Integrating information from topographic maps...
We've looked at topographic maps of the region that show us areas to avoid like this would be hard to do survey work on. But the maps can also tell us--actually, that shows up in lines that are quite close together like here. These would be fairly steep slopes. The flatter areas are areas with more open areas here. We're looking for campsites with different elevations so these topographic maps can help us to look for where not to camp, where not to work, and also where not to camp. For instance, there might be a flat area here but there's no water. So we're trying to follow along the water courses and find elevations that are the correct elevation but also an area that's flat enough to put up a bunch of tents in a place where we don't have hike for several miles to find water.
We can also look at maps to show us the political boundaries and figure out where we need to obtain permission to work. Vietnam is quite different from the United States in terms of administrative structure. You need permission from every small province in order to visit, not just to work but to visit. That would be like if you took BART from Berkeley to San Francisco, you'd have to line up and get an authorization to move from one place to the other every time you went. So, it can be an important consideration to understand how many different political boundaries you have around an area.
This is the mountain range again, reflecting, here's the highest peaks(Ngoc Linh). What we try to look for also is nearby roads to tell us how to get in and if anybody knows how to read a topographic map you can see that actually there are no roads and that we're going to be hiking a fair distance into this area. That helps us estimate how long it's going to take to do this work.