Experience with TopoZone maps?

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Sam Huffman, Mar 7, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sam Huffman

    Sam Huffman Guest

    I'm considering subscribing to Topozone to aid in planning a couple trips I'd like to take this
    summer in the NorthWest (Northern California, Oregon, and Washington).

    Their free online interface looks promising but of course the resolution is not very good.
    The sample map they provide is of an area I'm not familiar with, so I really can't tell how
    useful it is.

    Does anyone here have any real-world experience with the accuracy and usefulness of their maps,
    particularly in rural areas? Are the higher-resolution versions sufficiently readable to be useful
    in planning routes?

    Thanks for any information, Sam
     
    Tags:


  2. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Sam Huffman writes:

    > I'm considering subscribing to Topozone to aid in planning a couple trips I'd like to take this
    > summer in the NorthWest (Northern California, Oregon, and Washington).

    > Their free online interface looks promising but of course the resolution is not very good.
    > The sample map they provide is of an area I'm not familiar with, so I really can't tell how
    > useful it is.

    > Does anyone here have any real-world experience with the accuracy and usefulness of their maps,
    > particularly in rural areas? Are the higher-resolution versions sufficiently readable to be useful
    > in planning routes?

    I find their maps useful and spare me the problem of going a half mile down the street here to
    the US Geological Survey office from whose maps these are made. A typical examle is our local
    Mt Hamilton:

    http://topozone.com/map.asp?z=10&n=4131566&e=615693&size=l&symshow=n
    http://topozone.com/map.asp?z=10&n=4134033&e=620334&s=25&size=l

    Or Mount Wshingtom NH where the 34% grade RR is apparent from its maximum grade course,
    perpendicular to all contours. Mr. Marsh wasn't kidding when he chose this route, the first cogwheel
    RR in the world and steepest vertical engagement rack ever.

    http://www.thecog.com/

    http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=19&n=4904268&e=316118&s=25&size=l

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  3. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Jobst Brandt wrote:

    > I find [Topozone's] maps useful and spare me the problem of going a half mile down the street here
    > to the US Geological Survey office from whose maps these are made.

    I like using Topozone for a quick look at an area, but if I want a high resolution printed map, the
    National Geographic series is very nice:

    http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/topo/

    If you don't want to buy the software, there are kiosks at REI that let you print out custom maps on
    waterproof paper.

    But if you're planning a road route and want quickly to know distance and elevation, DeLorme's
    TopoUSA is more useful:

    http://www.delorme.com/topousa/default.asp

    It overestimates vertical climb somewhat, and some of the road information is incorrect, but it's a
    quick and easy estimation tool.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  4. Cycling Joe

    Cycling Joe Guest

    On TOPOZONE.COM you can get 1:25,000 scale, which is pretty dang good.. for free!. I've used these
    maps on several middle of nowhere hiking trips in VA, WV, and California. You can change the scale
    and size of the map you want for free. Then laminate the printed map and you're set. The National
    Geographic maps look like the exact same maps.

    Sam Huffman wrote:

    >I'm considering subscribing to Topozone to aid in planning a couple trips I'd like to take this
    >summer in the NorthWest (Northern California, Oregon, and Washington).
    >
    >Their free online interface looks promising but of course the resolution is not very good.
    >The sample map they provide is of an area I'm not familiar with, so I really can't tell how
    >useful it is.
    >
    >Does anyone here have any real-world experience with the accuracy and usefulness of their maps,
    >particularly in rural areas? Are the higher-resolution versions sufficiently readable to be useful
    >in planning routes?
    >
    >Thanks for any information, Sam
     
  5. Sam Huffman

    Sam Huffman Guest

    Terry Morse <[email protected]> writes:

    > Jobst Brandt wrote:
    >
    > > I find [Topozone's] maps useful and spare me the problem of going a half mile down the street
    > > here to the US Geological Survey office from whose maps these are made.
    >
    > I like using Topozone for a quick look at an area, but if I want a high resolution printed map,
    > the National Geographic series is very nice:
    >
    > http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/topo/
    >
    > If you don't want to buy the software, there are kiosks at REI that let you print out custom maps
    > on waterproof paper.
    >
    > But if you're planning a road route and want quickly to know distance and elevation, DeLorme's
    > TopoUSA is more useful:
    >
    > http://www.delorme.com/topousa/default.asp
    >
    > It overestimates vertical climb somewhat, and some of the road information is incorrect, but it's
    > a quick and easy estimation tool.

    Thanks for the information and links. I've looked at the software packages, before, but they weren't
    available for my computer. It looks like National Geographic's Regional series is now available,
    though; I'm ordering the Oregon version.

    Hopefully that will give me what I need, otherwise I'll go ahead and subscribe to Topozone.

    Thanks, Sam
     
  6. Ken

    Ken Guest

    Cycling Joe <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > On TOPOZONE.COM you can get 1:25,000 scale, which is pretty dang good.. for free!. I've used these
    > maps on several middle of nowhere hiking trips in VA, WV, and California. You can change the scale
    > and size of the map you want for free. Then laminate the printed map and you're set. The National
    > Geographic maps look like the exact same maps.

