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Thread: USGS Map Store to be Closed

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    Unhappy USGS Map Store to be Closed

    Approximately a month ago, I noticed on USGS Website that the USGS Map Store in Anchorage was going to be closed. The message and since been removed from the website.

    The USGS Map Store (Glenn Olds Hall, APU) is run by Alaska Geographic and is the only place in Anchorage (perhaps all of Alaska) where you can actually put your hand on and purchase topographic maps (quads) for the entire state of Alaska. I think it is an important resource for a state where so many people are involved in outdoor activities and that has so much remote country. Alaska Geographic has a board of directors and the executive director is Barbara Bell. If you feel that the Map Store should remain open, you might want to direct your opinions toward them at www.alaskageographic.org.

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    That sucks. Everything good is going to hell

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    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    Paper charts are doomed to go away so it does not make sense to have a store selling them. You can get digital topo charts of all Alaska and carry it in your hand on a small GPS now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_in_AK View Post
    Paper charts are doomed to go away so it does not make sense to have a store selling them. You can get digital topo charts of all Alaska and carry it in your hand on a small GPS now.
    I'm sick of seeing "technology" ruining everything.

    Guess we all need to go down to that store and buy one of everything.

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    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    If you have never been to the store, you are missing out. They also have aerial photographs, infrared and others of your hunt area.

    It is an asset to the city and they will be missed. }:>
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    ill have to stop by while i still can

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_in_AK View Post
    Paper charts are doomed to go away so it does not make sense to have a store selling them. You can get digital topo charts of all Alaska and carry it in your hand on a small GPS now.
    I've yet to have the batteries die on a paper map. Even after using them for years.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    I've yet to have the batteries die on a paper map. Even after using them for years.
    And if you drop them, the screen doesn't break. It's also nice viewing something larger than a 3 by 3 inch screen.

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    I love plastering the walls of the garage with maps to dream over. Hard to do with GPSs
    Vance in AK.

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  10. #10

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    I think it's not just GPS replacing these maps, but the fact that you can get the same information on your computer and print it out for exactly the area you want, with routes or landmarks or other things marked on there if you like. It's not quite as nice in some respects, but the difference isn't enough to keep a store running.
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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_in_AK View Post
    Paper charts are doomed to go away so it does not make sense to have a store selling them. You can get digital topo charts of all Alaska and carry it in your hand on a small GPS now.
    Doesn't make sense to who? It makes a lot of sense to me. I choose not to be naive enough to think we will always have working electronic devices and satellites available forever. Just another way technology (ie. progressiveness) is setting up the sheeple for dependency. The most important wars in the world were won with paper maps, so they are good enough for me.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I prefer the old way and thats to go look. Its one new thing replacing the last new thing.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    USGS paper maps will continue to be available in Alaska at the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks. Sure, you have to order them, but it's better than a poke in the eye! The alternative is to utilize the USGS's print-on-demand service out of Colorado.

    Yes, I will miss the map store here too. We love our paper maps up here, even when we're using the GPS. I don't know if it will gain any traction, but I encouraged the managers at Cabela's and Bass Pro to consider buying the entire inventory. It would draw traffic to their stores. Problem is, it takes up about 500 square feet of prime floor space. Not likely. I don't know what a square foot of space is worth in one of those stores, but I'd be willing to bet that paper maps sales won't cover it.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    USGS paper maps will continue to be available in Alaska at the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks. Sure, you have to order them, but it's better than a poke in the eye!
    They keep most of the state in stock in 1:63,360,000. I've only ever had to order the really obscure ones. The map office in the geophysical building is one of my favorite places to visit!
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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    All of them are free to be had if you scan and print them yourself at the ARLIS in the UAA library. Don't need student id or even a library card, just a flash drive. If anyone wants me to show them how/where to do so, just pm me. I'm nearby quite often.


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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    All of them are free to be had if you scan and print them yourself at the ARLIS in the UAA library. Don't need student id or even a library card, just a flash drive. If anyone wants me to show them how/where to do so, just pm me. I'm nearby quite often.
    How much does it cost and what size format can you get? My local printshop wants $20 to print a quad on their color plotter.

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    You can't print the full size but you can scan them for free. Sorry, should have clarified.


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    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    You can't print the full size but you can scan them for free. Sorry, should have clarified.


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    That's great, if you don't mind bringing your laptop or tablet on your hunting trip with you.

  19. #19
    Member highestview's Avatar
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    You can print them from any other printer once you've scanned them is what I was getting at. One quad would fit on an 11x17 printed on both sides.


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    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highestview View Post
    You can print them from any other printer once you've scanned them is what I was getting at. One quad would fit on an 11x17 printed on both sides.


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    Certainly, but the problem is that you lose a lot of detail. To get the best effect, you've got to print them on a plotter. I do know that the USGS print on demand system had some quality issues for a while; paper was inferior, resolution was poor and the ink would run when it got wet. I don't know if those issues have been resolved (this was about a year ago). I do know the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks was attempting to rectify that with a better plotter and better ink, but I don't have any current reports on that.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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