Road Network

Mar 5, 2010
339
60
11
Cascade, CO
Hey guys

always trying to stay up to date on new and better tools.
Road network—- what’s your go to? Any tips on seeing paved vs gravel

also any good apps to zoom in and out of detail??

Been using google maps and have ended up in the middle of corn fields a few times 😀😀
 

James K

EF4
Mar 26, 2019
475
194
6
Colorado
I have a standalone Garmin GPS that I plan to take with me.
It would be nice to also have an android based app (free ofcourse, and ideally one that would function offline). Not sure if such exists...I know I tried looking at some point in the past with no luck.

Maps.me should be avoided like the plague as it is now Russian-owned!
 

Warren Faidley

Supporter
May 7, 2006
2,077
2,331
21
Mos Isley Space Port
www.stormchaser.com
I always use a mapping system that is frequently updated and offers heads-up directional viewing as I find it's easier to mentally calculate routing. I use Google or Apple mapping for general driving, viewed on a dash-mounted iPad. I know those maps are always updated. I also have a standalone GPS / Satellite XM radar with road overlays in the event cell signals fail, which has happened. I use several radar apps with road overlays for plotting -- like My Radar Pro or Radar Omega. I carry paper maps in the event of total system failure. Improved gravel roads are generally OK, especially in areas like E. CO. Even with a Ford Ranger Off-Road edition, I choose my roads carefully. If the target storm is in front of me, and there are no other storms coming up behind me, I'm not so cautious. On a day like El Reno, I avoided all dirt or gravel roads. On the big or complex chase days, I always visit the state's local transportation webpage to get updates on road closures and detours.
 
Jul 5, 2009
1,389
1,496
21
Newtown, Pennsylvania
I use several radar apps with road overlays for plotting -- like My Radar Pro or Radar Omega.
I‘ve always used RadarScope which as we all know has limited road display… Wasn’t even aware of Radar Omega, but now this is the second mention I have seen in just the past couple of days. Hadn’t heard of My Radar Pro. What are the pro’s and con’s of each of these, as far as the ability to see detailed roads in combination with radar? The problem is always keeping both visible at the same time… Does either app allow control of translucency, or control over whether the radar or roads appear on top?
 
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Warren Faidley

Supporter
May 7, 2006
2,077
2,331
21
Mos Isley Space Port
www.stormchaser.com
I‘ve always used RadarScope which as we all know has limited road display… Wasn’t even aware of Radar Omega, but now this is the second mention I have seen in just the past couple of days. Hadn’t heard of My Radar Pro. What are the pro’s and con’s of each of these, as far as the ability to see detailed roads in combination with radar? The problem is always keeping both visible at the same time… Does either app allow control of translucency, or control over whether the radar or roads appear on top?
My Radar Pro is a very simplified radar program. It was one of the first radar apps to have detailed road overlays. Radar Omega is a great app, with excellent radar options and detailed road maps. It also has a ton of customizing options for backgrounds. I only installed it towards the end of last chase season, so I'm not 100% comfortable using it in critical situations until I test it further. Some users have said there is a delay in refreshing. I do not know how often the maps are updated or the data source.
 

adlyons

EF2
Feb 16, 2014
117
180
11
29
Norman, Oklahoma
I have used a number of the tools others have mentioned here in the past. maps.me was my go to on android when I switched to my tablet for chasing in 2019. However, google maps and offline mode as well as android auto have advanced enough to replace all of that for me. Now I chase exclusively with radarscope on my phone in a dashmount and offline google maps on my cars infotainment display. Simple cheap and effective.
 
Aug 9, 2012
576
1,321
21
Macomb, IL
stormoptics.smugmug.com
I've been using a combination of google and apple maps for chasing. Some of the newer radarscope updates though are starting to do more detailed road overlays. I'll definitely be excited for the day when all the county roads are on radarscope, but I feel like that might be a lot of information for one app on an iphone or android phone. Otherwise right now, I just switch between maps and radar. Usually if I'm on a storm, I'll focus more on maps/roads if I can see what the storm is doing (non hp obviously). Otherwise, I will split screen my Ipad Pro.
 
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Jul 5, 2009
1,389
1,496
21
Newtown, Pennsylvania
I've been using a combination of google and apple maps for chasing. Some of the newer radarscope updates though are starting to do more detailed road overlays. I'll definitely be excited for the day when all the county roads are on radarscope, but I feel like that might be a lot of information for one app on an iphone or android phone. Otherwise right now, I just switch between maps and radar. Usually if I'm on a storm, I'll focus more on maps/roads if I can see what the storm is doing (non hp obviously). Otherwise, I will split screen my Ipad Pro.
Is it a data issue? I recall there being a radar app years ago, no longer available, that had a high-resolution radar overlay on top of Google maps, and RadarOmega seems similar. I feel like it’s more an issue of simply always having to sacrifice visability of one or the other, either make the radar translucent to be able to see the roads, or let the roads disappear under the solid colors of the radar… The extinct app that I can’t remember the name of had a slider with which you could control the level of opacity in the radar. This will be my first chase season trying RadarOmega, but I don’t see it as a suitable replacement for RadarScope. I will probably continue doing what I have been doing, same as you Ethan, keep both Google Maps and RadarScope going, and focusing on Maps as long as I am near the storm and have good visuals on it. Instead of using a split screen, I have one going on my iPad and the other on my iPhone. What I keep on the bigger screen varies based on what the priority is at the time.
 

Bill Hark

EF5
Jan 13, 2004
1,328
315
11
55
Richmond Virginia
www.harkphoto.com
I use a combination of RadarScope and Google Maps on my phone and on my laptop, I use Baron WxWorx Ground and DeLorme Street Atlas. Although the maps and radar are less detailed on the Baron set up, it will continue to function when cell phone coverage is poor. Even in 2022, I consider the Baron WxWorx to still be an important part of my equipment.
 

