NatGeo TOPO Software Quesion
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Justin Baccary
(justin.baccary)
NatGeo TOPO Software Quesion on 01/30/2012 12:25:42 MST Print View

Hi all, I'm attempting to print a mapset in NatGeo TOPO following Skurka's excellent directions (http://andrewskurka.com/2012/creating-and-printing-a-custom-mapset-with-topo/). Unfortunately, my software is not giving me the choice of the 11x17 paper size in the drop down menu. Does anyone know why this might be? My TOPO is a few years old (7 CDs instead of 1 disk like the most current version) but I'm pretty sure they had 11x17 paper in 2008(ish) when I bought the software. Thanks.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: NatGeo TOPO Software Quesion on 01/30/2012 12:59:50 MST Print View

I think you want to separate out what the program is telling you versus what the operating system is telling you.

The program does not know much of anything about printers. In the program, when you start to click on Print, all it knows is what the operating system is telling it about the availability of certain printers and what preferences there are for each one (e.g. paper size). If your local printer does not handle 11x17 paper, then it will never give you that choice. If you intend to get the map printed at a service bureau, then you need to contact the service bureau and get information from them about the printers they have.

Now, a completely different way to skin the cat is to export to disk. The map can be saved to disk as a JPEG file, or whatever. Then open the JPEG in Photoshop or similar graphics program. Then you can print it from within Photoshop. However, Photoshop is going to have the same limitations as to printers. It can only print to the print device that the operating system tells it about.

If you think that your local printer has the 11x17 capability, but somehow it is not showing up through the operating system, then you might ask that technical question to the printer company support crew. Maybe you need a newer printer driver or something.

I've had printers installed and working successfully, and then all of a sudden the operating system is telling me that there are NO printers installed. Often, simply restarting the machine will clear that kind of foolishness. That generally happens after a fault in the page printing routine, like trying to print something that does not allow printing.

--B.G.--

Tim Zen
(asdzxc57) - F

Locale: MI
Re: NatGeo TOPO Software Quesion on 02/01/2012 07:05:08 MST Print View

I received a note from Nat geo that alltrails will be taking over.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: NatGeo TOPO Software Quesion on 02/01/2012 18:19:39 MST Print View

when I recieved Skurkas map set of the SHR, he mentioned that they did some math calcs to scale the maps in order to be printed at that 11x17 sizes. You might check into that. He mentioned that TOPO does not have the ability to print at 11x17, so they
" Because TOPO! does not have the capability of printing maps at 11x17, I needed to print the maps with
the paper size Folio[8.5”x13”] at a scale of 1:30,291. When these maps are subsequently enlarged to
11x17, the scale decreases to 1:24,000."

pasted from my map set info.... hope that helps.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: NatGeo TOPO Software Question on 02/01/2012 19:10:42 MST Print View

"TOPO does not have the ability to print at 11x17"

I use National Geographic TOPO!, and I can print out maps on 11x17 or 13x19 all day long without any problem. This is because my operating system fully recognizes my local printer capabilities.

When I go backpacking, I always carry color topo maps printed on 13x19 from TOPO!

I don't think that they got printed by accident, and it sure wasn't some other program.

--B.G.--

Justin Baccary
(justin.baccary)
Bob is right on 02/01/2012 19:22:01 MST Print View

Bob is right. I thought my TOPO software couldn't print 11x17 either. What I did was adjusted my printer settings to print 11x17 (scaled) onto 8.5x11 paper. I then "printed" maps as JPEGs and followed the advice in Skurka's blog post, then printed on 11x17 at Kinkos. Problem solved! Thanks Bob.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
I've been down this road before on 02/01/2012 19:35:30 MST Print View

I've been using the TOPO! program since _before_ it was National Geographic (c.Windows 95). It was originally written and published by a company called Wildflower Productions or something. If I can't figure out how to print a proper map with it, it probably can't be done.

Now, this is not for everybody, but... If you think you will print out a large number of large topo maps over a long period of time, I recommend buying a large-format color inkjet printer. I have an ancient one that will print up to size 13"x19", and that works decently for a topo map. Last summer I was going to be covering a large area on foot, so I had to "piece together" two of the 13x19 sheets in order to get the whole thing in front of me at once. Alternatively, you can export the file to a print service bureau (e.g. Kinkos), and they can print it by color inkjet or color laser. That's OK if you need only a small number.

There are some small details that involve the paper size. What size is 13"x19"? I know that sounds like a trick question. The issue is that nearly all printing like this must leave a blank margin around the edge of the paper, so the actual printing is more like 12.5"x18.5" depending on the actual printer type. When you are trying to scale up an image, you want to hit the actual print size, not exactly the paper size.

--B.G.--

Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: NatGeo TOPO Software Question on 02/01/2012 20:20:58 MST Print View

Justin, I have TOPO v.3.4.3 from 2003. I experimented with printed page sizes and concluded that page size is a function of the printer. When I chose my Canon all in one printer, 8.5x11 was the maximum size available. When I chose my HP Designjet I could print 36" wide by 48" long(and longer). Printing to a PDF printer, I was able to specify 11 x 17 or any other custom size.

If you can get it to work, I suggest you try printing to a PDF printer at your desired paper size then take the PDF files to a print shop (Kinko's, etc). This could cut down on the steps involved in scaling, piecing sheets together, printing as JPG, etc.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Lancem on 02/02/2012 07:09:36 MST.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: Re: Re: NatGeo TOPO Software Question on 02/02/2012 07:44:58 MST Print View

that makes total sense. Skurka talks a bit about this in his info, with regards to using a print shop where that capability is available. 13 x 19 would be the bomb for certain areas where an entire hike/loop or a favorite area that is visited often could be put onto one page (front and back). Thats a great idea. Thanks for the info!

Edited by idahosteve on 02/02/2012 07:48:46 MST.