May 3, 2008

Been thinking about buying TOPO! state series?

Now's a good time thanks to the REI Anniversary sale thru May 11.

I was doing demos at a local REI store today, and realized some folks under 30 aren't as familiar with USGS topographic maps as are most of us older types. Simply put, they are the most detailed map set for the United States. We scanned all 55,000 sheets, seamed them together, and sell them in state sets to load on your PC or Mac. You can customize the maps by adding your own trails, text and symbols and importing tracks and waypoints from your GPS.

There is so much information on USGS topos that will never appear on computer-generated maps. That's why we went to the trouble to make the best scans of those maps, so when you print them out at home they look as good as the originals. Perhaps even better with our added shaded relief. Even if you use a GPS in the field, the experts tell you to take a printed map. It won't break or run out of power, and it gives you a better perspective on where you're going than a 4 inch screen.

We're about to make those maps even better, with our National Recreation Database at You can preview it in beta today, and it launches in less than a month. There will be many thousands of miles of trails to download and add to your maps (170,000+ miles as of today), along with Forest Service roads, public land boundaries, recreational points of interest and much more. All free additions to your TOPO! maps.

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