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Free GPS Topo Maps - Colorado & Wyoming


IndyJpr
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The original thread about the Colorado maps is here:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...11&t=179762

 

I finally got the CO maps updated with 40ft contour intervals...

 

http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/mp_cotopo.html

 

Also just finished a mapset for Wyoming:

 

http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/mp_wytopo.html

 

These are topo type maps built from publicly available data, including:

- Interstates, highways, railroads, county, local and forest roads

- Lakes, rivers and streams

- Land use(metro areas, national parks, state parks, military, etc.)

- Elevation contours (40ft intervals - 24k "scale")

- Points of interest (summits, mines, falls, dams, cemeteries, towers, populated places, etc.)

 

Any feedback you may have is welcome.

 

Thanks,

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Here's some free garmin maps for Santa Clara (topo park maps) and Monterey Bay (topo dive maps):

http://www.etrailguide.com/

 

Here is a section of Almaden Quicksilver County Park with the built in topo:

topo2008.jpg

Here's the same zoom with the Santa Clara Topo park map:

sccp.jpg

 

Notice that the shading of the built in topo 2008 is applied to the park map. You can turn this off by turning off the built in topo (but I'm not sure why you'd want to).

 

--Marky

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Indy Jpr,

Just found your threads last night and loaded your map sets into MapSource for a look see. Wow, what a pleasant surprise to see up-to-date data and 40ft contour intervals! I'm a member of the Trailridge Runners 4x4 Club and have been mapping Colorado 4x4 roads for years. Would you like the road track library that I've made? (Could you add it to your maps?) I use Fugawi to map the 4x4 roads but my program can also export the data as Lowrance, ESRI Shape, and Text files. Having all the 4x4 roads overlayed on your maps would be fantastic! Here's a sample of some N.G. Topo work done on my GCXDDH 4x4 Cache. (click on Topo Map) There are also other links like TrailDamage that have overlayed trails on clikable maps. To get them all of these trails added to your CO map set would be something to die for!

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IndyJpr,

 

What would it take for you to hook up your brothers in Montana with some 24K scale maps. If you look in Mapsource and Topo2008 we are seriously lacking in terrain detail compared to Colorado. Actually our topo info is really, really crappy givin the elevation changes that occurr in our mountainous state.

 

I know there are ALOT of backcountry cachers who would love to donate to a project like that. There are ample data that can be downloaded for Montana @

 

http://nris.state.mt.us/gis/gisdatalib/gisDataList.aspx

 

What say ye? Think about it?

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Indy Jpr,

Just found your threads last night and loaded your map sets into MapSource for a look see. Wow, what a pleasant surprise to see up-to-date data and 40ft contour intervals! I'm a member of the Trailridge Runners 4x4 Club and have been mapping Colorado 4x4 roads for years. Would you like the road track library that I've made? (Could you add it to your maps?) I use Fugawi to map the 4x4 roads but my program can also export the data as Lowrance, ESRI Shape, and Text files. Having all the 4x4 roads overlayed on your maps would be fantastic! Here's a sample of some N.G. Topo work done on my GCXDDH 4x4 Cache. (click on Topo Map) There are also other links like TrailDamage that have overlayed trails on clikable maps. To get them all of these trails added to your CO map set would be something to die for!

Hi n0wae,

 

I'm glad you like the maps, thank you for the kind words.

 

I am interested in your track library. After finishing Utah I was planning on going back and doing another revision of Colorado, some misc. clean-up and incorporating the 4wd trails I had from my other mapset (CO 4WD trails).

 

If you could help with providing trail data I would certainly try to get them put into the mapset - I would of course give credit to you/your club (and any others) as source of the data. What I would be looking for as far as data would be:

- relatively clean track data (not raw track logs but somewhat processed to remove track backs, etc.)

- trail name

- waypoints indicating obstacles, landmarks (and other POIs) would be nice but not required

- and of course I would need permission from the owners/source of data for me to use it

 

If you're still interested, shoot me an email to the contact email on my website.

