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Old 08-07-05, 06:11 PM   #1
LastPlace
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Maps...maps...maps...

I am looking for a mapping program that shows elevations in addition to roads. Does anyone
have a favorite, and/or any suggestions? Next summer I hope to start riding the
Blue Ridge Parkway and elevation data will be very useful.


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Old 08-07-05, 06:25 PM   #2
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TopoUSA, among others, can do this. I just rode a section of the BRP yesterday. It's a great ride. Be prepared for regularly-spaced 800-1200 ft. climbs.

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Old 08-07-05, 07:50 PM   #3
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www.earth.google.com. Free download, fantastic program.
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Old 08-07-05, 08:24 PM   #4
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Longhorn, thanks but I have a dial-up modem at home and Google won't work with
that, but we might have 'accidently' downloaded it at work so that is an option.

va_cyclist. Thanks. I found that but cringed at the 100.00 price tag. It does look like
a nice program though. Also, I saw your post the other day about the BRP and wished
it were me.

Thanks again for all the assistance.

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Old 08-07-05, 11:48 PM   #5
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I have Topo USA and found it to be useful but excrutiating slow in loading and panning across a map. If you are used to the regular mapping programs with only a few to 5 seconds delay in remapping as you pan, then Topo USA is a shock, taking 20-30-40 sec to fill in a map. My machine is not particularly fast at 1.4Ghz proc speed and ordinary 70Gig HD, but the program is not something you browse through unless you are used to dialup download speeds. Maybe users with faster machines can chime in with their experience.
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Old 08-08-05, 05:12 PM   #6
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I use a program called TOPO! it runs right around 50.00.
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Old 08-08-05, 06:07 PM   #7
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http://www.delorme.com/topousa/default.asp
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Old 08-09-05, 05:44 AM   #8
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I have a couple of friends with the Delorme program. Great maps, very detailed, but we have noticed that some of the secondary and lesser roads in our area are mislabeled. Also both friends mentioned having minor trouble conflicting with other programs and not much support from Delorme resolving the situation.
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Old 08-09-05, 06:16 AM   #9
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Just to clarify -- there are multiple versions of Topo floating around. The most recent version, which I think is v5, comes on either DVD or CD-ROM media. You can get either an eastern-US or western-US regional edition for around $50, or the full country for around $100. I've seen the full edition discounted to around the mid-$80's.
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Old 08-09-05, 08:37 AM   #10
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These don't seem to work on unix/linux. Bummer...
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Old 08-09-05, 09:28 AM   #11
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I got Topo5 a few months ago and have been using it. If you only get one of the regions, I think it's $50 ($100 for whole US).

On the plus side, it has pretty amazing detail (it even has the elevations for my common driveway). I have found very few maps that can get down to such fine grained detail. And I'm not familiar with other programs, this one does provide elevation profiles. There are a lot of features that I've "discovered" - for example, you can change the stats associated with an elevation profile to give total climbing elevation, average grade, etc. Another feature is that you can have an elevation profile in one window and mouse along the route to associate the elevations with the map; at the same time, the grade is shown in real time, so you can see how steep a grade gets.

On the down side, zooming and panning is pretty slow (it's faster for me than the other poster, but not instantaneous), the user interface is totally non-intuitive and non-standard, and printing a map is frustrating (I guess I haven't figured out that part very well yet).

Overall, I consider it a worthwhile tool, but there's room for improvement.
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Old 08-09-05, 11:35 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the info. I only browsed the DeLorme site and didn't notice that regions
were 50.00. My mistake. As for speed, by box is 3.0GHz running at 3.3GHz so it should
be fast enough for my applications....especially if I can ride the Blue Ridge Parkway
next summer. Thanks again for all the great info.


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