National Geographic Launches Topo.com


National Geographic has added yet another excellent online resource to their stable of websites. This time it’s in the form of Top.com which offers up a very impressive set of topographic maps of North America.

The site, whose tag line is: “Get map. Get connected. Get going.” takes Geo’s proprietary topographic map data and mashes it up with Google Maps, with the end result being a detailed map of what ever area you select to examine. Anyone familiar with Google Maps will quickly be able to navigate the interface, and you have the options of a “Topo” view, a “Satellite” view, and a “Hybrid” which is a combo of both. So, if you’re heading out on a trail somewhere, you can checkout the terrain ahead of time.

The site looks to build a community of outdoor enthusiasts, and you have to register to get the most out of it. It’s a quick and painless procedure however, and soon you’ll have access to the online forums and have the ability to share your own maps. You can browse the online database and find trails in your area, but if you’d like to save the ma and print it out, you’ll need to buy it first from the online store.

So far there isn’t a lot of content from the community online just yet, but expect it to grow over time. Soon this will blossom into a really great resource, and if you have a GPS and the required software, you’ll probably be able to make good use of it.

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