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Topo Map Software

Postby granite4brains » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:06 pm

Hi,

I'm just curious what software folks are using these days for topo maps.

I'm still on Topo! 4.0 by Nat Geo, and figured it was time to upgrade. Didn't like the looks of Nat Geo MapKit because it sounds like one would need to eventually renew a membership to alltrails.com. Couldn't really find anything else appealing either.

Would love something that gives access to both California and Nevada ( or anywhere, if possible)
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby Bob Burd » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:05 pm

What about Topo! 4.0 are you unhappy with? I still use those for most of the western states...
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby granite4brains » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:11 pm

Actually, the ideal scenario would be if I could just add Nevada to my Topo4.0. That's really all I need, but I didn't think that was an option any more?
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby KathyW » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:18 am

I'm using both the National Geographic TOPO and Expert GPS. I like both, but if I were only going to invest in one I'd buy the Expert GPS software.

http://www.expertgps.com/ - the home version works pretty good so far.

I was using Maptech Terrain Navigator at work, but when we needed to buy a new version because the one we had didn't work with Windows 7 we were given the Pro version of Google Earth instead. The Google Earth Pro version is great for work because it shows all the tax parcel boundaries and I can overlay topographic maps on it, but it isn't much good for mapping out routes for wandering in the wilderness because of limitations on how the topographic overlay works.
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby Bob Burd » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:43 am

granite4brains wrote:Actually, the ideal scenario would be if I could just add Nevada to my Topo4.0. That's really all I need, but I didn't think that was an option any more?


You can still buy the state series from folks on ebay and elsewhere. I picked most of them up for about $40/state. You can also borrow the CDs from others to load the data onto your computer.
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby granite4brains » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Thanks guys, I was able to find a copy of Nevada at Cabela's on sale for 30 bucks. Of course, shipping was 9 dollars :/
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby peninsula » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:55 pm

I've used TOPO! It was my first mapping software and it is okay, but then I went to BaseCamp and found it to be superior with their 3 dimensional viewing and ability to better "see" elevation change. It is also Mac friendly unlike Delorme's Topo North America. However, I drooled over Delorme's GPS and InReach devices and finally succumbed to purchasing their PN-60w GPS paired with InReach. The GPS comes with Topo North America, so I had to get Parallels software to make it work on my Mac ( http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/ ). A real pain in the rear! But it was well worth the effort, Delorme's Topo North America makes all the other topographical software products amateurish by comparison, it is simply amazing! Be forewarned, if you are a Mac user, getting familiar with a PC interface is something of a challenge, but tech support is excellent and the product is superior.

http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeC ... site=10020
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby MoapaPk » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:49 am

My main map software is ExpertGPS (they've greatly updated the online maps, for all US) and Garmin Basecamp with the 24k files downloaded from gpsfiledepot. I also have memory map for most of the western states. I export kmls from expertgps and read them in google earth or googlemaps.
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby KathyW » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:32 pm

Just got the new version of MapTech's Terrain Navigator at work - nice.
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby nartreb » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:09 pm

For topos, there are some very good no-cost, no-effort options these days.

For a while I used Acme Mapper (mapper.acme.com), but these days I prefer CalTopo (caltopo.com). In addition to useful features like a tool for measuring distances, the inclusion of a USFS map layer makes a big difference (assuming you're planning a trip on USFS land). The USGS maps are rather dated, but the USFS maps are much more current, and I find them visually easier to use as well.
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby jareds » Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:18 am

i use 'topo maps' app on my iphone. i have an external battery pack, lasts for a few days. it's been simple and so useful, you download hi-res maps beforehand and it works without service of course...i assume most of them have similar datasources and features...
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby MoapaPk » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:10 pm

jareds wrote:i use 'topo maps' app on my iphone. i have an external battery pack, lasts for a few days. it's been simple and so useful, you download hi-res maps beforehand and it works without service of course...i assume most of them have similar datasources and features...


Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I think the OP wants software that allows one to plan trips, collect the tracks from past trips, draw tracks, etc. The smartphone apps are very impressive (and cheap), but probably make it difficult to add to maps with precision. It's the old "content creator" vs. "content consumer" conundrum.
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Re: Topo Map Software

Postby ywardhorner » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:50 pm

I use Terrain Navigator and love it. It works seamlessly with my Garmin GPS. Of course I only have data for two states. I've started using the free online maps available from USGS to help plan trips further afield.
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