Stream Map USA Manual

This manual is designed for Android users of Stream Map USA. Examples used in this manual are taken from Stream Map USA's Northeast Edition so your coverage area may be different.













This manual introduces the key features and functions in Stream Map USA using tutorials and practical examples. It is designed to give you a strong base of knowledge to continue your exploration of the app on your own.

When Stream Map USA is launched, a map of North America opens showing your current location and a colored area highlighting the states covered.

Stream Map USA at Launch

As you zoom in, you notice many colored lines representing rivers and streams coming into view. River lines are displayed slightly thicker than stream lines.

Stream Map USA uses a unique color coding system to identify each individualy named river and stream.

Traditional maps have always used simple blue lines to depict water courses making it diffiicult to follow a specific steam.

In Stream Map USA, each named river and stream is displayed as a unique color. The specific color of each stream is not important. What is important is that no other stream touching it is that same color.

This makes it incredibly easy to follow any stream. You simply follow the colored line. If the color changes, you are on a different stream.


As you zoom the map further, you'll notice additional light blue lines appearing on the map. These represent the many unnamed streams, canals, and ditches making Stream Maps USA, a complete watershed map.

After reviewning this manual, if you should need additional help or have questions, you can contact support at the link below. Ask Support

We'll be happy to answer any questions!





Menu Button

Tap the "Menu" button at the top right of the screen.

This button opens the "App Menu". You'll find this button on most pages within the app. Use the "App Menu" to navigate through different functions of the app.

App Menu

Search Tab

Tap the "Search" button on the App Menu.

The "Search" page now opens. With Stream Map USA, you can search for any water across the entire region, search in a specific state, or search in a specific county of any state.

Search Page

On the "Search" page, use the checkboxes to choose the type of water you wish to search. You can search for any combination of Rivers, Lakes, and Streams.

River, Lake, or Stream

To narrow your search to a specific state,

State Field

Tap the "State" field to open the "State Menu".

Choose the state you wish to search from the "State Menu". In this case, we've chosen New York.

Choose your state

Once you make your choice, the app returns to the "Search Page" with New York set as our search state. To further narrow your search to a specific county,

Search Counties

Tap the "County" field to open the "County Menu".

The "County Menu" opens with a list of counties in alphabetical order for the state you selected earlier, in this case New York. You can scroll this list reveal all the counties. We'll select "Cattaraugus County" from the list.

County Search

Once you make your choice, the app returns to the "Search Page" with Cattaraugus County, New York set as our search county.

Cattaraugus County New York

We will be searching for Buttermilk Creek so let's enter our search term.

Search Term

Tap the "Search Term" field to open the keyboard..

We type "Buttermilk" into the "Search Term" field and touch "OK" to close the keyboard.

Search Keyboard

Search Button

Tap the "Search" button to initiate the search.

The app returns to the map showing a green "S" pin sitting on a green stream.

Buttermilk Creek Pin

Now touch the "S" pin to open its information box.

Buttermilk Creek Callout

The information box opens and we see we've found Buttermilk Creek in Cattaraugus County, NY. Because the pin is green, we know that Buttermilk Creek is the green stream and we can easily follow its course on the map from headwaters to mouth. Tap "Dismiss" to close the information window. You can also close the information window by tapping anywhere on the map.





For demonstration purposes, we've set up the "Search" page below to search the entire region for any water that includes "Mill" in its name.

Searching for Mill

Search Button

We initiate the search by tapping the "Search" button

Search results are returned as a series of color coded pins on the map. When multiple results are returned, the map automatically zooms so you can see all the result pins.

Search Mill Results

Let's zoom the map in to understand each pin type.

Tubmill Reservoir

A blue pin with the letter "L" indicates the result is a lake or pond. Taping the pin opens its information box which identifies the lake's name and location.

