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USGS Topo Maps - Media Review

Posted in Features on October 1, 2003
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National Geographic USGS Topo MapsIf you're in search of reliable, accurate maps for your next off-road adventure, you're search is over. Using TOPO! mapping software, National Geographic has produced a series of seamless state and regional maps on CD-ROM that are scanned versions of the actual paper 1:24,000-scale USGS maps. Whether hobbyist or professional, you cannot find better detail.

More than just a series of maps, the TOPO! software allows almost unlimited manipulation of information to produce exactly the map you need. You can zoom through different map series to show increased detail. You can add your own custom text and symbols. You can even engage 3-D digital shading to emphasize changes in elevation. And because this process uses millions of colors to optimize the maps, both the on-screen and printed versions are almost perfectly represented.

When it's time to print, TOPO! allows you to choose the exact area on the map that you need, even if it covers multiple quads. Beyond that, you can choose to add border information, including UTM or longitude/latitude grids, scale bars, north arrows, and magnetic declination. You can then export your customized maps to other applications, including your GPS unit. TOPO! is designed to work with any leading GPS receiver, which means you can transfer information to or from your unit. If you need to create your own route in fine detail, TOPO! will allow you to draw a freehand route and will then display its distance, elevation profile, and prepare it for uploading to your GPS receiver.

National Geographic has a long history of producing some of the world's finest maps, and its latest collection certainly lives up to the reputation. This mapping software is easy to navigate, incredibly detailed, and replete with tools that make customizing maps for your own use quite simple.

Further Facts
For more information, contact: National Geographic, Dept. 4WDSU, P.O. Box 4357, Evergreen, CO 80437-4357, (800) 962-1643, www.nationalgeographic.com/maps.

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