how to find common/public layers

mike's Avatar


30 May, 2020 10:01 PM

Hello - new pro user.

I am looking for data for which I am sure I'm not the first user. After poking around both the Maps forum, and google searches, I'm not seeing much/any info on finding layers for caltopo that others have shared. So, general question there - I feel I must be missing something obvious.

Specifically, I'm after Idaho hunting boundaries: GMU's, "units", etc (1~78 ish regions spanning the state, in Idaho's case). Public shapefiles are available, and I did see the tutorial for the [involved] process to use Mapbox to make a new layer ... while CalTopo probably has SAR not hunters as it's main group, I can't imagine I'm the first to put this together for this specfiic and pretty static dataset.


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ben Lantow on 30 May, 2020 11:35 PM

    Ben Lantow's Avatar

    You'll have to import/create them yourself, we do not currently provide a tool for sharing/listing layers publicly. If a user happens to share that info on an unaffiliated website you could probably bring them in that way too.

    CalTopo doesn't currently create/maintain Hunting Unit maps but may at some point in the future, and we do support custom layer uploads.


  2. Ben Lantow closed this discussion on 30 May, 2020 11:35 PM.

  3. Ben Lantow re-opened this discussion on 30 May, 2020 11:50 PM

  4. Support Staff 2 Posted by Ben Lantow on 30 May, 2020 11:50 PM

    Ben Lantow's Avatar

    I did a quick Google and found a KML file of the GMUs in Idaho. That format can be imported directly to CalTopo (Import - KML).
    And KML at


  5. 3 Posted by mike on 31 May, 2020 04:07 PM

    mike's Avatar

    ok, thanks. Yes I also found some KML's the downside is they have really poor rendering (it may be a problem with the specific set I found, but the text occludes much of the layers beneath and doesn't adjust/scale like I'd expect a map to. I'll try your links too.

  6. 4 Posted by mike on 31 May, 2020 04:17 PM

    mike's Avatar

    @Ben thanks for your links, they are much cleaner than the others I found, and will work.

    Regarding my general question: how to find layers published by other users: What happens when I mark the "save map" as "public". I just did this, and included keywords such as IDFG and GMU ... as an example, how can I find that map publicly now?

    And last, is there a way to turn the KML into a layer? My goal would be to have it displayed as a ~checkbox somewhere so that I can turn it on/off in the future in other maps I make.

  7. Support Staff 5 Posted by Meghan on 02 Jun, 2020 03:30 PM

    Meghan's Avatar

    To answer your last two questions:
    1. You can find a map that has been saved as "public" a couple different ways. You can click on "Shared Maps" in the drop down layer menu on the right hand side in map viewer. This will show any publicly saved maps on your map viewer for the area you are in. You can also Google the map- googling tends to work pretty well because public maps are well indexed on Google. You can also find public maps at although this is really just to index for Google.
    2. Yes, you can create a layer out of a KML file although you can't do this in CalTopo. Shape data needs to be converted to a tileset in order to display it as a layer and tools like MapBox allow for this (this article can walk you through the process- its a bit involved: However you’d probably be better off finding a layer online and importing it as a custom layer.


  8. Meghan closed this discussion on 02 Jun, 2020 03:30 PM.

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