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Thread: Looking for topo maps online

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    Default Looking for topo maps online

    Hey guys and gals I was wondering if anyone knows of some where I can get topo maps of the USA at 1:24,000 or better. Hopefully some that I can put on my Garmin GPS. I looked on the Nat. Geographic web site and they sell these by the state for like 80.00$$. Any help would be cool, thanks everyone
    Andy

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    GaryB is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Maybe posting the 3rd time is the charm.

    I use 3 different programs that have all of the USGS map available for my state. Delorme Topo 3D Western Regions, the National Geographic State Series, and iGage. So far I like the NG for ease of use making and loading routes to GPS. But I find all 3 have special options that make me use all 3 often. The Topo 3D for example is good for terrain.

    I'd check into the Garmin software as well. I have a Magellan, and I'm getting a copy of their software soon to see if it's good or not.

    Also look on eBay, they always have programs cheap, in fact the NG CA is on there used for cheap.

    A few more sites to add:

    http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/

    http://www.flashearth.com/

    Those 2 are really good for aerial, the NASA has to be downloaded where the other is web based. Fast connections and a decent PC are required or expect major lock ups and crashes.

    http://www.gpstm.com/index.php

    A GPS route tool program that I have played with some, but mostly heard it's neato from others.
    "I have a .44 and a shovel, I'm sure no one's gonna miss you" - Virginia City, NV

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    You guys are awsome, thanks!!
    Andy

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    So I've looked at all of these links and they are good thank you guys again, but I can't seem to find what I'm looking for. I'm looking for idealy 1:24,000 topo maps. (These are very detailed maps) that I can plug into the garmin I have for free.

    #2 would be the same and just not free

    #3 would be 1:100000 maps that I could put into the garmin

    Now I'm not sure what exactly is compatable with garmin as far as getting these maps from this screen on to a flask disk and in to the gps unit it's self. But I could ask around once I have the quality of map I'm looking for on hand, but I haven't got that far yet. I'm pretty sure garmin has maps but they are alot of money. Any in-put would be great cause I'm lost here, thanks in advance!!!
    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by coolguy0621 View Post
    ...
    Now I'm not sure what exactly is compatable with garmin as far as getting these maps from this screen on to a flask disk and in to the gps unit it's self. But I could ask around once I have the quality of map I'm looking for on hand, but I haven't got that far yet. I'm pretty sure garmin has maps but they are alot of money. Any in-put would be great cause I'm lost here, thanks in advance!!!


    I have no idea of what is compatible with Garmin - I can link you up with Electronic versions of most any USGS map and often I can find them trimmed (No edges) so they can be spliced but they will be at best in a non-lossy compression algorithm (GIF) or more often just straight (TIF). I would wager that no hand held GPS packs enough memory for GIF and most laptops can’t handle large TIFF images well.

    What you need to learn the format and compression algorithm utilized by Garmin but I suspect Garmin has significant obfuscation in their work to prevent simple re-engineering. This poses a challenge to some “Cracker” mentality individuals so I suspect some of the best and brightest have had a go at it. The fact is that such a product would violate all sorts of copyright laws and the “Cracker” would not be able to reap any monetary reward means that should anyone succeed, the code would be posted at a less scrupulous off-shore location so the “Cracker” could obtain “ego” reward.

    Now, to stitch a hundreds of 1:24,000 requires lots of virtual memory. I think the 1:24,000 clipped maps of Nevada require about 8 Gigs of storage What I’ve seen in GPS maps looks like some ARC-INFO overlays of roads, and other features, not full scans of Topographic maps.

    The answer is that all that raw data is available, there is no copyright on USGS work, anyone with talent could manipulate that data to a form that would work in a GPS. Since there is little chance for additional profit in producing a GPS with an “Open Architecture” I suspect the major manufactures will continue to obfuscate their code and sole source the maps. Delorme, Garmin and National Geographic seem to have this pretty well locked down. Consider a modern laptop and one of those other programs Gary mention.
    Yet Another Bob

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    For compatibility, your best bet is to get what ever Garmin software fits your needs. IIRC Garmin has basic, 3D, etc. programs to choose from, plus it depends on the limits of your particular GPS unit. I'd hit the Garmin site and find what you have to choose from for your specific unit, and pick the one that fits your needs. Then do a search for that software through Google for places that sell it cheaper than Garmin does, or even if you are willing, used software on eBay, Amazon, etc.

    I think what you are misunderstanding is that unless you have a GPS unit that does not have a zoom in and out feature, you don't need to load only 1:24,000 specific maps. Most software runs all increments of USGS maps that change when you zoom in and out on a GPS unit. Quite similar to how it works on a PC.

    Now, if you have a unit that does not zoom in or out, you might have to load 1:24,000 maps only. But, if that's the case (not having zoom) you may not be able to load those maps in the first place. Garmin is the best bet to tell you that info, which is why I recommended dealing with them first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    What you need to learn the format and compression algorithm utilized by Garmin but I suspect Garmin has significant obfuscation in their work to prevent simple re-engineering. This poses a challenge to some “Cracker” mentality individuals so I suspect some of the best and brightest have had a go at it. The fact is that such a product would violate all sorts of copyright laws and the “Cracker” would not be able to reap any monetary reward means that should anyone succeed, the code would be posted at a less scrupulous off-shore location so the “Cracker” could obtain “ego” reward.

    Actually, there was a guy selling a "trick" on eBay that allowed you to covert map files so that you could load full software files in less space (or something to that effect). I'm not sure if he's still doing it or not. But I know that since technology has increased so much, it may not be much issue for newer GPS Units. Mine has a 1gig card that allows me to save something like 200 routes or a full install of mapping software IIRC. Most of the upper end models (like mine was a 2 years ago) are unlimited gig now.
    "I have a .44 and a shovel, I'm sure no one's gonna miss you" - Virginia City, NV

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    Ok well Both posts helped me again, and thank you.

    So I already found a disc set from Garmin that has the whole country at 1:100000 for like 100$, which is great compared to 70-80$ a state that Nat. Geo. sells for the 1:24000.

    It just dosen't show the topography very well, but like Bob said it's going to take alot of gigs to store all of that. I do however have an external hard drive with something crazy like 300 gigs on it. This last trip I got my laptop going when we were in the truck and when we got out to hike I just loaded the map section I wanted, took the gps and left the laptop and was gone. But I soon realized that I needed more detailed maps to navigate off of the terrian, so I ended up buying paper maps at local stores before we headed out and using them more than the 500$ gps I have.

    So I'm going to check out some of this Garmin stuff and see how much I can zoom in on my gps unit, play with the 1:100000 scale and all that fun stuff.

    Thanks again Bob and Gary!!!!!!!!!!!
    Andy

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    Question Maps

    Quote Originally Posted by coolguy0621 View Post
    Hey guys and gals I was wondering if anyone knows of some where I can get topo maps of the USA at 1:24,000 or better. Hopefully some that I can put on my Garmin GPS. I looked on the Nat. Geographic web site and they sell these by the state for like 80.00$$. Any help would be cool, thanks everyone
    Hey Andy, did you ever find any of those maps you searching for?

    Sheila & Johnnie

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