Jump to content

What Is The Best Topo Software For Ppc


Recommended Posts



I am looking to get started with my dell axim. I am looking for a TOPO software that is has good quality maps. I have the National Geographic Back road but when you zoom in the map quality is not very good. Any suggestions on mapping software and Topo maps would be greatly appreciated

Link to comment

Last time I looked MapTech and NG had scanned versions of USGS Quad maps that you could put on Pocket PC's.


National Geographic's implemention absolutly sucks on it's waypoint managment (there is none except the point you plug in by hand). The map quality itself I found to be good so I'm not sure we are looking at the same type of PDA map. NG had zoom levels and you had to be sure to import the highest zoom to have the quad maps.


I don't have the experience with MapTech's version but they may have a demo version that you can install and check out.

Link to comment

I can't say enough about Oziexplorer, you have to go to the website to see the extensive list of features. As for the version for the Pocket PC, you can use GSAK to export your gpx file to an Ozi waypoint file and upload to the PPC. Here's a screen shot of it with a couple waypoints, and one that it's navigating to. I don't have the gpsr hooked up for this shot but if it was tracking, the crosshair at my location would be an arrow pointing in the direction I'm traveling. You can do just about anything with routes, tracks, waypoints, comments, events, points and other things with the PC version.



Link to comment

I gotta agree with Poindexter that Ozi is great, and it sounds like he and I are using it in a similar fashion. Most of the time I use Ozi CE on my PPC for USGS 1:24,000 map (or air photo) display, and there is nothing better once you are on foot, out of the car and looking for the cache!


I've been using Ozi on my laptop and a PPC for a couple of years now, caching all over the midwest. I got all my hundreds of topo maps for FREE, because I download 'em from the various state agencies (it gets my goat to pay someone else for maps when I already paid my tax dollars to Uncle Sam to make those same maps). I do have to calibrate the maps to get 'em into Ozi, but that's a pretty automatic process (depending upon which state I get the topos from). I store the topos on SD or CF memory chips state by state, and just plug in the state chip I need when I go out hunting.


Like Poindexter says, waypoints are a breeze. I just dump a new Ozi waypoint file directly out of GSAK and copy it into the PPC every time I go out hunting; it really couldn't be easier. All the wayponts show up on whatever map is displayed on the screen (even when you change maps) and GSAK will auto code the color of the waypoints to indicate cache attributes like found, not found, placed, and temporarily disabled caches if you choose.


I also carry a wireless (bluetooth) GPSr with me at times, and then use the (bluetooth equipped) PPC with the topo maps in Ozi as my GPSr. That way I've got my position showing real time on the actual USGS 1:24,000 topo quads displayed on the handheld PPC. This sure beats the heck out of any maps I've seen on either Garmin or Magellan units.


Plus, it's easy to load airphotos or maps you scan yourself into Ozi. I visited New York City last month (without an auto) so I scanned in a subway map of Manhattan before I left. I loaded a fresh waypoint file of NY area caches, so I knew which train stop to get off at. and then I'd just switch to a street map to walk to each cache site. Ozi and a Metra pass made for some of the best urban caching I've ever done, and it was my first time in the big apple. Sweet!


I'm so addicted to this system I never go caching without it. Some of my buddies laugh at the geeky maps, but their guffaws dry up when I'm the one that can tell them which side of the stream the cache is hidden on, or the best way to approach a cache hidden at the bottom of a steep ravine after 10 pm on a foggy night. Nothing beats those large scale topos and air photos, and with Ozi, you can also scan in and calibrate whatever other maps you want to use.


Ozi will take a bit more research and work on your part to implement, but if you are a real map lover, it's not work, it's fun. And since it gets you the BEST possible maps for free or next to nothing; it's definitely worth it!

Link to comment

Just to throw my two cents in....What about Memory-Map Navigator? It is relatively new, but it ROCKS. You can get a whole state worth of topo maps and the software for less than $100. It gives you desktop software and PPC software all in one package. You can do 3D displays and print maps with your waypoints, notes and routes all on there. The latest version even lets you download GPX and LOC files right into the program. No other software required to convert the data. (Although, GSAK is still a rockin' program for working on large numbers of cache files.)


It just pains me that such a great program is largely unknown here. :P

Edited by Greymane
Link to comment
How is Ozi on waypoint files?

i dont use the handheld version, but the pc version using qnav png topo map images and the results are pretty good. ozi for the pc uses text files for waypoint, routes etc and are asily editted, and manipulated. i also have used elevation data to generate 3d map images, using the ozi 3d addin, again with great results.

Link to comment
Greymane Posted: Jan 27 2005, 03:39 PM 


Just to throw my two cents in....What about Memory-Map Navigator?