Stream Results

Any pin with the letter "S" indicates a stream result. On the map, both streams and rivers are color coded to differentiate them from their tributaries making it easy to follow any stream's course from headwaters to mouth.. Result pins are color coded to match these colors. Here, we see a blue "S" pin pointing to a blue stream named East Branch Mill Brook. The Green "S" pin points to the main stem of Mill Brook and the Orange "S" pin identifies the West Branch. All three results were generated from our search of "Mill".

Millstone River

Any pin with the letter "R" indicates a river result. On the map, rivers are displayed as thicker lines to easily differentiate them from streams. Here, the blue "R" pin identifies the Millstone River which is also colored in blue. In addition to the "R" pin on this map, we also see some pins that look like measuring gauges.

Millstone River Gauge

These gauge pins show you the location of flow gauges administered by the US Geological Survey that report real time stream height and flow data. On the information window, tap the "Gauge Data" button to view the stream's current conditions. Depending on the size and model of your Android device, your screen may look different but you'll can scroll and pan the screen to see all the relevant data..

Stream Gauge Data

Tap your Android's "Back" button to return to the map.





So how do you drive to a river, lake or stream? For this demonstration, we'll explore a suggested paddle trip we researched on the Middle Branch of the Moose River in the Adirondacks of New York. To start, we searched rivers in New York with the search term "Moose" and got the following result.

We identified the Middle Branch as the orange pin on the map. In our research, it was suggested we launch at Green Bridge Road in Thendara so we zoomed in and followed the orange line to find Green Bridge Road.

We switched our background map to hybrid view to look for the launch point.

Map Button

To change background maps, tap the "Map" button at the top of the map.

Stream Map USA can be viewed over Google's standard road, satellite, and terrain maps. We've also included seamless USGS 7.5 minute topographic maps and the OpenStreetMap both of which can be stored for offline use. In addition, a plain white background option lets you easily read stream labels when the background maps are too busy.

Select Satellite

After choosing "Satellite" for our background map, we found the suggested launch point on the map and placed a waypoint (Green Flag) next to the road. To create a waypoint, touch the map for 2 seconds where you want to add the waypoint.

Touch the flag to open the waypoint's information window.

Waypont with GO

The information window displays your newly created waypoint's GPS coordinates and includes several actions buttons. We'll cover waypoints in greater detail later in this manual. For now, tap the "Go" button on the menu. Touching "Go" opens your built-in Google Maps app and prepares your driving route to the waypoint.

Google Maps App

Tap the start button and you're on your way.





As demonstrated above, waypoints are an important navigation tool in Stream Map USA. This tutorial covers the many ways to map custom destinations using waypoints to get reliable navigation to those destinations as well as covering other important functions in Stream Map USA. Because navigation can only be demonstrated in action, this tutorial involves some very local travel on your part and should take you no more than an hour to complete. We suggest you follow this simple step-by-step tutorial to fully appreciate the power of Stream Map USA's map and navigation tools in a simple real-world exercise.

Let's get started!

Waypoints Tab

Open the "App Menu" and choose "Waypoints".

If you do not see the "App Menu" button on your screen, use your Android "Back" button to navigate to a screen with the "App Menu" button. The waypoints list opens with two preprogrammed waypoints ready for use.

Original Waypoints

Each waypoint has its own Details page. Touch the "Home" waypoint to open its "Details" page.

Let's edit this waypoint to store your home's location. To do so, step outside your home and wait a minute or two to allow your phone to get the most accurate GPS fix possible.

Now touch "Use Current Location" button on the Details page.

Updated Coordinates

The latitude and longitude coordinates are revised to show your home's current GPS location. You can easily save any location as a waypoint no matter where you are by tapping the "Use Current Location" button.

Save Your Waypoint Button

Touch the "Checkmark" button to save this change. It is important to save every time you change a waypoint's details.

Touch your Android's "Back" button to return to the "Waypoint List".


Now Let's travel!