 

Thanks,

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Hi yogazoo,

 

What would it take for you to hook up your brothers in Montana with some 24K scale maps. If you look in Mapsource and Topo2008 we are seriously lacking in terrain detail compared to Colorado. Actually our topo info is really, really crappy givin the elevation changes that occurr in our mountainous state.

 

I know there are ALOT of backcountry cachers who would love to donate to a project like that.

Now don't get me wrong, money buys toys, is a great motivator and I'll happily accept donations but I think I would have to win the lottery to make any money at this... :D

 

There are ample data that can be downloaded for Montana @

http://nris.state.mt.us/gis/gisdatalib/gisDataList.aspx

That looks like a good set of data so that shouldn't be a problem.

 

What say ye? Think about it?

Sure, I can consider it...can't promise anything. It takes me about a month (a few hours a night plus a little more on weekends) to do a state start to finish. I've got Utah to finish and Colorado needs an updating so it would probably be mid to late March before I could even consider it...

 

Thanks,

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Sure, I can consider it...can't promise anything. It takes me about a month (a few hours a night plus a little more on weekends) to do a state start to finish. I've got Utah to finish and Colorado needs an updating so it would probably be mid to late March before I could even consider it...

 

What tools do you use? Where do you get your data from? I'd like to produce my own topo maps, but I'm not sure where to start.

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Indy Jpr,

Just found your threads last night and loaded your map sets into MapSource for a look see. Wow, what a pleasant surprise to see up-to-date data and 40ft contour intervals! I'm a member of the Trailridge Runners 4x4 Club and have been mapping Colorado 4x4 roads for years. Would you like the road track library that I've made? (Could you add it to your maps?)

Adding these roads would be a great improvement!

 

The quality of the information for other than the contours varies. I see a number of duplicated roads in the National Forest areas. One road is usually correctly named and the other isn't. One road is usually closer to accurate placement.

 

For instance, Rampart Range Road (South, near Rampart Reservoir) is marked with two polylines. One is labeled "Fs Rd 300" the other is "3". Sometimes they are close, sometimes not. The one named "3" seems to be close to the actual location whereas "Fs Rd 300" is wrong at times.

 

"FS Rd 302" incorrectly goes over the top of Ormes Peak whereas road "1008" (incorrectly labeled FS 302) is more accurate.

 

Same with the Pikes Peak Highway (FSR 334) to the top of Pikes Peak. It goes off the northern cliff just before reaching the top of the peak.

 

Perhaps you might consider layers. If you would provide the contours in one transparent map set and the other data sets in other transparent map sets, the user could decide what they want to include. Also the contours could be overlayed on say Metroguide road maps.

 

Thanks for doing this and donating your time!!

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Phoenix,

In making my track library I have discovered several interesting facts... Some roads on Topo maps are simply not there any more. Some mistakes were made on others, a few never existed and a whole bunch have been moved. When I first noticed that my actual GPS track left the Topo map road years ago I backtracked to the new intersection and found where the old road (now closed) faintly continued as printed on the Topo Map. Johny Park FDR118 is a prime example of this fact. The West end of the road use to intersect the county road .4 miles East of the Parachute Road T.H. but now intersects the county road .5 miles to the West. What happened is that the Forest Service closed the part of the road that ran through private property and re-routed it on F.S. property to the county road. I see this re-routing also done due to other concerns like erosion or sensitive areas that need to be protected.

 

Another observation I've made is that some of the FDR numbers change over time. I've got some old Forest maps with road numbers that don't match the numbers on the ground today. Then there's the dreaded road gate that suddenly pops up closing huge areas of Forest Service land. It's all in a constant state of flux.

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This is great! I'm up in Idaho and don't get to CO or Wy very often but I love it. I'm sure the list is growing by the hour with people looking for you to do there state. But I have to through it out there love to see Idaho done to. I know get on the waiting list and see you in 1 to 10 years. Thanks for doing everything that you have.

Edited by PG+LT+WD
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Sure, I can consider it...can't promise anything. It takes me about a month (a few hours a night plus a little more on weekends) to do a state start to finish. I've got Utah to finish and Colorado needs an updating so it would probably be mid to late March before I could even consider it...

