Topo Map Software

Elkhunter

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Dec 20, 2000
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Jackson, Wyoming
How many are using the Topo map software for their GPS units. The two I saw that interested me were the National Geographic TOPO program and Maptech. Any feedback about these is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

Washington Hunter

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Rochester, Washington
I use Maptech Terrain Navigator and love it. It works great using it in conjunction with GPS. It's the only one I've tried so I can't comment on how it compares with the others. If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.
 

Moosie

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I've used the NAtional Geographoic one...

ONE WORD....

KICKS ASS !!!!!!!!!

Ok it is 2 words, But hopefully that tells you how I feel about this product !!!

Awsome !!
 

mtmiller

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Montana
I use MapSource United States TOPO on my Garmin V plus and is works great. You can pick up all 50 states for $89. I am not familiar with the other two, so not much help in that department.
 

Delw

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Peoria ,Az
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I've used the NAtional Geographoic one...

ONE WORD....

KICKS ASS !!!!!!!!!

Ok it is 2 words, But hopefully that tells you how I feel about this product !!!

Awsome !!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I been using national geographic map software since they came out... best one of the bunch... I had all of them and only and like the NG one the best.... It also is seamless and has better contrast colors.... $99 bucks you cant go wrong...

Elky if you want me to I can burn a copy of the AZ one so you can see how it looks.. Just dont tell anyone
wink.gif
LMAO
Delw
 

Krustyklimber

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All are truly great improvement in GPS tech, it really comes down to what computer system you own and how smart your 'puter is,
and which is easiest for you to run.

Jeff
wave1.gif
 

Oak

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Dec 23, 2000
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Colorado
I've got National Geographic and LOVE it, though I haven't used it too much in conjunction with a GPS unit. I've used Maptech and another one (???) at work. I really like the National Geographic because it's seamless. Also, if you have a fast systme and lots of memory you can do what I did and load all the disks on your hard drive. Then you can scroll anywhere in the state without changing disks. It's REALLY slick.

Oak
 

Elkhunter

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So you buy the disk for the state that you want? Is that correct? The one I was thinking about was the NG one. Is the Maptech and the NG compatable with most GPS units? I have the Garmin 12XL.
 

Oak

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I don't know about the GPS thing. I've never tried to use them together directly. Most of the use I've done is manually taking waypoint coordinates off of the unit and plugging them into the program.

National Geographic comes as an idividual set for each state. My set for CO is 7 CD's. I got it on sale for $79.99 at REI.

Cabelas has a program called Maptrails Geoquad that sounds kinda interesting, but much more expensive. It includes USGS 1:24K, BLM 1:100K, USGS 1;100K, and USGS aerial photos of each area you buy. I still think that something like NG is better. This set includes a lot of stuff you don't really need. Check it out here(I see they're sold out right now):

Maptrails Geoquad

Oak
 

mtmiller

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Montana
TK-I am not sure if you are looking for software to build maps from your GPS or want to put background maps directly to your unit? If you want backgrounds for your Etrex then Mapsource US Topo will work for you unless you have the eTrex Venture.

Compatability Chart

Here is some more information if you are interested in the backgrounds.

Map Source US Topo Backgounds

I use this software for work and it works great. I am not sure how well the printable maps are since I usually just use it for navigation and use Arcview for map making.
 

trophy_killer

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Salmon, ID
What I was wanting to do was look on a Topo program and find some of the high alpine lakes around here. Somehow mark their coordinates into my GPS so that once I get up there all I have to do is turn my GPS on and it will point me in the direction, like how it points you back to where camp is. Can you do that with those programs or not?
 

mtmiller

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With mine yes, but easier. All I have to do is scan around on my Garmin V until I find the location (lake) I want to navigate to. These backgrounds are identical to USGS topomaps.

Once I find the location, I click "GO TO". Now it is saved to the memory and shows me the distance and direction to the lake. Then the good thing about having the background is that trails, creeks mountains, etc... are shown and I can locate the best way to get to the lake. Not just an arrow that may be a straight line over a mountain or other obstacle.

The only thing I don't like about the maps is that they do not have land status. It would definately be useful in my part of the country where much of the public land (BLM and State) is checkerboarded with private.

Another option is to find locations from the internet topos and type the lat/long into your unit and name it as a wayoint. It is now saved to your GPS and you can click "GO TO" at anytime to navigate there. I think mine will hold 500 or so way points.

The software includes all 50 states, but the GPS unit will not hold all the data at one time. It is an effortless procedure to put to topos you want on the unit. I am guessing I can put about 20% of MT on mine before it is full.

I am guessing you can fit all the topos within walking distance of your house on your unit. Haha, cheap shot. Good luck on a vehicle one of these days.
wink.gif
 

Krustyklimber

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The problem with "go to" navigation is the GPS doesn't know there's a lake, or a cliff between here and there.

It will get you, and keep you, back on track after you go around whatever obsticles are in your way.

The best way still to travel through the backcountry is good ol' fashioned orienteering with a map.

A GPS is handy for finding things like a particular pass in the mountains, or camp in a snowstorm, but they are still poor trip planners. They are way better at getting you back to somewhere they've been before than they are at going new places.

Jeff
wave1.gif
 

Washington Hunter

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Rochester, Washington
trophy killer, for what you want to do either Maptech or the National Geographic TOPO will work great. I also use a Garmin Etrex, and it doesn't matter which particular model you have, they will all work in conjunction with your map software on your computer. I do exactly the same thing you are wanting to do. I find a certain landmark on the map (such as a lake or mountain) or even a section corner to use as a reference (so I know when I am on private or public land.) When I'm planning a hunting or scouting trip to a new area, I will mark whichever points I'm interested in on the map on my computer screen. I then hook my Etrex up to the computer and transfer the coordinates for all the points from the computer to the GPS. I then print out a map that has all these points marked on them and labeled. It works great. I have Maptech Terrain Navigator and it was $140 for 10 or 12 CD's which cover all of Washington and Oregon. I would guess that you'd get the entire state of California for the same price. It's well worth the money.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 02-23-2003 22:42: Message edited by: Washington Hunter ]</font>
 

trophy_killer

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Salmon, ID
Thanks Washington Hunter, I will have to look into it. I will also be doing it for mountains and such like you said. Thanks again for the help!!
 

mtmiller

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Montana
Not true on the GPS I use Krustyklimber.
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Once I find the location, I click "GO TO". Now it is saved to the memory and shows me the distance and direction to the lake. Then the good thing about having the background is that trails, creeks mountains, etc... are shown and I can locate the best way to get to the lake. Not just an arrow that may be a straight line over a mountain or other obstacle.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

These obstacles are shown right on the GPS. Of course, I usually have the topos with me as well.
 

RANDALL K

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Nov 10, 2002
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Rapid City, SD
Elky & TK, I'm a cheap-skate
yawn.gif
, I have a basic GPS with no type of mapping software for it. What I do is use maptech(because it's free) to get the geographic coordinantes (lat/long) for my GPS, then I input them and use the "GO TO" function; it works for me
smile.gif
.

I've noticed many mapping software application/systems on E-Bay. If you decide to purchase one, might ought to look there.
 

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