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Thread: Topo Maps???

  1. #1
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Default Topo Maps???

    So with the USGS map store at APU no more, where does one go to get high quality topo maps? Thanks!

    Brett

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    Member Mammoth Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrettAKSCI View Post
    So with the USGS map store at APU no more, where does one go to get high quality topo maps? Thanks!

    Brett
    I just ordered some from UAF. $8 each plus $10 shipping. But the maps will be good 1/63,000.

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    Member Ben XCR's Avatar
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    I use this link a lot for studying from home. http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer...po%3A1%3B2%3B0

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Pdf maps app from Google play. It's amazing for both topo and nav charts. All free.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Brett,

    Afraid the news is not good. I was just in Fairbanks doing some map research on behalf of some of my clients. Here's the word I go at the Geophysical Institute on the UAF campus:

    1. The USGS no longer prints maps. So if you order from their office in Colorado, you're going to get whatever might be left (if maps are even available from them anymore). There's a chance that they may do print on demand.

    2. The Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks has a map store and if they don't have what you need, they will print it for you, on demand. They're using an inkjet printer, which means the ink is not waterproof. You need to coat your maps or the ink may run. I advise hunters to put their maps in large Ziplock bags to protect them as well. I also noticed that the paper they're using is thinner than what the USGS used, so you can see through these maps to an extent, and they will not be as durable. Finally, because they're printed off of an inkjet printer, the resolution is not as sharp as what we are accustomed to with the maps printed by the USGS.

    Printed map prices have climbed substantially. The maps I purchased in Fairbanks on Monday cost me around $750 total (lots of maps, of course). I believe they were $8-9 each.

    I only use 1:63,360-series maps for hunt planning purposes. I don't know what they get for the 1:250,000 maps.

    -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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Brett,

    Afraid the news is not good.
    Man - this all just really annoys me. Frankly, there is much that our government has traditionally not done well or efficiently. The job they did of mapping our land, and making high quality maps available to the public at a reasonable fee is one of the things that they did very well. And, now they abandon it?

    I know, I need to get with the changing times. But, no, I'm not going to take an IPad into the field with me and I'm not comfortable using my GPS as my primary orienteering tool. Usually I leave the GPS at home.

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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post

    I know, I need to get with the changing times. But, no, I'm not going to take an IPad into the field with me and I'm not comfortable using my GPS as my primary orienteering tool. Usually I leave the GPS at home.

    I too don't rely on toys in the field. But check out that app. Great source for looking when at home or work for planning purposes. And load the maps on your phone for a backup in case your hardcopy maps get lost or damaged. Print them out yourself as well. The new electronic age is great. But I too still love to have a hard copy and a compass.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    Man - this all just really annoys me. Frankly, there is much that our government has traditionally not done well or efficiently. The job they did of mapping our land, and making high quality maps available to the public at a reasonable fee is one of the things that they did very well. And, now they abandon it?
    Actually the end user abandonned them. If you spend money to make something and only sell 1% of what you make and have to store the rest, how long will it take before the company that owns you tells you to close up shop? Congress told them to close up shop and the USGS did.

    I like paper maps to back up digital stuff and have been printing off my own maps for years on water proof paper using color laser printers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    I like paper maps to back up digital stuff and have been printing off my own maps for years on water proof paper using color laser printers.
    REI used to have a machine that printed USGS topos on waterproof paper, but the print resolution wasn't satisfactory. Are you happy with your print resolution and do you print at home or at a print shop?

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    I'm not comfortable using my GPS as my primary orienteering tool. Usually I leave the GPS at home.
    The one great thing about a GPS is getting a bearing. After that I turn it off and pull out the compass. I never navigate with the GPS.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  11. #11
    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    I ordered some of these (http://www.mytopo.com/products/topo-maps.cfm) for my Alaska trip last September, and they were great. Waterproof laminated. Not terribly expensive IMO if you don't need a ton of them. You can pick the exact spot on which to center them.

  12. #12
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    There's a little store right next to the Ulu factory in downtown Anchorage that has a limited selection of Topo's. I was just there last week and was able to find the exact one that I needed but, like I said, they have a limited selection and they cost $8 apiece.
    Here's another option if you can read this.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1429760056.519316.jpg
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1429760095.837922.jpg

  13. #13

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    Pretty much any map you need is available, either via download or software packages. The common problem, however, is that most of us don't have a printer that can put out 11x17 or larger sheets in color with decent resolution. I don't even care about great resolution as long as I can see major features, but the ability to unfold a large paper map in the tent is something I miss unless I already have a map of the area. I also miss those NatGeo map machines. NatGeo stopped supporting the machines years ago to support their retail software sales.

  14. #14
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback!

    Brett

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    When I needed aerials printed out I use a local print shop. I'm sure that could print out any size map you wanted.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerDan View Post
    REI used to have a machine that printed USGS topos on waterproof paper, but the print resolution wasn't satisfactory. Are you happy with your print resolution and do you print at home or at a print shop?
    I print at work on office grade equipment suitable for CAD drawings, but you can have Kinko print files as well.
    Below is a screen capture of at USGS topo that was then printed on rite-in-the-rain paper. There is just a hint of fuzz to the countour lines once printed, but for field use it's not important enough to be an issue.



    I never need a full sized topo. I select a part of the image I need, print screen, then edit in MS Paint a little and then print on 8.5x11 paper. Two or three sheets of paper is all I take with me in the field. For a river trip you may need more

  17. #17

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    AKRay, I know where that is. Know it well indeed

  18. #18
    Member L. G.'s Avatar
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    DRG's (Digital Raster Graphics) here:

    http://agdc.usgs.gov/data/usgs/geoda...drglist_A.html

    Save the TIFF file and print as you see fit.

  19. #19
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigskyguy View Post
    AKRay, I know where that is. Know it well indeed
    its just a random cut of a random area on a random map. nothing to see here

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    To each his own, but I prefer full-sized 1:63,360 series topos. Yes, I am aware that you can have them printed on a plotter or other large-format printer, however you're not going to do that for $8 / sheet. Most charge by the square foot.

    I really don't like the small maps you print off at home. Too small for my purposes. It's a shame the USGS is no longer producing that tool.

    -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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