Montana State University

MSU GPS Lab

Montana State University
PO Box 173120
Bozeman, MT 59717-3120

GPS Lab Manager:

Diana Cooksey
Tel: (406) 994-5684
Fax: (406) 994-3933
E-mail: dcooksey@montana.edu
Location: 245 Leon Johnson Hall

Student Map Gallery

College Office

Project Descriptions and Map Links

Selected maps for each semester are presented here by students taking GPHY 357, Global Positioning System Fundamentals and Applications in Mapping. In the course, students use Trimble GeoExplorer mapping grade or sub-meter mapping receivers and PathfinderOffice software to design and implement their own GPS mapping projects. After collecting and processing the GPS data, students use GIS software to create final project maps.

A graphic file for each map can be accessed by clicking on the links below. Each file shows a "picture" of the student(s)' final map layout. Maps are presented as JPEGs or PDFs. To view PDF files, you must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. It can be downloaded here: Adobe Reader. With PDF files, you can zoom in (or out) to specific areas on the map to get a better view.


Service Learning Projects

Students participating in service learning projects take GPHY 358 in conjunction with GPHY 357. They gain real-world mapping experience and provide a community service at the same time.

E-911 Mapping Project
AGAI Mapping Project


Other Projects

Fall 2013 Student Maps
Fall 2012 Student Maps
Fall 2011 Student Maps
Fall 2010 Student Maps

Spring 2010 Student Maps
Fall 2009 Student Maps
Spring 2009 Student Maps
Fall 2008 Student Maps
Spring 2008 Student Maps
Fall 2007 Student Maps
Spring 2007 Student Maps
Fall 2005 Student Maps
Spring 2005 Student Maps
Fall 2004 Student Maps
Spring 2004 Student Maps
Fall 2003 Student Maps
Spring 2003 Student Maps




Fall Semester 2013


Michael Akerlow
Bozeman Trail
Bozeman Trail

This mapping project was done to inform the public of a recreational hiking trail that has several tree species and a park. All features were collected using a Trimble GeoXH 3000 receiver.  Point features were collected by standing as close to the feature as possible and collecting positions for at least 30 seconds with a 1 second logging interval.  The trail was collected by walking the trail in its entirety, with a logging interval of 5 seconds.  Average vertices were used to collect point location for the corners of the park, the receiver automatically connects the corners to form a polygon that represents the park. The precision of the map features are: park 10 cm, trail 12.5 cm, trail access 10 cm, trees 13.5 cm.  The 1 m accuracy objective was met.  An aerial photo was used with an accuracy of 5 m, so the map accuracy is 5 m. The main purpose of this map is to inform the public of the tree species along Bozeman Trail.  The map will also help people to locate a nice hiking trail and park where they can walk their dogs and take in a wonderful view of the Bridger Mountains.

Erik Anderson
Running Strike Farm
RSFarm

The Running Strike Farm mapping project’s goal is to lay out the framework for a small scale vegetable farm in order to better understand potential uses, changes, problems, and increase efficiency while accomplishing all of these tasks. With the use of GIS and GPS technology increasing exponentially, large machinery used in high production agriculture is being outfitted with equipment to take advantage of this invaluable resource. It is important that small scale farms have similar knowledge and an opportunity to get both the best productivity and information available. Running Strike Farms is located in an area free from obstructions, due to the fact that green houses and hoop houses were not fully constructed prior to mapping. Nested features and offsets were used in order to obtain some data, but I could walk close to or on most features I mapped. The worst accuracy comes from the aerial photography, which is accurate to 5 meters. The tree mapped had 0.6 meter accuracy, and all other points had close to 0.1 meter accuracy. This accuracy is sufficient for the nearly six acre farm, and different aerial photography could be obtained at a later date to increase accuracy.

Russell Callahan
Practice Rock Climbing Area
Practice Rock

The project goal was to create a guide to the Practice Rock climbing area located in Hyalite Canyon approximately 3.5 miles south of the intersection between Hyalite Canyon Rd. and South 19th Rd.  This data includes location and attribute information about parking areas, trails, and climbing routes.  The data is meant to show the location of specific routes along with grade and type of climb.  This data was mapped using a GeoXH 6000 GPS receiver.  A Contour XLRiC laser rangefinder and external Hurricane Antenna were used for mapping the locations of routes.  After collection the data was differentially corrected using the MSU CORS base station.  After correction 94.7% of this data is accurate to 2 meters based on a 68% confidence interval.  The rest of the data is accurate 5 meters based on a 68% confidence interval.  The base layers for this map are accurate to 5 meters so this map can be considered accurate to 5 meters.  The objectives of this project were met and a map showing the location and details of each route at Practice Rock is now available to climbers.

Steve Foreman
Project Big Mike
Project Big Mike

The goal of this project was to map the public spaces, fixed features, and semi-fixed features of the grounds of the Museum of the Rockies. The methods: using the Trimble receivers I gathered point, area, and line data by plotting Big Mike, the horse statue made of chain, the flag poles, and the tee pee frames. Line and area were obtained by walking the perimeters of the parking lot, parking barriers, roadway from the main road and the Lewis & Clark Challenge Course, fence lines. The only problem that I encountered was when mapping the museum itself, I ended up point plotting the corners of the building and connecting the point in GIS. 85% of the data has an estimated accuracy between 15 – 30 cm, far exceeding expectations. This data is meant to be used by MSU facilities as well as a baseline for anyone who wishes to improve upon it.

Jon Hageness
Shafthouse Mountain Bike Trail
Shafthouse Mountain Bike Trail

The goal of mapping the Shafthouse trail was to provide a mountain bike specific map that accurately portrayed trail conditions and important features. When considering this trail, mountain bikers should be able to read the map and know what to expect before heading out. Data was collected using a Trimble GeoXH 6000 GPS receiver, differentially corrected, and imported in to the GIS. Features were edited minimally, but some were later added with the assistance of high quality aerial imagery. All data is estimated to be accurate to 2 meters or better. This is sufficient for mountain biking purposes, especially when shown at a smaller scale. Features include the trail with its various conditions, a fence crossing, historic mine shafts, and the trailhead parking lot. The objective is met in that the map produced is a better reference than existing maps and is targeted toward mountain bikers. It will serve as a general trail reference and best depict the important features.

Will Harber
Flanders Trail
Flanders Trail

This project was intended to create a map to encourage use of the Flanders Trail in Hyalite Canyon. The use of this map was intended for recreational travel, so a high level of accuracy was not required. Techniques involved mapping features directly. The perimeter of the parking lot was walked with a 1s logging interval. The road and trail were walked and a 5s logging interval was used. Obstructions were logged for a count of about 5s and the vertices were averaged. The data for most of the lower sections of the trail met accuracy requirements, but towards the top there were larger errors. Obvious errors were corrected by hand using an aerial photo as a background and the resulting map lines up very well. This was deemed acceptable for the intended use. This trail map will be used by hikers, mountain bikers and climbers and will hopefully introduce more people to a remote trail in Hyalite.

Michael Hohne
Bogert Park
Bogert Park

Bogert Park is a mapping project that laid out the amenities in which it has to offer.  The park has many different uses from concerts to farmer’s markets and swimming to ice skating.  The equipment used was the Geo XH Trimble 2008 Series mapping grade receiver.  The intended accuracy of my mapping was within a meter.  All of the project fell under this intention with the exception of 5.67% of the project.  Features that were mapped ranged from park benches and trash cans to the walkways and different kinds of buildings.  All of the buildings were mapped using the average vertices option.  The other technique used was offsetting in Pathfinder Office to ensure tighter accuracy.  Some of the buildings and benches were mapped at different times because of leaf cover and once the leaves fell those features were mapped.  This map will be used by city planners, tourism associations and businesses along with citizens to continue the upkeep and to provide potential expansions to the park.

Amber Knutson
Bird Survey: Bozeman, MT
Fall Population Bird Survey , Fall Species Bird Survey

Goals:  Understand bird species and populations in the city limits of Bozeman, MT using city parks as reference.
Purpose: Urban wildlife monitoring.
Methods: GPS data collection in the following parks in Bozeman, MT: Glen Lake Park, Gallatin County Regional Park, Valley Unit Park, Bozeman Pond, Kirk Park, North Grand Park, Centennial Park, Cooper Park, Southside Park, Langhor Park, Pete’s Hill/Burke Park, Grafs Park, and Gardner Park. Offsets were used for some collections using a compass and range estimation. Binocular observations as well as calls were recorded.
Data Quality: >5m
Main Results: Imported features included sid files for background, road layer for reference. Obtained from NIRS, MSL, and Gallatin County GIS.
Objectives Met: Yes
Applications: Population studies, species tracking, fall migration patterns. Used by biologists, city planning officials, hobby bird watchers.

Danny Louth
Bozeman Climbing Boulders
Man-MadeBoulders

For my project I chose to map the location of six man-made climbing boulders built in five separate parks in Bozeman Montana between 2008 and 2013. I began my project with the objective of producing a general reference map highlighting the location and distribution of these unique recreation features within the community. I used a Trimble Geo XH 3000 mobile receiver to collect the GPS locations by either occupying the point I wished to collect or traversing a line I wished to collect; to collect the park perimeters I used the average vertices technique coupled with traversing the boundaries. Overall I am very happy with my data collection with an accuracy of less than one meter for 99.41% of my data collected and I think it is safe to say that all my objectives were met. I intend to have my map available to the general public specifically geared towards people trying to find a unique outdoor recreation activity. My map is intended to help those interested, to find the location and spatial distribution of the boulders in the community and potentially help them navigate to and between the parks. 

Michael Mackie
BangTails Trail
Overview , Zoom Road , Zoom Trail

For my project I wanted to achieve a map that was easy to read and help recreational users of the BangTail Trail be able to locate and access the trail. My goals were to show where the trailheads are, where it is safe to park, where the forestry road is and where the trail goes. The purpose was that if an emergency or breakdown on the trail occurs users know where they are and be able to get to a forestry road. The methods I used were mapping with the Trimble on the handlebar of my dirt bike and on the backseat of an ATV as I rode the trail. The data quality for all my features was less than 1 m horizontal accuracy; my trail data quality was .5m horizontal accuracy which was satisfactory for the amount of multipath from tree cover. I met my objective in creating a simple trail map to aid recreational users in knowing where the trail is located and easy areas to access the road in case of emergencies. My hope is anyone using the trail will use this map.

Jason Reese
Kimberly Elementary
Kimberly Elementary

This mapping project was designed to create a unified and updated map of Kimberly Elementary School in Kimberly, Idaho. The school facilities have underwent many major changes in the past 10 years which resulted in no single comprehensive map of the school grounds. Features mapped are buildings, fences, playground equipment, entrances, fire hydrants, and emergency shutoffs for gas and electrical services. The resulting map had the desired horizontal accuracy for all features of less than 1 meter. This type of map is useful for school faculty to better visualize and plan for special and routine activities. It can also be used as a reference map for possible hazards to students or emergency responders during school emergencies or safety drills.

Benjamin Robinson
Pete’s Hill Trail Network
Pete's Hill

The purpose of the project was to make a mapped layout of the trails on Pete’s Hill, which would allow people to choose a desired route to take. The map displays parking lots, restrooms, types of trails, trashcans, trail markers, and benches throughout the recreation area. The trails were mapped using a GeoXH-3000 receiver and done by walking along the different routes. Benches and trashcans were nested along the trail systems. The parking lots were mapped by walking the perimeter using a one second interval between data points to ensure all aspects of the lots were captured. The restroom on the east side, was mapped by using point features to map the corners then connecting the points into a polygon. A little over 99% of the data points collected was within 0-15cm accuracy. This accuracy allowed the mapped trails to properly align with the background aerial photograph. The objective of the project was met and the map is now ready to be used by the public looking to partake in recreational activities along Pete’s Hill.

