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What ONLINE mapping software do you use?
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Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
What ONLINE mapping software do you use? on 11/05/2009 09:03:46 MST Print View

I'm interested in finding out what online services are available for creating maps for hiking. I'm not interested in comercial software like National Geogrphic TOPO, Delorme Topo, MyTopo, etc. I'm looking for something simliar to NG TOPO to let me create custom maps based on USGS quads, but something that is preferably free. I know that the quads are available free to download but I'm looking more for something that allows me to view the maps in a seamless fashion, plan out routes, view elevation profiles, and then generate and download a custom maps. Anyone know of something like this??


John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: What ONLINE mapping software do you use? on 11/05/2009 09:21:13 MST Print View

not for free, no.

Michael Keller
(qm1pooh) - F
Online Mapping Software on 11/05/2009 10:12:27 MST Print View

I just went through a long two week search looking for exactly what you're seeking. While there are a lot of free maps out there, printing is the big problem if you want a scale, north arrow etc.

I ended up with the Delorme Topo USA 8.0, and for the price I find it works really well. The Nat'l Geo Topo! stuff has a better interface, but it's really only cost effective if you hike in a limited geographical area.

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
MacGPS Pro on 11/05/2009 11:23:31 MST Print View

Amazing customer support! The founder answers all my emails promptly with detailed solutions to my problems.

Edited by backpackerchick on 11/05/2009 11:24:28 MST.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: What ONLINE mapping software do you use? on 11/05/2009 11:25:13 MST Print View

MacGPS pro, none better.

Kier Selinsky
(Kieran) - F

Locale: Seattle, WA
Open Source on 11/05/2009 12:57:07 MST Print View

Not to hijack the thread, but I've been wondering in a similar vein about open source (or just free) desktop topo mapping apps? I haven't found any yet... hard to believe there aren't any

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: What ONLINE mapping software do you use? on 11/05/2009 19:13:39 MST Print View


Not feature rich and not complete in some remote areas, but it is free and in most areas seamless.

Edited by hikin_jim on 11/05/2009 19:17:53 MST.

Acronym Esq
( - F

Locale: TX
Re: What ONLINE mapping software do you use? on 11/05/2009 22:34:13 MST Print View

USGS will allow you to dl/print seamless maps, but it won't do route plans. That interface is horrible; I had to play with it a lot to get what I wanted.

acronym 11/5/2009 11:33 PM

Hart -
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Worth it on 11/05/2009 22:38:50 MST Print View

Nothing wrong with actually paying for awesome software. MacGPS Pro support is amazing. I'm a real novice and the founder actually looks at the files and maps I am having issues with and tells me EXACTLY how to proceed. I have never had this kind of service with any software. MacGPS has received rave reviews from the geek mags and blogs!

Bob Gabbart
(bobg) - F
Online mapping software discussion on 11/09/2009 08:08:51 MST Print View

The problem with is the same as many sites I've seen. They use the free USGS tile servers (probably from Teraserver). This data seems to be missing some tiles. Try to zoom in on Wanda Lake in the Sierras. There isn't anything there at the higher zoom levels.

MacGPS Pro has the same issue as NG Topo - They charge you by the state for the maps - about $50/state. This can really start to add up. Although I don't have a problem paying for the software, I do have a problem paying for this data since it is compiled by USGS is freely available online.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: MacGPS Pro on 11/09/2009 08:46:59 MST Print View

I think this needs a small caveat that would be helpful for PC owners reading this thread. You need to purchase a PC accessory in order to run this software. It's called a MAC and it's not inexpensive.

Edited by herman666 on 11/09/2009 12:21:25 MST.

Mark Maritz
(mmaritz) - MLife

Locale: Rural Eastern Cape
Check out Oziexplorer on 11/09/2009 12:28:58 MST Print View


I use OziExplorer and find it great for the price.


Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Re: What ONLINE mapping software do you use? on 11/09/2009 15:04:59 MST Print View does everything you you are looking for. The only issue with everytrail is that you can no longer use the USGS maps to draw your route out. You only have the choice of Google map, satellite, and terrain. has some nice features such as elevation profiles, gps file conversion, and a great selection of maps. have some great shaded relief topo maps. Best maps to do research with.

I generally draw my route in my Garmin software or in Google Earth with a topo map overlay. The topo overlays are a pain because you have to download each quad separately.

Nate Davis
(Knaight) - F

Locale: Western Massachusetts on 11/13/2009 08:25:21 MST Print View

I've bought a few maps from and I think they're an excellent value. Weatherproof, tear resistant USGS maps pinpointed on the location you want for just a few bucks? Fantastic.

On a related note, has anyone used I don't think you can print from there, but I really like the idea of the website. It's more of a training/fitness thing, but you map out your hikes there and keep a regular training log, and the site keeps track of your progress as far as time, weight loss, and calories burned goes. It's worth checking out.

Bryian Sheets
Free printable topo maps on 11/13/2009 17:34:33 MST Print View

This site has worked well for me:
Only problem I've run into is the print out is not always a good representation of the preview.