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Mapping using National Geographic Topo Software

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago

 Mapping Using the National Geographic Topo! Software


The TOPO! Software is a software that is useful for recreating USGS Quad topographic maps. One of the features that makes it nice for trail mapping is that a mapper can use any GPS with tracking capability and simply download the tracks to the software which can then be overlaid on top of a USGS quad map. The printing capabilities of the software are quite nice.


The editing tools available inside of TOPO! are quite rudimentary. The basic features are the ability to split and delete individual tracks. It may take some experimentation, but it is possible to Split your track and eliminate duplication of areas you might have traversed multiple times. Advanced features like joins and moving points are not available in the software.


How to Map


1) You will need to first take your GPS on a trip with you. Depending on the type of GPS you will probably want to first delete all current tracks. I use both a Garmin 60CSx and 72CSx, the ability to clear the memory is in the options under tracks in both of these units.


2) Most GPS units (and all Garmins I have used) track your every move automatically. This makes it easy - simply turn the unit on and toss it in your pack and go hike the trail(s). After you are done turn the unit off.


3) After you get home, fire up the NG Topo! software. In the Handhelds Menu, you will need to select Import from a GPS, and you will probably need to adjust some settings depending on how you connect the GPS to your computer. On Options make sure you download the track and do NOT make each track point a waypoint.


4) Once you hit go (you need to have your GPS on and connected) you should see it downloading the tracks. Once complete you will have some new lines on your map. From this point play with the drawing tools - they aren't great - but they do allows for some customization.


If you have any questions if you are trying this and I will try to clarify the process better.

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