Mapping software

Does anyone have any recommendations for good mapping software? I’m not at all interested in anything GPS-related. I just want to be able to search around for decent paddling spots.

I’ve got MS Streets and Trips which isn’t too bad, but it’s only about taking trips on streets. (They should have made that clearer in the title.) :slight_smile: It’s fairly easy to use, but waterways are just shown as possible obstacles to driving. Very little is named.

I tried Delorme Street Atlas, and that was absolutely pitiful (for what I need). I did the one-week free trial on the Keyhole satellite imaging software, and while that was amazing, I can’t justify the several hundred dollar subscription fee.

Anything else out there that gives a little more attention to water?

Topo USA
By Delorme.

Use it all the time.


I use a couple of different Maptech programs.

The one I like and use the most is their Terrain Navigator program. It is a really good topo program that even lets you plot tracks and routes to and from your GPS. I really like the ability to print whatever section of a topo map I want at whatever scale.

Here’s a couple of links to some maps I’ve made using Terrain Navigator:

Lake Jocassee:

Wyboo Creek/Lake Marion:

Isle of Palms/Caper’s Island:

The other program I have is their Chart Navigator. It covers all of the navigational charts for the ocean. I’ve found that it is just not as detailed as the Terrain Navigator so I just don’t use it that much.

Hope this helps,


It may not be the best for paddling, but it allows you do download map areas as you want them and you can switch back and forth between satellite photos and USGS topo maps.

Can’t complain about it a bit considering it’s FREE!

I like the free part of topozone ( I search and create maps using the internet and my browser then print hard copy to take with me on trips.

Thanks everyone!
Great suggestions. Can’t wait to try some of these!