Max Shchemelinin
Southern Bridger Range Trails
South Bridgers 1 , South Bridgers 2 , South Bridgers 3

The trails in the southern Bridger Range were mapped to classify the trails according to the running potential based on Fun Factor, defined as the sum trail steepness and surface difficulty, as well as other features such as peak access. Mapped locations included all the known trails south of Mount Baldy accessible from both the 'M' and Sypes trailheads. Mapping was performed using a Trimble GeoHX GPS receiver and a compact external antenna. Surface type and vegetation cover was also recorded. Key features such as trailheads, peaks, parking lots, and creek crossings were mapped. Trail gradient was calculated using 1/3 arcminute resolution DEM data provided by the NRIS. Satellite visibility was sufficient to successfully map the entire study area. Horizontal mapping precision was at worst a few meters, a sufficiently precise value for the scope of the project. The related maps show the trail surface, gradient, and Fun Factor.

Kyla Sturm
Holloway Pretty Good Horse Barn
Barn 1 , Barn 2

The purpose of the “Holloway Pretty Good Horse Barn” mapping project was to provide the owner, current boarders, and future boarders with a map of the ranch property and property features. The project included mapping the property boundary, location and boundaries of horse and colt pens, types of food/water bins and their locations, main gates, fields, electric vs. non electric fencing, and main building locations. Features were all collected using a GeoXH handheld GPS receiver and were all later differentially corrected using Pathfinder Office Software. Advanced collecting methods included: pause/resume feature, offsets, distance bearing measurements, nesting feature, and averaged vertices. Approximately 99.91% of the data collected for Holloway Project met the goal of sub 2 meter accuracy. Overall the project as a whole was highly accurate and extremely successful. This project will help prospective boarders in making a decision if they would like to board their horse/horses at the Holloway Horse Barn. It also provides the owners with a highly accurate map of the overall property and shows locations of main aspects of the ranch in relation to one another.

Kyle Becker, Eamon Clancy, Jhanek Szypulski, Emery Three Irons
Red Bluff Research Area
Red Bluff

The Red Bluff project was conducted to provide baseline data for the 2012 Bear Trap Canyon fire that burned portions of The Red Bluff Research area.  Beyond mapping the fire’s perimeter, access points and wetlands that were unburned as well as line features consisting of the access roads and the dozer line that was cut were also mapped. To map the features of the project, Trimble GeoXH 3000 GPS receivers were used and the fire perimeter, dozer line and point features were walked as could best be defined for a year old fire.  The resulting map of the burn accurately represents the project member’s best interpretation of the fire perimeter.  Overall the data quality was quite high (<5 meter) considering the limiting accuracy of this project was the human judgment of a year old burned area. The project was successful in its intent for baseline data and the map created accurately shows the data collected in the field. This data will be used in ongoing land studies by Dr. Clayton Marlow and associates of Montana State University. 

Dionne Zoanni
Student-made Trails on MSU Campu
s Student Trails JPG

Every year, Montana State University spends money rehabilitating campus lawns due to the heavy off-sidewalk traffic of students. The goal of this project was to map each of these student-made trails on campus in relation to designated sidewalk system and emergency call stations. The features mapped include student-made trails, sidewalks, emergency call stations, and trail obstructions. The mapping was done using a Trimble GeoXH handheld GPS receiver. 2-meter accuracies were required, and mostly sub-meter accuracies were achieved, making this project successful. The final map can be used for the planning and implementing of future designated campus sidewalks, emergency call stations, and trail systems. It can also be used for annual sidewalk and trail maintenance, or as a base map for other projects based on campus.

Charles Evans
Bridger Bowl
Bridger Bowl

The goal of this project is to provide an interpretive map that allows the user to make accurate predictions about local weather patterns at Bridger Bowl ski area based on real surface temperature Lapse rates.  Terrain at Bridger Bowl was separated into lift access and Ridge access terrain, and using temperature data collected from 6 temperature sensors at varying altitudes an accurate lapse rate line was delineated for both terrain types.  GPS data of terrain type, lift lines, and measurement stations was collected with a GeoXH 3000 series receiver to reference the study location.  All the data collected was within the 1m accuracy requirements accept for 3 lower level measurement stations.  This was of no consequence however, due to the innate connection between measurement station locations and lift line locations, which allowed easy post-process editing.  A map was later created in Arc Map based on the data collected.   Due to the short duration of data collection however, the current data will not be sufficient to create accurate lapse rate lines.  Therefore, this map will function only as a template to be used after further data collection.



Fall Semester 2012


Gustave Sexauer
Bear Canyon Ski Area BearCanyonSkiArea1, BearCanyonSkiArea2

This project was created to accurately map Bozeman’s historic ski area. Bear Canyon, owned by the Mt. Ellis Academy, lies at the south end of Bear Canyon Road a few miles east of Bozeman. Two maps were to be created, the first detailing the location of the ski area equipment and infrastructure. This map is to aid the owners in maintaining and keeping inventory of the premises. The second map is for recreational users that may use the area by permission. This map illustrates the ski lift, trails, and trees within the boundary.  The data was collected using a GPS receiver and was later refined through post-processed differential correction. Advanced collection methods included offsets to decrease multipath from forest canopy, electrical equipment, and buildings, nesting features to reduce walking time, and mapping averaged vertices to more accurately record the shape of geometric features. The overall estimated horizontal accuracy for the project is 0.8m, which met the initial objectives. Although the Bear Canyon Ski Area no longer operates regularly, this project may increase awareness of this local gem and push outdoor enthusiasts to maintain the area for future enjoyment.


Scott Morgan
DeRahm Property
DeRahmProperty

Just south of the Bozeman city limits lies 80 acres of agricultural land.  Developments of houses, subdivisions, and businesses are steadily moving south from Bozeman and the property is being encroached on from the north, east, and west.  We have a unique opportunity to protect a small slice of classic Montana agrarian heritage and to help Bozeman preserve open space and expand the extensive “Main Street to Mountains” trail system.  Features mapped include buildings, fences, springs, creeks, and trees.    A Trimble GeoXH handheld GPS receiver was used and useable accuracies were obtained due to the wide open nature of the mapping area.  Data was collected on foot and the project was mapped successfully. The map was overlaid on top of an aerial photograph from NRIS for reference.  Point (trees, buildings), line (fences) and area (aspen groves, creek bed) features were all collected and attributes added for additional information.  This map can be used by city and county planners to help future decisions about what and where to implement the recently passed Gallatin County open space bond and Bozeman’s parks and recreation bond.


Ben Rice
Fort Keogh FortKeogh1, FortKeogh2, FortKeogh3

Fort Keogh is an agriculture research station that is in cooperation with Montana State University. The objective for this project was to map the corrals, buildings, fire hydrants and grain bins that are located at Fort Keogh.  The buildings were collected and the uses of these buildings were noted in the attributes. The method of collection was using the Trimble GeoXH receiver; also digitizing buildings using an aerial digital orthophotoquad image. During the collection of features with the Trimble GeoXH receiver I was able to get accuracy from meter to three meter accuracy. Because the corrals are made up of mobile panels, this accuracy was more than adequate. The Fire Hydrants were recorded with a one and a half meter accuracy allowing these hydrants to be located quickly.
The objectives of this project were met, by accurately recording desired features at the Research Station. The features recorded are easily recognizable once combined with a digital aerial orthophotoquad. This data quality is more than adequate for mapping features at this scale. After differential correction this data was all under three meters accuracy. 
To conclude; this data will be used by Montana State University and possibly by Fort Keogh. Using this data anyone who is interested can easily see the layout of Fort Keogh. This map could also be useful for the visitor center to hand out; Fort Keogh is a frequented destination for Fishermen and Hunters. Having accurate maps of where cattle are held and adding references to maps will greatly help visitors navigate through the Research Station and to their fishing and hunting destinations. 


Mike Ekegren
Fort Harrison Pistol Range FtHarrisonPistolRange

Ft. Harrison Pistol Range was a mapping project that tested the utility of the Trimble GeoXH GPS receiver under time constraints. The purpose of the project was to create a one meter accuracy map of the Ft. Harrison Pistol Range with only a two hour data collection session. The mapping time limit required the mapper to run between range features and collect data as soon as the receiver’s estimated accuracy indicator showed 50cm or lower. All features were mapped with the receiver at or directly above them; no other techniques or external antennas were used. Multipath from the corrugated steel buildings proved to be the largest cause of error. Post processing resulted in 99.47% of positions being within the intended accuracy of one meter. The overall objective was met; a map with one meter accuracy was produced from a single two hour mapping session. This project is suitable for any user of the Ft Harrison Pistol Range who has a recreation grade GPS receiver. 


Jason Hew
Gallagator Trail
GallagatorTrail

The purpose of this mapping project is for the recreational use of the Gallagator Trail system that runs throughout the town of Bozeman, MT.  This trail system is one of, if not, the most used trail in Bozeman.  Heavy pedestrian traffic on the Gallagator necessitates a recreational grade map of features, such as parking areas, trashcans, trail signs, and benches, which a user might utilize while enjoying a stroll on the trail.  A Trimble Geo XH receiver along with an external mini antenna was used to collect data.  An overall map accuracy of 2 meters was desired, and nearly achieved, probably due to thick canopy cover in some areas.  Because this map is only for recreational use, the purpose of this map was met, although 3.16% of the data collected was not the accuracy stated.  Whether planning a picnic in a relaxing setting, or going from College Street to Peet’s hill to enjoy a winter sledding adventure, or anything in between, residents of Bozeman can utilize this map to plan accordingly. 


Neto Garcia
Ground Water Study at Red Bluff GroundWaterStudyatRedbluff1, GroundWaterStudyatRedbluff2, GroundWaterStudyatRedbluff3

Mountain big sagebrush is the most likely species to capitalize on additional water generated by forest thinning so this project will evaluate the effect of the woody species Artemisia tridentata vaseyana on groundwater levels in a foothills environment. Four levels of sagebrush thinning will be conducted over a four year period to learn how shrub cover affects groundwater levels and stream flow. The study area map include wells, vegetation transects, drainage lines, basin areas, and vegetation cover type areas. The GPS data was collected in September of 2012 using a Trimble GPS receiver model “Geo XH”. The data from the area features were collected walking on the perimeter of each area. The data from the line features were collected walking over the line. The data from point features were collected positioning the receiver over the feature. For the most important features wells and transects the accuracy achieved was 0.1 meters. The accuracy for the entire project is 5 meters. The results achieved met the project expectation. The map will be used for compute and locate the treated areas also be a safe way to preserve the geographic locations of each feature.   


Trevor Wood
Haugland Ranch Pasture Fencing HauglandRanch

The purpose of the Haugland Ranch mapping project was to provide the owner with a map of his fence lines for a pasture that had a great deal of fence in need of repair. The goal was to provide him with a map that would allow him to locate the areas that need repair without working through the whole fence line. I also mapped and reported the condition of the gates and h-braces within the fence lines. This process was done using a GeoXH handheld GPS receiver on foot and on an ATV. The results of the mapping successfully mapped the fence lines and the features accurately (< 5 meters), which was the required accuracy I determined. I also chose to map the pond that cattle are able to access within the pasture. The owner now has a high quality map to help him repair the fence in that pasture.


Jordan Westenberg
Langhor Campground LanghorCampground

The goal of the Langhor Campground Mapping Project was to map the southern portion of Langhor Campground in Hyalite Canyon in a way that contained useful information for recreational users of the area.  This project sought to inform the target audience of the various facilities available at the site as well as information about individual campsites.  Campsite information includes the shape and size of the site, the location of the firepit and picnic table(s) on the site as well as their state of repair and the overall privacy of each site relative to its surroundings.

The final map was produced using data collected from a GeoXH GPS receiver that was differentially corrected using Pathfinder Office Software.  Approximately 95.4% of the data collected met the goal of sub 2 meter accuracy.  The overall map is accurate to within approximately 2.2 meters.  Despite several data positions logged above the target accuracy the project as a whole was highly accurate and successful.  This data will help prospective users of the Langhor Campground to select and reserve the optimal campsite to accommodate their party without any previous knowledge of the layout of the campground itself.


