Name of Company — CWG
Type of Course — Classroom, Map Making
Date of Course — 19 and 20 January, 2019
Location of course — Shawnee Kansas (address TBA)

The maps we have made for navigation training and FoF events, going back years, have attracted much praise, attention, and jealousy. We get asked a lot how to make maps like that, and now instead of just being baffled by my email response, now you can learn how to make clear, customized, military-style, land-nav friendly maps of any area you wish.

In fact, this is all hands on, so you will make a map of your actual area of operations. So, be sure to read all the requirements and make proper plans to bring the data, and equipment required.

You Must Bring

If you do not meet all these requirements you can still attend, but will not get as much out of the class:

  • A basic understanding of land navigation principles. If you have taken no land nav training, try the intro videos here, and ask for additional help.
  • A reasonably modern, fast computer running Windows or MacOS with sufficient room to install software and download graphics files.
    • Bring any accessories you may need, such as an external monitor, mouse, or pen tablet. There will be not much typing, but lots of drawing.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
    • An installed and operating copy of the latest Adobe Illustrator
    • Creative Cloud is a subscription service, but you may get a 30 day trial for free. If you opt for this, be sure to not install too early, so the trial works properly during the class time
  • Coordinates for the corners of the property for which you will be making the map during the class.
  • Any additional information about the land for which you will make the map, such as sketches or GPS tracks for roads, buildings, and property lines.

There are no uniform requirements. This is entirely a classroom exercise, so otherwise plan accordingly to bring your equipment and be comfortable the entire time.

CWG Will Provide

  • A room, tables, chairs.
  • WiFi
  • Power, and extension cords, power strips and the like
  • Reference materials, online and in person
  • Training in how to use Adobe Illustrator in the most basic way
  • Instructions on how to convert coordinates, get USGS map data, convert it to a usable format, and draw your own details
  • Assistance and advice for your drawing and map making needs and problems
  • One full-sized (up to 24" across) printout of your final output, even if not completed until later.


CWG will provide lunch on Saturday, but snacks and additional drinks are up to you. Bring a water bottle or other materials as you see fit.

Please keep food to yourself, and only use lidded containers to drink out of to avoid spilling on your, or others' computers.

While there are no formal plans for a group dinner on Saturday night, it is likely some of us will have spare time, so plan for and ask about that before class breaks up.


Shawnee is a suburb of Kansas City, and the training site is within a few minutes of an Interstate. If not from the metro area, there are numerous hotels nearby.

Due to the relatively small expected class size, we do not have special arrangements with any hotels in the area but you can ask if you need to understand the region better so you don't end up in the ghetto. 

Course Plan and Schedule

  • Classroom – Saturday, 19 January 2019 – 10 am - 5 pm
    • An introduction to Adobe Illustrator
    • Coordinate systems, and how to convert your coordinates
    • USGS map sources, and finding your map
    • A few words on GeoPDF
    • Importing and scaling the USGS GeoPDF
    • Declination and finding Grid North
    • Grid systems, and drawing grid lines
    • 100 m scale grids
    • Cropping, and picking map scales
    • Cleaning up hypsography, hydrology, tree cover, and a note about red light readability
    • Adding features; how to draw roads, streams, and buildings from scratch
    • Labeling
    • Marginal data
    • Map scales for export, printing, and navigating
    • Preparing for sharing, via PDF and assuring printing works well
  • Classroom – Sunday, 20 January 2019 – 10 am - 5 pm
    • Work day. No formal training plan, but everyone may gather to work, and we will assist as needed.
    • As issues arise, there will be brief, unplanned, lectures on the topic.
    • Printing, if anyone finishes.



The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt


Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas


Photos (1)
Original Post

Rain check. 

Government shutdown means we cannot get the source data from USGS. So, cancelling this date and we'll do it later. To be announced. 

Based on many requests, I'll also rearrange it to be also available remote, and will (probably) make remote attendance vastly cheaper, so if interested just follow the topic and I'll post again when it's updated.  

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt


Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Add Reply

Likes (1)
David Reeves
Copyright Lightfighter Tactical Forum 2002-2019