North Country Trail Association offering online maps

Following the blue blaze markers along the North Country Trail is a good way to stay on the trail, as is a good old-fashioned waterproof, tear-resistant paper map. A little technology, though, can’t hurt.

Matthew Rowbotham, the North Country Trail Association’s Geographic Information System coordinator based in Traverse City, also encourages accessing and using the NCTA’s online trail map as well as mobile apps.

The reason behind the NCTA’s online mapping efforts is to deliver trail users a unified mapping system and offer map content in as many modern popular platforms as possible — desktop computers, laptop computers, smart phones and the like.

The NCT is the longest trail in the National Trails System, stretching 4,600 miles seven states from the Vermont border of New York to the middle of North Dakota.

NCTA uses ArcGIS Online, a collaborative web GIS that allows people to use, create and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics and data. A user can click on the “Launch the online map” button at and get lots of helpful information.

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