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Topo software(9 posts)

Topo softwareclimbo
Jan 31, 2002 5:42 AM
What is a good topo cd for laying out bike ride routes? I think you can get them by state so I'm looking at PA and NJ mostly. Thanks.
2 sourcesTig
Jan 31, 2002 5:50 AM
Both sites have free online topo's as well as topo software you can buy.
http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/default.asp

http://navigator2.maptech.com/homepage/index.cfm
re: Topo softwareJL
Jan 31, 2002 6:13 AM
I've had good luck with Delorme's Topo USA. I've used it for my PA routes. It's interesting to see what the gradients are on sections of my routes. It also gave me an idea of the accuracy of my bike computer vs. the maps mileage. Fairly close.

There's another one Cliff Oates used to mention that gave good elevation totals, if you're into that.

Happy riding.

JL
re: Topo softwareCliff Oates
Feb 1, 2002 6:29 AM
That would be Topo!, which was acquired by National Geographic as grzy notes below. The maps and elevation profiles generated by Topo! are very attractive, but route tracing is extraordinarily time consuming and is not really worth the effort.

I now use DeLorme Topo 3.0 exclusively as the automated route tracing feature is a huge productivity boost. Also, Topo! relies on USGS quads for their maps. The maps for my area are 20 years old while a lot of the roads around here are newer than that, so tracing a route frequently involves some guessing. OTOH, DeLorme road data is kept fairly current. DeLorme has a lot of rough edges and could really use a new UI and print/export processes, but it gets the job done.

FWIW, DeLorme will print out route directions that are based on the waypoints and "via" points you create as you construct the route.

Cliff
Also, www.topozone.com (nm)MikeC
Jan 31, 2002 6:14 AM
re: Topo softwarehms
Jan 31, 2002 6:19 AM
One of my Christmas presents was DeLorme Topo USA Version 3.0. It has six discs that cover the entire US. There are regional versions available (i.e., one disc) for $49.95. The "East" disc in my set covers CT, DC, DE, KY, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT AND WV -- so the East version should address all of your needs. You can plot road routes, get profiles of elevations and various stats about the routes. I recommend it.
My experience w/TopoUSAcoonass
Jan 31, 2002 4:15 PM
was negative. Although it gives you great topo views, even in 3D; when you tried to zoom-out and print a reasonable section of your intended bike route, it eliminated the names of the roads, and even some of the intermediate roads, etc. I prefer to know the names of the roads to make my turns; if I knew where to turn, I wouldn't need the map. I've been using Microsoft's Streets program for mapping out county rides...but I will investigate the herein suggested sites.
:)
National Geographic's Topo!grzy
Jan 31, 2002 6:23 PM
They bought the original company, but the product is pretty good. I use it for SF Bay Area and Tahoe adventures. Really dig the elevation profiles that it builds. Tracing out a route can be a bit tedious, but use the latest software version from their website and get an optical (laser) mouse. The added accuracy really makes things easier. Don't have experience using the other products so I can't compare and contrast. Routes can be saved.
some examplesDog
Feb 1, 2002 7:14 AM
Here are some routes using Delorme Topo USA 3.0. http://www.midcalracing.com/oakhursttollhouseroute.htm Click around and look at some various ones. Some I've done better than others.

I agree with someone above that other programs might be better purely for maps for routing purposes, and you lose some resolution in Topo.

However, for routing and then generating a profile or 3d view, I've seen nothing that comes close to the ease and features of Topo. The 3d views are almost like an aerial photograph. You can really get a good view of the terrain. Of course, the views are much more dramatic when looking at mountains. They are fairly featureless for midwestern areas.

Doug