Stephen Lesky
Manhattan Wildlife Association
RiflePistol, Shotgun

The goal of this project was to map the shooting range that is operated by the Manhattan Wildlife Association (MWA). The shooting range  is located Northwest of the town of Logan, Montana. The only map of the range the Association has is an aerial photo that was taken a number of years ago. The purpose and objectives of this project were to create a map of the range facilities in order to better serve the range in directing members and guests to various locations on the grounds and help in any future management and construction decisions. The result of project was a map that better served the range’s needs and  that met the 50cm or better accuracy at about an 80% level. Most of the methods used were basic mapping techniques, although offsets and averaged vertices techniques were employed in harder to map areas. Important features of the map included the shooting areas and clubhouses. This map will serve the MWA as a tool to direct members and guests to various locations on the grounds and served as a reference document in any future management and/or construction decisions.


Justin Marlen
Marlen Blue Cloud Property
MarlenBlueCloudProperty

This map was created to serve as a general purpose planning map to assist the landowners in management of the property. A secondary purpose was to create an inventory of significant existing trees on the property as the landowners place high value on these features. All data was collected using a handheld Trimble GeoXH GPS receiver. As a whole, 94.99 percent of the collected data has an estimated accuracy of better than 1 meter at a 68 percent confidence interval. The background layer of the map limits the overall estimated accuracy to 5 meters, however.


Matt Wieland
Moonlight Basin
Moonlight1, Moonlight2, Moonlight3

The North Summit Avalanche path at Moonlight Basin ski area in Big Sky, MT is the largest avalanche path at the resort.  This path frequently avalanches during the winter season both naturally and from explosive control.  The purpose of this project was to document the boundary of the largest historic avalanche the resort has seen since conducting avalanche control and also to explore past indicators of avalanche events via tree flagging and relative tree height.  Also recorded were the bottom and top levels of the rock glaciers in the area. The rock glacier lines aid in looking at flow paths of the avalanche terrain.  The points, lines and polygons were mapped with a Trimble GeoXH receiver and then post-processed in Trimble Pathfinder Office software with all estimated accuracies below two meters.  The data was collected on the ground by walking all areas and the results are displayed using ESRI’s ArcMAP package. The objective for this project was met.  This information is intended to be used for historic record keeping and future investigations into avalanche events in the area and possible future hazard mapping and analysis.


Greg Johnson
MSU Golf Course
MSUGolfCourse

The goal of this project was to create a map and dataset associated with a 9-hole recreational golf, or folf, course for the Montana State University Campus. The data is used to outline typical features found on a real golf course. Objectives included collecting GPS data to delineate polygon features associated with teeboxes, fairways, and hazards. Highly accurate (<1m) point features were collected to serve as targets for each hole. Features were collected using a Trimble GeoXH receiver. After the collection phase, data was then differentially corrected for higher accuracy. Overall, 70% of the features obtained sub meter accuracy in a 68% confidence interval, which met the overall goals of the project. Hole features required the highest accuracy. Hole features obtained accuracy of 1 meter or less in a 68% confidence interval, which also met objectives of the project. The accuracy of the final map is limited to the accuracy of the background aerial image at 5 meter scale. This project is designed for recreational use of MSU students and faculty.


Ellie Southworth
Peet’s Hill
PeetsHill

The goal of this project was to create a map of the Peet’s Hill Trails including additional features such as parking locations, trailheads, mileage information markers, bench locations and doggie bag locations. Peet’s Hill is located in downtown Bozeman near the public library and is a popular trail system in both winter and summer months. The data for this project was collected using a Trimble GeoXH handheld receiver. The final map’s accuracy was limited by the background aerial photograph, which had an accuracy of 5 meters. All mapped features had accuracies of 2 meters or better and met the requirements specified for the project. The main features mapped were the trails. Trail attributes included trail name, surface type and designation of main or secondary trail. The objectives of the project were met. This map will be useful for walkers, runners and dog walkers to familiarize themselves with the area as well as locate benches and places where they can get doggie bags to clean up after their dogs.


Steve Keslin
Peet's Hill
PeetsHillKeslin

This project looks at Pete’s Hill and the trail system that travels through it.  The goals here were to gather GPS data along the length of the trail and also collect data on where scenic benches and waste bins are in order to make a map that is easy to read and follow.  A trimble GPS receiver was used to collect the data.  After collection, the data was processed and examined so to remove any redundant data and fix any multipath that occurred while data collection was performed.  Overall the data quality was good, there were little signs of multipath and during the time of collection there were multiple satellites available.  H-star technology was able to be applied because there were enough satellites to collect data from.  This gave the project an overall very high accuracy, well within reason for a trail map.  People who are out walking their dogs on Pete’s Hill will find this map useful because it will help them find waste bins to dispose of their dog’s waste, and it will also guide them to benches that they can sit at and overlook Bozeman while their dog runs around with some new friends.


Aaron Watson
Ross Pass Berries
RossPassBerries1, RossPassBerries2, RossPassBerries3

Everyone loves to pick and eat wild berries, but finding them can sometimes prove a difficult and time consuming task. The goal of this project is to build a map that will help increase a berry picker’s efficiency and overall enjoyment. Providing the berry picker with a neat easy to read map that has an overall accuracy of ≥ 2 meters is essential. All data was collected using a Trimble GEO XH GPS unit with a magnetic mount antenna to help improve accuracy and ease backcountry travel. The main features of the map included travel routes, which consist of multiple types of trails, berry patches, which are separated into two categories large and small patches, and multiple campsites to help make your berry picking experience the best. Of all the data mapped only 3% failed to meet the ≥ 2 meters accuracy standards. The only data that failed to meet the standards where the bushwhacking and road lines in the travel routes feature. Three maps have been created to help improve readability, one main overview map and two larger scale (closer view) maps. These maps will be useful to anyone who is up for an adventure and wants to collect berries.   


Steven Wagner
Story Mill Spur
StoryMillSpur

The purpose of the project was to provide information that could be used for future trail use. Goals were to map the trail and known locations of features along the trail.  Data collected with GeoXH receiver and differentially corrected. The only special mapping method used was distance/bearing offset for 3 features. The data quality of the project is good with all of the data being accurate to 2meters most of it being accurate to 1 meter. The most important feature had good accuracy which is a big part of why the overall accuracy is good. However the trail is clearly doesn’t match up with the back ground file in one area. That area had a lot of trees which affected the accuracy. The goals and objectives were met during the project. Information will be used for future trail use including knowledge of routes, planning new routes to connect trails and adding benches or other necessary items along the trail.


Chris Olsen and Evan Schock
Towne's Harvest Garden
Towne'sHarvestGarden

Townes Harvest Garden in conjuncture with Friends of Local Foods at Montana State University was formed in 2006. The aim of this establishment was to focus on encouraging awareness of local foods and adopting sustainable lifestyles.  Our project aimed to further update and highlight new features around the farm to an already existing map with a version of our own. With our work we hoped to improve accuracy and relevant information about the farm. Our purpose was to benefit access to information about what is found here. New important features were added that range from new construction to new plots of arable land. We strived to include all new relevant features and changes that have occurred with sufficient accuracy. 84% of our data was collected at sub-meter accuracy ranges. Our GPS data was collected and then differentially corrected by the CORS Bozeman station at a distance of 1.2 miles. Through our data collection and post processing our map and data will provide an updated addition to the current Townes Harvest map. Our objective was met and we hope that this map and its data will provide beneficial information for people interested in the work and activities at Townes Harvest MSU throughout the future.



Fall Semester 2011


Scott Roden
Sod Farm SodFarm PDF

The goals of this project were to complete an accurate survey of Springhill Sod Farm to meet the needs of the farm's purveyors. This project was designed to be a real world exercise involving actual clients and analysis that would be useful in their business operations.  They wanted to know the overall acreage of the sod farm, the acreage assigned to each type of sod grown, the actual sodable acreage of each type of sod, and the infrastructure in place for the day-today operations. The base map created allows for assessment of current operational status and allows for future planning and management. Data collection methods for this project were challenging to develop due to the size of the study area (the perimeters of the sod rings total to approximately 12 miles). Traveling by Segway (to avoid damaging the sod) and using offsets, made collection of sod-ring data much easier as it allowed for quick travel across smooth land. In addition to these methods, triple distance offsets were used to combat multipath interference around buildings. The overall estimated accuracy for this project is approximately 2.7m; however the estimated accuracy for the sod-rings layer is 0.3875m which is well within accuracy required by the clients.


Todd Kirby and Josh McFarland
Bear Canyon Recreation Area Climbing Locations ClimbingAreas PDF, MysticLake PDF, NewWorldGulchTrail PDF

The New World Gulch trailhead is located southeast of Bozeman, Montana in Bear Canyon. From the trailhead you are able to travel back to Mystic Lake by foot, mountain bike, ski, snowshoe or horseback. The Bear Canyon area is located in the Gallatin Mountain Range. The main purpose of this project is to map recreational aspects of the Bear Canyon area. Features that are mapped are Mystic Lake, parking areas, the New World Gulch trail, trailheads, climbing locations, campsites, signs, outhouses, and forest service cabins. These will be presented on an aerial photograph at a scale of 1:24,000. The features mapped will allow the user to understand the Bear Canyon area and use the data to his/her usage. For the features collected contain the attributes relevant to each individual shape file. The features collected are points, area and line features. The overall estimated accuracy for this data set is 1 meter or less. The final resulting product includes a different shape file of the main features that comprise this recreational area. Some multipath was faced as a tree canopy covered the path of the trail. Velocity filtering and editing were used to clean up the multipath spikes. Recreationalists will use this information to understand and have an interactive template for backcountry travel and recreation in the Bear Canyon area. All data was collected on foot using a GeoXH GPS receiver. Our goals were met by the end of the project. We successfully mapped out our projected project area.


Ben Lynn
G Bar M Guest Ranch Plateau Trail G bar M PDF

The purpose of the G bar M project was to give the owner a map to show his guests one of the more scenic trail rides on the ranch.  The goal and the objective was to inform the ranch owner how long the trail was and to map a few other important features on his place.  These other features were the buildings, barn, and one of his hay fields.  This was accomplished by use of the GeoXH handheld GPS receiver.  An external mini antenna was used throughout the whole project to receive the wanted accuracy.  The results of the project were successful.  The data quality of the whole project was within the required accuracy of at least 5 meters.  The important features also had good accuracy which contributed to the whole projects data quality.  The only feature that the data quality was a little poor on was the plateau trail.  This was because much of the trail is in heavy timber.  This poor data did not have any effect on the final map though because of velocity filtering and editing in pathfinder office.  The objective was met.  The ranch owner will use this project to show his guests one trail ride that they will go on.


Aaron Mason
Hyalite Reservoir Recreation Area Hyalite11 PDF

The goal for this project was to map the Hyalite Reservoir water body in October 2011, as well as selected features, such as a newly built pavilion and the Hood Creek Campground road.  The purpose of the project was to create a reference map that could be used by all recreational users of the area.  It was an objective of the project to observe water levels in the reservoir in October 2011.

The project was mapped on location using a handheld GPS, Trimble’s GeoXH.  Many of the features were mapped 1:1, unless noted otherwise in the metadata.  The main water body shore line was mapped by canoeing the entire perimeter of the reservoir and recording an offset, to map the actual shore line.  The overall data quality of the project was excellent. The map that was created has an accuracy limited by the background image; therefore the level of accuracy is 5 meters.  All features met the accuracy objectives set at the beginning the project. The mapping project is intended to be used by all recreational users of the area as a reference map. It was also intentions to demonstrate the water levels in October of 2011, for any parties interested, such as the Bozeman Water Department.


Richard Martin
Hyalite Climbing Routes HyaliteClimbing PDF

The objective of this project was to map some of the more accessible and popular ice climbing routes in Hyalite Canyon.  Hyalite Canyon is located 20 minutes south of Bozeman, MT. The purpose of this map was to show fellow ice climbers where some of the more popular routes are located and what trails to take to access them.  The data was collected on a Trimble GeoXH receiver using a hat-mounted external antenna.  There were two major feature types. The first was ClimbingRoutes, which were point features that indicated where climbing routes were located.  Attributes such as route length, difficulty and route name were also collected for these features.  The second major features recorded were Trails. These consisted of line features that represented where the trails used to access the climbing routes from the parking lot were located. Other features such as ParkingArea and Restrooms were also mapped.  Overall the data for this project was mostly accurate to 5 meters which is perfectly fine for its application as a reference guide. There were a few outliers in the data that had accuracy as bad as 100 meters, but those points were manually checked against the known positions on an aerial photograph. This map can be used by outdoor enthusiasts of any type, but will be most useful to ice climbers in the winter months.


