Block Maps

It’s important to keep the observations on each checklist within a single atlas block, so we’ve provided several options to help you keep track of your location in the field.

If you see that you are about to cross a block boundary, stop your current checklist and start a new one once you are in the new block.

Quick Links


eBird Mobile App

The easiest way to keep track of your location in the field is to use the eBird Mobile app. When you’re viewing maps within the app, you can see the atlas block boundaries.

To view block boundaries, follow these two tutorials:

  1. Set the Atlas Portal
  2. See Your Location and Block Boundaries

Digital block maps

Avenza Maps screenshot of the “Albany – SE” block map and location of the DEC Central Office (blue dot) just across the border.

Save the block map to your device and refer to it in the field just as you would a paper map!

The maps you download from the Final Season Block Tool are GeoPDFs, which simply means that geographic coordinate information is embedded in the file. What this means for you is that you can plot your location on the map when you are in the field.

  1. Find a block. Go to the Final Season Block Tool and find the block(s) you are interested in.
  2. Download. Click on the block and use the links in the pop-up to download the satellite or terrain map.
  3. Save. Save the map to your favorite cloud storage app, such as Dropbox, Drive, or Box.
  4. Install. Install the free Avenza Maps app.
  5. Import. Follow the step-by-step instructions for importing files. You can also follow along with the videos (Android, iOS).
  6. Activate. Once the map is installed, make the map active and select it. Your location shows up as a small blue dot!

Tip: If you are a superuser, check out Collections. Collections allow you to patch maps together.


Paper Maps

As straightforward as it sounds! Simply download, print, and go! Use landscape features like roads, rivers, buildings, and vegetation transitions to figure out where you are in the field. Note that the block boundary is highlighted in red and may not show up well if you print in black-and-white.

  1. Find a block. Go to the Final Season Block Tool and find the block(s) you are interested in.
  2. Download. Click on the block and use the links in the pop-up to download the satellite or terrain map.
  3. Print. Once you download the map to your computer, print out the map. You’re all set!

Priority block boundaries

Google Earth screenshot showing the location of the DEC Central Office (blue dot) in relation to the atlas block boundaries (red lines).

Display all the priority block boundaries (kml) in a mapping app and see which block you are standing in.

  1. Install. Install the mapping app of your choice (Google Earth, Gaia GPS, Avenza Maps)
  2. Download. Download the priority block boundaries to your device using your favorite cloud storage app, such as Dropbox, Drive, or Box.
  3. Import. Add the blocks to the app.
  4. Show Location. Display your current location.
    1. iOS: Google Earth, Gaia, Avenza
    2. Android: Google Earth, Gaia, Avenza

Tip: Install the Open Access Lands layer to help you locate public land.


Google Maps

Navigate to and within priority blocks using Google Maps.


Mobile ArcGIS App

An uber-volunteer, Bill Ostrander with Chemung Valley Audubon, made an ArcGIS app that you can use in the field. If you have a data plan and cell signal, you can go to this website and see your location in real time!

Mobile ArcGIS app


Shapefile

If you are familiar with ArcMap or QGIS and prefer to create your own maps, you can download a shapefile of the block boundaries.

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