With the advancement in technology, there has been an increased demand for more definitive and up-to-date terrain and land-cover detail among topographic map users. DeLorme, a consumer mapping software concern, is now meeting that demand with high-resolution aerial images through its latest release of Topo USA.
New with Version 5.0, registered users can download multi-layered Aerial Data Packets (ADPs), which include both aerial photos and satellite images. These highly useful data packets also include authentic US Geological Survey (USGS) 7.5 minute topographic map images.
Topo USA 5.0 has the most up-to-date terrain, road, and trail data available. Topo, it is claimed, is the only topographic software that combines full nationwide coverage with automatic road and trail routing. The entire program on one DVD-ROM thus eliminates the need to switch discs (a six-CD national set is also available). This newest version also includes improved GPS functions, nationwide campgrounds, and the ability to link photos, documents, and websites to the maps.
The new Aerial Data Packets represent a genuine advance for Topo USA users. ADPs can be fully integrated with the existing map data, using DeLorme’s user-friendly split-screen feature. This allows users to compare the images, obtain an immediate visual context for any location, and perform quick, easy editing. The aerial images clearly show man-made structures and agricultural land, and allow users to differentiate between sparse, dense, or clear-cut forest areas, which would be indistinguishable on traditional maps.
Topo USA also offers a GPS Waypoint Wizard for fast, easy uploads and downloads. Topo USA can be used with all popular brands of receivers, as long as they are NMEA-compliant.
Topo USA retains its many other popular features, including DeLorme’s exclusive routing capabilities. Users can automatically route their drive from home to trailhead, and their hike from trailhead to backcountry destination. The program will instantly select the optimal driving and hiking routes and provide GPS waypoints for uploads to receivers.
The roads in Topo USA 5.0 come from the DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2004 database, which is unrivaled for its up-to-date accuracy. It includes everything from superhighways to the remote back roads essential for wilderness access.
The 3-D features of Version 5.0 are more advanced than those of the past versions. It vastly enhances the ability to accurately preview any destination. Users can scout the terrain in its actual form, from any compass point, and from viewing angles ranging from vertical to near horizontal. A new option allows users to select any location and get a 360-degree view of the terrain from that spot.
The Topo USA profile feature can be another indispensable scouting tool. Other popular features include searchable draw objects; UTM or latitude/longitude coordinates; and flexible print options, including a wide range of print scales, handy layout tools, and mural printing (2 x 2 or 3 x 3 mosaics), on either 8” x 11” or 11” x 17” printers.