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Topographic Map Programs #1938
Back To Discussion List Written: 2007.09.27 by: Matt Lucas

I want to pick up a CD with topo maps of northern BC at 1:50,000 or just BC in general

I'm looking for - Ease of use - Compatible with windows - Prints easily on a normal colour printer - Compatible with GPS (I don't have one yet but will be getting one in the future) - Reliability



#965 - 2007.10.10 Matt Lucas
Thanks For the information

I'll have a look at the different companies

#962 - 2007.10.05 Robin Tivy - ETopo or Softmap or Garmin
I am currently doing extensive testing of all three of these products and comparing them, feature by feature. Its not trivial! I am also comparing how easy it is to accomplish certain test objectives, which I call "Use Cases". Last year's study into this is posted under "Navigation", as well as links to the various manufacturers.

#958 - 2007.09.28 Scott Nelson - Proprietary GPS maps and free NTS mapsheets.
My understanding is that if you want to load maps onto your GPS, then you have to buy the map package from the GPS manufacturer. If you just want to plot waypoints on a map, any will do. Geo referenced tiff images are now available free online for NTS 1:50,000 and 1:250,000 mapsheets.

#957 - 2007.09.27 Robert Bailey - Garmin Mapsource TOPO Canada
I've been using Garmin mapping GPS units since 2004 with their Mapsource TOPO Canada product. The program and the National Topographic System (NTS) 1:50,000 maps for all of Canada are installed on your PC. It is super easy to use on your PC and the mapping GPS devices it is designed to work with. You can create routes, tracks, waypoints, etc. on your PC, then load this data with the relevant NTS maps onto the GPS unit. When you are using the GPS unit, you can record waypoints and tracks that you can then load onto your PC where you can edit and save the information.

You can also print colour maps with any route, track and waypoint data you wish, with the level of detail you specify. You can print what you see in your map window.

One downside of this mapping product is that the NTS maps are not as current, or accurate, as BC TRIM maps, which also have a higher resolution.

You can call me at 604.930.9778 if you have any questions about my experiences with this product.