Where free topo's& aerial photos?

Doing a project…all my old software wont read on my new Mac…etc and Terra server is now charging for aerial photos.

need 8x10 topos and aerial photos…where do i find them on the net?

Tried Google Earth but photos dont print black and white and are only tiny on the page…about 2 inches by 6…when i need a full page.



the usgs has a top map store. you can download anything for free or order printed maps for money.



– Last Updated: Oct-03-11 4:00 PM EST –

to get earthgoogle images, you can use a graphics program and do a "screen capture" Whatever you have, search for help on that phrase.

scale the earthgoogle image as needed
screen capture it
move (without zooming) to the next earthgoogle view
screen capture it...repeat

then, use your graphic program to join them together.
this is easiest if you do not zoom earthgoogle once that you start...everything will be in the same scale when you join it.

I do a lot of art related map work...I use the same process to re-make usgs maps when what I need is not on a single chart.

confused on
confused on why i would repeat the steps twice? What is the graphics program you use and is it free? where did you get it?


I know its not free, but its like $50 a year.

Ryan L.

Here ya go
the replacement for TopoZone when trails.com bought it and started charging …


i was wondering if there is a download button anywhere there? I didnt see anyplace to download the map etc

What im hoping to find but have not on the above mentioned sites is a place to click in a specific area…such as placing the 4-corner points within a large topo to create a smaller, more detailed specific area and then download that specific small map. Seems the above only have the large scall 1:24,000 maps but i only need a certain area on the maps …doing a huge museum display etc and dont need the clutter of 80% of the large format maps.



graphics program
you need something like paintshop pro, paint, photoshop etc. it’s a program that you use to modify, resize photographs. You repeat the steps to get the best resolution images that you can get. I have a hunch that my suggestion is beyond your computing abilities…never mind.

You have to go down to the bottom of the topoquest page to find out how to download the maps you want. Spend some time reading the instructions and navigating the site to find out what they have and how to get it. Free costs time - if you want easy, you’ll have to pay.

2 options

– Last Updated: Oct-06-11 10:38 AM EST –

For Topo maps, one option was talked about in the News section of the Spring 2011 issue of California Kayaker Magazine. Here's what it said:

NOAA’s BookletChart
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Office of Coast Survey has released the experimental BookletChart, downloadable and printable PDF charts to help recreational boaters locate themselves on the water. BookletCharts have been reduced in scale and divided into pages for convenience, but otherwise contains all the information of the full-scale nautical chart. To download a BookletChart, go to ocsdata.ncd.noaa.gov/BookletChart.

If you print and laminate these, it may not be more cost effective than buying a waterproof chart. Options to help keep the cost down would be to buy a waterproof chart case or to use a product like Thompsons Waterproofing in a spray can (spray each side once, ensuring thorough but not dripping coverage, hang to dry, and you should be good to go).

The other option would be to download a GPS/Topo program. I use a shareware one called Topofusion, which has many different maps and a few satellite image options. The free version has some sections of maps blocked (as a limitation - in hopes that you will pa the price and get the full version without sections blocked), but you can move the map around until the are you want is shown. I paid the money for the full version and have never looked back.

I downloaded NOAA charts
Got all the ones I could conceivably use. If you haven’t been there in awhile it’s a new feature they only started last year I think.

But that’s coast line only- not topo maps

USGS and NOAA maps are FREE
The whole USA is available for FREE download from the USGS. They even have older versions of maps and historic maps. NOAA has FREE charts… it also has historic maps available.

And, the quality is better than trails.com, topozone etc. which of course are just selling you USGS maps. duh.

wish i had known that before spending money with topo.com and im sure the previous posters thank you too since they didnt mention USGS either

Another good site
Not kayak or coast/waterway specific, but bikely.com is good for plotting out distances. Though it’s made for cycling roads (or off-road), it works for waterways too. No, no depth or other aquatic market information.

yeah, the cool thing

– Last Updated: Oct-11-11 8:26 PM EST –

is that the 2011 series of maps are aerial photographs (that are kind of difficult to use as topo maps, being hard to read in my opinion), but they still let you access the earlier versions. The corps of engineers also has inland water maps that you might be interested in looking at. They have some pretty old historic maps as well some going back to the mid-1800's. I used an 1888 map of the Columbia River in some work that I was doing...amazing how much whitewater there once was.

I can't figure out the COE anymore...her is the link to the NOAA chartviewer. It is pretty slick

Try Acmemapper2.0 it is free and you can print topos and satelitte photos.

That’s pretty good
Acme mapper works pretty good. It sure is quick, and also easy to switch between map models. thanks