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Volunteer GPSers needed (Pennsylvania)

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Hi folks, I'm the volunteer geospatial data coordinator for Mid State Trail Association http://phoenix.goucher.edu/MSTA, the all volunteer organization that cares for Mid State Trail http://phoenix.goucher.edu/MSTA/mst.htm, a part of Great Eastern Trail http://www.greateasterntrail.org and Pennsylvania's longest footpath.


Our group needs improved track location data for both Mid State Trail and other trails/paths nearby in order to communicate better both with hikers through improved maps, and land managers who allow the footpath on their land. We have a couple of volunteers who are using their own GPS units while they hike but it takes a while to cover well over 400 km of paths. We can't just digitize off air photos because our trail is usually well hidden by trees, and is very narrow and often rocky.


If any of you are nearby to the central Pennsylvania area, and want an excuse to walk in the woods while the leaves are off, we could use your help!


Ideally, we'd like at least two volunteers independently to walk each area, hopefully covering both a part of MST itself, and a loop on a fire road or other feature visible on air photos as a check. For our mapping, the volunteer GIS person would compare your tracks to the existing map and take the best average.


We'd like to receive electronically track files, and waypoint files of notable features along the path (such as parking lots, benchmarks, view points, waterfalls, marked surveyed boundaries, etc.), and any notes you see of trail conditions.


Although you do not need anywhere near this degree of elaboration, you can check http://www.pahikes.com for "hike reports" to see the types of information we would find of interest. You would be welcome to share the information you collect with this or another forum as well.


The areas where coverage is most needed is State Game Lands in Blair and Bedford counties in southcentral PA, with some data needs in northcentral PA, too.


Upon signing up, MSTA would supply you with 2 copies of a single existing trail map for the area, so you can return one with your notes, and keep one. Geospatial volunteers would be eligible to receive a second map after finishing the first one.


If you are willing and able to purchase maps and guides, or already have them and are willing to make copies to make your notes on, that would be a welcome additional contribution to our non-profit all volunteer work.


And, within IRS rules you can deduct from your taxes any mileage for a charitable purpose to reach the trailhead, as MSTA is a Federal 501©(3) registered and Pennsylvania incorporated non-profit organization. We would also be interested in knowing how many hours you are on the trail, and driving, as well.


If you are interested, send an E-mail to footpaths@fleszar.org for further details.



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I read this a few days ago, and I actually would have loved to help you out, but unfortunately I am a bit far away (in Harrisburg) and just don't have the time right now to do it. I've been on part of the trail up near State College though and it was a great little 2 or 3 mile section I hiked.


Sorry I can't help you out. Hopefully someone can. Maybe if you mentioned some of the caches people could grab along the trail, it would inspire them. Smilies might hold more intrigue than tax deductions with this crowd...

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Maybe if you mentioned some of the caches people could grab along the trail, it would inspire them. Smilies might hold more intrigue than tax deductions with this crowd...


There's definitely caches and benchmarks along the way and nearby. I'll see later on tonight if I can generate a list of zip codes where we need help the most. I know 15522, 15537, 15535, 17211, and 16946 will be on that list...

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OK, Some caches nearby where we need data, in not much order: GCKR13, GCPJJV, GCWA09, GCN4E4, GCK81R, GCN9RY, GC335D, GCG3X9, GCG1EK, GCZN95, GCG1A3, GCG4GK, GCM9AJ, GCYZTA, GCWT4G, GCWWY9, GCWV9V, GCGB2Q, GCG613, GCG03A, GCGYMP, GCWDRV, GCH3FA, GCV441, GCN9TE, GCJDVW, GC77E0, GCJWVG, GCP2AR, GCMVR8, GCH1DR, GCWGM0

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Hi folks,


I'm bumping the topic because the offer of a tax deduction still stands, the data is still needed, and the leaves are coming off soon so you can plan your trips now!


Most needed section is between Blackwell, PA, and Little Pine State Park, PA.


Thanks for your patience...

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