 

What tools do you use? Where do you get your data from? I'd like to produce my own topo maps, but I'm not sure where to start.

 

Hi bargel,

 

The tutorial that MtnHermit pointed to is a good one. You can also Google for the keywords: custom garmin map

 

Software wise, the old standbys are GpsMapEdit (UI) and cGpsMapper (compiler). You can try those out without spending any money. I've never used it but I've heard good things about Mapwel - it is an all in one UI/compiler and supposedly has some pretty good tutorials. It has a trial version and a cheap personal version. Another one to check out is MapMan, I believe (like GpsMapEdit) it uses cGpsMapper as the backend (compiler).

 

Hope that helps,

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The quality of the information for other than the contours varies. I see a number of duplicated roads in the National Forest areas. One road is usually correctly named and the other isn't. One road is usually closer to accurate placement.

 

For instance, Rampart Range Road (South, near Rampart Reservoir) is marked with two polylines. One is labeled "Fs Rd 300" the other is "3". Sometimes they are close, sometimes not. The one named "3" seems to be close to the actual location whereas "Fs Rd 300" is wrong at times.

 

"FS Rd 302" incorrectly goes over the top of Ormes Peak whereas road "1008" (incorrectly labeled FS 302) is more accurate.

 

Same with the Pikes Peak Highway (FSR 334) to the top of Pikes Peak. It goes off the northern cliff just before reaching the top of the peak.

 

Hi Poenix2001,

 

Thank you for the feedback.

 

I went back and looked at the raw data and saw the issues you are seeing. I recall seeing some of this when I built the map. The two road layers, local and forest, were both obtained from CDOT. They do tend to overlap in a lot of areas but the local covers inner city residential roads (which forest does not) and the forest has a lot of rural roads that don't seem to be on the local (but I'm not sure if they still exist).

 

For the rural roads, the local one actually seems to be more accurate (as you saw) but has poor labeling - just county road numbers (the 3 & 1008 you saw). The forest one has better label but it seems those labels may not be accurate...

 

I'll just have to keep my eye out for better layers...

 

Thanks again,

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Phoenix,

In making my track library I have discovered several interesting facts... Some roads on Topo maps are simply not there any more. ... [snip]

Hi n0wae,

 

Yes, I've known about the state of topo maps for about 40 years or so. I'm also generally aware of the accuracy of government data sources such as the Tiger database. This product shows the problems IndyJpr has to deal with using the "local" and "forest" data from CDOT.

Edited by Phoenix2001
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This is great! I'm up in Idaho and don't get to CO or Wy very often but I love it. I'm sure the list is growing by the hour with people looking for you to do there state.

 

I'll buy you a cheeseburger for Upper Michigan/Northern Wisconsin topos. :unsure: Seriously, I'm glad to see that people are starting to produce good quality topos and then make them available to others.

 

I started to try my hand at some, but I run Mac at home, and one of the programs just crashes on opening when I run it in Virtual PC. Maybe sometime down the line, I'll be able to set up a Windows box to run this stuff on. Until then, I'll dream.

 

Oh, and the offer of a cheeseburger stands.

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Just a little preview of what's coming for the Colorado mapset. n0wae is sharing an extensive track/waypoint collection that he and others have collected over the years and I'll be adding them to the mapset utilizing some custom line/points types.

 

Here is the current mapset:

gms_bc1.jpg

 

Here it is updated (just a test, the road names may or may not be correct):

gms_bc2.jpg

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Have you been checking with the Forest Service to see what GIS data they have? It generally is not on line but they will send it to you (they have either emailed it or put in on a FTP site). At least all the National Forests I have tried have done this. They have always sent me shapfiles. I've gotten trail locations, road locations, etc. It, however, takes time to track this down from each National Forest. Maybe someone would volunteer to track it down for you.

 

The National Park Service also has lots of GIS data such as trails, back country campsites, etc.

http://www.nps.gov/gis/data_info/park_gisdata/co.htm

 

I like using a typ file to make the trails show as a thin red line. It makes it much easier to see on the GPS.

