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kgilby
11-09-2006, 18:42
I'm looking at DeLorme's Topo USA 6.0 software for both route (by car) planning and trail mapping use. It's rated well on several sites. Is anybody familiar with it?

schmuttis
11-09-2006, 19:14
We print off the maps for the various sections and take them with us when we hike. We find them useful but tend to look more at the maps that we get with our AT guide books when we want to check what kind of elevation gain we will have to hike.

We also use the Delorme street atlas and upload maps into our GPS. Is there anything in particular that you want to know?

kgilby
11-09-2006, 20:36
I was mainly looking to find out how useful people find it for planning and/or reviewing hikes. I've used DeLorme's Street Atlas for road trip planning and like it - their Topo is supposed to do all of that plus the hike routes. I would be using it for AT and non-AT trips so thought it might give some added info vs the trail guides. I am not sure how much detail it provides; what trails, etc. Well, its got a 30 day guarantee, so I may try it.

ardeaitch
11-09-2006, 22:01
I've been using Street Atlas for years and have been happy with it. I bought Topo 6.0 this year for just the same purpose, to help plan out trips. I don't think it's quite as intuitive as Street Atlas- I had the darndest time trying to map the AT from Springer to Fontana. In spite of me telling it to use trails instead of roads, it kept routing over the roads... It turned out - finally - that I hadn't checked all the locations for route preferences or something. Once it was happy, I got happy with the results and it plotted the route using the trail instead of the roads.

It's capable of a lot, though it won't replace Street Atlas because it doesn't have all the information I typically need on a road trip, like where's the nearest Walmart or grocery store...

Once I got over the learning curve, I'm happy with it.
R

schmuttis
11-09-2006, 23:00
I would say that we use it most in the trip planning phase. We still take our printouts on hikes but use it much less than we did originally. We have found the maps that we purchase with the guide books more inclusive. You should know that we are slackpackers so finding many AT access areas is important.

We use 4 things to find our hiking access areas: the website http://appalachianTrail.rohland.org, a printed Delorme Gazetteer for the state we are hiking in, our Delorme road atlas software and the AT Guide maps. I really wish Delorme would combine all of the features of the road atlas, topo maps and gazetteer in one piece of software/maps. When you get to the very small roads that climb into the mountains you will find that their various products have different names for the same road.

kgilby
11-10-2006, 08:29
I think I'll go ahead and order it - it seems that it should do what I want it to do, from what you guys have said here. I've also read that it uses the same data as SA, and since I didn't use the points of interest in that program, I won't miss it. Thanks.

fiddlehead
11-10-2006, 15:20
I have been using Delorme's Topo USA version 3 for about 4 or 5 years now. I think it's an outstanding program. I am now helping someone find surveyors stakes with this program in the woods.
It has a lot of potential. Look around the program and you can learn how to: draw routes (and then look at profiles of those routes) insert gridwork into your maps so that when you get lost, you can insert a goto of crosshairs of your grid into your gps and find where you are easily, right click to insert gps points, look at anything in 3D. (check out the terrain before you go if you want to, amazing)
When we hiked the CDT in 2002 with van support in the snow, we used this program every time we saw our van to print out maps and get gps points on everything. without it we would not have been able to do what we did.
So, yes, the program is great. i believe the AT is fairly accurate on there although we didn't really use it for the AT. (not needed) but it's fun to print out maps and look at things in 3D complete with grids, gps points, and any points of interest you might want to insert anywhere.
Great program. I haven't seen version 6 and don't really understand how they could make it much better. have fun.

JoeHiker
11-10-2006, 17:16
I've been using TopoUSA Version 5.0 for a couple of years now. I like it a lot. I used it to plan/map out my hike of the Long Trail in Vermont last year.

Version 6.0 is supposedly a huge rewrite that speeds things up quite a bit and has many improvments. Wish I could afford to buy it.

The Weasel
11-10-2006, 20:00
I've used the DeLorme version, and it's nice. Best, though, was the AT TopoMaps set, for the whole AT, which had the AT marked on the maps, very high resolution topos (1"=2000', which is about the same as quads), and you could do elevations and more, with the FULL set of guidebooks also preloaded, with pics of very shelter and a lot more. I'd section-print bot the guide pages and the map pages, and loved them.

