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Topo maps in your digital camera?

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Topo maps in your digital camera?

Postby balzaccom » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:10 pm

This came up as I looked at my photos from a recent trip. I had taken a photo of the topo map at the trailhead, just as a lark, and realized later that with the zoom feature of the camera, I could actually read the map.

So has anyone here tried to do this? Use your camera as a topo map library? I tried taking a couple of photos of maps here at home, with fair success--but what I would REALLY like is to be able to load them into the camera as jpgs.

Any ideas? Suggestions? Experience?

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Re: Topo maps in your digital camera?

Postby copeg » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:43 pm

That's an interesting idea! Not sure if one could place tiff's onto a digital camera, but if your camera has a good zoom feature you could load up the full 7.5 usgs topos and make use of it. I'm a bit old fashioned and like having the full length topo in hand, but I love the idea of having the another source of maps to poor over. Thanks for the idea.
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Re: Topo maps in your digital camera?

Postby SSSdave » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:16 pm

Have been doing that for years over all four digital compacts I've owned. Each of the cameras takes the same Secure Digital SD flash card media so I still have a few old 128mb cards that are not really worth carrying for usual purposes because its too easy to just carry a few large 1GB plus these days. Alot of times I'll come to a trailhead where some kiosk will have special information like maps etc. Of course such kiosk maps usually have better up to date trail infomation. Especially trails that are not even on topos and shows their names. So I'll take some handheld pics onto one of these small SD cards that otherwise has no other files or images. Otherwise take the 128mb memory out and stick it in my photo pack. If I wish to view something I'll just swap it back in. Keeping such pics on the same 1GB+ memory card as all the other pics shot during a trip is non-functional as one would need to sequence through a list of one's images to reach those. Also one can put some files like wildflower species lists or pics of text from a guidebook etc onto this dedicated memory before the trip for like reference. When at one of the Yosemite Wilderness offices a useful task is to take pics of all those special maps they have showing wilderness zones and special no camping areas, no fire areas etc. Because those maps are not online or otherwise available.
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Re: Topo maps in your digital camera?

Postby dave54 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:17 am

I can load the pdf maps into my Droid phone and use the built in pdf reader to view them. Simply download the maps as a file. 16gb of memory, I haven't run out of space yet.

I don't use them for backcountry navigation as I have yet to see the batteries die on a paper map. It is a back up to the paper.
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Re: Topo maps in your digital camera?

Postby ryanerb » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:56 pm


Good idea. It not sure if we could try something like the solio usb charger to charge the droid in the backcountry. but nothing beats a paper map!
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