I have personally used almost all of the topo mapping packages available
and believe that DeLorme Topo North America is the most up-to-date and also
gives you the most value for your money. Here are the reasons:
you get detailed mapping for all of North America instead of a single state,
you can use multiple zoom levels that go even more detailed than a USGS 1:24,000 scale map,
the program can be used to upload and download GPS routes, tracks and waypoints from computer to GPS,
you get a powerful software package that can be used to manipulate the maps in many different ways (see samples below),
DeLorme has added lots of road names and route numbers that are not shown in any of the other mapping packages,
the maps are more up-to-date than a typical USGS quadrangle
3-D, Color Imagery for a Realistic View of Your Hike You have scouted, planned and routed your hike, but you want a realistic view of what you can expect to find along the way.
To download colorl imagery you need to purchase DeLorme's Map Library. In this instance, Color Aerial imagery has been selected, and the image has been rendered in 3-D. Notice that the pitch and rotation tools have been used to adjust the viewing perspective. In 3-D, you can view your destination from any compass point, and at angles ranging from vertical to near horizontal. In addition to the full screen image shown, you could also select a split-screen view to see the 3-D map or imagery on the left, and the regular 2-D Topo North America 10.0 map on the right.
GeoTag Your Digital Photos by their Precise Location You've taken numerous photos on a recent hike, and you want to pinpoint the locations where you took them.
If you collected a GPS track on your hike, you can use the GeoTagger feature within Topo North America 10.0 to precisely mark the location for any photos taken with a digital camera. The GPS data in the track includes precise time and date locations for each point along the way. The GeoTagger process coordinates that data with the time stamps for your digital photos. Simply click on the GeoTagger icon on the top-of-screen toolbar and an easy-to-follow wizard will walk you through the process. You can embed your photos, insert hyperlinks to them, or place a photo icon at the map location where the photos were taken.
Overlay Streets, Places of Interest on Aerial Imagery You want to view and or print high resolution imagery for urban areas, including street names, highway numbers, and places of interest.
To download areial imagery you need to purchase DeLorme's Map Library. Click on the Show Roads button on the top-of-screen toolbar and you'll see the DeLorme street and road data overlaid on the imagery, along with places of interest. Place your cursor over any place of interest and information on that location will appear at the bottom of the screen. You can print the imagery on your PC printer; if you own an Earthmate GPS PN-20 handheld receiver, you can also upload the imagery and places of interest to your device.
Displaying Collected GPS Waypoints in Topo North America You like being able to use your handheld GPS receiver to collect waypoints in the field and want to display and work with them on Topo North America 10.0 maps.
Back at your desktop, you use the Handheld Exchange tab of Topo North America 10.0 to download your waypoints. Within the Draw tab, click on File, and a list of your waypoints will appear. You can open an additional sub menu showing your comments and notes about each waypoint. You can also edit your comments and file names. Save your map file when done.
Create the Best Routes, Find Places of Interest You're traveling to an urban center, and you need the best route to your location. In addition, you want to see what types of restaurants, lodgings, attractions, and other businesses you'll encounter along the way.
Topo North America 10.0 includes over 4 million places of interest from the renowned DeLorme Street Atlas USA software products. It also includes the latest DeLorme highway, road, and city street data, for worry-free routing. Open the Route tab and indicate your Start and Finish locations. Topo North America 10.0 will automatically create a driving route for you. Should you see a place of interest that's not directly on your route, simply drop a "via" at the location and the program will automatically re-calculate the route.
If you're traveling with a laptop PC and a DeLorme Earthmate GPS or other supported GPS receiver, you can track your location in real time, and get large on-screen turning instructions. You can also upload your routes to the DeLorme Earthmate GPS PN-20. The PN-20 gives audible alarms and displays turning instructions for upcoming turns.
Navigating on the Water With NOAA Nautical Charts You want to navigate in U.S. harbors or coastal waters using Topo North America 10.0.