For this next step, we suggest you take a short drive to a nearby store or other destination with a large parking lot. When you arrive, park your vehicle some distance from the store to simulate a point you may need to walk to. While still in your vehicle, open the "My Car" waypoint. and tap the "Use Current Location" button to store where you parked. Remember to save this change and return to the waypoints list.

Now let's create a third waypoint from scratch. Walk to the store's entrance.

Add Waypoint Button

Tap the "Plus" button to create a new waypoint.

A new "Details" page opens with no name and GPS coordinates set to zero, zero.

New Waypoint with Coordinates

Tap the "Use Current Location" button then touch the "Name" field to open the keyboard.

New Waypoint Named

Type "The Store" or whatever else you'd like to name this on the keyboard.


Save the waypoint

This new waypoint now appears in your waypoint list.

Bigger Waypoint List

With the three waypoints set, let's look at how to use these waypoints as they interact with the map, compass, and navigation functions.


Targeting Waypoints

Open the "Home" waypoint's details page.

Target Button

Tap the "Target" button to set "Home" as your Target Destination.

The map opens, centered on the location of your "Home" waypoint. Because we set "Home" as the "Target Destination" a red target is displayed on the map.

Target Waypoint Map


Finding your Current Location on the Map

Center on Current Button

Tap the "Center On Me" button

This button centers the map on your current location and turns on "Map Tracking" mode.

My Location

As you travel, the map will keep your location centered by moving as necessary. The green flag you see is the location of the "My Car" waypoint. Waypoints are displayed as green flags on the map so they can be seen relative to your current location.

You'll also notice the waypoint flag is flashing. This indicates you are in "Map Tracking" mode


To exit Map Tracking

Place your finger on the map and move it slightly up, down, left, or right. If the map moves back and the waypoint flag keeps flashing, you lifted you finger from the map too quickly. The trick is to move then pause before you lift your finger.

Map Tracking Off

The "Map Mode" button icon changes again and the map enters "Compass Mode." In this mode, the map rotates in your direction of travel as well as tracking your current location. A compass icon appears on the map to indicate north.


Finding the Target Destination on the map

Target Button

Tap the 'Center on Target" button

Home Waypoint Targeted

The map now centers on the "Target Destination" set earlier. By using the map buttons described above, you can explore the map as much as you want having confidence that you can easily return to both your current location and target destination.


Using the Compass to Navigate

Now let's explore compass navigation. To do this, we'll find your vehicle in the parking lot using the compass.

Waypoints Tab

Open the "App Menu" and choose "Waypoints".

Tap the "My Car" waypoint and set it as the "Target Destination" using the "Target" button on its "Details" page.

Store Waypoint

The map opens centered on the "My Car" waypoint which is now set as your "Target Destination". On the map you can see that your car is just southwest of your current location.

My Car Centered

When a waypoint is set as the "Target Destination", you'll also see the distance and compass bearing to that "Target Destination" at the top right of the map.

Target Distance

If you have a compass with you in the wilderness, simply follow that compass bearing right to the "Target Destination".

Open the "App Menu" and tap the "Compass" button to open the built-in compass.

The field compass rotates to show our direction and always displays your current GPS coordinates, altitude above sea level, and speed of travel. ** If your compass does not rotate as expected, please see the note below.

When a "Target Destination" is set, the compass also displays the targeted waypoint's name, distance and compass bearing to that destination. A red direction of travel arrow appears on the compass to point the way


To find your vehicle or any "Target" waypoint, align the direction of travel arrow and walk in that direction. As you walk, the compass counts down the distance. Once you get within 30-40 feet of you vehicle, just look around until you see your vehicle.

Compass Navigation

**It is important to note that GPS accuracy varies on all devices. Also, the compass requires that your Android have a built-in magnetic sensor to operate. Most manufacturers include this sensor however even major brands exclude this feature on some models. If your compass does not rotate and point to north, your device may not have the required sensor. You may even get the message "No Sensor" when you open the compass.


