Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wormvine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,163

    Best TOPO software???

    Looking for good topo,gps mapping software! Any ideas!

  2. #2
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,961
    What do you want to do with said software? There are lots of programs out there, and none of them excels at everything. Depending on what you want, you may need to consider different packages.

  3. #3
    The Element Of Choice
    Reputation: eddieselement's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    101

    You might like this one

    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Looking for good topo,gps mapping software! Any ideas!
    Here is what I use thinks to a friend who sent it to me. What I would do is fint your address on there and mark that point as home start and that way when you plan a rt. from home its an easy start. http://www.toporoute.com/index.htm
    A man looks into the abyss. Thereís nothing staring back at him. At that moment, a man finds his character. And thatís what keeps him out of the abyss.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wormvine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,163
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    What do you want to do with said software? There are lots of programs out there, and none of them excels at everything. Depending on what you want, you may need to consider different packages.
    I am not totally sure about all I want to do with it. I would like to see as acurately as possible where I might want to go. I have a mapping GPS and would like to superimpose those routes onto topo or satelite images. I want to see elevation charts/graphs of the routes I map. 3D visualation/flythroughs would be cool.

  5. #5
    Slow climbin' clyde
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    I have a mapping GPS and would like to superimpose those routes onto topo or satelite images. I want to see elevation charts/graphs of the routes I map. 3D visualation/flythroughs would be cool.
    You can use MotionBased (free) and Google Earth (also free) to do the satellite overlay and flythrough parts. If you really need topo I use the Garmin Topo maps and I'm fine with it although I don't end up using it very often.

  6. #6
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,961
    Ok, well here's the rundown of the programs I use (can't say about others since I haven't used them).

    Garmin Mapsource TOPO:
    For on-computer route planning, it's okay. Can create tracks (and waypoints and routes) to load into the GPS. Map detail isn't the greatest, especially in the 1:100k series. 1:24k is available, but with VERY limited coverage. If you want topo basemaps on your GPS, it's really the only way to go. These maps don't print well.

    National Geographic Topo!:
    MUCH better package if you want to print paper maps to carry with you for any reason. You can get 1:100k nationwide package or 1:24k state packages depending on the area you want. The 1:100k NG maps are FAR better than the 1:100k Garmin maps for printing. This one is a little better for on-computer route planning, HOWEVER, it will not transfer tracks to your GPS as tracks. It converts them to a route or a series of waypoints. You cannot load these maps onto your GPS.

    Motionbased:
    Since maps are web-based, they are lower resolution than NG Topo, however you also get aerial imagery. Printing doesn't work so well with this, but you can export tracks in multiple formats to display in other programs. This service gives lots of ride statistics for training purposes, and integrates with Google Earth for the mapping functions. This one is great for sharing files and reviewing training data, but is only so-so for mapping. You cannot plan routes with this service.

    There are many more out there that I haven't used, but these are the major three.

  7. #7
    Grizzly
    Reputation: alizbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    695
    Another to consider, and the only one that features a free demo, is TopoFusion. It has just about everything you could want at a reasonable price. It is developed bya mountain biker, one who post on these forums quite a bit (Krein is his handle).

    I'd buy it immediately if it was Mac compatible.

    www.topofusion.com
    GrizzlyAdam.net
    Read my book
    Follow me on Twitter

    "The only thing better than solitude, is society."

    ~Ed Abbey

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wormvine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,163
    Thanks for the info! everybody

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wormvine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,163
    Quote Originally Posted by alizbee
    Another to consider, and the only one that features a free demo, is TopoFusion. It has just about everything you could want at a reasonable price. It is developed bya mountain biker, one who post on these forums quite a bit (Krein is his handle).

    I'd buy it immediately if it was Mac compatible.

    www.topofusion.com
    Checked it out...looks cool!
    Anyone know how this rates vs. DeLorme Topo USA 6.0?

  10. #10
    Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Checked it out...looks cool!
    Anyone know how this rates vs. DeLorme Topo USA 6.0?
    I haven't seen the DeLorme program but I'll speculate that the two are not at all similar. TF has a strong focus towards performance - for instance, when downloading a track from a GPS you'll instantly know moving time, elapsed time, avg speed, have the option to color code the track according to altitude. You'll have the means to answer questions like "where did I stop and for how long?" That particular question is rather important in my latest analysis quest...

    Maps for TF are downloaded (and cached) on an as-needed basis. Hence, internet connectivity is required unless you already have the maps you want cached.

    I've only just scratched the surface with this program, but the more I see the more I like.

    Like others have said though, it really depends on where your priorities are. I use all 3 programs on a regular rotation depending on the task I'm after.
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wormvine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,163
    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    I haven't seen the DeLorme program but I'll speculate that the two are not at all similar. TF has a strong focus towards performance - for instance, when downloading a track from a GPS you'll instantly know moving time, elapsed time, avg speed, have the option to color code the track according to altitude. You'll have the means to answer questions like "where did I stop and for how long?" That particular question is rather important in my latest analysis quest...

    Maps for TF are downloaded (and cached) on an as-needed basis. Hence, internet connectivity is required unless you already have the maps you want cached.

    I've only just scratched the surface with this program, but the more I see the more I like.