    All of these maps are based on USGS (a federal agency) data. Some of the USGS data is decades out of
    date. Some of the 3rd party companies add their own data on top of the USGS base, usually to add
    modern roads, trails, etc.
     
  7. Cycling Joe

    Cycling Joe Guest

    --------------080804090000070503050708 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    Yep, I compared my maps from REI with the Topozone.com maps and noticed
    + or - a few marked trails. It would be great to find some with old railroad grades marked also. The
    trails we were on crossed several of these, which seemed perfect for cross country skis.

    Ken wrote:

    >Cycling Joe <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
    >
    >
    >
    >>On TOPOZONE.COM you can get 1:25,000 scale, which is pretty dang good.. for free!. I've used these
    >>maps on several middle of nowhere hiking trips in VA, WV, and California. You can change the scale
    >>and size of the map you want for free. Then laminate the printed map and you're set. The National
    >>Geographic maps look like the exact same maps.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >All of these maps are based on USGS (a federal agency) data. Some of the USGS data is decades out
    >of date. Some of the 3rd party companies add their own data on top of the USGS base, usually to add
    >modern roads, trails, etc.
    >
    >

    --------------080804090000070503050708 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title></title>
    </head> <body> Yep, I compared my maps from REI with the Topozone.com maps and noticed + or - a few
    marked trails. It would be great to find some with old railroad grades marked also. The
    trails we were on crossed several of these, which seemed perfect for cross country skis. <br> <br>
    Ken wrote:<br> <blockquote type="cite" cite="[email protected]"> <pre
    wrap="">Cycling Joe <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E"
    href="mailto:[email protected]"><[email protected]></a> wrote in <a
    class="moz-txt-link-freetext"
    href="news:[email protected]:">news:[email protected]:</a>

    </pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">On TOPOZONE.COM you can get 1:25,000 scale, which is
    pretty dang good.. for free!. I've used these maps on several middle of nowhere hiking trips in
    VA, WV, and California. You can change the scale and size of the map you want for free. Then
    laminate the printed map and you're set. The National Geographic maps look like the exact same
    maps. </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> All of these maps are based on USGS (a federal
    agency) data. Some of the USGS data is decades out of date. Some of the 3rd party companies add
    their own data on top of the USGS base, usually to add modern roads, trails, etc. </pre>
    </blockquote> <br> </body> </html>

    --------------080804090000070503050708--
     
  8. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Joe who? writes:

    > Yep, I compared my maps from REI with the Topozone.com maps and noticed + or - a few marked
    > trails. It would be great to find some with old railroad grades marked also. The trails we were on
    > crossed several of these, which seemed perfect for cross country skis.

    http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=11&n=4184741&e=246466&s=25&size=l

    This is typical of the USGS maps I have seen and the RR ROW is obvious both through text n the map
    and that it follows contour lines. The RR is the road through the red cursor in the center of the
    map. I have ridden on these dirt roads on a ride from Sonora over Tioga Pass.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  9. Cycling Joe

    Cycling Joe Guest

    --------------090505040604050204030903 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    Cool! There are alot of grades on the east coast that are not marked. You can even see them
    winding up the mtns when all the leaves fall off. We actually followed and mapped one on our GPS
    in western VA and are going back next year to ski it. I saw a strange local club on the news
    that's going out now and mapping old roads and routes dating from the 1700's that have long since
    succumb to the forests. They date them by looking at how old the trees are that having grown in
    the middle of the trials.

    [email protected] wrote:

    >Joe who? writes:
    >
    >
    >
    >>Yep, I compared my maps from REI with the Topozone.com maps and noticed + or - a few marked
    >>trails. It would be great to find some with old railroad grades marked also. The trails we were on
    >>crossed several of these, which seemed perfect for cross country skis.
    >>
    >>
    >
    >http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=11&n=4184741&e=246466&s=25&size=l
    >
    >This is typical of the USGS maps I have seen and the RR ROW is obvious both through text n the map
    >and that it follows contour lines. The RR is the road through the red cursor in the center of the
    >map. I have ridden on these dirt roads on a ride from Sonora over Tioga Pass.
    >
    >Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
    >
    >

    --------------090505040604050204030903 Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title></title>
    </head> <body> Cool! There are alot of grades on the east coast that are not marked. You
    can even see<br> them winding up the mtns when all the leaves fall off. We actually followed
    and mapped one on our GPS in western VA and are going back next year to ski
    it. I saw a strange local club on the news that's going out now and mapping old roads and
    routes dating from the 1700's that have long since succumb to the forests. They date them
    by looking at how old the trees are that having grown in the middle of the trials. <br> <br> <a
    class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated"
    href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a> wrote:<br>
    <blockquote type="cite" cite="[email protected]"> <pre wrap="">Joe
    who? writes:

    </pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">Yep, I compared my maps from REI with the
    Topozone.com maps and noticed + or - a few marked trails. It would be great to find some with old
    railroad grades marked also. The trails we were on crossed several of these, which seemed perfect
    for cross country skis. </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> <a class="moz-txt-link-freetext"
    href="http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=11&n=4184741&e=246466&s=25&size=l">http://www.topozone.co-
    m/map.asp?z=11&n=4184741&e=246466&s=25&size=l</a>

    This is typical of the USGS maps I have seen and the RR ROW is obvious both through text n the map
    and that it follows contour lines. The RR is the road through the red cursor in the center of the
    map. I have ridden on these dirt roads on a ride from Sonora over Tioga Pass.

