Letter Re: Acquiring Local Topgraphic Maps

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2013

Dear Jim:
A reminder to folks who don't have good topos of their local area - get some.

Just went to get updated topo maps of my local area in the 1:24,000 scale.  Little did I know that the 1980s vintage map I currently have is superior to the current maps!  The US Geological Service, decided in their <sarcasm on> "infinite wisdom" to update topos with roads added since the 1980s, but delete much of the vital information like pipelines, fencelines, gravel pits, radio towers, etc., etc. that make a topo useful.  It must have been just too difficult to add new road information to existing data. <sarcasm off>. 

The new maps show roads and elevation but are otherwise very sparse on actual on the ground details.   If you want the detailed map features, plus all the modern roads you have to get the old and the new maps!  Take a close look at the actual map before buying.   Is there anything the Federal government can't screw up?

By the way, you can laminate maps for durability but they are heavier and hard to fold (they must be rolled). 

And BTW , does anyone have experience with the Map Seal product?

Regards, - OSOM

JWR Replies: Older generation maps might be better, but be sure to update their marginal information with the latest magnetic declination data. (Magnetic North does drift!)

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