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Showing posts with label US Geological Survey maps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label US Geological Survey maps. Show all posts

Monday, December 17, 2012

Survival Planning: Free Topographical Maps

Topographical  (Topo) maps are a great asset to planning practically anything...Bug Out Routes, Caches, and many more uses.  The commonly available mapping tools on the web may not be available if the collapse is severe enough. Best to have them as hard copies and also electroncially, as files on your laptop or PDA type device.

A sharp reader posted how to get free topo mapping files, in a comment to a previous post, so I thought I would re-post where more readers could see it.

Free Detailed Maps

There is an invaluable tool for your pre and post SHTF operations that allows you detailed and accurate mapping for your location(s). Here is a link to the U.S. Geological Survey Map Store where you can download free, detailed topographic, contour, road maps, even including satellite images.

First click on this link.

Now Double-Click and Click-and-Drag to zoom in on the area you want. Once you have narrowed down to the area you want, then:

Select “O MARK POINTS:" instead of "O NAVIGATE:" on the right side of the window.

There is a Pull-Down window near the middle of the right side of the window indicating either “30 Minute and larger” or “7.5 to 15 Minute”. For most practical topographic purposes you will do better with the 7.5 to 15 Minute maps.

Click on the map in the center of an area you want to map out. The map will then refresh with a marker pointing to your spot.

Left click on the target dot of your marker. This will create a popup window showing all maps available which include the spot you selected.

Find the most recent map and click on the file size for the map rather than any other column.

This will generate a .zip file name which you can download through a “Save As” window.

Once Saved, go to the folder where you saved it.

Right click on the name of the .zip file, and select “Extract All…”.

Be sure to use the browse function to place the final map where you want it stored on your PC.

The unzipped file will be in a PDF format.

The newest maps (2010 and later) actually contain multiple layers including satellite images. If you download and install the TerraGo software (available free at the lower left corner of the map window) you can select and manage which layers you view with Adobe Reader.