Chet Cook and Drew Lewis
Long View Estates Long View Estates PDF

Long View Estates is a property that consists of approximately 42 acres off rolling hills and grassland. It is located on Blackwood Road, near Elk Grove Subdivision. The property is owned by Jeremy Henrichon. The objective of the project was to map the property boundary and it’s attributes at sub-meter accuracy to provide the landowner with up-to-date details on the features located on the property as a reference for potential land buyers. His plan is to sell the property as an entire lot, or broken up into different parcels based on buyers wants.

During our data collection process we used advanced mapping techniques such as “nest”, “offset”, and “pause/resume” to collect features with the best possible accuracy. The data quality report stated that 97% of our positions had an estimated horizontal accuracy of less than one meter, and all of our features were mapped with an estimated horizontal accuracy of less than one meter. This met our project objective.

This project map and data can be used by the landowner and potential land buyers. Further survey-grade mapping must be done to designate exact lot boundaries once a lot is purchased. This dataset is not intended as a legal survey.


Alice Hecht
Nash Labyrinth NashLabyrinth PDF

The purpose of this project was to use GPS mapping as a tool for assessing the suitability of different locations in Nash Park for a turf or stone meditation labyrinth.

Labyrinths (not mazes) first were created in the form I am looking to build in a few European cathedrals in the middle ages.  In recent years they have become more popular and are being built in parks and other locations all around the world.  I have been considering building one for the last year, but have had trouble visualizing such a large pattern on the ground. 

GPS, along with ArcMap provided excellent tools for scouting out places on the ground and visualizing them on a real map.  Three locations were identified that were deemed most suitable for their vegetation types, proximity to trails, view, distance from homes with aggressive animals as well as a lack of other distractions.  Also accessed was convenience for dog owners, since currently the main use of the park is by dog owners.  The chosen locations were 31meters in diameter, 21.5 meters in diameter and 12.5 meters in diameter. 


Nick Miles
Bangtail Divide Whitebark Pine Bangtail PDF

In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Whitebark pine is a valued conifer by an array of umbrella species, including Grizzly Bears, Clarks Nutcracker and others. The value of this pine comes from its seeds, (pine nuts) which offer the highest fat content of any pine nut in the Pinus species. Their seeds are utilized by humans as well, primarily for use in 'oatmeal chocolate white-pine cookies', and other delectable foods'. Whitebark pine is rapidly vanishing from the high altitude montane regions of the Western United States due to a combination of 'white pine blister rust', increasing average temperatures and the subsequent migration of 'bark beetle' to higher elevations- where Whitebark pine would otherwise be protected by sub-zero temperatures during the winter months. The purpose of this project is to document Whitebark pine stands within 10 meters of the Grassy Mountain trail in order to assist in 1) Whitebark pine seed collection for use in culinary applications 2) document the health and size of whitebark pine stands. This mapping project shows the abundance of Whitebark pine along the Grassy Mountain/Bangtail Divide trail, from Olson Creek to Bracket Creek. The condition of the trail, health of Whitebark pine stands, and number of trunks per stand. A Trimble GeoXH receiver was used to collect geographic data-Trimble Pathfinder Office and ESRI ArcMap was used for map construction/data analysis. The datum used was (NAD83cors) and the coordinate system is lat/long. Overall Estimated Accuracy for Project Range Percentage 0 - 15 cm 0.1% 15 - 30 cm 11.6% 30 - 50 cm 30.2% 0.5 - 1 m 33.5% 1 - 2 m 18.5% 2 - 5 m 4.9% >5 m 1.3%.



Fall Semester 2010


Kailee Bickford
Bickford Ranch Bickford Ranch PDF

The purpose of the Bickford Ranch Project was to create a useable map of the ranch for general planning.  The ranch is located in north central Montana, southeast of Havre approximately 4 miles.  The goal was to map fences, water sources, water tanks, arena, and the creek all within 50cm accuracy.  80.8/% of the project was estimated to be within 50cm accuracy once completed.  The data is all within 5m which is still useable for the planned use of the map.  With the background files included the map is only accurate to 5 m.   A Trimble GeoXH receiver was used to collect all the features.  The software programs Pathfinder Office and ArcMap were used for processing the data and making the map.  Advanced mapping techniques used include pause/resume, continue feature, averaged vertices, and offsets.  The Bickford family will be able to use this map for planning purposes such as grazing management. 


Keyne Kensinger
MSU Football Stadium Recycling Football Stadium Recycling PDF

In 2009, the Associated Students of Montana State University Sustainability Department initiated a recycling program designed to provide football fans an opportunity to recycle aluminum cans and plastic bottles. With so many fans tailgating before and after the game, the resource base was too large to ignore. Our mission is to sustain resources by keeping them out of the landfills to be reused and to help educate the attending patrons about recycling. Recycling bins are dispersed throughout the stadium and tailgating areas, as well as providing single use receptacles to each tailgating party. The tailgating area encompasses approximately 15 acres to accommodate 4,000 to 6,000 people. The locations of the recycling bins placed in the public area are critical to ensure maximum usage and convenience. GPS positions were collected with a Trimble GEOXH receiver using TerraSync software and post-processed with Pathfinder Office and exported to ArcMap for map arraignment and presentation. The techniques for position reading were simple point readings and offset coordinates using bearing and distance. The accuracy needed was sub-meter which was obtained with the post-processed differential conversion. We were able to produce a map that will help the Recycling Coordinator define the most usable areas for bin placement. The recycling bin placements were adapted to fit user convenience near areas of high congestion, stadium entrances, near restrooms and garbage cans. We are happy to report a successful recovery rate of approximately 13% per capita attending the football games. Recycling promotion was well received by the public and a high level of cooperation was observed.    


Neil Mauws
Mauws Ranch Mauws Ranch PDF

Goals: Map the Martin Place, a field located on the Mauws Ranch, in order to compare past use with current use.
Purpose: Look at field rotation. Over time, farmers and ranchers rotate their crops in order to provide adequate nutrients for the soil instead of depleting them. Fields are rotated between grain, winter wheat, spring wheat, or barley, and grass-alfalfa hay fields.
Objectives: Map out land features that will not change over time, such as water and land features, dams and coulees. Also, map the areas of land that are used for production agriculture. These areas are used for grain and hay production. Manmade structures, buildings, water tanks, and wells, will be mapped to point out areas that will never be used for production agriculture.
Methods: A Trimble GEOXH GPS receiver was used to map out all features. Most features could be collected using average, but buildings required average vertices with an offset. Data was differential corrected using Pathfinder Office, and exported to ArcMap for creation of the final map.
Applications: Land owner, Marvin Mauws, will use this map and information in planning crop rotations in the future. It will also help with records and documentation for the part that he is doing to conserve his land.


Nick Petshow
Hyalite Creek Trail Hyalite Creek Trail PDF

As one of the most popular outdoor recreation areas around Bozeman, the Hyalite Creek drainage basin is an ideal area for a recreation guide.  The purpose of the project was to map the Hyalite Creek trail along with scenic features.  This would then be used to build a virtual guide that will eventually encompass several more hiking trails around the Bozeman area.  An additional objective is to compare the results with several different publications (USGS, online mapping services).  A Trimble GeoXH receiver was used to collect the features.  The resulting map contains the main trail as well as several offshoots, waterfalls, and mapped elevation of Hyalite Peak (8 feet higher in elevation when compared with USGS 1:24k maps).  Even under a heavy tree canopy the results fall within the specified 5 meter accuracy.  The objectives of this project have been met.  Hikers, other outdoor recreationists, or tourists can use this guide to plan a trip, or gain further knowledge of the area.  The GPX file will be made available to aid in these activities.


Ben Redinius and Riley Rice
Middle Fork Canyon Middle Fork Canyon PDF

The Middle Fork Canyon of Sixteenmile Creek is located north of the Bridger Range, 11 miles east of Maudlow, Montana, in the Gallatin National Forest. It is home to numerous large limestone rock formations with rock climbing potential. Climbing began here in spring 2010. The need for exploration arose to discover quality rock and climbing-suited formations. The area of interest is approximately 0.25 square miles in area. We wanted to know: What features exist in this area? What are their properties? Where are they located?
We collected data for trails, rock formations, climbing routes, campsites, and landmarks based on two-meter accuracy. Trails were hiked and stored as line features. Polygon areas were made for rock formations with climbing routes nested as points. Due to high multipath, velocity filtering was used. In some cases we had to use point or line offsets with Trimble Hurricane antennas for improved accuracy. Data quality resulted in two-meter accuracy, with 95% of the data within one-meter accuracy. Our accuracy requirement was met.
We were successful in identifying a selection of each of the features we set out to collect. However, there remains vast potential for other features to be discovered and mapped in future. This information will aid in safe, relatively low impact development of the area. Future work could include more details on land access information, as much of the area of interest lies across Forest Service boundary signs.


Matt Shortland
Fairy Lake Bowl Finge Season Ski Map Fairy Lake Bowl PDF

The purpose of this project was to map the extent of early and late season skiable lines in the bowl above Fairy Lake.  Originally the goal was to map out all the lines, but there was not a high enough resolution base image that would show all of these features.  I mapped out the main lines though, and give the reader a good idea of where they should go to find decent skiing in this area.  I skied the lines while logging points, and used offsets for the smaller playground areas.  I used a Geo XH for my data collection.  99.9 % of all features collected were estimated to be within 5 meters of true.  This is appropriate for a map of general areas to ski.  The important features were ski lines, boot pack, ski track, major points on the way, and smaller playgrounds.  The map includes the skin track and boot pack, the smaller playgrounds, and the ski lines with vertical feet labeled and symbolized by exposure.  The objectives of the project were met.  Backcountry enthusiasts can use this map to plan their day, and determine what and where to ski.


Tanner Tompkins
Horseshoe Bowl Avalanche Zones Moonlight

Horseshoe Bowl is a steep, tree lined slope, generally with a weak snowpack due to thermals and little skier traffic.  There is regular wind loading and the slope ends at a roadcut beginner ski run, the road is frequently buried.
The goals of this project were to gain experience with the GeoXH receiver, general GPS mapping, and data management procedures mapping the Horseshoe Bowl area on the North side of Lone Peak.  The purpose of the project was to map general line and point features, including entrance and exit points of avalanche zones, ski runs, lift buildings, and the hike to the avalanche starting zones.  The objectives were to map the features with submeter accuracy.  This objective was met with 68% confidence.  The area was mapped using the GeoXH receiver with a patch antenna, and after mapping some lines were digitized in ArcMap.  
There could be a wide range of uses for this map, from being used to help new patrollers learn routes, to help someone navigate in extreme storm conditions, or to help someone orientate oneself with the area.  Additional data updates should be made under better conditions, such as wintertime so skis can be used to make data collection quicker.



Spring Semester 2010


Dean Poli
Madison River Fishing Access Lower Madison PDF , Black's Ford PDF , Cobblestone PDF , Grey Cliff PDF

I mapped fishing access sites on the lower Madison River in southwest Montana.  Blacks Ford receives the heaviest amount of use during the summer months and is prone to over accommodate floaters and fisherman alike.  The access sites were mapped and included parking locations, restroom availability, boat launches, and camping sites.  The goals of this project are to better inform the general public of the access to a highly private river.  There are few access points beneath Blacks Ford because of private land that backs right up to the river.  Each parking turn out was mapped that had access to the high waterline of the river.  The receive this data I traveled by car to each location and set the GPS receiver outside my car as I mapped the roads.  I received <1 m accuracy for the majority of my data which is what was needed to complete an accurate assessment of this report.  The most important features of these maps are the access locations, boat ramps, and camping availability.  The maps included contain information on each access site.  The general public will benefit from this the most as it shows where and where not certain activities are available to the public such as camping and boat ramps.


