Maps give anglers new views of Jordan Lake

CorrespondentFebruary 6, 2013 

From his desk in Kansas City, Mo., Brian Welde has a bird’s eye view of the Triangle’s Jordan Lake.

Make that a fisheye view that he shares with fishermen from casual anglers to pro bassers.

“We let you see contours on top of imagery, which isn’t something you normally get to do,” Welde said. “When you look at the depth and images at the same time, and when you combine that stuff together, you get a different kind of view of the water.”

Welde, 40, operates Angling Technologies, an interactive server that allows fishermen to customize maps of their favorite waters. Hunters, campers and hikers also have mapping options.

“My background is building map solutions for military and federal agencies, and I like to fish,” Welde, a former Virginia resident, said. “I just thought there was a better way to give people maps and access to publicly available information, make it … easier for people to do more with. So I built this in my free time.”

Welde and a collection of contractors aggregate information from a variety of sources, putting it into a useful format. Data come from organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, Bing, Google and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For North Carolina, Welde offers information from along the coast, plus several reservoirs, including Jordan Lake, Lake Waccamaw and Lake Wylie, along with the Cape Fear River.

“The challenge with North Carolina is the best data for lakes, most of it is compiled by the power companies, and they don’t release it, so I’ve got to come up with other ways to get that type of content,” Welde said.

The offerings are always evolving, he said. Fishermen can add their own content, including fishing spots, points and structure. The information may be kept private or made public. Users of home computers access the full website, and users of phones or tablets with a data connection can get a core set of information.

A subscription costs about $15 a year, and subscribers receive updates of new maps as soon as details are released.

Website operators also can embed a new offering of customizable maps on their own websites for $50, with a tier of discounts available.

“You can share your local knowledge about were you hunt or hike or fish with the people who come to your site,” Welde said.

Find a demo at http://angling-technologies.com.

Expo welcomes young outdoors enthusiasts: Kids Gone Wild! wildlife workshops for middle and high school students will be part of the Cape Fear Wildlife Expo being held March 15-17 at the Wilmington Convention Center.

The free workshops are from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on March 15. A few of the topics are GPS technology, birds of prey, wolves, fly fishing and survival skills.

Reserve seating through the state Quality Deer Management Association chapter at 919-552-9449. Learn more at www.capefearwildlifeexpo.com.

Send your outdoors news to outdoors@newsobserver.com.

Boggess: boggess.teri@gmail.com

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