Navigating in the Wild

Because waypoints are stored locally on your phone, the Compass can be used to find any destination in the wilderness as well. The compass and waypoints do not require cellular service to operate. While the example above used the Compass as a car finder, the compass is designed for navigation in the wilderness. You can hike to your tree stand, fishing hole, camp or any other waypoint destination just as easily in areas with no cellular service.


Turn-By-Turn Driving Navigation

Now that you've found you vehicle, let's get you home again with turn-by-turn driving directions and navigation.

Waypoint Tap

Open the "App Menu" to tap the "Waypoint List".

Waypoint List

Tap the "Home" waypoint to open its details.

Home Waypoint

On the details page, tap "Go" to start your phone's navigation app. Tapping "Go" here works exactly like tapping "Go" on the waypoint information window mentioned earlier passing along the waypoint's coordinates to your devices navigation software.





Creating Waypoints on the Map

Satellite Waypoint

As mentioned earlier, you can create a waypoint anywhere on the map. Touch the map at a location for 2 seconds and a new waypoint is created. The waypoint is automatically named with its GPS coordinates. You can then open the context menu to edit the details, target the waypoint, or use its GPS coordinates for any application you wish.

TRICK - You can browse the roadmap until you see a destination of interest. Create a waypoint and then open its waypoint window to tap "Go" for immediate turn-by-turn navigation. We call this "Touch-N-Go" navigation.


Waypoint Notes

The waypoint "Details" page also includes a "Notes" field. You can add or edit notes for any waypoint. Simply tap the "Notes" field to open the keyboard and enter your notes.

Waypoint Notes Fiels

When you are done, be sure to save the change.


Editing Waypoint Coordinates

You can manually enter a new waypoint's coordinates or edit an existing waypoint's coordinates. Simply touch a coordinate field on the "Details" page to open the keyboard.

Coordinate Entry


Sharing Waypoints

On the waypoint "Details" page, the "Share Location" button allows you to sends an email that includes a Google Maps link. The link can then be opened by the recipient in Google Maps to view your waypoint.

Share Waypoint

When they open the link, the waypoint displays on their computer or mobile device with its name, coordinates, and associated notes. Recipients can then get driving directions to your waypoint. This is great if you are planning to meet others in the field.


Deleting a Waypoint from the List

To delete a waypoint, open the "Waypoint List"

Waypoint List

Simply touch the waypoint your want to delete for 2 seconds and a window opens.

Delete Confirmation

Touch "Yes" to delete or "No" to exit.

Opening the Waypoint Details Page

In addition to using the "Waypoint List" to get to a "Details Page", you can also get there directly from the map. Simply locate a waypoint flag and touch it to open its information window.

Waypoint Details from Map

Tap "Details" and you'll go directly to its information.






Background Map

Change the background map using the app settings.

Stream Map Setting

When set to "Yes", the rivers, lakes, and streams are displayed on the map.


When set to "Yes", your current location is displayed on the map.

Distance Bearing

When set to "Yes", the distance and bearing to a targeted waypoint is displayed on the map..

Clear Map Cache

Removes locally stored maps from your device's memory. When your device's memory starts to fill up, you can erase the downloaded maps to make more space and then load any new maps you need.

Clear Target

Clears the targeted destination from the map and removes the distance and bearing display.

Clear Search

Clears all search result pins from the map. Search result pins are designed to stay on the map until cleared or until you run another search.

Delete Waypoints

Exports your custom waypoints and data. This builds a custom file that can be emailed to a friend or to yourself as backup or if you replace your Android. To import the waypoints, open the email on your Android device and then open the attached file. Imported waypoints are added to the list of existing waypoints already on the app.

Delete Waypoints

Permanently deletes all custom waypoints. We suggest you export your waypoints as a backup prior to using this feature. Be cautious!




Stream Map USA allows you to view your location and follow your travels on the map showing rivers, lakes, streams, roadmaps, topographic maps and waypoints even when you don't have cellular service. To do this, you'll need to prepare your maps ahead of time while you still have cellular service.