Tyson Berndt
Sunshine Ranch Sunshine Ranch PDF , Sunshine Ranch Debris PDF , Sunshine Ranch Utilities

The Sunshine Ranch property has been controlled by multiple owners for the past fifteen years. This land partnership was recently dissolved, which resulted in land exchanges and boundary alterations. In order to reach a fair agreement between the negotiating parties a clear and concise assessment of the land needed to be carried out. The purpose of this mapping project was twofold: to identify the current infrastructure within the property boundaries and to analyze the current state and condition of the previously separated tracts of land. This included mapping roads, trails, utilities, homes, structures, and debris piles. This information was collected using a GeoXH GPS receiver and then compiled into a series of reference maps using ArcMap 9.3 software. These maps could then be used by the owners for the mitigation and removal of debris as well as for future land planning. Overall, 65% of the data was accurate to within 30 centimeters, and the resulting 35% of the data was accurate to within 1 meter. These accuracies either met or exceeded the initial accuracy requirements.



Fall Semester 2009


Justin Vetch
Cok Ranch Cok Ranch PDF

The Cok ranch is mainly used for farming except a few areas that are unsuitable for farming due to steep slopes and draws. One area in particular, which is the targeted project area, will be a proposed custom built shooting range. The objective was to map out areas for an 800 and 600 yard target along with a shooting platform, with a desired accuracy of less than 2 meters. Additional features were collected with an overall accuracy of 99.9% of the data meeting the accuracy criteria. Results were overlain on top of an infrared image that contrasts quite easily the dry land cover of the shooting range from the surrounding green farmland. Continuation of mapping this ranch will allow for future planning and development of projects.


Schaun Lingohr
Ehlke Hereford Ranch Ehlke Hereford Ranch 1 PDF , Ehlke Hereford Ranch 2 PDF

The map is of the Ehlke Hereford Ranch east of Townsend, MT. The Ehlkes requested a map that was easy to read and use to give to hunters and for the Ehlkes to use. The map features includes fences, gates, water improvements, corrals, and buildings. A Trimble GeoXH receiver was used to collect all the features. The software programs Microsoft ActiveSync, Pathfinder Office, and ArcMap were used for processing the data. Mapping techniques of Pause/Resume, Continue Feature, and Offset were used during data collection. All the positions collected were within five meters. Gates were the most accurate feature and buildings were the least accurate. The map was intended for a reference map for hunters as well as the Ehlkes so accuracy within five meters of any of the features is acceptable. Overall, the map was a success. With this map, hunters will be able to easily locate their position on the ranch and prevent trespassing on neighboring property. The Ehlkes have a easy to read reference map they can use for anything that might come up.


Mike Randall and Micah Stonehocker
MSU Campus Tree Mapping MSU Campus Trees PDF

The purpose of this project was to construct an inventory map of existing vegetation by accurately plotting their location.  Over the past several years, more than 200 pine trees have been decimated by the pine beetle.  There is the need for readily available information on plants around campus.  This map will serve as a base template for future data updating to determine were the vegetation existed or vegetation that has been implemented.  The current attributes associated with each feature include common name, latin name, species, and height. These objectives were met by using a laser rangefinder with a hurricane antenna and attached to a GeoXH Reciever.  This allowed us to shoot positions using an offset method from a distance.  Over 97% of the positions recorded are within one meter accuracy.
This project will be passed along to future students and employees for further update.  This map could be an important asset to possible campus projects in assisting information regarding vegetation.  Future parties associated with this project could include attributes such as: price, condition, age, diameter at breast height, and diameter of crown. 


Michael Jensen
Off-Road Vehicle Trails in Hyalite ORV Hyalite PDF

In developing an idea for a project I decided to take the love for taking my Jeep off-road and the use of GPS to develop a more descriptive map of one of the areas to go in Hyalite Canyon.  Because Montana does not have any ORV maps that describe the different trails, it would be nice to start developing some of these maps and distributing them to the off-road community.  This may help in keeping people on the trails rather than having them go and make new trails, which is the main cause for the closure of many roads throughout Montana. To obtain the data I need to make a descriptive map of the trail system I used Trimble GeoXH GPS Receiver and an external antenna to attach to the roof of my Jeep.  I marked out the level of difficulty on all legal trails and other possible areas of interest.  The difficultly level can change depending on weather and time of season so drive with caution.  This will hopefully help to make everyone that uses the map enjoy a fun and safe experience. 


Michael Rice
Rice Brothers Farm Rice Brothers Farm PDF

The map portrayed depicts attributes and features that are to portray the spatial reference of those characters and to be used in future planning.  The goals of the map are to portray an image both digitally and hard copies accurately and correctly.  The map was created in ARC Map GIS with use of a Trimble GeoXH receiver. The data was analyzed through the efforts of Michael Rice.  Michael went out on several days collecting data and mapping the spatial references of his family’s farm.  Overall collected data quality is within estimated accuracies of fewer than two meters.  Background files where extracted off of the NRIS website and processed by Michael.  By mapping out the fence lines, fields, power poles and other objects in the fields and pastures, Michael and his father plan to use the data to assess and make future plans and better management practices.  In the future such data will be necessary to process information using precision agriculture.



Spring Semester 2009


Alex Schwab
Bridger Bowl Ridge Terrain Guide BB Ridge Terrain JPG

This project’s purpose is to create a guide to Bridger Bowl ridge terrain.  The goal was to map five chutes off of the ridge, chairlift locations, obstructions and the Deer Park Chalet.  Trimble mapping grade receivers were used to collect the data.  A patch antenna was hooked up to the receiver in order to map the chute features while skiing.  The resulting map contains all of the data collected with GPS and it’s projected onto a Google Earth representation of the Bridger Range.  The data quality was exceptional, mostly between 2-5 meter accuracy.  Some features were drawn in manually with ArcMap, including one chute and obstructions.  The objectives of this project have been completed.  Any outdoor enthusiast can bring the final map with he or she and they should be able to navigate around the ridge.


Glenn Owings
Western Ag Research Center, Corvallis, MT Corvallis Ag Exp PDF

Montana State University (MSU) Safety and Risk Management requires an address for each structure on MSU grounds for insurance purposes.  The Western Agricultural Research Center in Corvallis, MT did not have recorded addresses (in the form of NW building corner coordinates) for its structures.  The purpose of this project is to provide said coordinates, as well as a general reference map for public and institutional use. 
The Western Agricultural Research Center is comprised of a 30 acre parcel and associated buildings and plant test plots.  The area was mapped using a Trimble GeoXT receiver (accuracy:  sub-meter +1ppm RMS after differential correction) and the map itself was produced using ArcEditor software. Features collected include building corners, test plots, parking lots, and roads.  The mapping was conducted with an accuracy goal of <1m.  Results show that 94.1% of the data was under 2m, with only 45.8% of the data under 1m.  Despite reduced accuracy compared to the expected parameters, the map meets its proposed goals.


Emily Danich
Knudson Property Knudson Property PDF

The purpose of this project was to accurately map the size property of D’Ann Knudson including all of the property features before the co-owner, Steve Smith, sells the property.  The property features that were mapped are: the property limits, property dividing line, septic tank, water pump, house and decks, driveway, sheds, and stream.  A Trimble GeoXT Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver was used to map the property.    There was excellent satellite availability on the property, and no obstructions were found. The goal is to document the specific physical features such as the property limits, property dividing line, septic tank, water pump, house and decks, driveway, sheds, and stream; in order to create documentation of property boundaries.   Data processing was done on the data to do differential correction, edit the features, and make a final map.  A metadata file was created for the most important property feature, the property limits.  The results of the final map were very good; the overall estimated horizontal accuracy of the map is 5 meters.  All of the planed features were mapped, and all of the objectives were met.  Mrs. Knudson will use this map to locate key features on her property.


Scott Pulfer
Land Evaluation
Land Evaluation PDF

Plains, MT is a small town in the western portion of the state. My goal was to map several parcels of bare land located within an 8 mile radius of town.  The purpose of these maps is for reference and evaluation to aid in decision making for a potential land purchase. The objective was to map property boundaries, access roads, and major features located on the parcels. A Trimble GeoXT receiver was used to collect data and the accuracy needed for this project is only 2-5 meters to provide spatial relationships between features. Basic data collection techniques such as offsets, pause/resume, and some line segmenting were used. Overall, 99.2% of the data fell within the desired accuracy range or better and the information obtained is very useful. The final map provides a great piece of reference material displaying four parcels of land in three different areas. This map will be used primarily for personal needs and will be shared with anyone who is interested.



Fall Semester 2008

Samantha Castleberry
Bar R Performance Horses Ranch
Bar R PDF

The Bar R Performance Horses Ranch needs to be able to use 9.58 acres in the best possible way that they can.  They run on average about 20 to 25 horses at any given time of the year.  In the early spring, new horses are born even giving less space to the horses already on the property.  Misty and Mark train these horses and also lease boarding in exchange for work.  For this mapping project sub-meter is needed to give the most accurate acreage for the owners.  The Trimble Geo XT GPS receiver will be used to map this project.  Results were not as good as expected but I had to use a higher PDOP and that may have had some effect.  Sub-meter accuracy was gained for 66.20% of the project. Stocking rates will have to be calculated in the spring when vegetation production is high.  This will allow the Radues to get full potential out of the grass lots and therefore they wouldn’t have to feed as much hay in the spring and summer months. 


Shannon Jones and Hank Pieper
Beartooth Acres
Beartooth Acres PDF

Beartooth Acres Ranch is a piece of property that is located 30 miles east of Cooke City, Montana. Our goal was to create an accurate map of the boundaries, buildings, creeks, and fence lines of the Beartooth Acres Ranch. The use of the Trimble GeoXT receiver was the primary piece of equipment used for mapping. Field reconnaissance was performed to take note of any problems or obstacles we might encounter during mapping. A data dictionary was created that included features such as: property line, fence lines, roads, creeks, corrals, bridges, buildings, and gates. Techniques used during data collection included averaged vertices, velocity filtering, nesting and area offset. After the data was collected, it was transferred to the computer where it could be further modified. GPS Pathfinder Office software was used to differentially correct the data and export it for use in ArcMap software. Our objective for this project was to create a final map with 5m accuracy or better, 95% of our data met that requirement. Our most important features of the map: the property line, creek and road had an accuracy of 3m or better. The map that was created should only be used for personal use.


Greg Reed
Bozeman Trails Within Twenty Minutes of Campus Bozeman Trails PDF

The goal of this project was to create a user friendly map of the Bozeman area that detailed the various trails in and around the city. The project hoped to serve as a way to inform people about the places for outdoor recreation near the city so they could have a quick reference on where to go when they did not have a lot of time. The map was created by using a Global Positioning Receiver (GPS) to collect trail and trailhead data. This data was then combined with existing Geographic Information System (GIS) layers to create a readable and informative map. Special care was also taken care and techniques were used to make sure the map was accurate. Overall, the results were met. The data quality was all sub five meter. The map produced had a wealth of information and could easily be used. With that said some improvements could made if the map were produced at a larger scale to include additional information, such as driving directions and more specific details about the trails.


Steven Smith and Sarah Thompson
MSU Campus Trees CampusTrees1 PDF , CampusTrees2 PDF

Montana State University has undergone many changes in the recent years.  New buildings have been constructed and existing buildings have been modified.  These construction projects have altered the tree landscaping and sidewalks of campus.  These trees are used as training aids for a variety of plant identification and the sidewalks are used for access.  The purpose of the project is to update and correct the identification and location of the campus trees, map the new trees, and update the sidewalk information for a specific area of Montana State University.  Geo XT GPS receivers were used to document tree and sidewalk locations.  All previously mapped trees were verified for location and species, landscape and greenspace features were logged. New trees were identified and mapped.  All features were calculated to at least 5m accuracy.  This information serves as a template for future tree mapping projects on Montana State University.


