrop-Owen, managing director of Satmap Systems, commented: “We are really excited about launching into the U.S., especially with such a globally respected brand as National Geographic. This alliance is good news for everyone who spends time in the great outdoors, and this is a major product first. The Active 10 TREK, combined with the superb National Geographic map data, gives users the freedom to focus on the enjoyment of their sport rather than worrying about location. Accurate navigation is an essential part of enjoying the outdoors, and this quality of map detail will help users to keep on track and stay safe.

Fourteen TOPO! USGS-based SD Map Cards will be available at launch, covering many popular outdoor recreation states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, the Mid-Atlantic region, Montana, Nevada, New England, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. SD Map Cards for the remaining states and regions will be released in the first quarter of 2011. Three additional Trails Illustrated SD Map Cards also will be part of the initial offering, covering California’s Sierra Nevada, the Southern Appalachians and America’s “Greatest National Parks.” New Trails Illustrated Map Cards featuring some of the most important recreational areas in the country will be available in the coming months.

In addition to recreation users, Satmap Systems Ltd. supplies GPS handsets to search and rescue teams, police, military and other professionals in Europe, giving the company a unique insight into and understanding of the needs of outdoor users. Central to this is the need to see the best quality mapping possible on a large screen in a handheld device that is rugged and user friendly.

The Active 10 TREK

The Active 10 TREK comes pre-loaded with World and USA Base Maps. Customers can then buy the National Geographic SD Map Cards that slot into the GPS, making map reading fast and easy. The map is displayed on a large 3.5” screen in full color suitable for day and night use, including a red backlight option to help protect night vision.

The Active 10 TREK is priced at $369.99, and the National Geographic SD Map Cards cost $99.99 each. Customers also can purchase topographical mapping for most countries in Western Europe, making the GPS useful for home and when travelling abroad. There is a range of high-quality accessories such as Bike Mount, Vehicle Mount and a Deluxe Carry Case, which retail from $14.99.

The Active 10 TREK and National Geographic SD Map Cards will be sold online at,,, and and will be available at premier outdoor retailers nationwide in the upcoming months.

November 15, 2010


WASHINGTON (Nov. 10, 2010)—With one of every six people on Earth lacking access to safe drinking water, freshwater is one of the defining issues of the 21st century. Although water is essential for life, less than 1 percent of water on our planet is available for drinking. “Freshwater!” is the theme of Geography Awareness Week 2010, Nov. 14-20, supported by National Geographic and other partner organizations and sponsored by CH2M HILL, an international engineering consulting firm. Founded as a water firm in the 1940s, CH2M HILL has been working for decades to help people around the world find the right solutions to their water challenges.

Geography Awareness Week is an annual celebration enacted by Congress in 1987 that encourages families and schools to engage in fun, educational experiences that draw attention to geo-literacy and the importance of geography education. During Geography Awareness Week 2010, National Geographic invites students, teachers and parents to learn more about freshwater and how it connects to geography.

“Freshwater is one of the most critical issues of the 21st century,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president of Mission Programs. “National Geographic is committed to increasing awareness about this vital natural resource through our Freshwater Initiative. Our Geography Awareness Week website ( gives students and teachers the necessary tools to understand the complexity of the global freshwater crisis and its extraordinary role in shaping the geography of our world.”

During Geography Awareness Week, grassroots organizers around the country will host events, workshops and contests at local schools and community centers. Engineers from CH2M HILL will visit classrooms in many states to share hands-on freshwater activities with students and discuss connections between geography and real-world engineering projects.

“Our world needs sustainable water management solutions that support society and nature,” says Bob Bailey, president of CH2M HILL’s Water Business Group. “The decisions we make today about water will affect generations to come. We are proud to partner with National Geographic — a leader in scientific and cultural research and education — to help bring public awareness to this vital issue. Our firm is committed to sustainability; to protecting and preserving our planet’s natural resources; and to inspiring and educating a future workforce that will help solve the environmental and engineering challenges of tomorrow.”

In celebration of Geography Awareness Week, Zinio, the digital magazine and book distributor, will offer free access to and a free download of the digital edition of the April 2010 issue of National Geographic magazine, “Water: Our Thirsty World,” during November. This single-topic special issue highlights the challenges facing our most essential natural resource. The digital edition presents complete content from the print edition, plus extra photo galleries, rollover graphics that animate features like maps and timelines, video profiles of photographers who contributed to the issue and other interactive features.

The Geography Awareness Week website offers access to activities, lessons and games about freshwater. The site features contributions from National Geographic and partner organizations such as ESRI, 4-H, Newspapers in Education, Zinio and GeoEye. Visitors can use a water footprint calculator to determine how much water their family uses — from watering the lawn to the “hidden” water in household items like blue jeans — and find ways their family can conserve. Teachers can access a wealth of lesson plans about freshwater, including featured activities for use with new National Geographic Mapmaker Kits. Educators and parents alike will find valuable lists of recommended books and films, as well as crossword puzzles and other family-friendly games.

The website also features opportunities to join nearly 100,000 geography supporters in promoting the cause of freshwater. Resources are provided on how to host a local Geography Awareness Week event, including a guide to hosting a 3.7-mile Walk for Water or a Freshwater Trivia Night. A link to the new Global Action Atlas offers connections to people and organizations involved in innovative water projects around the world.

Site visitors also can read and contribute to a Geography Awareness Week Blog-a-Thon, which is updated multiple times daily with commentary and multimedia. The Blog-a-Thon also features a “What’s That Water?” quiz, challenging visitors to identify freshwater bodies in satellite imagery, provided by GeoEye, for chances to win prizes.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 375 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,400 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit

Headquartered in Denver, Colo., employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations and program management for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. With $6.3 billion in revenue and 23,500 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2010). The firm’s work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environmental, energy and power, and facilities and infrastructure. The firm has long been recognized as a most-admired company and leading employer. Visit

For more information and resources for Geography Awareness Week, visit

November 8, 2010

Grand Gulch Plateau

David Whitford - San Juan College OLER Student

Recently, we took a trip to Grand Gulch Canyon in Utah. The backpacking trip was a part of a Wilderness Pursuits class being offered by San Juan College. The class is an introductory level course with a focus on developing skills related to planning, organizing and executing a backcountry outing. Some of the topics covered in the class included trip planning and organization, low impact camping and permitting, menu planning, and introductory route finding and navigation.

For the navigation piece of the course we were lucky enough to have the Trails Illustrated Map of the Grand Gulch Plateau. There were so many things about the map that came in handy, but the one that stood out to me was that so many of the ruins and springs were well marked. Not only were they marked but the mileage from our starting point to each spring and ruin was given also.

As I have discovered, hiking in the Utah canyons requires a good amount of preparation. You can’t prepare too much when it comes to knowing where water sources are in a place where water is scarce.
Wilderness Pursuits students enjoying Jailhouse Ruin