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Ade

Getting free Alaska maps from the USGS

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So in theory you can download all those nice USGS maps for free. But only if you know what you're doing. As with any bureaucracy the trick is knowing how to ask the question.

 

You can use the National Map Viewer to zoom around Alaska. In the right hand column turn on Topographic Maps > USGS Quadrangles to see the maps and Topographic Maps > Index/Status to get the names of the individual sheets.

 

Once you have the sheet name goto the Alaska Digital Raster Graphics and download the TIF file for the sheet you want.

 

This comes as a compressed file using GNU Zip. The built in Windows ZIP program doesn't seem to handle this (maybe WinZip does). You can get gunzip.exe for Win32 from SourceForge's GNU utilities for Win32 Project. Download the ZIP. You only need to unpack \usr\local\wbin\gunzip.exe to be able to unzip files.

 

Have fun.

 

Ade

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Ade - Have you tried USA Photo Maps ? A free program that pulls usgs data and automatically stiches the maps together, along with linking to aerial photos? Based on langitude/longitude, interfaces with GPS units, did i mention that it's free?

 

edited to fix link

 

 

Edited by forrest_m

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Try WorldWind from Nasa. That program beats them all out!! It just may be the coolest program for maps ive ever used (by far)

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Needless to say the sat imagery is limited to only some regions of the US. You can find out what Photo Maps will be able to get images for here:

 

http://www.terraserver-usa.com/

 

yes, the problem is that to get free photos from terraserver, you have to download a huge bunch of screenshots and stitch them together in photoshop (or pay a bunch of $ to subscribe to terraserver), photomaps automates that for you and lets you toggle back and forth to usgs topo maps.

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I agree Photo Maps is better. All I'm saying is that you can use the coverage map on the homepage of the Terraserver site to figure out if it's worth going to the trouble of installing Photo Maps to get photos. It's still a great tool for stitching together USGS maps though. It's like having one big map of the US!

 

I also played with NASA's World Wind program. This also does USGS maps and LandSat images and a bunch of other cool stuff as well including 3D terrain views. Again the issue is data; the SRTM terrain data coverage is patchy for AK. Denali for instance appears completely flat!

 

Both these are really cool applications that make using the USGS and other data much easier now all we have to do is convince someone to fly the space shuttle over AK a few times.

 

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Seems that there isn't anything equivalent for Canada. You can search the map DB and it'll produce computer generated topo maps but there doesn't seem to be anything for downloading the equivalent USGS map data.

 

http://maps.nrcan.gc.ca/search/mapsearch.html

 

Anyone got any better ideas on this one?

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I ended up buying some maps for the Canadian side of the border.

 

http://www.etopo.ca/

 

The best free/shareware software for viewing them seems to be Memory-Map:

 

http://www.memory-map.com/

 

This will also allow you to download USGS maps and load them too. You can stitch together multiple maps and add markers for peaks etc.

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USGS Store

 

Click Map Locator

 

Follow directions on right side of map

 

Download away

 

 

Good for entire US

 

 

I have used maps from this site for many skiing, hiking, and hunting trips.

Edited by climbingcoastie

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