Friends of Jawbone is proud to have received a 2010/11 safety and education grant from the California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) for a project which will increase the accuracy of Jawbone area GPS data. This effort is named “The Owlshead Project” in memory of a young boy whose life was lost in Death Valley National Park in August 2009. It is believed that he and his mother got lost deep in the Owlshead Mountains after following inaccurate information on their GPS.
The untimely death of young Carlos Sanchez inspired the Friends of Jawbone to create an online library of official, legal backcountry motor vehicle routes in California starting with the greater Jawbone area. Soon the public will be able to consult our website to view and print backcountry route maps, and even download routes directly to supported GPS devices.
The inaccurate background route maps provided by mega data suppliers like Tele-Atlas and Navtec to most GPS manufacturers are unreliable and potentially dangerous to users. These data suppliers tend to overlook the importance of ensuring accuracy and timeliness of backcounty road updates in their GPS system. Once our project is completed, we will share our backcountry route data with these companies so that they can update the major GPS manufacturers and web-based map services with this new data.
Backcountry drivers that travel on designated open routes enjoy increased safety, lessen their impact on sensitive resources, and help preserve our wonderful backcountry driving opportunities for future generations.
You can stay connected to this project at www.jawbone.org.