map software confusion

Cartography, maps, navigation, GPS and more.
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pcg
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map software confusion

Post by pcg » November 15th, 2017, 3:35 pm

I need to up my mapping game.

For decades I used USGS paper maps, then switched to NG Topo maps some years ago so I could print out my own maps. I still do that, along with printing out Google Earth photos, to supplement the printed BLM maps I also use.

I want to take advantage of newer features that are available today and I know there are many options. I hear terms like “Caltopo”, “OpenStreetMap”, and a half dozen other options. I still want to make printed maps. I don’t use an electronic device other than an InReach Explorer. I sometimes use Garmin Basecamp to create routes and waypoints for my InReach Explorer, but it cannot store maps.

Should I start with Caltopo or is there something better out there now?

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retired jerry
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Re: map software confusion

Post by retired jerry » November 15th, 2017, 4:08 pm

caltopo is pretty good. I use it. You can print them. There's a bit of a learning curve.

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justpeachy
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Re: map software confusion

Post by justpeachy » November 15th, 2017, 4:49 pm

I prefer Caltopo for printed maps. It's really easy to generate and print a pdf of a map.
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kepPNW
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Re: map software confusion

Post by kepPNW » November 15th, 2017, 5:41 pm

Caltopo. Create PDFs. You can (of course) print them out, and since they're georeferenced you can also load them into apps like Avenza PDF Maps in the field.
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pcg
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Re: map software confusion

Post by pcg » November 15th, 2017, 5:54 pm

Caltopo it is then! Thanks for the rapid response everyone.
kepPNW wrote:Caltopo... you can also load them into apps like Avenza PDF Maps in the field.
That's nice to hear. I recently started using offline Avenza maps to navigate remote roads while driving.

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kepPNW
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Re: map software confusion

Post by kepPNW » November 15th, 2017, 6:22 pm

pcg wrote:
kepPNW wrote:Caltopo... you can also load them into apps like Avenza PDF Maps in the field.
That's nice to hear. I recently started using offline Avenza maps to navigate remote roads while driving.
Yeah, love it! But, beware the more recent versions only support three "user" maps at a time, which is a royal hassle. This thread offers a link to the last version that supported unlimited maps. (Maybe the version you have is different? I wasn't even aware of an offline basemap option, other than GeoPDFs.)
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neilsonw
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Re: map software confusion

Post by neilsonw » November 16th, 2017, 8:10 pm

I second (fourth?) CalTopo. Just started printing off custom maps last summer and they're great. I also love being able to determine elevation within 20 feet or so when you combine it with Avenza. This is the tutorial I used to get started:

https://douchepacker.com/2016/04/28/qui ... n-caltopo/

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