Can I use my own maps with this? From what I understand, you can't and can only use maps purchased from Memory-Maps. This is what I like about Oziexplorer. I can use any map I want, and I can get USGS topo's for many states online for free.

Link to comment
Can I use my own maps with this? From what I understand, you can't and can only use maps purchased from Memory-Maps.

That is incorrect. You can use your own maps. They have a map download website that allows you to download USGS quads for $1 each. You can scan paper maps and calibrate them right in the program. You can use DOQQs, aerial images, marine charts ... just about anything. The program will accept many different map formats.


The nice thing is that you can use a graphics program to add things to the map. You can also use the tools in Memory-Map to add not just waypoints, routes and tracks, but also text messages on the map. If you get elevation data for your maps (which you can get from MM or it comes with their map packages), you can view the maps in 3D (even do fly-throughs).


I, personally, think it is the most versatile program out there.

Link to comment

OK, I downloaded the trial version and checked it out. I still prefer Ozi but of course I'm used to it. When I opened a USGS geotiff DRG the auto calibration was incorrect. I don't want to have to manually calibrate these topo's when Ozi does it correctly. Also I don't see an option to print the map with a UTM grid which is what I use. I don't see an option to switch datums. It looks like a very good app but I'm not happy with what I found as compared to Ozi with just a few minutes of playing with it. I'll have to play with it some more but if it won't auto-cal (correctly) the topo's, then it's not for me. I don't mind paying a buck for a topo that will work, but not when I can get topo's for many states for free.

Link to comment

It is really six of one, half dozen of another. Everyone has their preferences (or there would only be one model of GPS out there).


You can change the position format under MODE > POSITION FORMAT. It even has British National Grid and Canada's Township and Range format. Pretty versatile, I think.


I agree with you on the maps (not the calibration part....haven't had any issue with that), but you can find many quad maps for free on college GIS websites. You just have to search a bit.


I also like that I can take just about any map image and calibrate it to use as a moving map. I have even used old historic maps for explaining things to my kids. Took them to an old battlefield and let them look at a map from the period while we tracked our position.

Link to comment
RK are you thinking what I'm thinking. Both of us have had a bone to pick about waypoints on NG Topo!. On the other hand I'm really not interested in spending time downloading maps. I just wish NG would add waypoint management. What's their problem????

I wish I had paid more attention to this thread BEFORE I paid the 24.95 to upgrade to Topo for Pocket PC. I have really enjoyed the TOPO on my PC for uploading geocaches and printing out maps for the road. I erroneously assumed that going to Pocket PC would eliminate the need for printing out maps with the geocaches shown on them. The maps are kinda nice, but not what I wanted.

Link to comment

It's not a total waste. It still will show you wyour current position. You also can set the one waypoint you're going to on the hunt. True, it has to be entered but it's only one or two that you'll be going after at any one time.


In the meanwhile, the rest of the waypoints are in my Vista GPS on the 100K scale Topo map.


Also, keep Topo maps of the various parks where many of the cache are located in your PPC. I've started to do that. This way whenyou're out and about, and you hit a park, you've got the 24K map in the PPC ready to go.


Bottom line its it might only be worth $14.95 :o

Link to comment

I have both, oziexplorer, ozice and memory map. Ozi explorer is a giant by all standards, in my opinion it has no fear of threat from any other product. Memory map for pocket pc is unmached for simplicity and power.


I down load Mr Sid tiles for free, the hight data for free and enjoy the three d of any location. I redude the map size using mapmerge to customize the size of the map out of the huge Mr Sid tiles, and producing ozfx3 file format that can be viewed on the latest version(development version) of ozi ce.


Being not in north America this is the optimal solution. Memory map does not even have maps for the midle east, but I can convert ozi calibrated maps to memory map using a utility shareware . Memory map is my preferable product for pocket pc and I talk to the developer for the wish list that me and others have.

Link to comment

You are correct. Memory-Map does not "sell" maps of the Middle East, but I have maps of Iraq I use on Memory-Map. I have maps of New Zealand, Great Britain, Canada, Mexico and most of the US states. That is what I like about it (and I know Ozi is very similar in this manner). I can use maps in all kinds of formats. I can use Maptech, marine charts, aerial charts, satellite images, scanned maps, USGS topos. I don't have to buy Garmin maps or National Geo maps or any other manufacturer-specific maps to use my software. Even if they do not come with georeferencing, I can calibrate them myself. I use DOQQs (in MrSID format) all the time. Here in the US, the USGS maps are horribly out of data. The DOQQs are more up-to-date and more detailed. (They do take up a lot of room, though.) What it really comes down to is, this is what I know best. If you use Ozi, it is what you are comfortable with. Not really that different. It is like the difference between and iPaq and an Axim.


(Sorry for the ramble.)

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...