How high are you? That is…What is your elevation?

What Is My Current Elevation screenshot

A quick announcement of two Map Tool enhancements on the randymajors.org website. Check out how high you are… ok, your current elevation ;) with the What Is My Current Elevation? tool. It looks like this: The tool uses your device location, and so is typically more accurate on a mobile device with GPS. With the other tool enhancement, you can determine your current ZIP Code based based on your device location with the What ZIP Code Am I In? tool. Note that this one works based with larger ZIP Code areas. These tools can both be found in the Current … Read more

NEW: Share your map with one click

Now available on most map tools on randymajors.org, use the “Share Map…” button to create a shareable link that remembers all of the following: which map tool you are using (e.g. City Limits on Google Maps, Elevation on Google Maps) what point you had clicked on the map (or had searched for using the “Search places” box above the map) how far zoomed in or out you want the map to display optionally, a title for your map Here’s an example, sharing a map from the City Limits on Google Maps tool, centered on Ocala, Florida: In this example, I … Read more

Where It’s At: Drop nearly 15,000 feet in just over 85 miles in the Contiguous U.S.

Where It’s At is an occasional feature that uses maps to show interesting stuff about our world.  At least interesting to map geeks like me :) For this inaugural post:  Where can you can drop nearly 15,000 feet of elevation in just over 85 miles in the contiguous United States? A clue:  these two points also happen to be the highest elevation point and the lowest elevation point in the contiguous U.S. Answer:  Mount Whitney, California to Badwater Basin in Death Valley, California: And here’s the elevation profile along that line: Note that it’s not a nice easy descent along … Read more

So…what is randymajors.org Research Hub anyway?

randymajors.com Research Hub homepage

“So what is your website all about?”  I increasingly get asked some form of this question about randymajors.org Research Hub. A BRIEF BACKSTORY:  Back in 2006-2010, the randymajors.org website was a fairly small collection of blog posts about family history plus some of my photography.  Then, in 2011 I launched the AncestorSearch on Google Search and Historical U.S. Counties on Google Maps tools primarily aimed at genealogy and historical research. FAST FORWARD TO 2018:  I decided to broaden the appeal of the mapping and search tools to a more general audience by launching the present-day County Lines on Google Maps tool.  I continued to … Read more

Now you can get access to an AD-FREE version of AncestorSearch on Google Search too!

Back in December, I announced a way to get access to all of the map tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN. I’m pleased to announce an AD-FREE option is now available for AncestorSearch on Google Search as well! The functionality is identical, but with no ads: The ad-free versions of the map and search tools are formatted to work equally well on your smartphone or tablet too! All the details are on this page:  NEW:  Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULL-SCREEN! GOOD NEWS:  If you have already signed up for access to the ad-free map tools, you now … Read more

Enjoy ALL of the map and search tools AD-FREE and FULLSCREEN!

Over the years, I’ve had lots of requests for a way to subscribe to the map and search tools on randymajors.org rather than having advertisements displayed. This has been a challenge, as I want to keep the tools free of charge for everyone to use, and the advertising helps offset the significant costs associated with the development and operation of the tools. I’m excited to say that you now have an opportunity to choose what works best for you:      Free map tools supported by advertising (left/top), AD-FREE FULLSCREEN map and search tools (right/bottom) The above screenshots are from … Read more

A quick update on the increased speed of the mapping tools

After some infrastructure upgrades, all of the randymajors.org mapping tools are now operating faster!  In my time tests, I was seeing drawing speeds that were 2.5x to 3x faster than before the upgrade. The very largest of map layers, such as Section Township Range on Google Maps, seem to see the biggest improvement (drawing in 5-6 seconds now vs 25-30 seconds before the upgrade), although other layers such as Historical Counties, County Lines and ZIP Codes also drew about 2x faster that before. So you should on average see the information panel above the maps update a bit faster and … Read more

New Tool shows Elevations on Google Maps, all over the world

With the new Elevation on Google Maps tool, you can find the elevation of any place worldwide. Use the “Search places” box to type an address, city or other place, and see it’s approximate elevation, or just explore by clicking around the map.  In addition to elevation, the tool will also display other information about your chosen location, such as city, county, state, country and latitude/longitude. Here’s an example showing the historic center of Mexico City at about 7,359 feet: Want to see an elevation profile along your path or route? Just click the blue “Elevation Profile…” button on the left … Read more

For the map and geography geek in you…

For those of you who are map and geography geeks like me, I’ve just released a new tool I created on Google Maps that I hope you find both informative and maybe even fun! I named the tool Location Explorer on Google Maps. Think of it as kind of a “drill-down” for any chosen U.S. location — be it a place or address. Not sure how to best describe it…so let’s use pictures: For the above example, I simply typed an address in Salt Lake City, and the 12 above maps appeared.  The maps show all of the following “topics” for … Read more