 

I really like your maps, but I like them in layers even better. I like using City Navigator with, transparent topo/hydrology/ POIs, and trails

 

If you want to see a Forest Service example, I checked and some of this is still on line:

 

3 zip files of data has been put on this web site ftp://ftp2.fs.fed.us/incoming/r9/marktwain/

when using Internet Explorer, then be sure that under Tools ->Internet Options ->Advanced, "Enable folder view for FTP sites" is checked, and "Use passive FTP" is unchecked - otherwise you may not get through the security net.

 

mt_roads.zip are the roads for the Mark Twain.

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I was looking at your great maps a bit closer. I am not sure if you have noticed this but there seems to be some issues with the hydrology, particularly with glaciers and wetlands. When I compare your maps to others, glaciers and wetlands do not show. Sometimes there is a shoreline where they should be. I also noticed the CO maps look like they do not have the high resolution hydrology. I''ve done most of the comparisions to Garmin's National Park 24K maps. Thanks again for the maps.

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Hydrography problems - data from CDOT was used. There metadata states 'dataset copied' in 2004. No infomation on source, source scale, processing, etc. is given. Since NHD at 1:24,000 scale was only completed a few months ago, with only a few basins available in 2005, I doubt if CDOT used anything better than 1:100,000 scale data.

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Hi snowfleurys & myotis,

 

Thank you for the feedback.

 

There are several known issues with the Wyoming mapset, most of them resulting from some oddities contained in the the Tiger dataset used to create the mapset. In the upcoming revisions I will try to clean-up the issues as much as I can.

 

I had hoped to get the higher resolution hydrology into the mapsets on the first round but I simply ran out of time and/or energy. The current plan is to get CO updated during the next revision and WY sometime in the future.

 

These state mapsets will probably never be "done" but I do hope to make iterative improvement as time (and motivation) allows...

 

Thanks again for the feedback,

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IndyJpr,

 

How long did it take you to make the basics for each state map? I have random parts of Arizona done to 1:24k scale contours with some roads and trails depending on the location.

 

Do you maps have hiking trails and such? I can only find them for some 24k quads but not others which makes things a little weird.

 

I love the Colorado map btw.

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Hi -Oz-,

 

How long did it take you to make the basics for each state map? I have random parts of Arizona done to 1:24k scale contours with some roads and trails depending on the location.

It's really hard to say. I usually can only work on them - at most - for 2-3 hours a day and a little more on weekends. At that rate it takes about a month for a state although things are getting faster as I iron the kinks out of my workflow...

 

Do you maps have hiking trails and such? I can only find them for some 24k quads but not others which makes things a little weird.

Wyoming has some but I don't think CO has many. Hopefully for future revisions I'll be able to find some decent trail datasets or be able to hook up with some hiking clubs/forums to get access to their trail libraries.

 

I love the Colorado map btw.

Thank you.
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Count me as one of your fans. While the TOPO 2008 coverage of Colorado isn't too bad (50 foot contours rather than the 130 foot contours found in other states), I find that your 40 foot contours are a lot smoother. The downside is that the extra detail taxes the processor on my VistaHCx a bit more, but that price is worth it IMHO. Plus, your map actually has the streets in my neighborhood positioned correctly (Topo 2008 has them shifted several hundred yards.

 

Looking forward to the update.

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I saw these maps on another GPS the other day and I am downloading them now. Can't wait to use this weekend and then next week in Fairplay, CO. It will be interesting to compare, I have been using the US Topp maps from Garmin version 3.02 and City Navigator version 8.

 

This thread was difficult to find now that there is a GPS called the Colorado.

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Hello,

I saw these maps on another GPS the other day and I am downloading them now. Can't wait to use this weekend and then next week in Fairplay, CO. It will be interesting to compare, I have been using the US Topp maps from Garmin version 3.02 and City Navigator version 8.

 

This thread was difficult to find now that there is a GPS called the Colorado.

I hope you enjoy the maps.

 

For more information on the Colorado mapset and other states I and others are working on you can check out the following thread:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=187709

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