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Thread: Forest Service digital maps for Android and Apple

              
   
   
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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    West Valley, OR
    Posts
    14

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    I really like the Nexus 7 even if it is Andriod. The maps take forever to download and sometimes you don't get every tile you want. I'm still trying to figure it out tho.

    I'm a jetboater although I don't run as much as I used to. Mostly an annual trip on the lower Rogue is about all I do anymore. I've used that moniker for long time on various forums and I'm not creative enough to come up with a better one.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beaverton Oregon
    Posts
    715

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    Ok - I just started playing with Back Country Navigator Pro, PDF Maps and US Topo Maps Pro.

    Some background:
    I started using computer mapping in 2001? BIG advance - no more carrying and trying to follow umpteen paper maps.
    I started with WildFlower maps on a laptop. Awkward trying read/use the laptop while it was setting in the passenger seat.
    Then WildFlower was bought out by National Geographic and released as NatGeo's State series at a $100 per state.
    The program was always a stepchild at NatGeo with no support and infrequent updates. With t\he advent of phone/tablet mapping apps,
    NatGeo abandoned the program.


    Regardless of the lack of NatGeo support I used and loved the program. Still do.
    I bought one of the first tablets (Samsung Q1 with Windows) to use it on. The small size allowed me to mount it on the dash.
    Much better. I now use it with my MS Surface Pro Windows 8 computer mounted on the dash.

    The feature I use the most is laying out a route that I want to follow when I am in the back country. The route is shown as a dashed red line (or what ever color I wish).
    Then when I turn on tracking a solid red line overlays the dashed line. If the tracking line deviates from the planned route then I know
    I missed a turn. This planning/tracking is a HUGE help when driving in remote/confusing places.

    PDF Maps. I like this app for the easy of importing a wide variety of maps but no route planning that I can see.

    Back Country Navigator Pro. A nice selection of maps and probably able to import many more. I did not look closely at the import function.
    Tracking but no route planning. A more comprehensive selection of features that PDF Maps.

    US Topo Maps Pro. I like this one the best so far. Supposed to have route planning but it does not seem to be as easy use as my NatGeo program.
    I need to spend more time using the app.

    I can see I should have purchased a Nexus 10 instead of a 7.

    Toy Man

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    3,291

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    Thank God for you, Toy Man! I am most appreciative of you learning about and sharing your experiences with NatGeo Topo. Thanks to you I got into it about 2 years ago and don't know what I would do without it in many remote places. And now you are working on another alternative, one that might be much more affordable. We joke around a lot on the forum, but I sincerely thank you for all your help.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beaverton Oregon
    Posts
    715

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    I found out how to use route planning on US Topo Maps Pro.

    Fairly easy to use (You just tap the screen to place points along the route and the program connects the dots) but the route is almost invisible.

    I see where you can import GPX or KML (Google Earth) tracks so I may try that.

    Toy Man

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beaverton Oregon
    Posts
    715

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    The map overlay feature in Back Country Pro is great. I downloaded BLM's OR/WA land ownership map and it overlays the base map.

    US Topo Maps Pro has this feature also but I have not quite figured out how to import/overlay the BLM map.

    11 degrees here this morning. I am practicing my hibernation skills.

    Toy Man

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beaverton Oregon
    Posts
    715

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    More playing.

    It looks like US Topo Maps will only let you download their maps.

    Back Country Navigator has a Custom Map feature that is in Beta. It did not seem to work for me.

    PDFMaps lets you download about a jillion different maps.
    Not being up to date with the mapping world, I did not realize the new thing is geo-coding map PDF files. Neat enhancement.

    I expect I will end up using all 3 apps. Will have to remember to download the map tiles for the areas I will be driving thru.

    Toy Man

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beaverton Oregon
    Posts
    715

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    An email to Back Country Navigator about not having a route making facility led to a reply pointing to this answer.
    Measure and Create Routes : CritterMap Software HelpDesk

    Now to try it out.

    Toy Man

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    3,291

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    That was mostly Greek to me, but it did bring up some questions that I will hold until you complete your research. Just wanted you to know we are out here following along.
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinetop, AZ
    Posts
    237

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    ToyMan, I still think I should point out the free Android app I've been using for years, OruxMaps. Granted it doesn't yet work with the more detailed FS .pdf maps, but it does do a lot of the other things you are looking for to replace your NatGeo mapping. You can import .gpx files, and I think you can create track(s), etc. just like you wish.

    You can use it to download for offline use a wide variety of map tiles; the one I have used mostly are google terrain, but who knows? A quick email to the developer might have him include the capability for using the FS/USGS 1:24000 topo maps as well.
    Ted
    2006 Jeep Liberty, pretty much stock. But well stocked when I travel!

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Beaverton Oregon
    Posts
    715

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    Quote Originally Posted by teddyearp View Post
    I have downloaded it but have not had a chance to play with it.

    I am probably the last to know about this but the USGS has a neat site for displaying maps in Google Earth.
    Go here to download the US topo map as an overlay in Google Earth. http://www.earthpoint.us/topomap.aspx

    Toy Man

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