Navigating Dartmoor 365: A Digital Journey with Google Maps API

Navigating Dartmoor 365: A Digital Journey with Google Maps API

Dartmoor, a vast and captivating wilderness in southwest England, has long been a haven for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Dartmoor 365, a book by John Hayward, divides this expansive landscape into 365 square miles, each with a unique reference. As avid hikers collect these squares on their journeys, a challenge arises – how to precisely identify and track visited squares. This led me to embark on a project that involved overlaying the Dartmoor 365 map onto Google Maps using the Google Maps API.

The Challenge

The Dartmoor 365 book provides detailed maps, but I found it challenging to precisely identify the squares I had visited. To enhance my hiking experience, I decided to leverage technology to create a digital map overlay using Google Maps API. The goal was to combine the rich satellite imagery provided by Google with the reference map from the book, offering a more accurate and interactive way to track my progress on Dartmoor.

Project Implementation

Overlaying the Dartmoor 365 map onto Google Maps was a straightforward process, but achieving accuracy required time and attention to detail. The first step involved integrating the reference map into Google Maps. The real challenge arose in refining the overlay's accuracy to match the terrain. Tilt adjustments were necessary to align the overlay with the satellite imagery seamlessly.

The squares in Dartmoor 365 not only serve as geographical references but also feature a single point of interest each. These points of interest are included in the overlay, allowing hikers to experience all that Dartmoor has to offer.

Technical Insights

Working with the Google Maps API allowed me to explore the intricacies of geospatial data and mapping technologies. Tackling the accuracy refinement involved a deep dive into adjusting tilt angles and meticulously aligning the overlay with the landscape. This project provided a valuable opportunity to apply and enhance my technical skills in a real-world context.

Community Engagement

The Dartmoor 365 community is vibrant and active. Sharing my digital map overlay with fellow enthusiasts has proven to be a valuable contribution. Users can now identify squares more accurately, enhancing their overall Dartmoor experience. The project has fostered collaboration within the community, with users sharing photos and insights, further enriching the collective knowledge of Dartmoor 365.


Combining a passion for Dartmoor with technical skills, this project has been extremely fulfilling and will continue to a tool I return to. The digital map overlay not only aids in navigating Dartmoor 365 more effectively but also fosters a sense of community among outdoor enthusiasts. As technology continues to intersect with our outdoor pursuits, projects like these showcase the harmonious blend of nature and innovation, creating a richer and more immersive experience for adventurers on Dartmoor and beyond.

Explore the Dartmoor 365 Overlay here

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