PDF map app for national forests: 'Downloaded it, you can navigate'

PDF map app for national forests: 'Downloaded it, you can navigate' »Play Video

LOWELL, Ore. - Traditional paper maps may be a thing of the past.

Jude McHugh, spokesperson for the Willamette National Forest, says the U.S. Forest Service recently partnered with Avenza Corporation to create a smartphone application that uses recreation trail maps.

"Folks going out to the forest can now have our maps mobile," she said. "They can take them where ever they go."

The map app has virtually every trail, body of water, service road, picnic area in almost every wilderness area across the state.

McHugh said the app geo-locates your position when you have cell service.

If you're out of cell coverage, McHugh said don't worry: the maps will still work in full resolution, it just won't show your location.

She said the maps are accurate and a user can identify where they are by looking for points of interest.

"Just came around a big corner, there's the big corner on the map. It's absolutely a great tool," she said.

McHugh said the app is suited for the casual hiker.

"If you don't have a hard copy map, but you've already downloaded it, you can navigate to wherever you need to be in the National Forest," she said.

McHugh said she doesn't see it replacing traditional paper maps, but it's another resource adventurers can use.

The map application is called Avenza PDF Maps and is available for download for both Apple and Android platforms.

Downloading the app is free, and prices of the maps vary by the publisher.