GPS Mapping: Make Your Own Maps
National Geographic TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views Expansion Pack
This expansion pack adds 3-D views, USB support, and the ability to "fly through" the landscape and update maps and roads. It is priced at $19.95 and is well worth the price for the features it adds. A couple of caveats though - it is not Macintosh compatible and it has no maps; it must be used with a TOPO! State product in order to work.
TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views updates your state product to TOPO! Version 4.0, adding a new interface, and that seems like a good place to start. Let's look first at the changes in terms of configuration and navigating the maps.
Click View and then click Preferences and Settings to open the dialog shown below.
Important printing options are found under Printing/Export:
Click GPS, and then click Waypoint Display for options that you may occasionally wish to change.
TOPO!'s manual has been updated in version 4.0.
Waypoints and Waypoint Management
The main change here is that waypoint display options are now buried a little deeper. Click View, then click Preferences and Settings. Next, click GPS and then click Waypoint Display, opening the dialog shown below.
Not much has changed here, except that the route dialog now has a 3D Fly-Over button. More on that below.
Version 4.0 adds support for USB transfer of data to and from selected GPS receivers. For a complete compatibility list go to http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/topo/streets.cfm and click the GPS Compatibility List link.
As noted under Configuration, important printing options are now found under Preferences and Settings. You can also reach these by clicking More Options on the print pane.
3-D views are a major new feature added to TOPO! Version 4.0. The primary way to create a 3-D view is by clicking 3D Map View . This will open a split-screen window, with the 3-D view on the left, and place an arrow on the 2-D view on the right, as shown below.
Notice the controls at the bottom of the 3-D pane. Click Options to open the dialog shown below, giving you control over the Size of 3D Map and Vertical Exaggeration.
Back on the 3-D controls at the bottom of the left-hand pane, click Spin for a rotating 360° view. Notice that the arrow on the 2-D map also spins, indicating the direction you are viewing. To spin incrementally, click on the Spin slider bar. Tilt controls the angle of view, while Elev. controls the relative height from which you are viewing the scene.
Another way to use TOPO!'s 3-D feature is with a fly-over. To do this, click Route Tool and draw a route on a map. When finished, the TOPO! Route dialog appears. Now click 3D Fly-Over, and a 3-D map will be generated and an animated fly-over will be initiated. The Speed slider bar on the left-hand pane controls the speed of the fly-over. You can control Tilt and Elev. on fly-overs as well. Click Fly to restart the fly-over.
You can also initiate a 3D fly-over using an existing track or route, by right-clicking the route to open the TOPO! Route dialog.
Click the map to change the area being searched for updates. Drag the Search Size slider bar to increase or decrease the size of the area searched. Then click Search Now. If you don't have a mapXchange account, a dialog will open allowing you to set one up.
Once you click Search Now, a list of updated quads available for download appears in the right-hand pane, as shown below.
Any updated quads that are available will be represented by a red dot on the screen, at the center of the quad. Click to place a check mark by quads in the list, to select them for download. A yellow flag appears on the map indicating that the quad has been Flagged For Download. Now click the Streets tab to select updated road and street information for download, as shown below.
Notice that in the lower left corner, you can see the size of the files of the Quads & Streets Flagged For Download. Click Download Now to proceed. The percentage download progress is shown in the title bar. The dots on the map change to green to indicate which quads have been downloaded. Now close this window and go back to the map.
Click Street Settings, opening the dialog shown below.
Choose your settings and click OK. Depending on the settings you chose, your map may look like the one below, complete with popup street names.
Copy a disc to your hard drive as described in Chapter 7 of GPS Mapping - Make Your Own Maps. In version 4.0, an additional step is required. Click View, and then click Preferences and Settings. Under GPS, select Data Folders. Now click Add Folder and browse to enter the file path as shown below. Click OK to finish. You'll need to restart TOPO! for the changes to take effect.
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