Topo USA Mapping Software Review
Hikers, bikers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for the ultimate backcountry experience will definitely have a leg up on adventure with Topo USA 7.0 by DeLorme. As its name suggests, this topography travel software is brimming with clever off–road mapping features — including customization tools that help you easily create 3–D elevation profiles, examine distances and grade for your next trip. DeLorme proved to offer top–quality customer support and the software is available on either CD or DVD. Ease of Use:
You can't use Topo USA blindfolded, but almost. The program is intuitive; for example, all the operations are organized in folders with clearly defined headings on selectable tabs. Topo USA 7.0 offers online tutorials in that rare event that you are unsure about certain features.
For hikers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts, Topo USA 7.0 has it all. The topography maps are top quality with markings and coloring similar to traditional paper topography maps but with interaction and customization ability. The cheapest paper topo maps we could find online were $2.95 for one 24K Quad Topographic 7.5 min x 7.5 min map and this software includes the entire United States for less than $100. We felt we were overlooking something because we couldn't find any missing features in this software.
The program is not GPS compatible but with a serial port connection to your laptop, you can get realtime tracking in your automobile or you can plan your trip at home and then print the maps to take on the trail. Topo USA 7.0 also adds a street over–lay grid to the topography maps.
The decisive factor was when we discovered the elevation profile feature. Most topo products offer this, but none to the extent of Topo USA 7.0. Once you go through the painless process of creating an elevation profile, you are given stats pertaining to that profile, such as climbing distance, grade, elevation gain, descending elevation and more. Topo USA 6.0 also provides an easy–to–operate 3–D mode that is displayed side–by–side the 2–D picture of the same area. Brilliant!
Topo USA 7.0 has an easy–to–use POI search tool. This mapping software also offers an optional download for campground information from 16,107 State and National Parks.
This mapping product would be easier to use if it labeled the names of smaller roads on the map at all times, but instead you have to place your cursor on the road in order to see its name.
Multiple waypoint tracking allows you to insert as many stops on your trip as you like. You can even create multiple routes. Using Topo USA 7.0, you can customize your routes with personalized notes, mapnotes, Internet links, freehand drawings, symbols, and you can even add roads to the map.
The map edits are printable and the map detail is clear and sharp. Topo USA 7.0 comes with a free bonus CD with aerial and satellite images of 10 popular locations along with free downloads for more destinations, at a reported value of over $50.
Topo USA 7.0 is a topography map, and therefore isn't expected to meet some of the requirements in the safety features section. But Topo USA 7.0 does offer a comprehensive phone list of travel contacts for road construction updates, weather updates and hotel information.
DeLorme Topo USA 7.0 is a breeze to install and get up and running.
The National Edition of DeLorme Topo USA is an all-around effective and easy-to-use navigation program. A solid feature set, intuitive interface and high interconnectivity make the great American road trip easier than ever before.
Read review at TopTenReviews.com