    Jobst Brandt <a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated"
    href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a> Palo Alto CA
    </pre> </blockquote> <br> </body> </html>

    --------------090505040604050204030903--
     
  10. Terry Morse wrote:

    > But if you're planning a road route and want quickly to know distance and elevation, DeLorme's
    > TopoUSA is more useful:
    >
    > http://www.delorme.com/topousa/default.asp
    >
    > It overestimates vertical climb somewhat, and some of the road information is incorrect, but it's
    > a quick and easy estimation tool.

    Somewhat is a bit of an understatement. I find that on most of the hills around where we both live
    that DeLorme can overestimate the climb by 30-50%. I, too, find it useful for routing and getting a
    general impression of the profile of the route. But one should not look at the actual numbers as
    they are too over-inflated. It is a problem caused by their vector orientation; roads are series of
    vectors that are too long to closely fit winding roads. The 3D preview is cool. Routing between end
    points is a bit sketchy at times, so one needs to put in a lot of 'via' points to make it actually
    follow the road. For fun, do a start route at the junction of Portola Valley Rd and Old La Honda, a
    finish route at Skyline and Morshead Rd (what they call the top of Old La Honda ..). Then have it
    calculate route via road. They seem to take every side road and include very little of Old La Honda.
    Amusing. I use DeLorme to get a general idea and to lay out routes for the GPS; for detailed info I
    use the Nat. Geo. stuff.

    - rick warner
     
  11. Terry Morse wrote:

    > It overestimates vertical climb somewhat, and some of the road information is incorrect, but it's
    > a quick and easy estimation tool.
    > --
    > terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/

    Somewhat is a bit of an understatement. I find that on most of the hills around where we both live
    that DeLorme can overestimate the climb by 30-50%. I, too, find it useful for routing and getting a
    general impression of the profile of the route. But one should not look at the actual numbers as
    they are too over-inflated. It is a problem caused by their vector orientation; roads are series of
    vectors that are too long to closely fit winding roads. The 3D preview is cool. Routing between end
    points is a bit sketchy at times, so one needs to put in a lot of 'via' points to make it actually
    follow the road. For fun, do a start route at the junction of Portola Valley Rd and Old La Honda, a
    finish route at Skyline and Morshead Rd (what they call the top of Old La Honda ..). Then have it
    calculate route via road. They seem to take every side road and include very little of Old La Honda.
    Amusing. I use DeLorme to get a general idea and to lay out routes for the GPS; for detailed info I
    use the Nat. Geo. stuff.

    - rick warner
     
  12. 'Somewhat' is a bit of an understatement. I find that on most of the hills around where we both live
    that DeLorme can overestimate the climb by 30-50%. I, too, find it useful for routing and getting a
    general impression of the profile of the route. But one should not look at the actual numbers as
    they are too over-inflated. It is a problem caused by their vector orientation; roads are series of
    vectors that are too long to closely fit winding roads. The 3D preview is cool. Routing between end
    points is a bit sketchy at times, so one needs to put in a lot of 'via' points to make it actually
    follow the road. For fun, do a start route at the junction of Portola Valley Rd and Old La Honda, a
    finish route at Skyline and Morshead Rd (what they call the top of Old La Honda ..). Then have it
    calculate route via road. They seem to take every side road and include very little of Old La Honda.
    Amusing. I use DeLorme to get a general idea and to lay out routes for the GPS; for detailed info I
    use the Nat. Geo. stuff.

    - rick warner

    Terry Morse wrote:
    > Jobst Brandt wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I find [Topozone's] maps useful and spare me the problem of going a half mile down the street here
    >>to the US Geological Survey office from whose maps these are made.
    >
    >
    > I like using Topozone for a quick look at an area, but if I want a high resolution printed map,
    > the National Geographic series is very nice:
    >
    > http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/topo/
    >
    > If you don't want to buy the software, there are kiosks at REI that let you print out custom maps
    > on waterproof paper.
    >
    > But if you're planning a road route and want quickly to know distance and elevation, DeLorme's
    > TopoUSA is more useful:
    >
    > http://www.delorme.com/topousa/default.asp
    >
    > It overestimates vertical climb somewhat, and some of the road information is incorrect, but it's
    > a quick and easy estimation tool.
    > --
    > terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...