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Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site
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Brett Marl
(brettmarl) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 00:26:17 MDT Print View

A friend of mine just released a link to his (free) topo-mapping site.

It's amazing - you can zoom right in to USGS mapping data and get true 3D views.

For more details check out:

Edited by brettmarl on 03/21/2008 00:26:50 MDT.

Paul Luther
(eredluin) - M

Locale: Northeast
Re: Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 08:00:44 MDT Print View

Thanks Brett!! and thanks to your friend for his awesome work.

Matt Brodhead
(mattbrodhead) - F

Locale: Michigan
Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 08:48:50 MDT Print View


Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 09:23:45 MDT Print View

Ever since I started checking out your blog (starting at your WCT posts) I've been waiting for you to unveil the source of the amazing topos you use. This is really exciting stuff for us backpacking/maps nerds!

Jay Well
(jwell) - F

Locale: Willamette Valley
Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 11:00:55 MDT Print View

The site looks great I just haven't been able to take full advantage because I don't know what the necessary plugins are. Any help anyone could give would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 11:13:52 MDT Print View


I'm on XP, with Firefox

The mapping software came up in the 2D mode.

When I clicked on 3D I got prompted to Allow the plugins to be loaded. I followed Firefox's clues and things happened automatically after that. I stopped and started Firefox, and I when went back to the site, started the program, and clicked on 3D it came up. Pretty straight foreward.

Mike Seibert
(Biscuit) - F

Locale: Stuck in L.A.
Re: Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 11:31:03 MDT Print View

No luck on the 3D part of it with Max OSX 10.4 and Firefox, but I'm definitely going to try this out when I get home on my Windows desktop.

Awesome link.

Jay Well
(jwell) - F

Locale: Willamette Valley
Awesome Free Topo-Mapping Site on 03/21/2008 11:48:16 MDT Print View

It must not work to its full potential on a Mac. That is what I have at work so the fun will have to wait until tonight when I can try it at home on my windows laptop.

Edited by jwell on 03/21/2008 11:49:45 MDT.

Brett Marl
(brettmarl) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
no mac support yet on 03/21/2008 17:11:27 MDT Print View

yeah - it doesn't work on the mac yet, or in safari on a pc. sorry about that.

Phil Brown

Locale: Traverse City MI
mac support on 03/21/2008 21:01:27 MDT Print View

I just switched over and ran it in windows on the parallel desktop. Really good reason to buy one of the new macs ;-)
Sweet program, this beats google earth by a mile.

Matt Brodhead
(mattbrodhead) - F

Locale: Michigan
Mac VS PC on 03/22/2008 12:16:24 MDT Print View

I like to think of it as, "The program isn't sophisticated enough to work on a Mac" instead of "The Mac isn't sophisticated enough to run the program." :-)

I'm a big nerd. No offense to the program, in all honesty. I ran it while at work and I was so impressed!!! (see above comment)

Edited by mattbrodhead on 03/22/2008 12:17:14 MDT.

Brett Marl
(brettmarl) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Lack of Mac Support on 03/22/2008 14:43:28 MDT Print View

Getting this to work on the Mac is unfortunatley in Microsofts hands. The web application uses the Windows Live “Virtual Earth 3D” engine - and it currently does not appear to support Macs. I’m not sure what MSFT’s plans are for that. I’ll try and find out. For now, you’re stuck w/XP on Parallels I’m afraid.

shawn weld
(Spoon) - F

Locale: NorthEast
Lack of Mac Support on 03/22/2008 18:21:02 MDT Print View

I got excited when I read the subject "Lack of Mac Support" until I realized it was about computers and had nothing to do with Mac and Cheese. I REALLY wanted to show my support for Mac and Cheese. Anyways, scrolling up I saw it was about "Free Topo-Mapping". Which is almost as good as mac and cheese. So...thanks for the post.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline) - F

Locale: Southern California
Needs Work on 03/23/2008 09:22:43 MDT Print View

This is great, but as is often the case, it's only as good as the map data that's available. I checked out areas that I frequent in the eastern Sierra. There are missing USGS maps and lots of them that are mis-aligned. This is at the 24K topo scale. The coverage for 100K coverage seems to be complete. I'm not sure what the data source is, but it needs some work.

Brett Marl
(brettmarl) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Map Alignment Issues on 03/24/2008 20:38:28 MDT Print View

I talked to Bill re: the map alignment issues.

Here's what he said:

"I've noticed that in certain places some of the maps are misaligned as well -- unfortunately also not something I can really do anything about. It seems to be an issue with the map server itself not having done the best job with its coordinates -- you can even notice it in Washington if you look closer at the area west of Baker, near Bellingham. It's the tradeoff between doing the maps myself at the cost of lotsa time+bandwidth or relying on the map service to get thigns right."

So sounds like we might have a while to wait for a fix. Although, if people on BPL start playing with this, I would greatly appreciate a list of areas that you notice are badly aligned. I'm sure there are many areas that Bill hasn't noticed yet, given most of his attention is around the Seattle area. :)

On a different thread, he also asks:

"And while were not on the subject, I don't suppose anybody knows how to convert locations from an Albers projection to something more typical like a Universal Transverse Mercator projection or WGS84 latitude/longitude, eh? :) "

So any mapping gurus out there know all about Albers projections and how to convert them?

Anyone, anyone... Beuler?

Matt Brodhead
(mattbrodhead) - F

Locale: Michigan
Re: Map Alignment Issues on 03/25/2008 11:37:04 MDT Print View

You lost me at "I talked to Bill"

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
please add ubuntu on 03/25/2008 19:21:06 MDT Print View

For the free web version, please add another o/s and browser to the wish list:

Ubuntu 7.10 running Firefox 2.0

Note: I have Delorme Topo USA 6 on my Win XP box. It does the 3D topo thing quite well.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline) - F

Locale: Southern California
Coordinate System Conversion on 03/26/2008 07:38:36 MDT Print View

Brett, The conversion of coordinates from Albers to UTM is not a trivial process and requires complex computation. This is usually done with software specifically designed to perform the complex mathematical computation to convert coordinates between a variety of map projections and coordinate systems. You can try downloading the GEOTRANS software and using that. Here's a link

Let me know if you have anymore questions regarding this.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Great tool on 04/07/2008 14:45:34 MDT Print View

Great tool to teach students how to read a topographic map. Thanks!!