AboveTheTimber.com- anybody tried their topos?

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Rockies' started by Red_Chili, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    They make topos that are 25K, and get this, DOWNLOAD ONTO GARMIN MAPPING GPSs. They seem like fantastic resolution. Colorado only, and $79.95, but compared to Natl Geographic or ANYthing Garmin offers, far superior.

    The question is, would I be an early adopter of these? (AKA 'beta tester')?

    It would definitely cover the question of GPS maps for USFS, BLM, roads, trails... you name it. But not routable.
    #1
  2. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    Here is a comparo, Garmin Topo zoomed in to the lower part of Holy Cross 4x4 Road:
    GarminScreenshot-Holy Cross 4x4 trail.JPG
    #2
  3. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    And here is Above the Timber's 24K topo. Compares to National Geographic, but is cheaper, and actually can be loaded to a Garmin GPS. I'm stoked!
    ATTScreenshot-Holy Cross 4x4 trail.JPG
    #3
  4. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to Asphalt!

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    :ear

    Looks nice and has a reasonable price> Looks like I'll have to download the sample and giove it a test run, too bad it's only for an area west of Ft Collins and not some place I know better.
    #4
  5. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

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    I have had the US - Topo West (topo quads) for years and really like it. If you want to see it some day in the flesh drop on by. This has been out a long time so you would not be a beta tester. Unless you are talking about something completly different that what I am understanding. :D

    Never mind. I re-read this and can offer nothing. I thought you were talking about the Mapsource Topo maps but now see i am a fool. LOL:

    Marc
    #5
  6. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    Yeah, I have the MapSource topos. Just no good when on foot!
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  7. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Am I missing something, the roads look the same?
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  8. Disquisitive Dave

    Disquisitive Dave Not so wise fool

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    I found this interesting... most (all?) of the tools and data to build map sets for Garmin units are free. (Apparently they're free, I haven't tried it myself just yet.) Might be time consuming though.

    http://home.cinci.rr.com/creek/garmin.htm


    (Above the Timber's FAQ page links to Jack Yeazel's page, which links to the above page.)

    The above the timber domain is registered to a dude in BV:

    Administrative Contact:
    Edrinn, Roger edrinn@abovethetimber.com
    PO Box 852
    Buena Vista, Colorado 81211-0852
    United States

    I wonder if he's just some hack trying to make a living in the mountains... just like I want to.
    #8
  9. Disquisitive Dave

    Disquisitive Dave Not so wise fool

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    I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that the ROADS are nearly exactly the same as in the Garmin product. Above The Timber (ATT) says they slurped up their road data from the "BTS Roads database", which is probably the same place Garmin got their data. (EDIT: actually the ATT example above shows two spur roads in the valley that aren't in the Mapsource example.) The big "oooh" with the ATT product is far greater detail offered by the contour lines and water features.

    Here an excerpt from the FAQ page that addresses some road questions:

    <blockquote>
    Are the Forest Service Trails Numbered?
    No, surprisingly unlike the BTS Roads database, the FS trails database contained no route numbers associated with the trail vectors. They would have been easy to associate had they been there. The good news is the trails themselves appear quite complete, only lacking recent additions.

    Are Forest Service Roads Included and Numbered?
    Yes and No, when a FS road was part of the BTS database, then its on the map and often numbered or named. However, the FS roads database was not included because 90% of the time it overlapped the BTS data. Having duplicate vectors describing the same feature is a prescription for clutter, whether they be roads, streams or contours. So the only solution would be to manually delete all the duplicates, a task outside of the time limits of the first generation maps.

    Which Forest Roads will I find Missing?
    Generally, the last mile of some 4WD roads and unnamed and unnumbered tertiary roads are missing from the BTS database. Major FS roads seemed to always be included and often numbered. Surprisingly, the BTS has lots of long abandoned roads :evil in their database and those will also have to be manually removed based on user feedback.
    </blockquote>
    #9
  10. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to Asphalt!

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    Looks to me like the chance to have DeLorme maps on Garmin?!?!?
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  11. Red_Chili

    Red_Chili Fresh Ground

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    Yeah, dang close. A friend on our 4x4 forum pierced my balloon by pointing out the tools to integrate all this are free. HOWEVER...

    I also hear a KTM is made out of simple steel and aluminum, and all you need is a torch, grinder, welder, and forge. All readily available...:poser

    So my balloon got reinflated. Sure, given infinite monkeys I could do this... but here it is, all ready to go, and it works wonderfully. So now my Garmin has the SIRF chipset, is Garmin, and has DeLorme-level maps in the MapSource interface instead of the sometimes cobby DeLorme interface. Happy so far... Now I wish it had the BLM / State land layer like DeLorme Topo6 does, and was made for more states than Colorado. So buy from this guy, WILLYA? :D Mebbe he will come up with Utah and Wyoming, and New Mexico, and...

    You are basically paying for the guy's effort and time, and the decisions he made (road colors, detail, etc.). I like his thinking.

    And yeah, I would HOPE the roads would be the same! But they jump out on the display due to the color. But it's the spaces BETWEEN the roads that I am interested in!
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  12. Disquisitive Dave

    Disquisitive Dave Not so wise fool

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  13. TheEstablishment

    TheEstablishment Been here awhile

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    I don't want to downplay the work that went into the AboveTheTimber maps, but it looks like the same thing is available for free here:

    http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/mp_main.html

    Note, these are ready to go into Mapsource, and have the 40ft contour intervals. Also, these maps have land use which can be really handy.
    #13
  14. Disquisitive Dave

    Disquisitive Dave Not so wise fool

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    Comparison time. I attempted to duplicate Red Chili's view.

    City Navigator North America 2008 (Garmin)
    [​IMG]


    US Roads & Recreation (Garmin, discontinued)
    [​IMG]


    US Topo - West (Garmin, superseded by new release)
    [​IMG]


    "Colorado Topo Maps" from miscjunk.org
    [​IMG]


    Some thoughts about the miscjunk.org data:
    1) hard to see the roads (at least in Mapsource) They show up much better in the above the timber snap from Red Chili.
    2) plenty of roads missing
    3) Land management data seems quite good compared to the others.

    What best matches reality? Dunno, it was about 1987 the last time I was up there.
    #14
  15. Disquisitive Dave

    Disquisitive Dave Not so wise fool

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    Another comparison. This time an area I've been to more recently...

    City Navigator North America 2008 (Garmin)
    [​IMG]


    US Roads & Recreation (Garmin, discontinued)
    [​IMG]


    US Topo - West (Garmin, superseded by new release)
    [​IMG]


    "Colorado Topo Maps" from miscjunk.org
    [​IMG]

    Note that the Garmin topo set is the only one that shows the Jenny Creek road and the old "wagon road."

    The miscjunk.org road data isn't really in sync with the topo data. Plus it's missing legitimate routes. Maybe Red_Chili can take a snap of the above the timer data here for comparision...


    No set seems perfect.
    #15