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I have researched Delorme topo, National Geograpic topo and backroads, what is the most detailed? I have posted what I want to do before, which is to find a topo program that has trails depicted on them so I can mark the trails with waypoints and then upload them as trail into my gps. Now granted I know that the maps are not uploadeable but I want to use the trails depicted on the software to make waypoints along the trail and then upload the waypoints as a homemade trail.

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I love National Geographic TOPO. But it has some other problems, like cost and support.


The National Geographic TOPO state series is about $100 per state, although you can get it cheaper if you shop. Furthermore, their support man Michael Wildshut is a nightmare. The man has no concept. A USB cable does not NEED a driver! But I digress. If you install the TOPO Streets and 3-D views, ($20 option) it is by far the best valus for the $$$$. Just don't ask Michael Wildshut for help! Use the forums here instead.


I also use Back Roads Explorer. But it has some other problems, like some states do not have the 7.5 min maps as the state series has. And of course its support comes from Michael Wildshut again. If you tell me what state, I can check Back Roads Explorer for you. Lemme know...


I also use Garmin Mapsource TOPO. Mostly I use it to upload maps to my Garmin GPSmap60CS. I do not use it enough to tell if it will make your tracks.


Last, but most often, I use ExpertGPS. Other than support for custom Icons, I think it is a great program. Great support (except for the custom icons) and 1/2 the price of National Geographic TOPO. But of course, National Geographic TOPO has more functionality, like 3-D maps (with the option) and elevation profiling.


Tough choices - good luck. I believe that like me, eventually you will own them all! :(



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When the trail is one that appears on the 7.5' USGS topo maps, I've used USPhotoMaps (jdmcox.com) to create routes and tracklogs to download to my GPS. There are some areas where the Terraserver data is messed up - the area around Half Dome is an example. In those areas programs like USPhotoMaps and ExpertGPS have problems since they get their data from the Terraserver site.


But the main problem is that many local trails do not appear on the USGS maps and sometimes trails that do appear have been rerouted so they are no longer shown accurately. In that case programs like GARTrip (www.gartrip.de) and OziExplorer let you use any computer map image, such as trailmaps from local/state park websites, calibrate them with lat/long information, and then trace out trails/routes for download to your GPS receiver.

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