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National Geographic Debuts “National Parks Explorer 3D” (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006)

Update to CD-based Trails Illustrated national parks maps

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by Alan Dixon | 2006-08-10 03:00:00-06

National Geographic Debuts “National Parks Explorer 3D”
New Electronic Version of Trails Illustrated for National Parks

NatGeo National Parks - 1
National Geographic’s National Parks Explorer 3D is a long awaited update to their National Parks CD-based version of Trails Illustrated maps. The software is based on an easy to use version of the Topo! 4.0 engine. It’s a steal at $50 for 25 of the most popular national parks.

I still use my nearly 10 year old National Geographic 50 National Parks CD-based maps-as recently as last month for a Shenandoah National Park trip. It has accurate trails, usage regulations, park infrastructures and other essential information for trip planning that the 1:24,000 series USGS topographic maps do not. But the 50 National Parks CD maps and software are dated and their information is less accurate than it was 10 years ago. The support software to read and manipulates the maps is equally dated.

NatGeo National Parks - 2
For the best of all worlds use the National Parks Explorer 3D Trails Illustrated Maps for trails and park info in conjunction with the 1:2400 scale National Geographic Topo! State series maps for topographic detail.

Next month, National Geographic will publish “National Parks Explorer 3D,” an interactive, electronic version of their Trails Illustrated National Park Maps. It will contain a the newest and most-up-to-data Trails Illustrated maps for 25 of the most popular national parks and a wealth of additional travel and recreational information. The software is based on their new Topo! 4.0 engine. It has all the power of Topo! 4.0 but with much easier to use tools [we hope to see these in Topo! 4.1]. For instance the route tool automatically snaps to and precisely follows trails. Waypoints are automatically added as you draw routes. There is a new sophisticated print preview that makes printing custom maps about 10x easier than Topo! 4.0. There is an accompanying PDF file with the map legend, park regulations, contact number, and additional travel and recreational information for the area. While I think it is a bit gimmicky, it has a viewing tool that allows you to view your route in 3D as if you were flying over it in a helicopter. This helps you visualize just how steep that upcoming pass is.

Included Parks

  • Acadia, ME
  • Arches, UT
  • Big Bend, TX
  • Bryce Canyon, UT
  • Canyonlands, UT
  • Death Valley, CA
  • Glacier/Waterton, MT/Aberta
  • Grand Canyon, AZ
  • Grand Teton, WY
  • Great Smoky Mountains, TN/TC
  • Isle Royale, MI
  • Joshua Tree, CA
  • Kings Canyon, CA
  • Mt. Rainier, WA
  • North Cascades, WA
  • Olympic, WA
  • Redwood, WA
  • Rocky Mountain, CO
  • Sequoia, CA
  • Shenandoah, VA
  • Theodore Roosevelt, ND
  • Yellowstone, WY/MT
  • Yosemite, CA
  • Zion, UT


"National Geographic Debuts “National Parks Explorer 3D” (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006)," by Alan Dixon. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2006-08-10 03:00:00-06.


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National Geographic Debuts “National Parks Explorer 3D” (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006)
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
National Geographic Debuts “National Parks Explorer 3D” (Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006) on 08/11/2006 02:11:50 MDT Print View

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