When you first installed Stream Map USA, a new folder named "GP_map_data" was created on your Android. This folder is used to "cache" (store) your maps and also stores other app data so all these are available for recall without phone service.

To prepare Stream Map USA for offline use:

Map Button

Tap the "Map" button to change the background map.

Choose "USGS from the dropdown list.

Select Satellite

Go to the map and find the area you wish to travel.

Cache Topos

The first time you view an area of the map, both the Streams and USGS maps are download from our servers as tiles to the map. These are stored in the "STREAMS" and "USGS" folders in the "GP_map_data" folder. The next time you need these tiles, they are immediately available from internal memory. These tiles will load automatically to the map when needed if you don't have service.

If you need roadmaps as well, simply change the background map to "OpenStreetMap" and the roadmaps download as tiles in the same way. These tiles are stored in the "OSM" folder in "GP_map_data".

OSM Cache

To prepare the map for offline use, choose the background map you need then browse the map in all areas and at all zoom levels you would like to have available for offline use. Be sure to allow time for the tiles to fully load and that you cover the entire area you need at each desired zoom level..

Essentially if you have seen a particular area of the map at a particular zoom level, that area will be available for offline use.  Just browse the map while you have service, covering your anticipated route at various zoom levels and the app will take care of the rest. Doing so while connected to wifi can speed downloads and reduce your data usage.

NOTE: This app uses United States Geological Survey topographic maps directly from the USGS server. USGS limits the zoom capability of these maps to approximately the resolution of their printed maps. Rather than limit our zoom level accordingly, we chose to turn the USGS layer transparent when there is no USGS map available. If you do not see the USGS layer on your map, zoom out until it appears.





Your Android operating system also includes an app named "Gallery". By default, this app is designed to show you every image stored on your Android. Because Stream Map USA stores map images, these images will appear in your "Gallery" making it look very cluttered and difficult for you to find your pictures and videos. There is a simple fix for this!

Gallery All

At the top left of your "Gallery" app, you'll see a drop-down menu button. By default, most Androids set this setting to "All" which shows all stored images in a simple way.

Gallery All

As time goes by and you install other apps and add more images to your Android, this is not the best setting. Touch "All" to open the drop down menu.

Gallery Meun

Now choose "Albums" from the list.

Gallery Albums

"Albums" organizes your images into groups based on the type of image. In this example, we see five albums.

Your Android may show different albums based on your prior use. All Stream Map USA images will be found in either the OSM, STREAMS, or USGS albums so you can ignore these albums.

Touch the "Camera" album to view all your pictures and videos.

Gallery Camera Album

When your "Gallery" app is set to "Albums", simply touching any album lets you browse the images in that album without the added clutter. You'll find that using "Albums" is the best approach to keep your "Gallery" app useful as the number of images grows on your Android..




Using your device as a handheld GPS is battery intensive.  These suggestions can help to  maximize your battery life.

1.  When using the app for navigation in your car, use a car adapter to power the device so that you'll have a full charge when you reach your destination and head into the wilds.

2.   The screen display on your device is a major drain on power.  Reduce the brightness of your display and set the Auto-Lock to the shortest time possible.  While this means you will probably need to unlock the device more often, it will significantly increase battery life.

3. When not viewing your map, place your device in sleep mode. You can always find your location on the map later with "Center on Current Location".

4.  To accurately display your current location on the map, The app continually polls GPS satellites to identify your location.  This function adds demands on your battery.  You can disabled this function using the "Display Current Location" setting.  Disabling the current location still allows you to view the maps.  To find your location again, turn the "Display Current Location" on.  Your location will now appear.

5.  Many manufacturers sell reserve battery packs that you can carry into the field for additional battery life.  You may wish to consider purchasing a backup power source for use in the wilds.

6.  There are many Internet articles and discussions covering additional tips and tricks to conserve your battery.