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USGS topo maps

Discussion in 'Travel' started by bigmooze, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Mar 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM
    #1
    bigmooze

    bigmooze [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Growing up in England, I could buy OS (Ordnance Survey) maps at 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scale for my hiking/biking trips. These were readily available at bookstores.

    I have 1:24,000 scale GPS maps on my Garmin Oregon 450, but would also like printed USGS maps to get the bigger picture when I'm out touring around/fishing.

    Can I buy printed maps from the USGS?

    What maps do you guys/gals recommend for good detail (like 1:70,000 or less) that cover county-wide areas (e.g. Crawford County, MI). The National Geographic ones I just bought from a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be great, but smaller scale (i.e. more detail) would be even nicer.
     
  2. Mar 10, 2012 at 2:44 PM
    #2
    acdronin

    acdronin Well-Known Member

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  3. Mar 10, 2012 at 2:46 PM
    #3
    bigmooze

    bigmooze [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Oh cool, thanks. Do you use USGS maps or prefer another type?
    [/FONT]
     
  4. Mar 10, 2012 at 8:01 PM
    #4
    BenWA

    BenWA Well-Known Member

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    USGS publishes 7.5' quadrangles, which are 1:24,000 scale. Pretty much the best printed maps you can get. They are great maps for most folks' needs. The contours on USGS topos were derived from aerial photographs (mostly back during WWII), so in many heavily forested regions, the forest canopy is what the topo map maker referenced from the aerial photos, so it has the potential to omit a lot of smaller topographic features that are concealed beneath the canopy. Also, that particular scale typically has a contour interval of 40 feet, which is also kind of crappy resolution when it comes to smaller features on the ground. But the only way to get more detail is by constructing topographic maps based on lidar, which most folks don't have handy access to.
     
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