Definitely better than DeLorme, but it's not bad either.

The Weasel

Zeth01
11-10-2006, 20:23
I have heard... that you can get the national geographic software for topos copy it to your computer and also to a disc and then return it. you will then have a free version.

kgilby
11-11-2006, 14:09
Version 6.0 is supposedly a huge rewrite that speeds things up quite a bit and has many improvments. Wish I could afford to buy it.

I'm sure you'd get the upgrade pricing on it, which is $59.95, instead of $100. I'm looking forward to trying this software out.

JoeHiker
11-13-2006, 17:31
I have heard... that you can get the national geographic software for topos copy it to your computer and also to a disc and then return it. you will then have a free version.


I've heard you could just steal it from the store. Just as unethical and saves you a return trip!

Cuffs
11-13-2006, 17:47
Are you just going to be using Delorme on your computer? I use Street Atlas daily on my desk/laptop computers. Having a gps however, SA is not uploadable to the handheld unit... I dont know if the same goes for TOPO or not... For me, it would be important that the software/maps be uploadable to a handheld gps unit...

Zeth01
11-14-2006, 01:52
just repeating what I had heard of someone doing. I happen to own the software for every state.

kgilby
11-14-2006, 10:08
Are you just going to be using Delorme on your computer? I use Street Atlas daily on my desk/laptop computers. Having a gps however, SA is not uploadable to the handheld unit... I dont know if the same goes for TOPO or not... For me, it would be important that the software/maps be uploadable to a handheld gps unit...

I have SA 2006 already and can load maps onto my Palm Treo, which I use with a Bluetooth GPS. As far as TOPO goes, I don't know if you'd be able to upload to a GPS unit, or if I'll be able to load maps onto the Treo with it, which would be a problem if it doesn't. I'll check on both of those issues when I get the software and post the answer here. Sure wish I'd remembered to ask that question before I ordered it, but I do have 30 days to return it...

ardeaitch
11-14-2006, 11:27
From the Delorme website:

"GPS-Ready
Topo USA 6.0 exchanges Waypoints and Draw objects with most popular handheld GPS models, as well as in-car with Earthmate GPS LT-20"

"GPS Waypoint Exchange

Use the automatic route generation tool to create the route you want without hand-drawing each object. Then exchange this track log to your handheld GPS receiver and bring the information with you into the field. Bring your field data back into the desktop software from your GPS receiver to see where you have been. Supports Garmin, Magellan, and most other NMEA-compliant receivers. Note: DeLorme plans to introduce in late 2006 our own handheld GPS that will display color maps and aerial imagery, in addition to waypoints and track logs.

GPS Log Playback

Create a route along your favorite trail, right-click on the trail and Save as GPS Log File. Open the GPS tab, switch to 3-D mode, and play back the log file showing various icons moving along the trail. Itís as close to being there as one can get without actually leaving your home.

Geocaching Support

Topo USA 6.0 supports popular geocaching site file formats .gpx and .loc, which makes geocaching more fun than ever. Support for these two popular geocaching file formats is new in version 6.0."

I have used it with my Palm device and a bluetooth gps unit. Works great!

Ron

Cuffs
11-14-2006, 11:33
I have SA 2006 already and can load maps onto my Palm Treo, which I use with a Bluetooth GPS. As far as TOPO goes, I don't know if you'd be able to upload to a GPS unit, or if I'll be able to load maps onto the Treo with it, which would be a problem if it doesn't. I'll check on both of those issues when I get the software and post the answer here. Sure wish I'd remembered to ask that question before I ordered it, but I do have 30 days to return it...


I have the SA 2006, and know it is NOT uploadable to a Garmin handheld GPS unit. I *think* I heard that with the SA 2007 version you will be able to use it with a gps... TOPO, different story. Havent done the research to know what its compatible with...

Keep us posted on what you find!

kgilby
11-14-2006, 23:32
I got the software in today's mail, and it seems that it does have the ability to upload to a handheld GPS, as andreaitch indicated.
I was going to try and cut and paste the help file text here, but it doesn't seem to work. (It worked if I pasted it into Word, but not here.) But you can send route points, as well as route directions, to your GPS device. Hope this answers your question.