Nov 27, 2012 at 11:44 am #1296512
@nel250Locale: San Francisco
Looking to get TOPO mapping program for Christmas this year. I know Natgeo has one and have also seen one from Delorme. What is the best one? I don't have a GPS but might get one one day. I do have a SPOT but have never used the tracking feature on it but it would be cool of it was compatible with SPOT but not necessary.
Any thoughts? thanks in advance!Nov 27, 2012 at 11:58 am #1931516
@dianodaLocale: Chicago, IL
I'm also somewhat interested in knowing what the advantages of going with dedicated mapping software are versus using what you can find online for free (for example, I've had great luck with hillmap.com and mappingsupport.com – both are pretty awesome and free to use). Is it newer/more detailed maps? Better trail/POI marking?Nov 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm #1931526
@flutingaroundLocale: Rocky Mtn. West
For a good recent discussion on Natl. Geog's recent Topo software package:
I haven't bought it yet, but I have a REI gift card. Hmmm.Nov 27, 2012 at 6:05 pm #1931605
@lokbotLocale: Portland, OR
I ended up not liking "ultimate map kit". The lack of usable screen space was a no go for me. I'm thinking of going the delorme route next it's $100 but it should cover all of the USA I'd pay that for just the Oregon and Washington maps from topo! if I bought the state by state version
-LokiNov 28, 2012 at 3:06 am #1931668
@eggsLocale: Mid Life
I use sometimes before a trip to draw a route our take someone else's GPX file and print maps. I always use it after a trip to download my GPX file into it to save for future reference.
It's about $70 USD for the pro version.Nov 28, 2012 at 8:18 am #1931705
@lokbotLocale: Portland, OR
One of my biggest pet peves with other topo map software is that they don't offer a demo. How am I going to know if it's worth dropping money on the software. Which has left me only buying mapping software available at rei. I'm going to definitely download topofusion when I get home and test it out.
-lokiNov 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm #1931835
I've used Topo North America packaged with a DeLorme PN-40 GPS.
I own the Nat Geo TOPO! State for NY
I also own TOPOFusion
I haven't tried printing maps from TOPO Fusion. Frankly, I didn't know you could do a decent map with it. I like my maps to have a scale, UTM grids, and note the declination.
I liked TOPO North America's route drawing feature the best.
However, when it came to printed maps, I liked the output from Nat Geo TOPO! much better, especially when I wanted to print maps scaled to, say, 1:50,000
I'm sorry to see that Nat Geo discontinued the DVD software. I haven't tried the new Ultimate Map Kit, which is basically a discounted subscription to the AllTrails.com online service, which now owns Nat Geo's data.
I tried the AllTrails demo. I didn't see an obvious way to specify map scale when printing. The printing options in general for the online demo seemed lacking compared to what was included in the DVD version for the PC.
I'm planning a trip to Wyoming next year. I ended up downloading USGS 1:24,000 maps in PDF format, extracting the bitmaps at 600DPI, stitching four together, cropping, then digitally scaling to 1,62500. It's not the same as what I could have done with Nat Geo. It was labor intensive, but it was also free. However, I think my time is probably worth quite a lot.
I wouldn't want to do this type of map making by hand often.
I'll have to experiment with Topo Fusion more.Nov 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm #1931870
I have the older NatGeo topo program with all the California CDs. Bought it from REI some years ago. It's nice to make maps with, but I find myself using mapper.acme.com more now. It's just easier to navigate in. If you want declination, you can just look it up at NOAA's geomagnetic calculator.
As things are now, between hillmap.com and acme mapper, there are some good free options for accessing topo maps.Nov 29, 2012 at 6:57 am #1931906
Hillmap and acme mapper do look nice.
I like the ArcGis TOPO data for smaller scale maps, because the contour interval seems higher.
What I still don't like is that I can't seem to figure out how to specify a scale or overlay UTM grids, etc.
But I think these are great, especially since they are FREE resources.
I voluntarily teach map & compass NAV, gps nav, and trip planning to members of our backpacking club. These will be great additional resources to share.Nov 29, 2012 at 7:41 am #1931917
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