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Nat Geo TOPO question
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Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
Nat Geo TOPO question on 01/28/2013 07:39:29 MST Print View

I've been using NatGeo TOPO v4.5.0 for a long time. This is the latest version mentioned on their site. At REI I they are selling v4.6. Does anyone know what changes came with v4.6? I can't find mention of it anywhere.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Nat Geo TOPO question on 01/28/2013 14:11:41 MST Print View

The change to 4.6 is only to signify that the software is now being distributed on DVD rather than CDs according to this site:

The National Geographic topographic map software for the United States is now available in a uniform product package, for both brick-and-mortar stores and on-line resellers. National Geographic Maps has updated the TOPO! State series product packaging in an effort to reduce the number of package versions on the market.

This physical package change coincides with the TOPO! software media change. The new TOPO! State Series software and map data come on DVD-ROM discs, as opposed to the CD-ROM discs in the previous clam-shell enclosure. Note that although the software version has been increased to 4.6, that reflects only the media change to DVD. Otherwise, the TOPO! State software contained in the new package is identical to version 4.5 offered on CD-ROMs.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Nat Geo TOPO question on 01/28/2013 14:39:28 MST Print View

Geez, I am stuck back on version 2.7.7, all CD media. It makes me feel so old.


Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Re: Nat Geo TOPO question on 01/28/2013 15:09:24 MST Print View

I'm a bit more up-to-date than Bob. I'm running version 3.4.2. I didn't even know that there was a newer release.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Nat Geo TOPO question on 01/28/2013 15:55:08 MST Print View

I have version 4.5.0 but I thought they had discontinued the state series for the on line version through All Trails or something?

I now see on Dustin's link that most of the states are not available.

Edited by abhitt on 01/29/2013 06:03:52 MST.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Re: Nat Geo TOPO question on 01/28/2013 17:12:10 MST Print View

I don't know if ALL TRAILs has cut it off, but I updated my old TOPO to the 4.5 for free. Go to the site, if it exists!

Yes 1000
Products not Available on 01/28/2013 22:03:39 MST Print View

Just came from REI, I didn't see any NatGeo Topo!, all I could see was Ultimate Outodoor kit for $40 and after 1 yr it will expire and have to renew the access.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
TOPO! has been discontinued on 01/29/2013 14:09:31 MST Print View

Here's what Nat Geo wrote back when I asked why my TOPO! software wouldn't work on my brand new iMac computer:

"Unfortunately, TOPO! is not compatible with Mountain Lion.

"TOPO! was discontinued before the release of 10.8 and there will be no further updates.

"Technical Support
National Geographic Maps"

Fortunately, my old iMac still works, so as long as it holds out I can continue to use my existing TOPO! software, which represents several hundred dollars' investment.

I understand there are several free online sources of topographic maps, including the USGS, but I haven't yet investigated them.

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/29/2013 14:11:29 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: TOPO! has been discontinued on 01/29/2013 14:21:50 MST Print View

yeah, back in the "bad old days" there weren't any free choices

now, there's for downloadable Garmin maps

or gmap4,-121.1418&z=14&t=t2&symbol=pg - people at are constantly posting maps with tracks of trips that you can then scroll or zoom. That's as good as TOPO! except for the "my topo" icons smattered around the map

Yes 1000
Hillmap on 01/30/2013 09:58:05 MST Print View

one thing which is missing from the free maps is all route planning, I see Hillmap has some close enough tool to plan the route but not anything like NatGeo from what I have heard.

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Hillmap on 01/30/2013 10:08:50 MST Print View

Yep that is a big missing feature on all the free maps, you are right that Hillmap does let you make a track but one click at a time, no free hand drawing.

Joseph Elfelt
(Jelff) - F
Re: Re: TOPO! has been discontinued on 02/01/2013 22:22:19 MST Print View

Thanks to Jerry for posting about Gmap4. I am the developer.

Yes, if you ask Gmap4 to display topo maps that are hosted by the MyTopo Company (which is owned by Trimble as of 2011) then you will see topo map 'tiles' that each has a heavy watermark. Also, Gmap4 is required by Trimble to display the MyTopo ads. These topo map tiles are medium resolution.

But wait - there is a better option.

Gmap4 can also display high resolution topo maps from a different source. These maps do not have any watermarks and there are no ads. Here is the same link Jerry posted but with the hi-res maps. The only difference in the link is that I changed &t=t2 to &t=t4:,-121.1418&z=14&t=t4&symbol=pg

The higher resolution topo (with variable hill shading) is simply stunning.

I have posted about Gmap4 over at and I think you will begin to see that bunch start using the higher res topo maps when they embed Gmap4 maps in their forum posts.

If the admin here at BPL wished to allow it, there ought to be a way to embed 'live' Gmap4 maps in this forum also.

Yes, both Hillmap and Gmap4 let you do trip planning and produce a GPX file. We each implement this feature in a different way. Pick the one that best suits your needs. To the best of my knowledge Gmap4 gives you more control to tweak *every* piece of info that goes in to your GPX file than any other software out there.

To start trip planning with Gmap4, click Menu ==> Draw and Save

For more info, visit the homepage and download the Help file.
Then search the Help file on "Make a map with Gmap4"

Gmap4 homepage:

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy

Joseph Elfelt
(Jelff) - F
Forgot to mention that Gmap4 can display TPO files on 02/01/2013 22:27:52 MST Print View

Since the OP posted about TOPO I should point out that Gmap4 is one of the very few programs that can actually display the proprietary TPO file format.

Just put your TPO files online almost anywhere. Google Sites is free and works great. I use it myself.

Make a link like so:

Replace the underline with the full http or https link to your file.

Paste the completed link into your browser address bar.