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NatGeo Topo
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Eric Swab

Locale: Rockies
NatGeo Topo on 01/07/2011 11:07:43 MST Print View

Does the state specific NatGeo software show all of the same information that is on the Trails Illustrated maps such as trails and trail head info? Or is it just plain Topo maps? This seems like a good deal rather than purchasing several separate maps.


Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: NatGeo Topo on 01/07/2011 11:19:55 MST Print View

The State Series shows all trails known at the time the Quad was "built". Newer trails, or trails re-routed since the Quad update are not updated.

Generally, I have not had problems doing route planning with the State Series. It is Very useful for plotting distances and creating elevation profiles.

Edited by greg23 on 01/07/2011 11:21:40 MST.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Topo maps on 01/07/2011 11:24:28 MST Print View


I was just thinking of posting about NatGeo Topos - as a Brit I have never seen them but use digital mapping a lot; was thinking of the Colorado trail this summer - would the Topos be a good bet, or the Trails Illustrated maps, or the CT Mapbook...?

I like the idea of the Topo as I like the idea of planning alternates, perhaps on the CDT at times or wherever...

Sorry to partially hijack the thread...

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Topo maps on 01/07/2011 12:06:35 MST Print View

As mentioned above, I think the NG Topo software is Very useful for planning days and distances.

I plot a route, add Waypoints for significant locations, and then create a route profile.

The profile gives me good idea of the elevation gains/losses, and from that I can better plan my distances. Other resources are invaluable for big picture planning, but when you cut to the chase, Topo is worth the effort.

One last place it shines is when you're out there and you want to reconsider your situation. With the waypoints, the elevations, and the distance provided on the profile you can easily reassess the ease or difficulty of making a change. "Can I push over the next pass?" "I'm ahead of schedule now, but is what lies ahead enough to set me back?" "I'm unexpectedly snow bound for 2 days. Can I finish the route with a push, is do I bail out here?" I tend to do long miles/days without much cushion. The profile give me the confidence to evaluate the options.

Edited by greg23 on 01/07/2011 12:10:38 MST.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
As a Brit ... on 01/07/2011 12:57:37 MST Print View

Ed, "as a Brit", you might consider software, as I know that they handle ordnance survey maps too, whereas Topo is US-centric. memory-map sells per-state map packages as does Topo. I've used both and they're similar products.

David Loome
(DavidLoome) - F

Locale: American Southwest
topo on 01/08/2011 00:46:48 MST Print View

I think if you're planning a hike for which a trail "map book", etc. (CO trail) is produced, get that. TOPO! is based on USGS data which can be out of date for frequently-changing features like trails, and any proprietary guidebook, etc. will tend to have a more accurate representation of that route. Trails Illustrated maps will likewise tend to be more up-to-date with man made features and are updated more frequently than USGS quads.

For off-trail or DIY routes when you primarily need detailed topographic information for low cost, and the ability to estimate mileage, the TOPO! software is wonderful.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North
Topo on 01/08/2011 01:29:48 MST Print View

Brian - thanks, I already have Memory Map; not my favourite software but it does the job - did not realise they covered the US as well, I tend to use Oziexplorer outside the UK - will take a look.

David, I did wonder how up-to-date Topo was - the solution that is appearing seems to be 'buy everything' :-)

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Topo on 01/08/2011 01:40:12 MST Print View

In addition to, or in lieu of, the maps you purchase, check out the free maps too. You can use maps from the gpsfiledepot or openstreetmap websites on Garmin's free Basecamp software. Sometimes they'll have more detail and be more current than the maps you pay for.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Topo on 01/08/2011 08:58:42 MST Print View

And for what it's worth... I don't think you can get lost on the Colorado Trail. But being able to estimate days and camps is useful, as are bailout and resupply options. So, IMHO there isn't a "do it all" solution.

Like you mention, you'll have to cherry pick from multiple resources.

Edited by greg23 on 01/08/2011 11:16:57 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
maps on 01/08/2011 11:07:36 MST Print View

USGS maps

Garmin downloadable maps

Eric Swab

Locale: Rockies
NatGeo Topo on 01/08/2011 20:24:28 MST Print View

Everyone, Thanks for your input, I think for while I would prefer to stick to trails and the trails illustrated maps provide easy to look at options for planning. When I am more comfortable with orienteering and run out of local trails I think I will check out this software or whatever newer option becomes available.