Terrain-X is a new tool developed by onX Labs that onX Backcountry Elite Members can use to analyze slope angles, slope aspects, and elevation patterns. Terrain-X is a stand-alone program designed to help you understand geographical features, so in order to make the terrain as clear as possible, content such as skiing and hiking trails, government lands, private lands, and rec points will not be visible on the Terrain-X map.
If you have onX Backcountry Elite, follow the instructions in this article to begin using the Terrain-X tool.
If you have onX Backcountry Premium, click here for instructions on upgrading to onX Backcountry Elite.
If you don't have onX Backcountry Premium or Elite, click here to sign up for onX Backcountry Elite.
Table of Contents:
- How to access the Terrain-X tool and use the basic map controls.
- How to use the Slope Angle tool.
- How to use the Slope Aspect tool.
- How to use the Elevation Band tool.
- How to use the Viewshed tool.
How to access the Terrain-X tool and use the basic controls
You can access the Terrain-X tool from the onX Backcountry Web Map on your desktop or laptop computer. Click here to log into onX Backcountry Web Map.
After logging into Web Map, click the Terrain-X Button on the right side of the screen.
The Terrain-X tool will open in a new browser tab titled "onX Labs." To zoom in and out, use the scroll wheel on your mouse or the plus and minus buttons in the bottom right corner of the screen.
Click and drag to move the map, or use the location button in the bottom right corner to move the map to your current location.
Use the up and down arrows in the bottom right corner to tilt the map.
Use the rotate buttons in the bottom right corner to rotate the map.
Click the globe button in the bottom right corner to reset the rotation and tilt.
Click the Waypoint Button to drop Waypoints on your map.
Waypoints you create using the Terrain-X tool can be viewed and edited in the My Content Menu in the onX Backcountry App or Web Map. Click here for instructions on using the My Content Menu.
Use the slider buttons in the tools on the left to turn off or turn on the Slope Angle, Slope Aspect, and Elevation Band tools.
How to use the Slope Angle tool
Use this tool to find steep slopes or flat spots in mountainous terrain. The slope angle is the angle the slope makes with the horizontal. Click and drag the sliders on to set the range of slope angles.
Slopes within the range are highlighted on your map. Most avalanches occur on slopes between 30°-45°.
- Dark green: 0°-20°
- Light green: 20°-25°
- Yellow: 25°-30°
- Red: 35°-40°
- Purple: 40°-45°
- Blue: 45°-90°
How to use the Slope Aspect tool
Aspect is the compass orientation of a slope. If heading down a pitch, the direction you're facing is the slope’s aspect. Forecasters commonly categorize terrain into 8 octants: North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, and Northwest. The snowpack and avalanche hazards can change dramatically across different aspects due to differences in wind and sun exposure. Click here to learn more about slope aspects from avalanche.org.
The Slope Aspect tool in Terrain-X is divided into 8 octants: North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, and Northwest. Click the octants you want to highlight on your map.
- Red slopes: North
- Red/blue slopes: Northeast
- Blue slopes: East
- Blue/orange slopes: Southeast
- Orange slopes: South
- Orange/green slopes: Southwest
- Green slopes: West
How to use the Elevation Band tool
Use this tool to identify areas within a certain elevation range. Click and drag the sliders up and down to set the range.
Elevation Bands within the range you set are shaded orange on your map.
How to use the Viewshed tool
The Viewshed tool allows you to visualize what can be seen from any point on the map. Once enabled, the Viewshed will follow your cursor.
Areas of the map that are visible from the location of the Viewshed are highlighted in green on the map. You can fix the Viewshed in place by double right-clicking on the map.