With the purchase of DeLorme's Map Library you can acquire NOAA nautical charts with extensive coverage of US coastal waters, the Great Lakes, and numerous inland harbors (e.g., Seattle and Philadelphia). Using your laptop PC connected to a DeLorme Earthmate GPS receiver or other supported NMEA-compliant device, you can see your exact position as you navigate, in relation to water depths, hazards, restricted areas, and other indispensable information. In addition, you can create a route on the water and navigate against it. Within the Route tab, click on the drop-down box (Road - Quickest is the default entry) and select Direct. Drop "via's" along the way to define your route (around hazards, navigation buoys, etc).
You can track your progress running Topo North America 10.0 on a laptop PC, or upload your route to a handheld GPS receiver, such as the Earthmate GPS PN-20. Your selected NOAA charts also can be sent to an SD card for display on the PN-20.
Import Geocache Locations and Descriptions
You want to display the locations of geocaches on your maps, differentiating between those you've located and those you have yet to find.
Go to geocaching.com and locate the geocaches for a given area; select the ones you want and download the .loc or .gpx files. Using the Topo North America 10.0 Draw tab, import the caches for display on the maps. The comments field offers an unlimited character count for comments and hints available with imported .gpx files. Or, if you're importing .loc files, you can copy the descriptions and hints from geocaching.com and paste them into the comments field.
After you've found a cache in the field, you can change the symbol from a closed cache to an open one.
Plan a Fishing Trip with Atlas & Gazetteer Locations
You're planning a fishing trip, and you're looking for a lake that has good fishing, nearby camping, and a boat ramp.
Topo North America 10.0 now includes location symbols from the popular DeLorme Atlas & GazetteerTM series of detailed topographic map books for individual states. The Gazetteer symbols will point you to campgrounds, prime fishing and hunting locations, boat launch sites, and unique natural features, for an extra level of trip planning information. In addition, the maps also locate over 4 million places of interest, including attractions, restaurants, lodgings, post offices, retail stores, service businesses, government offices, and much more.
Large Area Perspective with Satellite Imagery You want aerial imagery that provides a large area perspective of topography, land cover, roads, streams and open water, urban density, and other geographic information.
Our color Satellite Imagery provides all of that at a glance. It can be acquired with a purchase of Delorme's Map Library. The Satellite Imagery can be viewed in split-screen format, side by side with the Topo North America 10.0, in 2-D or rendered in 3-D.
Converting Collected GPS Tracks Into Routable Trails
You've collected some tracks with your handheld GPS receiver for a couple of trails that don't appear in Topo North America. You want to download them into Topo North America 10.0 and display them as trails.
Using the Handheld Export tab, click on the Exchange button and receive the tracks you want. Then, using the Draw tab, click File and select the track layer. Click Copy To, and choose the Trail option. Then, de-select the check box next to the track and the new trail will display with the name you gave the track.
Create a Trail Route That Best Suits Your Needs You want to create a trail route, for a map you wish to print and take with you, and-or to upload the route file to your handheld GPS receiver.
Within the Route tab, click on Start and drop the green icon at your starting location. Click on Finish and drop the red icon at your destination. Topo North America 10.0 will automatically create your route for you. There is no tedious tracing required. If you wish to take a trail other than the one the program selects, click on Via and drop a white icon on your preferred trail. Your route will automatically re-calculate. Within the Route and Profile tabs, you'll find invaluable information including distance, estimated time to destination, elevation gain, climbing distance, and more. You can also use your cursor to trace the profile, and get specific information for any point along the way (as you trace the profile, an icon moves along the trail). All this information will help you to determine the route that best suits your preferences.
When calculating trail routes, you can select either a hiker or mountain biker icon, in order to most accurately estimate the time for your trip. Check beforehand to determine if mountain bikes are allowed on the trail you have selected.
Adding USGS Quad Detail to Topo North America
USGS 7.5-min. (1:24,000) quad map data is included as one of the download options available with a Map Library purchase. Features can be easily added to Topo North America using the Draw tab in split screen mode..
Search for and center on the location you desire, then open the Topo North America 10.0 split-screen. Using the draw tools, place symbols or notes to identify locations, or add linear features using the appropriate option (e.g., trails, different types of roads, etc.). The symbols you place or lines you draw will be mirrored on the Topo North America 10.0 side.
This same editing capability is available with the various aerial imagery choices DeLorme offerers. You can use it to show the exact locations for any man-made features you wish to display on Topo North America - structures, agricultural land, and so on.