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Topo Maps And Hard To See Roads


jackrr
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With Garmins Topo Canada (and probably with Topo USA) it is very hard to see unpaved roads on their maps because they are such a fine line and they get lost in the contour lines. I tried to reduce detail in the settings to get rid of some of the contour lines but the roads disappeared also. Is there some way to make the roads more distinct and stand out? :laughing:

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Basically no. This is a real PITA with grey level units.

That's for sure. I used to have a Garmin GPS V that I loaded with topo maps of the Mojave desert. My friends and I were out on a free-form hike (aka "wandering around the desert") and found ourselves far away from any known place. We were faced with a choice of backtracking to get back to the car or to keep going and hope to hit a road. Luckily, when looking in one particular direction, I spotted what looked like an "extra" contour line on that black and white display. I surmised that it might be a road, so we went in that direction and, sure enough, intersected a road that eventually took us back to where our car was parked.

 

Subsequently, looking at detailed maps of the area, I discovered that we intersected that road at the only possible place we could ever have seen it, as it looped around the point of a ridge. There were *no* other roads for miles in any direction that we could have walked to unless we backtracked.

 

So, the net-net is that the GPS led us to where we wanted to be along the most interesting and convenient route, but it pays to know your GPS unit. It was only because I was familiar with the display of topo maps on the unit that I was able to discern a possible road from just another contour line.

 

TM

Edited by tomm2
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Subsequently, looking at detailed maps of the area, I discovered that we intersected that road at the only possible place we could ever have seen it, as it looped around the point of a ridge. There were *no* other roads for miles in any direction that we could have walked to unless we backtracked.

 

So, the net-net is that the GPS led us to where we wanted to be along the most interesting and convenient route, but it pays to know your GPS unit. It was only because I was familiar with the display of topo maps on the unit that I was able to discern a possible road from just another contour line.

 

TM

 

If I'm trekking off road I always use a PDA with detailed survey maps loaded - if you can get 1:50,000 scale or 1:25,000 even better. The level of definition means that you'll never :laughing: (?) get lost - but then again maybe you'll miss out on an interesting adventure. Pete.

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