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Thread: Nat. Geo. topo map software...?

  1. #1
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    Default Nat. Geo. topo map software...?

    Do any of you have experience with Nat Geographic's topo map software...particularly for Alaska? ... (I'm a Mac user so PC only software is a non-starter for me.)

  2. #2
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    Default Nat Geo mapping

    I've got the PC version for AK and it seems to work pretty well. It takes a bit of playing around to figure out all the controls and what not, but it's not tough to figure out.
    I picked up some synthetic paper (just like Nat. Geo.'s stuff, but at half the price) from Amazon.com and printed a bunch of maps off for my bou hunt this past fall. Wouldn't you know it...ended up getting dropped in a little different area that I hadn't covered. I do have some nice looking maps in case I ever get back up there again.

  3. #3
    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    Default Garmin, not National Geographic

    I own the Windows version of National Geographic Topo! for my home state of Michigan. The NG software is good if all you want to do is print maps. It will allow you to transfer waypoint coordinates to and from your GPS, but it will not transfer maps data to your GPS and it's the maps that you really need.

    Since I have a Garmin eTrex GPS, I bought the Garmin map software package and it allows me to print maps, download detailed maps to my GPS and also upload waypoints and tracklogs to the map.

    All in all, I would not buy National Geographic. I think you should buy a GPS if you don't already have one and purchase the maps from your GPS vendor. Your GPS maps must come from the GPS vendor in order to be compatible. I paid $100 for the NG map for just one state. But for $149, I got Garmin MapSource Roads and Recreation that covers all 50 states including detailed maps of Alaska. I can print maps and transfer them to my GPS.

    Garmin is a much better deal than National Geographic and it is much more flexible. Unfortunately, I don't know of any GPS vendors that provide sofware for Mac OS. You may think this heretical, but it could be worth your while to get an old garage sale PC just to load the Garmin software. You could get it cheap and in the long run, it would save you a lot of grief.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

  4. #4
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default

    Rick, I don't know what is mac compatible and what is not, but I will give you my opinion anyway. Along the same lines as WM 300, you get a lot more for your money when you buy the gps software. I don't personally own the NG software, but have used it. The idea of downloading maps to your handheld is a beautiful thing, especially if your gps has elevation capabilities. On the other hand, if you are only looking for Alaska and aren't interested in adjusting waypoints or plotting a route on your computer first, the NG might be the best way to go for you if you are limited to Mac compatible software.
    Joshua

  5. #5
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    Default Have both garmin and national geo

    They both have there place. I use my National Geo Alaska for hunting, camping, explaining how to get to fishing holes and saving scouting information from years past. Garmin program is good for your handheld. Plus you can view National Geo Map, save waypoints to you GPS and get there with you garmin. Nice to have maps and compass as backups, because **** happens. I haved save my money worth in maps.

    Terry

  6. #6
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    Default

    What I don't like about the Garmin mapping software is you are limited to the size of the map when printing. I have printers that can print up to 24" wide and several feet long. With the Gamin, I can't get it to print any larger than what fits on standard 8.5x11" paper. I would love to be able to print out larger maps.

  7. #7
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    I too own the National Geo software and I like it. I print up maps of the different areas I am going to hunt with the waterproof paper. I use my GPS also but Alaskas mountain hunting to me makes a map easier than the little screen on the GPS. Maps are a lot faster too and give me a bigger picture of where I am at.

  8. #8
    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with the NG maps and software and I don't know if it's MAC compatible or not (there are those here who say you can run any Windows software on a MAC), but in addition to my Garmin Mapsource maps that I need for my Vista and 178c, I've been using All Topo mapping software for years.

    My All Topo Alaska set has 11 CD's and has all the USGS topo maps for Alaska on it, including resolutions from 250,000:1 to 25,000:1. It comes with a map stitcher so you can make your own custom maps and print the areas you want without having to deal with map seams. And you can print as big as you want.

    I know propriatary map software must be used to upload to a GPS so I use the Mapsource maps loaded onto the GPS's when I'm in the field, but there is so much more detail on standard topo maps so I use the AllTopo at home. You can even hook it up to your GPS and transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes and then print off your maps with your GPS info right on them.

    Like I said, I've had mine for years and the recent versions may differ some from mine. Just thought Iíd throw out another option. But if you really want to look at options, here's a comparison list from the AllTopo website. Lots of good info here.
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    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

  9. #9
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    Thanks Rod in Wasilla, the All Topo is just what I was looking for.

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