I want to relate an experience I had this week involving GPS tracking as I walked a remote 80-acre lot in northern Yavapai County on Lot 808 in Sierra Verde Ranch near Seligman, AZ.
Here is a topographic view of the lot:
In this view, the road comes up to the SW corner of the lot where there is a circle turn-around.
Reading the topography, one can see that there is a gently-sloping wash near the SW corner of the lot at 5,700 feet elevation. There is a "saddle" near the center of the south edge of the lot at an elevation of near 5,900 feet. One would expect the views to be the best from this point.
One can read the topography and deduce that the best potential building site is at the saddle at around 5,900 feet elevation.
The highest point on the lot is 6,100 feet on the north edge of the lot.
I had clients with me as we walked the lot. My plan was to avoid going to the top of the hill at an elevation of around 6,100 feet. We parked the cars at the SW corner of the lot and proceded easterly from that point. I did not have my paper printout of the topography but I remembered that I wanted to avoid the north side of the lot. This decision is also obvious while standing at the SW corner and looking up at the hill to the NE.
I have a Garmin 76csx (Hiker's GPS). It did not display my tracks as I was hiking, so I was guessing at where we were going.
The hike turned out to be a very exhausting and unpleasant experience as we did a lot of climbing and descended down a steep slope with an abundance of loose rocks. I knew we went the wrong way but I was uncertain about how we messed up.
When I got back to my office, I discovered that my Garmin did record my track. This is the record that my Garmin made from that trip.
From the topo, it is obvious that we would have had a less-strenuous hike if we had stayed along the south and east edges of the lot. The elevation change runs from around 5,720 feet at the cars to a maximum of around 5,900 feet. Of course the hike would also have also been less strenuous had we stayed within the parcel boundary. It would have also been better if we had backtracked from the NE corner of the parcel.
The views from the lot are great. Here is a photo of Cross Mountain that was taken from the south edge of the lot.
If there is interest, I will start a new group where we can share ideas on the use of GPS and topography to show vacant land.
I am not proposing to be either a Sensei or a Grasshopper, only that we set up a way to explore ideas on this topic. I have set up a group in which to accomplish the sharing of ideas:
I am inviting anyone interested in sharing ideas to join that group.