National Geographic Maps launches US trail database



National Geographic Maps launches US trail database
National Geographic Maps, a division of the U.S. National Geographic Society, has unveiled today TOPO! Explorer, a new website and related desktop application dedicated to help outdoor enthusiasts locate and download trail and recreation information in the United States. TOPO! Explorer presents users with National Geographic’s detailed topographic maps, aerial photography and hybrid maps as well as an extensive, freely browsable, online database of trail descriptions, recommendations and points of interest. The website currently offers 892,682 miles of trails and 124,011 waypoints.

TOPO! Explorer website brings online many of the features previously available to National Geographic’s desktop software TOPO! Map, including GPS connectivity, custom map-making tools and printing. Innovations include an entirely new database of detailed maps and aerial photographs known as SuperQuads™, a Web-based place finder, support for video and higher-resolution photography, and a new interface and map design tools.

National Geographic Maps launches US trail database
National Geographic Maps launches US trail database
Downloadable outdoor maps
SuperQuads are composed of six layers, including genuine USGS 1:24,000- and 1:100,000-scale topographic maps, i-cubed aerial photography with 4-meter resolution, Tele Atlas roads, USGS Digital Elevation models and names, and a new HybridQuad™ that combines aerial photography and topographic contour lines. SuperQuads can be freely browsed and are available for purchase via download for $1.00 each.

Desktop software TOPO! Explorer is free to download but can also be found in retails stores bundled with SuperQuads map credits. TOPO! Explorer ($24.95) and TOPO! Explorer Deluxe ($49.95), contain 25 map download credits for use on the TOPO! Explorer Web site. The Deluxe edition also includes a US-wide set of USGS 1:100,000-scale topographic maps.

Handheld GPS connectivity

The desktop application also contains a GPS manager. Users can connect their GPS receiver; browse its contents; and drag/drop waypoints, routes and tracks to and from a compatible GPS device (most of the Garmin, Magellan and Lowrance). Users can also mark and manage points of interest on the detailed maps and load those to their receiver. Magellan’s Triton GPS handheld units also allow users to import maps from TOPO! Explorer for viewing on-screen.

Wednesday, June 4th 2008


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