Topo Map printing?

Discussion in 'Geocaching' started by n8reimers, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. n8reimers

    n8reimers Scout

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    Where do you get your topo maps for hiking and such? I need one and was winding if you guys had any free sites. Printing it on an inkjet.
     
  2. almac

    almac Scout

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    you can get VERY nice topo maps for under $20 from: http://mytopo.com/.
    they even sell waterproof paper maps! :D
     
  3. Oregon Jim

    Oregon Jim Tracker

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    Are they to scale and reliable? Other than USGS, I'm leery of trusting print outs. My local builders-mart will print maps for $2-7 plus laminate for $2.00 but I have not tested them against a .gov printed map
     
  4. almac

    almac Scout

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    they are to a scale of your choice. go there and have a look.
     
  5. scurvy

    scurvy Tracker

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  6. RM_Rambler

    RM_Rambler Tracker

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    Give this site a look:

    http://caltopo.com/map.html

    I've been using it for the last six months and have been very impressed with it. Its also the only map that I've found that has a slope shader built into it. Lets you see avalanche terrain dangers with just a quick glace with out all the work of using a slope meter. Also when you print, it crops the map to fit a standard 8.5x11 piece of paper while keeping the 7.5 minute scale (or which ever scale you choose to use). And its free.
     
  7. jumbaaa

    jumbaaa Tracker

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    I luck out and my company produces maps and has our own cartography dept so I can get what I want for free. If possible... get your maps printed on tyvex. Its water proof, tear proof and they last forever.

    Also in college took some map classes (learned some rather interesting items about maps and usages there of.)


    One item of note that I learned from the class... most home printers "adjust" images to print easier, boarders etc etc... You might find that the maps you print might not be 100% right in terms of proportions.
     
  8. DeseretPatriot

    DeseretPatriot Scout Bushclass I

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  9. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    I download USGS TIFs all the time using www.archive.org for free. I then use the free software PosteRazor, http://posterazor.sourceforge.net/, to create a PDF and print them out. Yes, they are to scale. The trick is to "fiddle with the printing settings (usually a "width of 2.52 pages by height of 2.60 pages). I print out the one page that has the map scale on it and check it for accuracy using a 1:24000 UTM protractor/scale. Then print out all 9 pages on a black and white laser printer to save money. Then cut off the "whitespace margins. Then "scotch tape all 9 sheets to create a full size to scale USGS map. I draw the UTM 1km gridlines on (if they don't exist). Then I use a foam brush to put on a thin layer of water based Minwax polyurethane on the front and back. Be warned this complete process is time consuming and tedious and not quite as accurate as 1 piece (plotter printed) topo map. But it is essentially free and I can have any map in the entire US. 9 sheets of b/w laser printing is not really that expensive these days.

    NOTE: Once you have the map printed out and the scale is correct, inaccuracy can be introduced and compounded by the "taping together" of the 9 sheets of paper. So you need to be as careful as possible. But as I said it is free and give me unlimited possibilities. For my purposes it has worked well enough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  10. saustin1967

    saustin1967 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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  11. Dirtymike

    Dirtymike Scout

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    Great info here! Thanks for the links!
     
  12. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Scout

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    I'll second mytopo.com. They're accurate enough to navigate locations I've never visited before.
     
  13. AnthonySmithXR

    AnthonySmithXR Guide

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    Printing usgs topos is perfectly fine. I use adobe and specify printing at 100% scale and there's no problem at all. Actually, I'm heading out tomorrow morning for land nave with a usgs topo print. Just make sure you don't scale the print out if you're gonna do any navigation.
     
  14. Nex Ut Tyrannus

    Nex Ut Tyrannus Scout

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    Topo map printing

    In Michigan the DNR has the topo's for the whole state for free on their website. I use waterproof paper to print them. I use the Nat Geo paper but there are other papers that are waterproof. Cost about $20-25 for 25 sheets. The paper is rip resistant and holds up well. I have one map I use regular that is 5 or 6 years old dirty but still very use able. Just make sure you print to scale and test it to make sure it printed correct.
     
  15. VinWild

    VinWild Scout

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    I hunt, fish and outfit the same areas year after years so I had MyTopo make me some custom maps for the three main units we frequent. I added scale to maximize the most area of a single WDFW Unit and added shading detail within the topographic lines. 36X48 sized map on no-tear waterproof paper.
    A Custom Topographic Map LAM/ Waterproof Expedition Map in color with shading & Lat/Long Tics, UTM/MGRS/USNG Tics; all for $29.95 to the door - coolest maps available for wilderness travel IMHO.
    You still have to keep updated on the Forest Service Maps for road closures, wood cutting, etc.

    Sorry the picture isn't better. Really doesn't do the map justice.
     

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  16. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    Agreed. Those are very cool maps. Just a bit $$$$
     
  17. Oregon Jim

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    This is what I meant about scale being true. I worry about using local printers for this reason.
     
  18. saustin1967

    saustin1967 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Get yourself a decent map protractor, with 1:24000, or whatever scale you are using. Print a single section(one page) on your printer and compare it to the scale. Most print drivers will let you adjust the percentage of the print size when printing. Adjust that percentage up or down until it fits your scale. You should be good. I tested this therory recently, printed a 1:24000 map with a know point included, plotted my grid, and then verifiyed it with my gps app. Was with-in ten meters, as close as my gps would get.:dblthumb:
     
  19. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    That is why I use PosteRazor and TIFF files. I can adjust the proportins, overlap borders, to compensate for page margins. Then print out 1 page, check with protractor. Print all 9 pages and tape together carefully.
     
  20. kcardwel

    kcardwel Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass III

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  21. AncientNCO

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    I purchased a program called Geobuddy, it may be called Expert GPS now, any how, you can print out your own scale and type of maps. Even satellite or urban photo maps. Initially it is a program for managing you GPS files. But I use it to make maps all the time. You can down load routes and way points, customize the grid lines by scale and colors. It's a pretty versatile program.
     
  22. wizard

    wizard Guide

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    I have a lot of maps, hundreds of topos of the areas I have been to and frequent. When I need a new topo now, I go to mytopo.com and get my maps.

    My topo lets you pick the scale, I usually go for 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 which are military scales that the Defense Mapping Agency uses. Since it is a metric size it works well with the military protractor and it is the same scales most other counties use for their topgraphical products.

    Once you decide on a scale, you can adjust the edges of the area covered to include the exact areas you desire, just drag the rectangle to fit your needs. You can also specify to have MGRS or UTM grids printed on the map. Maps are to your door in a few days, and just what you asked for. Printed in a durable waterproof paper and waterproof inks.

    Scaling is exact also, no worries. The price is about the same as a standard USGS sheet and customized to fit your needs.
     
  23. AncientNCO

    AncientNCO Tracker

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    I've used mytopo maps also. They get pricey. You do get a better quality map though. I guess it all depends how much you frequent a specific spot. If you want the map for a one time use, I'd go with any program that lets you print them out. If it's long term, go with Mytopo, it's worth it. You can get water proof maps also!
     

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