Newbie - want Vector, same detail as USGS paper topos...

Started by gaderrvin, September 02, 2016, 06:40:46 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hello all -

Please forgive my complete ineptitude with technology.  Oregon 600.  I have a number of 1:24000 from this site, MN, WI and ME.  I used the WI map last season to good effect, while hunting up north.  I may be just seeing things.  Is it me, or do these filedepot 1:24000 maps not have as much detail as your average USGS, paper topo?  I don't know what contour intervals are on the filedepot topos, but I get the sense they're greater than the paper I just seeing things?

An vector-based USGS topo clones available?

Many thanks,



For starters, it's meaningless to talk about "the maps on this site" because they are created by many different authors with different interests an skill levels. There are no standards for things like contour intervals, it's up to the mapmaker.

It should be obvious that hand-drawn paper maps are a very different thing from vector based maps. As you zoom in and out on a vector map, it creates a vastly different effect. That being said, I've spent a fair amount of time trying to make Garmin format vector maps in a style similar to USGS paper topo maps. Here's one from a few years ago:

And a newer one that can be downloaded here:

I have tried to get as close as possible to USGS classic style on this map. I am not aware of anyone else on this site who is doing this, and I have no real plans to make additional Garmin format maps.

Most authors on this site just use the default Garmin vector map style. If you want a map to look more like a USGS quad, you need to create your own custom styles. Another big difference in the USGS maps is that they show forest cover. This kind of data can be difficult to find, although some of the smaller states have good datasets (NJ, DE and MD for example). I have also developed my own (tedious) technique for creating it from Landsat Imagery.

Very few other authors on this site have done this, which is understandable because it's a lot of work and makes a map much larger. :)