I use Delorme Topo v.5.0 to assist in route planning for tours and I generally like it a lot. The problem is that it only covers the U.S. My question--is there a similar product for Canada? What do you recommend?
I picked up a copy of Garmin Metroguide Canada V4 on E-Bay, seems great includes all provinces and the level of detail is right down to local roads, with street level detail, it also includes a database of some Hotels, Motels Reataurants, stores, police Depts. with phone #s, etc. I have loaded the maps into a GPS receiver and marked out my preferred route by creating waypoints at critical turns campgrounds etc. Seems like it is harder to find mapping software for Canada for some reason.....
I had the same problem for a tour into Canada last summer. But look what I found: Toporama, by Natural Resources Canada.
They're pretty crappy, compared to DeLorme (they look like they're drawn with crayons...), but I printed and used them for our entire trip up through the Rockies to Banff, and back down through the Okanagan.
I like topo maps for touring. Not just for the elevation gains on the route, but because I can identify geological features and pinpoint our location at any time. These Toporama maps are good enough for that. But they have some shortcomings. For instance, towns are marked, but not named! Before we left home, I spent a couple hours writing town names and route numbers on the printouts.
I'm going o be spending about $80CDN + tax (seriously, this silliness has got to stop) on a 1:25000 (1 inch = 4 miles) CD of Canada to assist with my journey planning for this summers TransCanada jaunt. I've looked at some screen shots that come with the CD and it seems to be up to Ordinance Survey standards. It's all geography and no tourist information, that's going to be gleaned from the MapArt provincial level maps and a copy of The Rough Guide to Canada.
I can't remember what the name of the CD is but I'll post it when I get round to picking it up in a week or two.
Unfortunately there isn't much in the way of good maps for Canada ... especially not topographical maps. All over the world cyclists are telling each other how many feet of elevation they are climbing ... except the Canadians who have no idea unless some of us happen to have a GPS.