Elevate your map!

Disc golf is played over all types of terrain. Typically a course designer uses the land as they find it to create an interesting layout, unlike ball golf where a course is created by reshaping and building up fairways from a preconceived design. This leaves disc golfers contending with a wide variety of fairways and often with significant changes in elevation during play. Unfortunately, the maps provided to competitors don’t always reflect the change in terrain. Watching the live coverage of the 2019 PDGA Pro Worlds has reminded me of this deficit. I decided to create maps of two of the holes in order to demonstrate how elevation data can dramatically increase how well the layout of the hole is communicated.

Know Before You Throw

This caddy book was created for the new Central Course at Cedar Creek in Fairmont, Minnesota, just in time for the 2019 Cedar Creek Open. It contains detailed maps of each hole and these details:

  • Radius grid to calculate straight line distance to any obstacle.
  • Elevation difference between tee pin.
  • Flightpath distance to the basket.
  • Walking path to the next tee.

Take a look:

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Going Beyond Google Earth

Google Earth is a great place to start when planning a disc golf course. At the very least it encourages the designer to orient the map with North at the top. However the imagery available is not very effective when trying explain details of a course layout. This video demonstrates the use of other data and techniques to help a course designer communicate better.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees?

…or anything else for that matter!. Here is a map demo that shows how detailed layers scan make a map more attractive and useful. Google Earth is a great place start but its not the best way to represent a course map online or in print. Learn more by viewing the demo below. Remember, it’s all about the background!


Map Layer demo thumbnail

Click image to view the map layer demo.

Milby Park DGC Sample Map

slide the vertical white line from side to side.

The image on the right swaps out the aerial photograph and replaces it with hillshade, elevation contours and digitized ground features. The result is a much cleaner and clearer map.