Dylan Gibby
Crazy G Ranch
Crazy G 1 PDF , Crazy G 2 PDF , Crazy G 3 PDF

The main purpose of this project was to collect data pertaining to the location and condition of the fences and irrigation on the Crazy G Ranch which is located 12 miles north of Big Timber, Montana in Sweet Grass County.  Other main features of the ranch, including roads and buildings were mapped as well.  This information was used to make a series of maps.  Ranch features were mapped using a Trimble GeoXT receiver while on foot and using a 4-wheeler.  The data quality of the project as a whole was 5 meters due to the background image used.  This was not within the range of the initial desired accuracy of 2-3 meters.  As the main concern was to record the condition of the fences and ditches the project was still successful.  The maps showing the condition of the fences and ditches are to be used by the property manager to help prioritize maintenance projects and orient potential subcontractors.  A general reference map that was produced is to be used by the property owners to help orient guests and visitors to the ranch layout.


Hunter Cook
Emergency Evacuation Route Planning
Evacuation Routes PDF

The Emergency Evacuation system of Bozeman, Montana is the topic of this GPS mapping project. Although there are assigned Snow Evacuation Routes within the city to my knowledge there is no comprehensive plan to evacuate this community’s residents during an emergency event. Most other cities especially in the hurricane stricken Gulf coast have plans already set in place and they have proven if given enough notice they work very efficiently. These plans are very important and can’t be executed without the help of civil authorities.The project objectives were to identify the major potential evacuation routes out of Bozeman by way of Interstate 90 to safer locations. Also, by identifying the locations of civil authorities and gas stations we can predict the pattern people will attempt to leave the city. Data collection was accomplished by moving along the specified routes with the receiver in the car and utilizing external antennae to map while driving. All the mapping was done from the vehicle during the later hours to increase safety and efficiency of the process. With this data that has been collected it can be concluded that Bozeman has no easy answer for the emergency evacuation problem, but the sheer low number  of people in the city will allow somewhat smooth exit in the case of a real disaster.


Roger Fithian
John and Kate Hudson Conservation Property
Hudson Conservation PDF

The problem this project faced was to create a map of the potential Hudson Conservation Property. The objective is that this map will assist the current owners create a conservation easement on their property, so that the Hudson property will never be further developed by any new owners. Because of the Hudson’s appreciation for wildlife, an emphasis was placed on mapping the wildlife aspects of the Hudson property. Special features that were mapped were: Wildlife corridors, wildlife food plots and vegetation zones.  Project objectives were met in all aspects. This map was created using Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. The accuracy objective of sub-meter mapping accuracy was achieved on 79% of the data used to create the map. The remaining data was within 1-2 meter accuracy. The map created by this project will be a very useful tool in obtaining a conservation easement on the property. data was within 1-2 meter accuracy.


Chad Larson
Larson Homestead Farms
Larson Homestead 1 JPEG , Larson Homestead 2 JPEG

Abstract not available


Jerry Collins
Lone Cabin Coulee
Lone Cabin Coulee PDF

The objective of this project was to create a map that was accurate within one meter.  This objective was met.  The majority of the data that was collected is accurate within a meter but some of the data is accurate within one to two meters.  The data was collected on two different occasions.  One of these times the satellite geometry was terrible.  That would account for the poor accuracy during one session. Most of the data was collected using an offset technique and my pickup.  I used an external antenna as well.  The places that were inaccessible to pickup travel were mapped using a four-wheeler as well as walking.  The receiver’s default settings were used because of the lack of obstructions. The final map shows the perimeter fence in a dark black and the other fences in a thinner line of black.  The canals, ditches and the stream are all mapped in blue. The gates are represented with a single green dot and the grain bins are yellow.  The water underpass is red and the wells are represented as a blue W with a yellow ring around it. 


Jessica Ahlstrom
Land Use Surrounding Mandeville Creek on the MSU Campus
Mandeville Creek PDF

Mandeville Creek is a spring fed creek that runs through the Montana State University campus where it collects urban runoff, impairing the creek water quality.  The overall goal of this project is to map areas of the MSU campus which divert storm water runoff into the creek.  The objective of this project is to produce a map of the land use on the MSU campus surrounding Mandeville Creek to aid in decisions regarding creek management when efforts are being made to mitigate the effects of storm runoff.  Parking lots, storm culverts, and a stream emergence which divert water into the creek were mapped as features with surface type as the important attribute value (parking lots).  These features were differentially corrected using Pathfinder Office version 4.10, and exported into ArcMap version 9.2 to create a final map.  The desired overall accuracy for this project of 5m was met.  The functional objective of producing a map of the land use on the MSU campus surrounding Mandeville Creek was also met.  This map will provide a better understanding of the land use surrounding Mandeville Creek, and will be a tool in future management decisions regarding how to mitigate the effects of storm water runoff on Mandeville Creek water quality.  


Chris Anderson
Thomas Herefords
Thomas Herefords PDF

My project was to map Thomas Herefords in Gold Creek, MT. I wanted to map the ranch for future and current projects with submeter accuracy. I use the Trimble GeoXT receiver, a Yamaha Rhino, and my own two legs to map the 800+ acre ranch. The major features that I wanted to map was Gold Creek itself that runs through the middle of the ranch, all of the major pastures, the old ditches, all of the new irrigation equipment, and the buildings. After differential correction 91.1% of all of the data mapped achieved submeter accuracy. My maximum PDOP was never over 8 and my average over horizontal precision was .65 meters. I felt the objectives were well met and that is data will be very useful in helping with the planning and progress of Thomas Herefords into the future.


Jessica Heptner
Towne Farm Drainage System
Towne Farm PDF

Montana State Agriculture Research Center, also known as the Towne Farm, has current drainage problems in the cattle research feedlots. Systems are old, inefficient, and causing animal husbandry concerns. The farm was mapped using GPS and GIS technology to examine areas of concern and to re-evaluate the drainage system.  It was found that current drainage is non-efficient due to years of wear on the facilities and lack of year to year maintenance on ditches and feedlots.  New gutter systems will be installed along all facilities in feedlots. A wick drainage system, currently installed in one feedlot, will be implemented in all remaining feedlots.  A feedlot that contains an integrated pasture requires a new ditch to remove water.  The Montana Beef Network is currently working on getting gutters installed in late January of 2009.


Thomas Wilson and Jeff Noe
Whitewater on the Gallatin River
Whitewater PDF

The following maps compile information necessary to make informed decisions when recreating along the Gallatin River. Our focus area is the Gallatin Canyon located 25 miles south of Bozeman along Highway 191. This map shows important features along the way, where to park, and access points used to deploy kayaks or rafts. The project report includes information on the materials and methods used to collect data consisting of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers, manual collection of data, and various software programs. The results of our data are discussed and represented in a number of tables and charts.The data quality of this project was higher than expected as our satellite availability was much better than we had anticipated.  Over seventy percent of our data was collected at meter accuracy, which greatly exceeded our initial expectations. Kayak enthusiasts, rafting companies such as Montana Whitewater, and other outdoor recreation parties will find this new information useful when planning their whitewater experience. The U.S. Forest Service may also use this information to properly identify whitewater areas of the river and inform new users of the area about proper precautions needed when on the river. 



Spring Semester 2008

Krista Currer and Shawna Raden
An Historical Tour of Central Montana Using GPS Historical Tour PDF

Abstract not available


David Garfield
Fishing Access In Montana: A Bone of Contention Fishing Access PDF

Abstract not available


Patrick Joyce
Upper Madison Recreation Areas Upper Madison Recreation Areas PDF

Abstract not available


Linnaea Jurich
Kalispell Northwest Ag Research Station Kalispell PDF

Abstract not available


John Pachl
Parking Lots on the Madison River Madison River Parking PDF

Abstract not available


Meaghan Huffman and Kyle Richert
Richert Homestead RichertHomestead PDF

Abstract not available


Sarah Senecal
Boundaries and Waterways of the K2 Ranch K2 Ranch PDF

Abstract not available



Fall Semester 2007

Elle Andersen
Rockin' AB Property Layout Rockin' AB PDF

The objective of this project was to create a map providing a detailed description of the fence lines, corrals, ditches, barns, outbuildings, fruit trees, and house on the Rockin’ AB, in the Mission valley, a property owned by Art and Boots Andersen. The estate is split into several horse pastures with one house and several barns and outbuildings. Prior to this map, there were no outlines of the pastures indicating size, location of buildings, fence lines, corrals, ditches, etc.  Grazing rotation, stocking estimates, and fertilizer and herbicide application ratios could be improved by having an exact acreage figure for each pasture, so this map was created using a GeoXT GPS receiver. This map is a management tool to assist the owners in ranch decisions and as an asset in the future by providing a visual layout of property attributes should they decide to sell all or part of the property.  A DOQQ background map was added to orient the viewer and add esthetic value.  The final map exceeded accuracy requirements of 1-2 meters, and is a valuable resource for the owners. 


Matt Baker & Chris Emerson
Fairweather Fishing Access Fairweather PDF

The Fairweather fishing access is located along the Missouri River 16 miles north of Logan Montana. The goal of this project was to create a map to help hunters using the site to hunt in a safer manner, as well as to help people find areas where they can typically be successful when hunting. The main focus of the map were the features where people can typically be found. These features include the boat ramp, hunting points, and the roads throughout the site. For collecting data, a Trimble Geo XT GPS receiver capable of sub-meter accuracy was used. Using Pathfinder Office software, a data dictionary was created to help to organize the collected data. The accuracy goal of the project was for all collected data to be accurate to five meters; this was achieved in 99.82% of the collected data, after differential correction.  The intended end users of this map are people who hunt the site on a regular basis, and want to hunt in a safe environment.


Patrick Tenney and Nathan Eylands
Olson Creek Mountain Bike Trail
Olson Creek PDF

Mountain bike trails are common in the Bangtail Mountains of Montana; but mountain bike trail maps are not. We set out to make a tangible trail map for Olson Creek trail in the Bangtail Mountains outside Bozeman Montana. Our goals were to navigate and GPS map Olson Creek trail to make a readable map with ArcGIS 9.2 software. Olson Creek Trail is 13 miles Northeast of Bozeman Montana and we used GOExt GPS receivers and downhill mountain bikes in order to accurately map the bike trail. Survey grade accuracy was not necessary with the style of map we created. Our major accuracy factors were trees, satellite availability, and mountain side slopes blocking the satellite signal.  The end result of our work was a map made in ArcMap that showed the lines, points, and area features of the trail.  The map was laid on a black and white aerial image (DOQ) of the area.  The data quality was more accurate than we expected with over 85% of our positions being sub meter in accuracy. Objectives were met and the map that we created can be used by any mountain bike rider that wishes to have knowledge of the trail before it is ridden. We hope that one day our map can be included in a mountain bike trail book of Montana.


Dusty Crowe and Jon Lamson
Gaffke Ranch Irrigation
Gaffke Ranch PDF

The purpose of this project was to successfully map the Gaffke ranch. The majority of this is irrigated; but the whole ranch has potential to be irrigated. This project emphasized location of water sources and fields to aid in irrigation management for the ranch. Using GPS we mapped the ranch and other important features to assist the ranch manager with irrigation issues. This process was successful and yielded a high quality map, and data that will be used for management decisions.


Dan Kettman
Kettman Property
Kettman Property PDF , Kettman Fence Plan PDF , Kettman Fence Future PDF

The Kettman Property Mapping Project was conducted by Dan Kettman, a student at Montana State University. The purpose of the project was to accurately map the Kettman property in order to plan projects in the future. A perimeter fence needs to be created to keep free-range cattle off the property, one map did exist but its insufficient quality and detail make it almost useless. The primary objective was to use the created maps to plan a fence construction project. To achieve the objective the entire property will be mapped using a GPS receiver and then maps will be created using ArcGIS.  The features that will be mapped are the boundaries, fence lines and various other features, which can be used by the Kettman family to complete the partially finished fence perimeter fence, and perhaps plan future projects. The data should have 1-2 meter accuracy in order for the maps to be accurate enough to plan the fencing project. The data quality table shows that 89% of the data was sub-meter; so the accuracy standards have been met. Also, the measurement tool in ArcGIS was used to measure the amount of fence needed to complete the project.


