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What maps do you carry?

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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby copeg » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:46 pm

Usually carry a Tom Harrison when covering longer distances, but for x-country I feel the detail in them is just too shallow so I'll usually print my own from maps downloaded from USGS. I always love carrying the large scale Tom Harrison's regardless, love spreading it out on a trip and studying the nooks and crannies, identifying peaks and valleys that would take dozens of 7.5: USGS maps to identify.



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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby dave54 » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:10 pm

Been mentioned before, but the Lassen and Plumas NF web sites have topo quads online. pdf files. 8.5x11 so you can print on your home printer (tip: use photo paper for a cleaner image).

From the individual forest web site go to the Maps & Publications section, then Print Quad Maps

These quads have been made for every California NF, but only these two have put them online for public downloading (I haven't checked every NF in a while, if someone finds other forests have done so please post back here).
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby Ikan Mas » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:17 pm

Tom Harrison maps all the way. NG maps are hard to read and often leave out important details. The one I bought last year for Mt. Rainieer left out a part of a trail that connects from Crystal Lake to the PCT, an important deail. Even the NPS pamphlets they pass out at the gate showed the connection. Funny, an organization that basically invented the concept of modern maps is such a failure when it comes to current implementation.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby ERIC » Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:12 pm

Ikan Mas wrote:Tom Harrison maps all the way. NG maps are hard to read and often leave out important details. The one I bought last year for Mt. Rainieer left out a part of a trail that connects from Crystal Lake to the PCT, an important deail. Even the NPS pamphlets they pass out at the gate showed the connection. Funny, an organization that basically invented the concept of modern maps is such a failure when it comes to current implementation.


Very true about the accuracy of USGS quads. I'm not quite sure how old that trail segment is, but something I always check is to see what year a particular quad was last updated. In TOPO! you can simply right mouse click on the display and select properties to see the year.

Harrison maps are choice. I'm just too cheap to buy them.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby Sloop » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:08 am

I guess i just got sold on the NG maps because they cover all areas of the country and one map, unlike the USGS quads, covers the entire area that i'm hiking. For my next trip, which is in the sierras, I'll have to check out those tom harrison maps.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby ERIC » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:47 pm

Someone might be able to correct me here, but I 'think' the NG maps are nothing more than cleaned up USGS maps that are stitched together to be seamless. As far as I know, USGS quads have full coverage of the USA. TH maps are a bit different, as I believe he creates most of the features found on the maps from scratch.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby dave54 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:31 pm

All maps, regardless of source, are only as accurate as the last update.

The problem with NG maps, or any seamless map set, is the marginal information is removed. So you have no idea when the map was last updated (and which features were updated), which may be a different date from just a few miles away.

I like the marginal information on my maps. Too much valuable information there to just cut off and discard.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby ERIC » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:00 pm

dave54 wrote:All maps, regardless of source, are only as accurate as the last update.

The problem with NG maps, or any seamless map set, is the marginal information is removed. So you have no idea when the map was last updated (and which features were updated), which may be a different date from just a few miles away.

I like the marginal information on my maps. Too much valuable information there to just cut off and discard.


I don't have one of the newer versions of NG TOPO! but on the version I have, you can right-mouse-click anywhere on the map display and bring up "About This Map" from the menu for some of the marginal info. It doesn't provide you with everything hard copy margins contain, but it does at least provide the quad name, map version, year of last update and elevation source/vertical precision info.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby obiwan canoli » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:25 pm

Mike M. wrote:By the way, there was a post here (it was moved to the gear board) that talked about a great deal for TOPO! customers to upgrade to new state maps. The idea was that owners of Wildflower Productions TOPO! regional series maps could upgrade to a National Geographic TOPO state series map for only $19.95, plus shipping. When I called, National Geographic told me it wasn't true, the offer did not exist. I wonder if the original poster can shed some light on this. (I posted this on the gear board too but it is not as active as this board.)

Mike


Mike, that was me who posted about TOPO! Wildflower and the great deal on newer software. As I posted on the original thread, the deal was as I noted... If you were a former TOPO! Wildflower customer who'd picked up the Regional Series CD's (there were several, each for a different area of, in my case, California), then I was told, over the phone, by the NatGeo rep who'd responded to my initial inquiry and told me to call him, that there was a standing offer, still on the books, as it were, that you were eligible to purchase the newer version, one State Series TOPO! package, for $19.95 + S&H.

Kevin Lance was the guy's name, and he was a department supervisor who'd informed me this was the deal offered several years back when they stopped offering the Wildflower version, and began offering the newer version. He also informed me the offer was still valid, as the "upgrade" offer was never rescinded. I use quote marks because he was insistent that the new TOPO! 4 version was NOT an upgrade, that it was an entirely new version of TOPO! (accounting for why you could not simply go to the NatGeo site and download - free - the new improved version), but that it was a simple matter.

Check out that prior thread, as I noted his contact info. there.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby SSSdave » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:12 pm

similar topics on this board in the past

7.5m USGS topos because I'm off trail often so need more accuracy than 15m
offtrail my map is often handing from a string on my chest strap right in front of me
where i can use it continually
these days will often print out maps from libremap project and enhance them
or fromacme especially for short spur of the moment trips.
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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby oldranger » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:34 pm

Since I've been reading 15' series maps since the late 50s I find I can read the nuances better than when reading the 7.5' series. I know that technically there is more detail on the 7.5' series but I just can't visualize what the information means as well. Despite knowing distances from the legend I have a difficult time estimating travel time when using 7.5' maps. Maybe it is a matter of teaching an old dog new tricks but my judgements of whether a route will go based on a 15' map have not failed me (yet). So I take my old 15' maps (sometimes now in pieces) and usually a larger scale map with relatively recent updates as to trail locations. But trail relocations and differences from old maps are a problem only when deciding where to cut cross country but so far that has not been a problem either. I never realized how easy it is to navigate in the sierra until I moved back to Maine in the late 70's for a few years. The rolling, forested topography coupled with mostly gray days made cross country travel much more challenging. Similarly the heavily forested complex micro topography in the Central Oregon Cascades makes cross country travel much more challenging. Comparatively, off trail travel navigation in the Sierra is a piece of cake! In the Sierra I seldom, even in new country, check my maps more than a couple of times a day.

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Re: What maps do you carry?

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:50 pm

I’m another 7.5m USGS user. I sometimes carry a 15m map, but usually just try to memorize the peaks outside the 7.5m before the trip. I’ve just updated to the new NG and I agree with their not being up to date. My wife and I did a hike last week in the open space area where we live in San Geronimo Valley. The NG map did not show two fire roads (that’s roads, not trails) we hiked on. The Marin Open Space District map we downloaded was far more accurate. I’m considering printing out trips in the Sierra from the NG maps on waterproof paper now that I have a color printer, but I’m going to do this well before any trip so if I need to order from USGS I’ll have time to get one from my old reliable source.
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