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What's the best TOPO software

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Straw poll: What TOPO software is best? I'm using a Garmin 60 CSx.

Also, I've just heard of GoogleEarth Plus which promises GPS compatible.

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There are two kinds of mapping software. The kind you can run on your GPS and the kind you can't. "GPS compatible" does not mean it will run on your GPS, only that it will work with your GPS. This means you can download tracks, routes and waypoints created on the desktop to your GPS and vice-versa.

 

If you want topo maps on your 60CSX, you will need to get Garmin's Mapsource Topo. Its not the best topo software out there, but it is useful and your only choice.

 

If you just want topo maps for your desktop and to print on paper, then my favorite is National Geographic Topo!. It is not cheap, as you have to purchase each state separately, but its very good.

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for desktop use, I like topozone.com...it's not tricky, but it works for me...

 

Jamie - NFA

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IMHO.....

 

Mapsource -For installation in your GPS (only one possible for most people's ability)

 

NG TOPO!- For the absolutely best quality digitized maps.

 

Expert GPS - For the most flexible Data management and also Aerial Photos

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Global Mapper7 is one of my favorites for the desktop. The software is somewhat expensive to purchase but can be downloaded and used for free albeit with limited functions (can't save files etc). Free topo maps, aerials, etc. can be downloaded from the United States Dept. of Agriculture site and waypoints and other data in various formats can be layered onto the maps. I even found a map on the INDNR site of all the State DNR hiking and horse trails here in Indiana which I downloaded and layered onto the topo maps. Measurements can be made on the maps and if elevation data is downloaded elevation profiles can be produced. It's a great tool for outdoor recreation!

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Delorme Topo 6.0.

 

Works well with my GPS Etrex Legend-C.

 

Great software and comes with all 50 states for $99 street price. Tons of bells and whistles. Love being able to build a vertical profile of my bicycle rides with it.

 

Of course, you can't upload maps to a GPS unit with it.

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Good info, I'm looking for an updated program too. I have Mapsend now, and like it but it's 4 years old. If you have recommendations for me: need streets, topos, use with GSAK, under $100 if possible!

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Good info, I'm looking for an updated program too. I have Mapsend now, and like it but it's 4 years old. If you have recommendations for me: need streets, topos, use with GSAK, under $100 if possible!

 

I am using DeLorme's Street Atlas Handheld and Topo USA 6.0. I bought the Eastern edition of Topo USA for about $50. You can now get Street Atlas 7.0, which now inlcudes the HandHeld version for about $40. The HH version allows export of the Street Atlas and Topo maps to a Palm of Pocket PC.

 

GSAK exports directly to DeLorme waypoint format.

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I was looking at DeLorme's software and comparing it to National Geographic's. Problem is that NG has several programs that don't look all that different! There's the individual state series ($100 per state!) then the Back Roads Explorer for the whole US ($50) that looks pretty good, or the GPS Waypoint Manager and Trip Planner... They all sound good to me!

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I have been using Delorme's Topo USA product since the first release. I am currently using version 4.0 and an old copy of Xmap Handheld. I can use the inexpensive Street Atlas Handheld to uploa Topo maps to my palm. I will probably break down and buy the latest versions of both Street Atlas and TopoUSA - but - everytime I buy the new edition they release another one two days later. Delorme does not offer much in the way of upgrade discounts to previous version owners - ticks me off a bit but they seem to have the best, most fully featured product for my needs.

 

As far as maps on the GPS - I use an old Garmin 12XL to find the loot and have been attaching it to an old Palm Vx with the handheld maps to find the best route in. Ordered a Holux Bluetooth GPS to try using a newer palm for everything. Will let you know how it works.

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I'm brand new to geocaching. I got an Etrex Vista last week and have found 8 caches in the area in 2 trips with the kids. I have also started looking at other TOPO software and am confused between Mapsource, Topo 6.0, and Street Atlas.

 

Looks like Mapsource will give me TOPO maps, allow me to download maps to GPS, but will not do navigation from laptop and route planning for trips.

 

Street Atlas has no TOPO, but will do in car navigation with my GPS, and download .loc and .gpx files if I get the Plus version.

 

Topo 6.0 seems to be a superset of Street Atlas and lets me do all the in car nav, waypoint management, but no downloadable maps.

 

I am familiar with Street Atlas. My father uses it when traveling with their little Earthmate USB GPSr. I'm not perfectly happy with the interface. If Topo 6.0 is the same and I can pick up a little palm for the maps, maybe that would be my best bet and then I would go paperless.

 

Any thoughts?

Dennis Hoenich

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I've got a Vista. Get mapsourse Topo so you can load the 100K topo maps into the Vista. It's the only program that will let you do it.

 

Mapasource Metroguide will allow you to auto route on your laptop. But the Vista does not allow auto routing with the Vista itself. However, you can tranfer the street maps into the Vista.

 

Another option is to get a Pocket PC for car navigation.

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I've got a Vista. Get mapsourse Topo so you can load the 100K topo maps into the Vista. It's the only program that will let you do it.

 

Mapasource Metroguide will allow you to auto route on your laptop. But the Vista does not allow auto routing with the Vista itself. However, you can tranfer the street maps into the Vista.

 

Another option is to get a Pocket PC for car navigation.

 

So I will need to get both Mapsource and Metroguide for $100 or so each to do both?

If I use Delorme's Topo 6.0, will it route with a laptop? It is supposed to load trail waypoints for hiking which will be good enough for now and saves me $100. I don't need to do auto routing on the Vista itself and won't be doing enough large scale hiking trips to worry about needing the topo maps on the GPS (yet).

 

Thanks,

Dennis Hoenich

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I don't know anything about Delorme except that you can only transfer topo maps into your Garmin GPS using Garmin topo. So itf you want to see where you are while in the woods on a topo map, you need Garmin's Topo.

 

If you're going to auto-route on your laptop in your car, any navigation program would work. You don't need Mapsource Metroguide. I use a Pocket PC to navigate in the car. I now only use my Vista with the Topo maps. I've stopped using Metroguide and Roads and Recreation, the two detailed dtreet maps since my PPC has better and easier to see and use maps.

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