Randy Jennings

Supporter
May 18, 2013
681
729
11
One word of warning about using one solution for radar with high level maps and another solution for detailed maps - it can be very easy to misinterpret. For example, one time I was using RadarScope and noted that a storm was staying north of a line from Denton to McKinney, TX, US 380 runs from Denton to McKinney. So I assumed as long as I stayed south of US 380 I would stay out of it. Only thing is US 380 does split the middle of Denton, but when it gets to McKinney it is on the far north end of town. Bottom line - storm was south of US 380. This is one reason while I use GR Level 3 with tiger shapefiles for roads now. It has it's own cons, but a big plus is a combined display of radar and detailed roads.
 
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JL Gacke

Supporter
Dec 9, 2015
33
58
6
Nebraska
I also favor the Baron MTN, it almost never goes down. I also run GRLX. The combined road mapping isn't highly detailed but shows most main roads. Radar is almost always recent.
I still prefer a laptop and always use the old MS Streets and Trips. It has pretty good GPS accuracy. The MS S&T does show most roads but certainly not quality - gravel vs mud. It does delineate between paved and gravel most of the time, though I don't trust that for life & death. Also, I've been fooled several times into thinking I have a road ahead to use only to find it's ruts through a pasture. It might be a public ROW but no way passable.
Go ahead and laugh, but I keep thinking it'd be nice to acquire that defunct S&T program from MS and someone good with code-writing capabilities, would be able to rebuild/release under a different name and for a reasonable price and with updated road info.
 

Jeff Johnson

Enthusiast
Nov 7, 2022
2
5
1
Tyler, Smith County, Texas
I generally use a Garmin stand alone GPS along with the maps on RadarOmega. I generally don't get too aggressive with dirt roads, but I've never had a problem using these tools.
Thank you, Jason, for mentioning Radar Omega. I was not familiar with it. We downloaded it in the control room at our radio station in East Texas Friday morning (4 NOV 2022) and used it that afternoon and evening to warn our listeners about the 17 Tornado warned storms that passed through our area. You likely help saved lives last week. Thank you!
 

Jeff Johnson

Enthusiast
Nov 7, 2022
2
5
1
Tyler, Smith County, Texas
I always use a mapping system that is frequently updated and offers heads-up directional viewing as I find it's easier to mentally calculate routing. I use Google or Apple mapping for general driving, viewed on a dash-mounted iPad. I know those maps are always updated. I also have a standalone GPS / Satellite XM radar with road overlays in the event cell signals fail, which has happened. I use several radar apps with road overlays for plotting -- like My Radar Pro or Radar Omega. I carry paper maps in the event of total system failure. Improved gravel roads are generally OK, especially in areas like E. CO. Even with a Ford Ranger Off-Road edition, I choose my roads carefully. If the target storm is in front of me, and there are no other storms coming up behind me, I'm not so cautious. On a day like El Reno, I avoided all dirt or gravel roads. On the big or complex chase days, I always visit the state's local transportation webpage to get updates on road closures and detours.
Thank you, Warren, for mentioning Radar Omega. I was not familiar with it. We downloaded it in the control room at our radio station in East Texas Friday morning (4 NOV 2022) and used it that afternoon and evening to warn our listeners about the 17 Tornado warned storms that passed through our area. You likely help saved lives last week. Thank you!
 
Oct 31, 2013
463
389
21
Eastern TX Panhandle
Thank you, Jason, for mentioning Radar Omega. I was not familiar with it. We downloaded it in the control room at our radio station in East Texas Friday morning (4 NOV 2022) and used it that afternoon and evening to warn our listeners about the 17 Tornado warned storms that passed through our area. You likely help saved lives last week. Thank you!
Thank you sir! I appreciate the kind remarks!
 
Oct 31, 2013
463
389
21
Eastern TX Panhandle
Also make sure to use a radar program where the update notices are quite clear. I've seen some radar apps that don't, and it's no fun to notice the radar scan you are watching is 15-30 mins old.
That's what I like about the audible updates with RadarOmega. I recommended it to them, and they included it in one of their updates.
 
Apr 23, 2010
246
51
6
Just in case some of you think about chasing in Alabama and haven’t been here, a long time project I-22 directly linking Memphis with Birmingham was finally finished a decade or two back…greatly easing traffic on Highway 78, and 269–crossed by the tornadoes of 1998 and 2011. From there to Lamar County on the AL-MS state line is usually the place to watch…though Cullman is back to being a “hot spot” it seems.

Lamar Country is rather flat in areas with better lines of sight than you might imagine.
 

Jamie H

EF1
Feb 25, 2022
52
57
6
United Kingdom
I use a TomTom app on my iPhone, which I imagine would work just as well in the US as it does in Europe. I know Apple Maps uses TomTom data, but the actual app is superb not only for routing but also for live traffic updates as well. Maybe it will be useful for chasing?
 
If you like a good offline map that's free, try HERE WeGo. I think it used to be used exclusively in Lexus cars then got put into an app. You can download map data for entire states and the whole country. I think Google Maps has interior offline map options since you can only download data in a rectangle on the phone; like taking a screenshot. It's weird. It doesn't work well at all if your state is horizontally long (like most plains states lol).

Then there is Gaia GPS that at free mode has more road/map data than I would ever need lol. And if you go premium, there is a ton of information available for you to use. You can record trips on this app I believe like Strava (if you wanted to capture your driving route for the day). If you're a real nerd, consider this one for map/road data. I love this app.