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Thread: Mapping software

  1. #1

    Mapping software

    I'm think about buying some mapping software for various types of outdoor adventures. Anyone recommend one in particular? Any advise appreciated

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  3. #2
    mapping as in Topo?

    i have the national geographic State series topos and i love them.

    easy to use, loads easily on my E-trex gps, has nice shading feature.
    but not the cheapest software.
    i've got CO, UT, AZ, ID, and CA and it put me back about $300

  4. #3
    I've never used NG Topo, but I've seen it in action. WindWalker has it installed on his laptop, and he uses it in his Jeep with his GPS hooked up and plots his location on the maps. It looked like it was pretty nice.

    I use an older version ExpertGPS, and it's ok. The software itself is normally $60, but you have to download the maps from the internet, so you kind of have to know where you're going to be in order to download the maps for that area. The only good thing is that the map downloads are free (it uses the same maps as Microsoft TerraServer), so you have the entire U.S. to choose from at no additional cost. Oh yeah, and you can download aerial photos too, which is a big plus over the other mapping programs.

    I also have All Topo Maps, and it's not that great. The maps are digitally stored in sections that are the same size as the printed paper maps, so when you get the the edge of a map, you have to double-click outside the border to get it to switch to the adjacent map. Compared to ExpertGPS and NG Topo, which both create seamless maps, All Topo Maps is pretty awful.

  5. #4
    I have been using this with my Garmin for several years and I really like it.

    http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/topo.jsp


  6. #5
    I use NG Topo States series. I think its the best.....

    *** FREE MAPS ***
    For those on a budget JDMCOX Software http://jdmcox.com has an excellent aerial photo and topo maps program called "USAPhotoMaps" available online for free. The USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps are also a good alternative. All USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps for the state of Utah can be downloaded for free from the Utah Division of Water Rights http://nrwrt1.nr.state.ut.us/cgi-bin...ew.exe?Startup .

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe
    For those on a budget JDMCOX Software http://jdmcox.com has an excellent aerial photo and topo maps program called "USAPhotoMaps" available online for free.
    Oh yeah, I forgot all about that one! USAPhotoMaps is basically the same as ExpertGPS, except ExpertGPS is a much cleaner package and more user-friendly. The maps and aerial photos for both programs come from the same place. In my opinion, however, ExpertGPS is not worth $60 when you can get USAPhotoMaps free of charge. If you've got that kind of money to spend, it would probably be better spend on NG Topo.

    Sounds like NG Topo is the way to go, and I may even have to *ahem* acquire a copy. The version of ExpertGPS that I use doesn't support USB NMEA tracking, but I just got a new GPS that didn't come with a serial cable.

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Udink
    Sounds like NG Topo is the way to go, and I may even have to *ahem* acquire a copy.
    Yeah... storing your back-up copy at a friends house is a popular method of keeping the program secure

  9. #8
    I've used both TOPO! & Delome USA and they both have strengths and weaknesses.

    TOPO! - Rocks for it's main purpose, topo mapping, esp. in 7.5' scales (1:24,000) with great options for printing maps to take with you or making jpg's for sharing info to plan trips. Terrible for road info or planning a the approach drive.

    Delorme - Not as good (IMO) for the topo work. Less terrain detail and I've found more inaccuracies in this than in TOPO! Much better for driving directions and finding addresses, I've used it in the vehicle for this and the big advantage over google/mapquest is that you don't have to be online to use it. Not as good for printing terrain maps as TOPO! either.
    Don

    "Think where man's glory begins and ends and say that my glory was that I had such friends." - Yeats

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe
    Quote Originally Posted by Udink
    Sounds like NG Topo is the way to go, and I may even have to *ahem* acquire a copy.
    Yeah... storing your back-up copy at a friends house is a popular method of keeping the program secure


    Hmmm, i might need to store a copy of mine at someones house then...

    did i ever tell you how much i like storing guiness in my tummy?
    perhaps a storage swap is in order....LOL

  11. #10
    Thanks for the help guys I think I'm going to get the NG Topo, sound like good program.

  12. #11
    Biggest plus I see with NG Topo over some of the other ones such as the Garmin product is the 1:24,000 detail vs 1:100,000. If you want enough detail to route find through rugged terrain, you'll want the 1:24000.

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by rock_ski_cowboy
    Biggest plus I see with NG Topo over some of the other ones such as the Garmin product is the 1:24,000 detail vs 1:100,000. If you want enough detail to route find through rugged terrain, you'll want the 1:24000.
    Are you talking about the maps you upload onto your GPS are 1:24,000? I was under the impression that you couldn

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by James_B_Wads2000
    Are you talking about the maps you upload onto your GPS are 1:24,000?
    Maps uploaded to your GPS are at the scale you display them. The terrain is transferred to the GPS in real-size units and you can display it as many ways as your GPS allows. (usually whatever is useful at the moment)
    Don

    "Think where man's glory begins and ends and say that my glory was that I had such friends." - Yeats

  15. #14
    My hiking and backpacking friends all use NG Topo State Series and say Delorme sucks. They're never on roads, the 100K maps lack detail, and their trips rarely exceed 20 miles.

    All of my road biking and most of my mountain biking friends use Delorme and say that NG Topo sucks. Seems they don't like the printouts of 100 mile rides on 24K maps. Too much detail.

    I've not used either as of yet. I prefer having the Garmin Mapsource 100K topos uploaded to my GPS. Many of my friends have older GPS's that don't support this. They generally use the same software as their hiking/biking buddies who in turn use the same software as their hiking/biking buddies and so on and so on.

    Has anybody used the NG Backroads software? Maybe using that AND the state series will get me better compatibility between the two packages in addition to both 24K and 100K maps.

    Bri

  16. #15
    NG Topo is a topographical map and is NOT a street atlas. If you want a street atlas there are much better programs for planning a bike ride. For hiking and backpacking you will not find any maps more accurate then NG Topo because they are based off of the USGS topographical maps, the most accurate large map database in the the world.

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