    Like others have said though, it really depends on where your priorities are. I use all 3 programs on a regular rotation depending on the task I'm after.
    Hairball,
    Don't take this the wrong way, I am not trying to insult you in any way but I am not looking for speculation. TopoFusion looks good but so does Delorme. With the software you can download satelite imagery just like Topofusion for a fee. They give you $100 credit to get you started. So there is no internet required once you have the imagery. It has 3D flythroughs and overlays, etc. It looks very similar to TopoFusion. I am not looking for performance analysis. I am looking for best resolution, imagery, tracking.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 3034's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    749
    usaphotomaps freeware (donation)

    http://jdmcox.com/

    free 24k topos free photos

  13. #13
    Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Hairball,
    Don't take this the wrong way, I am not trying to insult you in any way but I am not looking for speculation.
    That goes without saying. Isn't clarification of TF better than nothing? It's free info, you get what you pay for...

    Speaking of paying - with Delorme you have to pay for freely accessible files? TF includes sat imagery, 3D capabilites, and there is no recurring cost for map/imagery downloads.

    Hopefully Delorme is doing some sort of processing to existing files as it's hard to imagine charging for freely accessible files.

    Perhaps when you've done your research you could report back here to let us know more about the Delorme sw?
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  14. #14
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,961
    If you want the best resolution for aerial imagery and you have a little techy know-how (or the willingness to learn), I would look into GIS software. I have not encountered an off-the-shelf program that downloads imagery that uses anything of very good quality. You can spend upwards of $1500 on the latest version of ESRI's ArcGIS, or for free, you can download QGIS (yes, it will work on windows, mac, and linux). From there, you can download MN DNR Garmin so you can save your Garmin info in the proper file format (.shp). Once you have those programs, all the data you want for the US can be had for free. Most of it is available from state government or major university websites (oftentimes, the two combine resources). There is a great deal of data available worldwide also for free, but not as much as for the US.

    Going this route will give you higher resolution aerial imagery than you can get elsewhere. And, if you want to drop some coin, you can purchase 6inch resolution aerial imagery from some GIS data websites. I am working on a map of a local nature center and I have topo contours at 5' intervals for detail (extrapolated from freely available digital elevation model data), roads, property lines, streams, ponds, aerial imagery, and wildlife habitat suitability data that I downloaded entirely for free. I have also GPSed all their hiking trails and added that as a data layer.

    To be honest, though, I don't normally use GIS software with my mtb rides unless I am trying to make a map of a trail system for distribution. Lately, I find I'm using motionbased the most (and yes, it has a free version you can use indefinitely).

  15. #15
    Slow climbin' clyde
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    Lately, I find I'm using motionbased the most (and yes, it has a free version you can use indefinitely).
    ...and MotionBased can kick out any activity you upload into KML to open in Google Earth, also free, to do the flythroughs that were spoken about above.

  16. #16
    Exactly 1/2 of 2-Epic
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    750
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    If you want the best resolution for aerial imagery and you have a little techy know-how (or the willingness to learn), I would look into GIS software. I have not encountered an off-the-shelf program that downloads imagery that uses anything of very good quality. You can spend upwards of $1500 on the latest version of ESRI's ArcGIS, or for free, you can download QGIS (yes, it will work on windows, mac, and linux). From there, you can download MN DNR Garmin so you can save your Garmin info in the proper file format (.shp).
    Thanks for the links - I didn't know open source GIS existed. Darn cool.

    So with these tools can you generate basemaps that can be uploaded to Garmin mapping GPS units?
    Dave

    Anything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.

    2 Epic

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: wormvine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,163
    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    That goes without saying. Isn't clarification of TF better than nothing? It's free info, you get what you pay for...

    Speaking of paying - with Delorme you have to pay for freely accessible files? TF includes sat imagery, 3D capabilites, and there is no recurring cost for map/imagery downloads.

    Hopefully Delorme is doing some sort of processing to existing files as it's hard to imagine charging for freely accessible files.

    Perhaps when you've done your research you could report back here to let us know more about the Delorme sw?
    Hey Hairball,
    Again I didn't mean any disrespect. I downloaded the free version of topofusion. Not bad. It did pretty much what I wanted just not 3d flythroughs, from what I could see just yet. I am not sure if Delorme's imagery is higher resolution but I will say that TF's isn't bad. It could be clearer, more colorful but it does the job.
    I am not sure I can get a demo from Delorme. Do you know how long the sat images stay in cache???
    One thing cool about Delorme is their new GPS that loads imagery to the device. Handheld Google earth so to speak. Too bad I just bought my 76csx last summer.
    Thanks again for all the feedback guy.
    Worm

  18. #18
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,961
    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Thanks for the links - I didn't know open source GIS existed. Darn cool.

    So with these tools can you generate basemaps that can be uploaded to Garmin mapping GPS units?
    It takes a different set of tools to create basemaps for your Garmin GPS.

    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...pic=145256&hl=

    The 5' contours I spoke of in my earlier post were generated using the above method, but stopping before the conversion to Garmin format. I wouldn't want 5' contours on my GPS, anyway. A VERY small area at that detail level even bogs down my desktop computer.

    The cool thing is that you can create map data for your GPS using nearly any vector data. With MN DNR Garmin, you can even take .shp files and upload them to your GPS as an active tracklog (that you can trackback on), or to actual waypoints that you can navigate to (which you could not do if you turned that data into basemap graphics).

    Garmin GPS receivers are a lot more versatile than Garmin would have you believe. Folks have written a lot of open source software that works with them to make them far more powerful. You just have to know what you're doing.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •