Online maps

9:20 p.m. on October 14, 2008 (EDT)
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5,239 forum posts

I use for most of my non-paper map tech. It's produced by the USGS (United States Geological Survey).
Like the other maps you can load into your computer and view from any where you take your PC, Mapcard will for $19.95 a year allow you to see anyplace in the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii. It covers the scale from 1/6000 to 1/1,000,000 depending on the area. You can also get color and/or black & white Aerial photos in all the scales. Plus with Java you can draw lines, get GPS cordinates,place flags,map distances, Etc.
And print out or save to your hard-drive all the maps you want for the yearly membership. Or save to the website any maps for future viewing and download. I like it cause I can print the area of the place I am going without having the huge 7.5 or 15 minute map with maybe 80% of what is not on my trail or route.
You can also get larger scale images of where-ever (USA) by clicking on the USA map in the lower right corner and zoom in to increase scale. Otherwise you simply type in the placename, state and Go. If you don't type the state it will bring up every available topomap with the placename given. Check it out at
I have used it for about 3 years now and really like it.
And if you want to order the paper maps go to There you can see and order any topographic map in the USA, by state and location in that state.

5:16 a.m. on October 15, 2008 (EDT)
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99 forum posts

Thanks for the tip, I'll look into it.

But I must ask, are you in any way affiliated with this company? I ask because you do not state any cons.

1:26 p.m. on October 15, 2008 (EDT)
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6,005 forum posts

You can go directly to the USGS website and download most of the USGS maps directly, for free. No need to go through a commercial source. Of course, commercial software (like my favorite, National Geographic's Topo!, or second place Delorme's TopoUSA or favorite street-level maps Delorme's StreetAtlas) and some websites do add a lot of functions beyond just getting the map.

MTB, one obvious con - Mapcard costs money. He didn't say whether you can load the maps and aerial photos into a PDA or IPhone. I suspect you can't load the maps and sat photos and aerial photos into your GPSR like you can with Delorme's software and their PN-20 and PN-40, or like you can with Magellan's Triton series of GPSRs, or Garmin's GPSRs (using Garmin's proprietary software (yes, those cost money, too).

2:01 p.m. on October 15, 2008 (EDT)
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1,369 forum posts

Bill S: I could not find the free map download on the USGS site, especially the 7.5 minute maps. What gives?

3:54 p.m. on October 15, 2008 (EDT)
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3,956 forum posts

Tipi, I happen to have that link bookmarked, here it is.

Hope that helps.

7:44 p.m. on October 15, 2008 (EDT)
4,404 reviewer rep
6,005 forum posts

trout, thanks for posting that link.

The GeoPDF software (linked on the USGS page) is pretty useful. I have been using the free version of it for a couple years. The expanded functionality does cost, though, but is really only for people who are working with survey types of projects as a business.

April 21, 2018
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