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Thread: USGS Topo map question

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    Default USGS Topo map question

    I'm looking to see if anyone has used the USGS 7.5 minute [1:24 k] topo maps, version 2010. What are the differences between this and the older ones? I'm running off a nintendo 3ds right now and can't get a detailed look at them on the USGS site. Can anyone enlighten me. Right now I'm using the 1980 version for my areas. Lots of stuff missing due to major roadways being added as well as urban sprawl. Thanks guys.

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    Tinder Gatherer
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    I'm not sure if this will help you, but have you seen Gmap4? It is an enhanced Google map viewer that can display topos for the USA and Canada in a seamless interface. The following link displays a high resolution topo map for a random spot along the Wisconsin-Michigan state line. On the Michigan side you can see the USFS road numbers for even the small 2-track roads.

    http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap...4&hillshade=18

    To flip the map to the google aerial click "t4 Topo High" (upper right corner) and select "Satellite".

    The "t4 Topo High" maps displayed by Gmap4 are scans of the most recently published 'traditional' paper topos. USGS no longer published paper topos. They now only publish digital maps.

    Full disclosure time: I am the developer of the Gmap4 software. This project is part of my way to “pay it forward”. Translation: Gmap4 is free for non-commercial use. It is popular with people that enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities.

    Gmap4 is a browser app, not a native app. Gmap4 runs in most browsers on most devices from smartphones to desktops. Note that the browser does have to be online. When Gmap4 is running in the browser on a smartphone, it automatically displays phone-friendly buttons.

    The button in the very upper right corner lets you change map types. In addition to topos for the USA, you can also look at vector topos for all of Canada. The Menu button give access to various features. A rightclick will show some useful info.

    Anyone can make a Gmap4 link that will show a zoomed in view of anywhere. Simply use zoom/pan or Menu==>Search to make the map look the way you want it to look. Then click Menu ==> "Link to this map". The link that is displayed will reproduce the same map you see on your screen. These Gmap4 links can be used in forum posts, emails, blogs, websites, etc.

    The Gmap4 homepage has a FAQ, examples, quick start info (in the Help file) and more to quickly get you up to speed.

    Gmap4 default map: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php

    Gmap4 homepage: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html

    Joseph, the Gmap4 guy
    Redmond, WA

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    Tracker
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    The only difference between 2010 versions and previous versions is that the newer the map, the more accurate it will be. Things like magnetic declination will change over time with shifts in the magnetic field of the earth, roads will change names, building will be put up or torn done and depending on your area, the actual geography can change quite a lot (earthquake, volcano, massive erosion). So the newer the map, the more accurate the information on it is. That being said I'm still using maps from the early 90's, I've just penciled in any of the changes that have occurred over the years.

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    Jelf: thx for the info about Gmap4. Sounds great & I will definitely check it out!

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    A word of caution... a 7.5' quad (or any other base map) with a newer revision date does not mean that every detail has been updated. There are various revision levels.

    And the USGS increasingly tasks it's workload to "customer" requirements - read that as public entities who can then use supplied digital elevation data, etc, to generate their own customized 2D and 3D displays.

    With the availability of GIS software, the end user is increasingly dependant on their own abilities to search through Federal, State, County, and Municipality GIS databases to download available updates for roads (and other shape file types), import the files into their GIS software, layer the data appropriately, and then print in hardcopy format or transfer electronically to a portable device.

    While it may seem like a PITA, it does allow you to customize to your own individual needs and wants.

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    thanks guys, can't do it right now, but i am looking into upgrading my hard copy maps for my AOs. i dont like printing my own maps, because of differences in printer size and accuracy. that said im looking into buying about 6 maps in the 24k scale for my area[s].

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