Mikael McCaughey
Aiding the Real Estate Market Through GPS
Real Estate PDF

The main objective of this project was to conduct a mapping exercise of a ten acre homestead to determine whether or not the GPS mapping of larger properties would be beneficial to the real estate market. The goals of this project were to 1.) create a map of the test site located in Manhattan, Montana in order to show the features of the property and their spatial relation to one another and 2.) preserve at least 1 to 2 meter accuracy for the recorded GPS positions. The project followed all of the standard GPS mapping processes including field reconnaissance, construction a data dictionary for features in the project area, mapping of features using the Trimble GeoXT receiver, differential correction to account for the multiple sources of GPS error, exporting .ssf files into shapefiles for use in ArcMap and finally the creation of the final map. The goals of the project were successfully met. The final map presents a very clear picture of the features on the property and their relationship to one another and 99.3% of the positions were accurate to 2 meters or less, sufficiently meeting the accuracy goal. Based on the success of this project, it is possible to envision maps created using the Global Positioning System could become a mainstay in the real estate industry in the near future.  


Michael McDonald
McDonald Ranch
McDonald Ranch JPEG

On Sunday November 25, I went up to my parents for thanksgiving weekend and do my mapping project. My goal was to create a detailed map of the ranch that showed many different features. The way that I went about accomplishing this task is I created a data dictionary on my laptop and down loaded it to a receiver. Once the data dictionary was loaded onto the receiver I went and mapped the features. These features included our driveway coming into our house, some of our fences, our working facilities that we use to work the cows, which would be the corrals, the windbreak behind our house, and the hay stacks. To collect all this data it took 3 to 4 hours. Once this data was collected I came back and saved it on the laptop so I could make a map on the ArcMap software. Once I was finished I had a fairly detailed map of our ranch. I was fairly satisfied with my results. Most of my data fell within the .5 to 2 meter range which was standard and very close to everyone elses data collected. The thing that I didn’t get accomplished is that our place is to big I was not able to map everything. I ran out of time and wished I could have mapped the roads to and our other piece of ground.


Stephanie Parker
Residence Life
Residence Life PDF

The ResLife Mapping Project was produced for Residence Life at Montana State University. The goal of the map was to inform students, parents, and Residence Life personal of the features that may effect a student’s decision on where to live. The objective of the map was to create a visual interactive webpage map that would link a student to a specific residence hall. Features presented are residence halls, dinning halls, gyms, E student parking, outdoor recreation, and the SUB building. A Global Positioning System (GPS) was used to map each of these features. Methods that were used were offset points corners, and averaged vertices for parking lots and recreation. All 481 positions were differentially corrected. 97% of the positions were accurate to less than 2 meters. The map accuracy was 0 to 5 meters with the least accurate layer in the map being the building point layer. The objective of the map was met both in accuracy and purpose.  The applications of the project was a webpage that will be interactive for future students, current students, parents, and Residence Life personal for information regarding important features outside of the residence halls that might effect a residence hall living decision.


Phil Reierson
Reierson's Irrigated Farm
Reierson PDF

The purpose of this project was to create a detailed map of the 60 acre irrigated farm owned by my parents that could be used for management purposes. The map will include roads, ditches, culverts, field breaks, head gates, trees and tree groves, fences, and a garden. The desired accuracy of all features is  <5m. The mapping methods used will be regular mapping techniques with offset mapping used for trees, fences, and ditches. All of the data fell within the required accuracy, with 92.4 % falling in the sub-meter accuracy range. The ditches, culverts, and the head gate all had sub-meter accuracy and those were the most important features. The overall accuracy of the final map fell below the 5m desired accuracy. The objective of the project was met, the map was created and accuracy was better than expected. This map will be put to good use by my mother and father in the day to day farming operations on this property.



Spring Semester 2007


Matthew Hall
Hall Ranch
Hall Ranch PDF

The goal of the project was to map features on the hall ranch, those features included the irrigation system, streams, buildings, fence lines and gates. This was done to provide a base line for ranch managers who are looking to maximize production of crops and grazing. This base line will give them the number of acres in each field to help calculate production of that piece of land.  To produce the maps a Trimble Geo XT GPS receiver was used to record data. Before mapping was done the setting was customized to the area and the satellites available.  A data dictionary was also developed and transferred to the GPS. Mapping of the ranch could then be done. Once the mapping was complete differential correction and editing of the data took place and maps could then be created from the data in Arcmap. The data quality report shows all features being greater than two meters of accuracy. The lowest accuracy were point features with an accuracy of 1.628 meters. This will produce a very accurate and detailed map, 49.9% of the data is in .5-1m accuracy and 43.1% of the data is in the 1-2m accuracy range.  The objectives of the mapping were successfully met.


Lance Downing
Gallatin River Recreation - Greek Creek Campground
Gallatin River Recreation JPG

This project is intended to show and explain (selected places) areas where one can access the Gallatin River. The main features are the parking spots along the river. These include turnouts, trailheads, campgrounds and other designated parking places from which one can access the river. There is a total 41 places which have been mapped. Each parking spot includes a mapped route to the river (unless the parking spot is right on the river), restrooms, trailheads, information signs, and campsites when applicable. The final product includes a small scale map which shows the entire study area from Four Corners to Big Sky with parking spots, bridges turnouts, campgrounds, and Trailheads. There are six larger scale maps which show four major access points and two campgrounds. The collected features are accurate to with 7 meters. The collected features are large, (except signs) and 7 meter accuracy is within the project objectives, except for small features. This project and series of maps is intended for anyone who wants to enjoy the Gallatin River and immediate areas, such as campgrounds and hiking trails.


Nick Hoffman
Lower Parcel of Raspberry Butte
Hoffman Soils JPG , Hoffman Ranch JPG

The main features relating to animal use and distribution on the Raspberry Butte Ranch, a 1,560 acre ranch located in Sweet Grass County Montana, was mapped by foot and vehicle using a Trimble GeoXT GPS receiver. The position of each feature collected was accurate within 5 meters and the data was used to quantify the total grazing areas on the ranch allowing for interpretation of the overall productivity of the landscape by combining soils maps and aerial photographs in a GIS environment thus, meeting the objectives of the project. The information will be used by Debbie Nacarto and Jerry Taylor to develop a system to sustain their stock animals while maintaining a productive and sustainable rangeland.


Matt Ladvala
Hollenbeck Draw ATV Trail System
Hollenbeck Draw PDF

The Goal of this project was to create an accurate (<10m) map of the Hollenbeck Draw, ATV trail system.  This map was created for use by other ATV riders.  The features were mapped using a mapping grade global positioning system (GPS) receiver and an ATV to get around the project area.  The data was then transferred to a computer where it was processed and edited.  The map was then created in a geographic information system (GIS) environment.  The map show trails based on their difficulty, as well as roads and other features of interest.  The data quality of the project easily exceeded the required accuracy with all of the data having greater than 5m accuracy.  This map will likely be used by other ATV riders and hopefully inspire others to create maps of their favorite trail systems.


Justin Rettenmayer and Dallas Timms
 Pipestone/Whitetail Travel Management Area Trails
Pipestone JPG

The goal of this project was to create a detailed, accurate, and useable map of various trails at the Pipestone/Whitetail Travel Management Area (TMA). The map is to be used as a general guide to highlight the trails best suited to mountain biking there, but it does not include every trail in the area.  The trails shown are the culmination of many trips to Whitetail/Pipestone TMA, and in the opinion of the authors, these are the best trails to mountain bike on.  The map also shows the location of trailheads, parking areas, facilities such as outhouses, and other features that would be useful to mountain bikers.To map Whitetail/Pipestone TMA, a global positioning system (GPS) was used to collect data on these features.   To produce an accurate map, total map accuracy was limited to 20 meters or less, and 5 meters or less for trails and trailheads.  The bulk of the data collected (99.9%) met this goal, however, not all data collected was used for the final map.  After review of project objectives, many features originally identified during field reconnaissance and included in the data dictionary were omitted.  All features included on the map are accurate to less than 5 meters.  Data were processed using GPS data editing and GIS mapping software, and the map included with this report is the result.  Getting this map into the hands of enthusiastic mountain bikers is the ultimate goal and driving purpose for creating it.  We expect to produce copies of the map to give to local bike shops and to friends looking for new trails to explore.  It will be especially important to cyclists looking for a place to ride in winter months.  That is because while the local trails around Bozeman are snow covered, the trails at the Whitetail/Pipestone TMA, located in the rain shadow of the Continental Divide, are generally dry year-round.



Fall Semester 2005

Ryan Melin
Melin Ranch Melin Ranch PDF

The Melin Ranch is a family owned cattle ranch that lies on the banks of the Tongue River in southeastern Montana.  This map depicts all of the important features on the ranch that would be useful in developing management strategies for the future of this ranch.


Tiffany White Clay
Beaver Dam Assessment Little Owl PDF

Beaver dams have been a problem on the Little Owl Creek. Beaver dam data has been collected. Each dam was about 5-10 feet in width.


Steve Jay
Solfatara Thermal Areas
Solfatara PDF

This dataset is of the two thermal areas near the Solfatara trail in Yellowstone National Park. Data were collected to assist in the Thermal Biology Institute's outreach program. The data will be used to help with safety while traveling in this thermal area.


Karly Krausz
Huntington Ranch
Huntington PDF

The objective of this project is to map significant features that can be found on the Huntington Ranch.  Included are detailed maps that can be used when the landowner’s implement projects or explain tasks that need to be done when contractors or technicians are hired to do work.  The maps include property boundaries, fences, roads, wells, buildings, gates, cattle structures and miscellaneous areas to name a few.


Brad Legge
MSU Folf Course
MSU Folf PDF

Data contains pathways for each hole of a frisbee golf course on the Montana State University campus.  Data also contains tee boxes, targets, significant roads, and creeks. The purpose of this dataset is to organize the holes and provide context as to where to start throwing and what to aim at.



Spring Semester 2005


Sarah Dawe
Dawe Property Mapping Project
Dawe PDF

The Dawe Property (located 10 miles north of Big Timber, Mt on Highway 191) was mapped by Sarah Dawe. Acreages were calculated using data collected from the project. Acreages will be used by landowners when planning pasture improvement projects.


Jim Conner and Shane Conner
Analysis of Distribution of Norther Pocket Gopher Mounds in Relation to Edge Type and Location
Conner PDF

Northern pocket gophers are a nuisance to landowners that harvest agricultural crops, especially alfalfa (Burt & Grossenheider 1980). We designed a GPS mapping project that documented the distribution of northern pocket gopher mounds on Dan and Cindy Conner's property in Northwest Montana. The project was designed to provide insight to the landowners as to the feasibility of a removal effort.


Chad Fink & Isaac Anderson
Kurk Ranch, Bozeman MT
Kurk Ranch PDF

Our mapping project is located approximately three miles east of Bozeman. The ranch lies approximately one mile south of I-90 between the Bear Canyon exit and Main Street exit. The final mapping project of the Kurk Ranch, Bozeman MT includes: Pastures, water sources, creek, corrals, and buildings. The purpose of this project was to calculate the number of acres between two pastures and to assist in the management of grazing and fertilizer practices.


Autumn Garner, Carli Lofing and Nate Lofing
An Assessment of Willow Creek on Hougland’s Ranch
Willow Creek Base GIF , Willow Creek Original GIF , Willow Creek Proposed GIF

About one quarter of a mile south of Willow Creek, Montana, is a small ranch, about ninety acres, owned and operated by Skip Hougland. The ranch is home to nearly eighty head of pure-bred Scottish Highland cattle, numerous turkeys, dogs and cats, three geese and six horses. Willow Creek runs through a small portion of the property, year round, and is used in conjunction with man-made flood irrigation ditches to provide ninety to one hundred percent of the ranch's water supply. During fall of 2004, evaluation of various grazing rotation methods was conducted that may increase production for the ranch while maintaining or improving the condition of the range. The specific goals were to determine the effectiveness of existing practices and make recommendations. During pasture condition sampling, alterations of several areas of the creek were noted. The Natural Resource Conservation Service, (NRCS) in Bozeman was contacted agreed to help the Houglands develop areas on or near the creek to better maintain its riparian properties. Additional areas of concern, weed stands or severe erosion, which may indicate possible overgrazing issues were discussed. This project is an extension of the 2004 effort and provides a more detailed assessment of the creek that may benefit from further study, and provides possible solutions such as altered fence design or stream bank sloping. Both the Houglands and the NRCS will benefit from this project, as well as downstream users of Willow Creek.


