How to turn off inaccurate stream lines

Bill Badgeley's Avatar

Bill Badgeley

12 Oct, 2021 01:02 AM

Using map builder topo base map. The blue stream lines do not colocate with the topography. How do I turn the steam lines off or correct them to flow in their channels?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Julie on 12 Oct, 2021 01:16 AM

    Julie's Avatar

    Hi Bill,

    Where are you looking? I'd like to take a look and double check that it's a data problem and not an alignment problem.

    There's no easy way to just turn them off... unless you have a Desktop subscription and thus the ability to create a custom MapBuilder layer without the hydrology feature component.


  2. 2 Posted by Bill Badgeley on 12 Oct, 2021 05:36 PM

    Bill Badgeley's Avatar

    Hi Julie, Look near the SE corner of section 30, TWP 36 N, range 11 E,
    Willamette Meridian in Washington State. There is a no-name stream
    crossing Dexter Lane near its NW end on the map. The blue stream line
    does not align with the topography showing the stream bed depression. In
    this case the topography is correct and the stream line is wrong. On the
    other hand if you look at the nearby stream line for Diobsud Creek,
    which is larger, it lines up with the channel much better. FYI, I am new
    to Caltopo and am trying to make a detailed map of our property in that
    area, and am not using the pro version. Would it make a lot of
    difference to upgrade? Thanks for your reply and please advise. Regards,

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Julie on 12 Oct, 2021 06:01 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    Hi Bill,

    Ok, that doesn't seem too far off. The LIDAR data that is giving the topographic shading is likely quite a bit more accurate than the stream data source. CalTopo isn't a survey-level tool like what you would get with hiring a surveyor to come out to your property.

    Upgrading isn't going to increase your resolution or anything. It gives you more tools to play with, such as the custom layers I mentioned before, or viewing parcel data overlaid over the base map.


  4. 4 Posted by Bill Badgeley on 12 Oct, 2021 07:06 PM

    Bill Badgeley's Avatar

    Julie, The level of detail in CalTopo is sufficient for my purposes. If
    I understand you correctly, by upgrading I can start with the LIDAR data
    as a base, add a layer with the road, add a parcel overlay, omit the
    stream source layer, and draw in my own stream line. If so, then I'll
    pursue the upgrade. Please confirm and thanks, Bill

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Julie on 12 Oct, 2021 08:15 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    Hi Bill,

    Essentially, yes. You'll need the full upgrade to the "Desktop" subscription (even though you don't need to use the Desktop version of our software) in order to be able to build a custom layer. Please read through this page to learn more about what you can do with a custom MapBuilder layer and how to do it.


  6. 6 Posted by Bill Badgeley on 15 Nov, 2021 11:59 PM

    Bill Badgeley's Avatar

    Hi Julie, I've read about custom layers and more and upgraded to the
    desktop subscription. Now I have confirmed that photo and LIDAR layers
    appear offset from the standard topo map layers (by about 50 ft N and W)
    and have not found any mention of how to align them even for a custom
    map. Is there a way to do so? Thanks, Bill

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by Julie on 16 Nov, 2021 07:43 PM

    Julie's Avatar

    HI Bill,

    You cannot re-align the layers themselves. What you can do is create a MapBuilder layer that does not have any of the hydrological data displayed on it.

    Alternatively, or in addition to the above, you can use the aerial imagery to guide you to draw a line object on the map that will trace the actual course of the creek.

    Does that make sense?


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