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[cdt-l] topo maps

The TOPO! statewide CD-ROMs are $200 each!  The
maps from these are really nice - seamless and
they offer contour shading.  TOPO! does offer 
CD-ROMs of smaller areas for like $50 (I have
a couple of them for Washington).  They do print
decent maps, but they're no better than the 
topozone maps - Both are just scanned USGS maps.
(In fact, the topozone scans are actually a higher
quality - the white background is actually white.
On the TOPO! maps, it's an eggshell shade)

I've found that it helps to adjust the "gamma" of
the topo maps (from either source) to about 0.50
using some kind of graphical editing software (I
have Corel).  This makes the minor topo lines 
easier to read.

Also, by importing the maps to Corel, I can erase
non-critical parts of the maps to save on printing
costs (for example, if the trail follows a river for
10 miles, there isn't much added value to a map
which shows miles of surrounding mountains.)

This new "map factory" feature on topozone gives it
the same flexibility as the TOPO! CD-ROMs - I can
export the files to Corel and edit them.  For those
of you interested, this is what I do - 
-Select a 1:24000 map at 2100 x 3000 pixels
-Import the file to corel and adjust the gamma to
0.5 (and crop off un-needed stuff if warranted)
-Print on high-quality paper at 650DPI, using a 
print scaling factor of 50%.

This gives a crisp image (even smallest text is 
readable) that's 8" x 10" printed, & about 1 mile
to the inch.  I've also found that prints on high-
quality paper don't "bleed" when they get wet.  
With a lot of moisture, they will get blurry, but
it takes a lot!

I'm really liking these 8" x 10" maps - a lot easier
to handle than some big folding nightmare & in full
color.  I have yet to see how many I can print with
one ink cartridge though.


PS: there's also another company - maptrails.com
that is like TOPO! & has a CD-ROM of Colorado 
Wilderness for $50.  Plus BLMs CD-ROMs of some other
states for $50.

--- soren - <edevart@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Yes, topozone is a good service.  But I think that
> it is used best as a 
> reference.  A more detailed and accurate software
> (and, I haven't done the 
> math, but it seems cheaper) is TOPO! maps on cd-rom
> now owned by National 
> Geographic. Unlike topozone you can get maps in 4-5
> different scales 
> including forest service, 24000, and AAA maps.  The
> cds cover the entire 
> state and you can draw trails and edit the maps as
> you please.  They also 
> print beautifully.  Check 'em out at www.topo.com.
> -Soren.
> Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at
> http://explorer.msn.com
> _______________________________________________
> CDT-L mailing list
> CDT-L@mailman.backcountry.net

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