Alison Smyrk
Yellowstone Trail Subdivision
Yellowstone Trail PDF

This map was created for the Park County Department of GIS. It was intended to show the major features of lower half of the proposed Yellowstone Trail subdivision near Pray, MT. Its main use will be for emergency personnel attempting to navigate the new subdivision, but it is also accessible to property owners, realtors, the developer of the subdivision, and anyone else who is interested in the area.


Cassie Smieja and Chris Roberts
Foster Creek Ranch
Foster Creek PDF

The Foster Creek Ranch is located 10 miles north of Belgrade, MT. It is home to acres and acres of wheat, barley, and oats. Also redsiding there is a herd of Red Angus cattle. The purpose of this project was to determine the locations of buildings and fields surrounding the homesite. This project wanted to determine the feasability of adding new buildings and improving the overall safety of the ranch.


Vanessa Norman and Selita Ammondt
B Bar Land and Livestock B-Bar Ranch PDF

B-Bar Land and Livestock in Big Timber, MT, is the breeding grounds for an endangered species of cattle, the Ancient White Park. When Wes Henthorne, the owner, started cattle breeding in 1989, he only had 18 head. The number today has risen to over 150 head of cattle, which allows him to sell some on the open market. The purpose of our project was to map Mr. Henthorne’s ranch, paying special attention to the condition of the fences for their future restoration. Wes will use this project as a reference for renovating and remodeling his property, especially the cattle corrals. In addition to the fences, we mapped trees, gates, water tanks, roads, and numerous buildings around the premise.


Glenn Stewart and Scott Milburn
MSU Research Park Research Park PDF

Our mapping project lies about one mile west of the Bozeman MSU campus on the corner of 19th and College Street. The final map includes a small creek, power lines, irrigation ditches, and fences. The purpose of this project was to provide information for future development.


Joe Nowakowski and Mark Eney
North Forty Ranch North Forty PDF

The North Forty Ranch in Big Sky Montana was mapped using Trimble GeoXT receivers in the Spring of of 2005. Sub-meter accuracy was acheived after differential correction to map all relevant features of the ranch.


Eric Gardner and Nate Fairbanks
BS&F Farms BF&S Farms PDF

Abstract not available



Fall Semester 2004


Dan Bergstrom
Ubet Ranch
Ubet Ranch PDF

The Ubet Ranch is owned by David Bradley and has been leased by James Bergstrom for the past ten years. The ranch is located in central Montana, 36 miles south west of Lewistown. The purpose of this project was to map the Big Coulee pasture. Data that is gained from this project will be used in making decisions that affect the how the Big Coulee Pasture is managed. After analyzing the data in ArcMap, the management concerns proved to be not as significant of a problem as previously thought. The data does show that the native range has been utilized more heavily than the other areas of the pasture.


Zack Tripp
Revenue Flats Campsite Evaluation Revenue Flats JPG

Campsite conditions and evaluation for the Revenue Flats area near Norris, MT. Each site was given a rating of poor, moderate, or good depending on the degree of use and degredation. The area is heavily used, but there is no current campsite or management plan in place. This map may help the BLM better manage the area in the future.


Tom Schemm
Beaver Expatriation: Change in Riparian Habitat Over Time SiteOverview.PDF Dam Beaver Project PDF

The purpose of this project is to assess the time and resources needed to document the change in area of beaver created riparian zone over time using GIS. The GPS mapping component fulfills the requirements of the GPS Fundamentals and Mapping Application class project, and provides a means of testing the ability to discern habitat type at differing resolutions of scanned aerial photos. The importance of this project lies in the role active beaver colonies play in both creating riparian habitat and their ability to hold water on the landscape and raise local water tables. The end result will hopefully be a grant to fund a similar project over several hundred eight code HUCs across Montana in order to assess beaver population dynamics over time.


Sabine Mellmann-Brown
Noxious Weeds on Private and Public Lands - Beartooth Cooperative Weed Management Area, Cooke City, MT
Reference Map PDF , CC Weeds1 PDF , CC Weeds2.PDF , CC Weeds3 PDF

The Beartooth Cooperative Weed Management Area (Beartooth CWMA) comprises the upper Soda Butte and Clarks Fork Watersheds, and covers an estimated 600 square kilometers (~150,000 acres) of public and private lands. During the summer and fall of 2004, areas near
roadways, residences or other human disturbances were surveyed for noxious weed infestations. The lower section, from the Yellowstone National Park boundary to Cooke City, was mapped with a Trimble Geo XT GPS receiver with an accuracy < 1 meter. The upper section includes Cooke City and extends to the Montana / Wyoming Stateline to the east. This area was mapped with a recreational grade GPS receiver (Pharos), achieving an accuracy of 10-15 meters.

A total of eight noxious weed species listed by the state of Montana were located in the valley, covering an estimated 54,386 square meters. The most abundant weed species were oxeye daisy, Canada thistle and houndstongue. Infestations were mapped as 108 separate
points, areas and lines. The vast majority of weed infestations (93%) occurred on private land. These results document the urgency of public education and the need for support by the Beartooth CWMA.



Spring Semester 2004


Brian Thrift and Chris Wood
Fergus Triangle Allotment
Fergus1 PDF , Fergus 2 PDF

The Fergus Triangle Allotment was mapped in March 2004, two years after a prescribed fire that was conducted in May 2002. The 1100-acre fire burned at various intensities, and created a mosaic of unburned, scorched, and heavily burned landscape. Researchers from Montana State University are currently conducting a long term monitoring program that investigates the prescribed burn’s effect on deer and elk use of the area. While total burned and unburned area was known, the amount of scorched and heavily burned landscape within the burned areas was not known. Heavily burned landscapes, transect locations, watering areas, and weather stations were mapped. If the habitat-use study indicates that the mosaic created by the prescribed burn improves wildlife habitat, land managers will be able to use these data to plan and conduct future prescribed fires in the Missouri Breaks.


Tim English and Jesse Simonson
KV Ranch
KV Ranch PDF

The KV Ranch is an approximately 2700 acre parcel located in the NE and NW quadrants of the Manhattan SW Quadrangle. It is owned by Mr. Kim Kelsey and has been used as a winter pasture for the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch’s herd of Appaloosa. A number of fields are leased out as croplands and several gravel mines exist on the parcel. The intent of the KV Ranch mapping project was to develop a base resource map to aid Mr. Jake Powell in the development of a grazing plan for the ranch. The attached map illustrates resource features mapped February 22, February 29 and March 5 of 2004 by Tim English and Jesse Simonson.


Zac Felkey
Steingruber Ranch Steingruber PDF

Abstract not available.


Seth Hendrix
Kirk Hill Trail System Kirk Hill PDF

A map of the Kirk Hill Trail system south of Bozeman, Montana was made using a GeoXT Trimble GPS receiver capable of submeter accuracy after differential correction. Main features captured in map includes: Trails, roads, benches, bridges, overlooks, and plant identification signs. Hikers and nature lovers can view the kinds of flora that inhabit Southwest Montana and see what twenty plants look like while learning their names.



Fall Semester 2003


Brad Stein, Kellee Anderson, Megan Lee
Campus Water Shutoff Valves MSU Valves 1 PDF , MSU Valves 2 PDF

The Montana State Facility services requested all water main shutoff valves to be mapped for ease of location during winter months. In fall of 2003, these valves were mapped using a Trimble GPS receiver. The Geo XT receiver is capable of submeter accuracy after differential correction.


Chris Boe
Right-of-way Management of Noxious Weeds Right-of-Way Weeds PDF

This project is for management purposes of mapping and compiling data in the fight against noxious weeds. Roadsides are a main corridor for the spread of unwanted vegetation species. These species negatively impact our native plants and crops. Mapping and compiling data of weed infestations will help weed control technicians and landowners in the fight against noxious weeds.


Jonathan Haynie
Frank Nerud Section Frank Nerud Section PDF

The section of land mapped is called the Frank Nerud Section. It was mapped during the fall of 2003 using the GeoXT receiver which is capable of submeter accuracy. Another portion of land was mapped at the same time, with the intent of possibly selling it to a bird dog trainer.

The purpose of this dataset is to provide the owner with an accurate representation of the feature boundries and other features. Other features of the area will also be presented to help with the management of the land. In addition, acreage will be calculated for the land that might be up for sale in order to give a pretty good estimate of how much land there is available.


Kyle Butcher
Butcher Ranch Butcher Ranch PDF

The Butcher Ranch, A cattle and hay ranch owned by Bruce and Mary Lou Butcher, was mapped using a Trimble GeoXT reciever during the fall semester of 2003.

The purpose of this project was to give the owner an accurate map of his hay fields and pasture land. Also a soil map was placed as a background so the owner could determine what type of management he should you on each field.


Mat Branaugh
Bridger Creek Golf Course Bridger Creek JPG

Bridger Creek is an 18-hole public golf course. All important features (tee boxes, fairways, putting greens, and hazards) of the course were mapped using the Trimble GeoXT receiver on November 7, 2003. The mapped features are overlaid onto a Bozeman DOQ. After differential correction, accuracy is sub-meter.

The purpose of this map was to create an accurate and practical map of Bridger Creek. The map will have practical uses for both employees who perform maintenance and customers who play the course. Maintenance workers will be able to reference the map for everyday tasks. Customers will be able to reference the map so they can apply the right strategy to play the hole ahead of them.


Cedar Bossert
Diamond B Ranch Diamond B PDF

Sections 20 and 21 of the Diamond B Ranch, located south of Livingston, were mapped during the fall 2003 semester. Due to the 2001 Fridley fire burning much of the summer grazing pasture, these two lower sections were improved to help utilize the pasture more efficiently. Improvements, section lines, and noxious weeds were all mapped.

The purpose of this was to have a reference of where the improvements are in relation to the noxious weeds to allow the person spraying a better idea of where the weeds are located.



Spring Semester 2003


Jake Powell
Lazy TV Ranch Lazy TV Ranch JPG

The Lazy TV Ranch was mapped during the spring of 2003. The mapping was done with a Trimble GeoExplorer 3 receiver, capable of 1-5 meter accuracy after differential correction. The ranch improvements and field descriptions were mapped. Pathfinder Office and ArcView 3.3 was then used to create a comprehensive management map. This map will be used by the Lazy TV Ranch as a reference tool for management decisions.


Levi Shugart
Caffrey Farm Caffrey Farm JPG

The Caffrey farm, located just twenty miles east of Bozeman, was mapped using a Trimble Geo3 GPS receiver. The mapping was started and completed in the spring of 2003. The Geo3 receiver is capable of 1-5 meter accuracy after differential correction. The final map shows pastures, buildings, and natural spring locations.

The purpose of the project is to create an understandable and precise map of the Caffrey property. This map will provide important and accurate information that will be used in pasture management and property development. This map will provide the Caffrey family with information that can be useful in pasture management problem areas and property decisions.


Tim Metcalfe
Moccasin Farm Moccasin Farm PDF

The Terry Metcalfe Farm was mapped using a Trimble GPS receiver during the Spring of 2003, at the beginning of February and April respectively. The Spring 2003 class used GeoExplorer III receivers capable of 1-5 meter accuracy after differential correction.

The purpose of this project was to establish a base map for the following years so crops could be easily identified and labeled. We also examined the soils of one of the fields, to start the ground work for precision agricultural practices.


Paul Neuman
Upper Yellowstone River Fishing Access Sites - Gardiner to Livingston Yellowstone PDF

Abstract not available


Nathan Haynie
Aries Farm Aries1 JPG, Aries2 JPG, Dads JPG, Harms JPG, N Horse Creek JPG, S13 JPG, S15 JPG, S Horse Creek JPG, S JPG, State Section JPG

Abstract not available