farewell Topozone

Say goodby to a great resource. Topozone was a great place to access maps online to help plan trips. You could even print maps and take 'em with you. It was all free. Now topozone has become part of Trails.Com. Trails.com charges you 50 bucks a year for maps, directions, routes, gps coordinate and weather reports. All stuff you can find on the web for free. Well, except for Topo maps since they took over Topozone. Now I wouldn’t mind paying for access to topozone, after all its expensive to buy individual topo maps, especially for river routes, but $50 a year seems kind of steep. But I guess all good things come to an end sometime.

Come to Canada. Use the National Atlas of Canada:


Click on topographic maps > Toporama on the left.

So, do you want advice, suggestions, or
a consult with General Help?

General Help says “Deal with it!”

I still get free topos off Terraserver, but I admit the process is somewhat clumsy, with difficulty getting just the patch of map one wants. I really never got used to Topozone, and didn’t like it one bit better than Terraserver.

The American Whitewater river info pages have wonderful linkage between topos, street maps, USGS aerial photos, and Google Earth images, but I have not yet found a way to pick the topo map images I want from what is shown on the screen.

Thanks for listening
I’ll take General Helps advice and try to get on with my life by dealing with it. I just had to get it off my chest. I feel better now.

Don’t mind g2d…
He’s a bit cantakerous and is the self appointed message board cop. If he feels your post is in the wrong section, he’ll waste no time pointing out your faux pas.

I guess somebody’s got to do it…
…Now how about a group hug.

For a one-time price of $50…
…you can own DeLorme Topo. Can’t see any reason to pay a yearly fee.

The version I bought was/is a severe
disappointment. Does yours supply actual USGS topo maps, or just computer facsimiles that don’t even show small rivers and streams properly?

I have Topo USA 5.0, the DVD version. Really a waste of money considering what I can do with Terraserver and with Google Earth.

Here’s some help for you.
“Advice, Suggestions and General Help

If you have a paddling question that needs answering then this is the place to post your message. Tap into the knowledge of the thousands of people that use Paddling.net each and every day. Post your questions, post your answers and have fun!”

no major loss
Eh, I never used topozone, terraserver, or delorme topo. I do have NG Topo Backroads Explorer for basic trip planning purposes, but all the high res topos are all still available online for free.

Where you find them depends on what state you live in, but all you need to do is plug in DRG, , topo, and GIS as your search terms in Google. For Pennsylvania, for example, I would visit http://www.pasda.psu.edu/ and from there I can search my county for imagery and get all the aerial photos, topos, and a bunch of other stuff for free. They’re even georeferenced so I can use them in QGIS or ESRI’s ArcExplorer (both free programs) and create my own maps with waypoints, tracklogs, or anything else I want to add.

The only hassle is navigating to the files you want. You usually need to find the map tile index, which will tell you the names of the files that cover the geographic area you need.

Oh, and these images are MUCH higher quality than anything topozone ever offered. To be honest, you’ll need a broadband connection to download them, as an individual scanned topo can occupy 20-50 megs. I think I have a few gigs worth of imagery stored on my hard drive at the moment, so a big hard drive is nice, too. But they print BEAUTIFULLY even if you take the files to kinkos for printing on large format. Most sites give you the option for cropped collars, which is nice if you are tiling several images to form a map of a large area, or including the margins from the original scanned USGS topo, if you’ll be printing the whole thing off at kinkos.

Not a waste
Just different. I have the same version of Topo, and find it to be very useful for storing GPS tracks and waypoints. It also has a routing feature and a 3-D viewing which I find useful at times. Like you, I use the free Google Earth to supplement. That’s why I see no need for map services with additional fees.

For Michigan topos, go here:

(cut 'n paste may be needed)

Now see, if you’d worded it like “Since Topozone is being sucked into a pay-for-use site, where else can I get free topos?” it would be appropriate for the advice board. Remember to phase your posts in the form of a question. :wink:


Yeah we lost a great, versatile resource when Topozone disappeared.

You could plot by UTM, or DMS, change datums, or search by quad,town name, cemetery, etc etc. Their printouts included relevant info and there was the [reasonably priced] option to purchase download access to FULL quad sheets. The coverage was COUNTRY wide and it was ALL IN ONE PLACE.

Unfortunately it was a poor business plan and the owner couldn’t make a go of it. The real crime is that the buyer, Trails.com chucked all his hard work and is offering access to fluff data - bits of topo maps with very limited search functions and no notations (and that’s with full paid access).

We’re looking at Maptech’s Terrain Navigator ($100 per state, full USGS quads) or National Geographic’s Topo! ($100 for from 1 to 5 states, full USGS quads)

If anybody has any pro’s or con’s to share about these programs I’d like to hear it.

I found it helpful a few times, especially in identifying some of the smaller creeks and such.

I’m guessing the other software isn’t available for Mac.


Try NASA’s World Wind Ver 1.4
In addition to high res imagery they have topo map coverage.

Nasa? hmmm…
Wetzool- Thanks for the reference to Nasa’s World Wind; I’ll be checking that out.

Jimyaker- I believe Nat’l Geographic’s TOPO! is available for Macs. It’s also a better $$ deal than Maptech’s if you don’t wish to determine area. (Both will determine distance.)

The nicest thing I found with MapTech’s Terrain Navigator (and I’m told Nat’l Geo’s TOPO! also does this) is print out maps, of whatever area I’ve selected, with a UTM grid overlay. Makes navigating and measuring distances in the field quick, accurate, and easy.

Darn, I thought Brent ran this thing! NM

Sounds like this Coyoteequip guy has a Map Fetish :-o

He is great to have along on a trip though…he knows how to fold em :^)

It’s only 2.5 miles to Old School House Road :-))

I know, G2D. None of that was advice, or general help.



Thanks Longshadow!
I didn’t know about that link for Michigan maps. It’s bookmarked.