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Thread: Free topo maps for Canada

  1. #1
    hardyklr
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    Maybe some people have this already, but it was new to me and works really well. Basically a MapSource add-in like Topo Canada 2, but free. Download the maps from the site, start MapSource, and toggle this mapset. Zoom and highlight any areas...can be viewed on the computer and then downloaded/uploaded from your GPS. Great coverage of most of Canada (all of BC/Alberta etc)

    http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustopo/

  2. #2
    dooveman
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    Thanks, good link. I will test it as I have a garmin unit. Then I'll add it to the list.

    I also reviewed the government license agreement and emailed them to make sure they are authorized to distribute.

  3. #3
    hardyklr
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    Seventh post down on this link is the author's comments about Ibycus.



    http://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=25077

  4. #4
    dooveman
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    Yeah, I don't really care about their bypass of the garmin protection. I own my garmin. I should be able to put a map on it. I wanted to make sure they were ok with the canadian government that supplies the maps. Alot of these maps you have to pay for. That's all. I sent him a mail, I'm sure he's ok.

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    hardyklr wrote:
    Maybe some people have this already, but it was new to me and works really well. Basically a MapSource add-in like Topo Canada 2, but free. Download the maps from the site, start MapSource, and toggle this mapset. Zoom and highlight any areas...can be viewed on the computer and then downloaded/uploaded from your GPS. Great coverage of most of Canada (all of BC/Alberta etc)

    http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustopo/
    WOW...that takes a long time to d-loas. Any suggestions?
    My life has a superb cast, but I can't figure out the plot...

  6. #6
    hardyklr
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    Yeah. it takes quite a while as the connection is slow, so I let it run overnight, but wow...the maps are worth it. Way better topo detail than Topo Canada IMHO.

    Once you have MapSource installed on your computer, install the Ibycus Topos on the same computer. Then you:
    1) Run MapSource
    2) Select Ibycus Topo from the drop-down
    3) Select as many tiles as you want using the Map Tool
    4) Click the Save-to-GPS button




  7. #7
    dooveman
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    Yeah, I tried to download it on my laptop that does not have my Garmin software on it. I was hoping it didn't care but I guess it does. I mean I expect it to care to use it but didn't realize it would just hang after the download.

    When I put the link on my links page I will make sure to give the standard disclaimer. Actually I should probably put a disclaimer at the top of the links page. You know, the one that says that all of the information provided is not meant for navigation purposes. And that this map is especially useful as a second source of information wrt the Garmin topo map. The Garmin is out of date but does let you navigate. I'm sure this ismore up to datebut still not perfect.

    So it's true power is in that you can refer to it when you get contradicting information from Garmin and thehundredsof 12 year old trees that you see in front of you on the road that grew in. Or you can make this your default and Garmin topo as your backup. But I would recommend as many backups as useful. I even have paper maps.

    Brian



  8. #8
    dooveman
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    Added disclaimer

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    dooveman wrote:
    I even have paper maps.

    Brian
    What's a "paper map"?

  10. #10
    hardyklr
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    If you don't have MapSource...

    ....there is a workaround you can use to get mapsource on your computer without the commercial maps.

    1. Download Garmin Training Center (google it, you'll get a link)
    2. Download the latest update for Mapsource
    3. Install Garmin Training Center
    4. Install Mapsource.

    This will allow you to get a copy of mapsource on your computer downloaded from Garmin's website.




  11. #11
    dooveman
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    No, I have mapsource. It's just that it is on my desktop and I got a new laptop and tried to install this first before installing mapsource. My intention is to move everything to my laptop.

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    Anyone get this to work? I downloaded the REALLY BIG topo file. When I go to open it from Mapsource, I get a message that it is "not a valid mapsource file and could not be opened."

    Any clues?

  13. #13
    hardyklr
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    Hey Yak. It has worked for 4 other people up our way so far, so not sure what is happening with your download. When I downloaded it, I never used "Save As" etc...just ran it from the website. MapSource then recognized right away in a drop-down menu etc...



    Hope this helps.

  14. #14
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    After a lot of trouble the maps appeared for me in map source.



    I would like to know if it is possible to make maps out of the backroad map books. It looks possible but a little beyond me and maybe a little bit against copywrong law.

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    Yak_KLR650 wrote:
    Anyone get this to work? I downloaded the REALLY BIG topo file. When I go to open it from Mapsource, I get a message that it is "not a valid mapsource file and could not be opened."

    Any clues?

    You have to "run" that file you downloaded to install the TOPOS. You can't just open the file from Mapsource.

    So wherever you downloaded the file to, go and double click on it to install the TOPOS first. Then go to Mapsource and select the Mapset from the pulldown menu in the top left corner.

    Thanks for the link hardyklr, I'm going to download it at the office today (12Mbps download speed) and try it out. If you use it, I would definitely donate some money to the student that did the map conversion. The Canada TOPO set is $130? Buy the guy a case of beer at least.

    To Donate:
    https://www.paypal.com/row/cgi-bin/w...68bc9ce73a956c



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    Are these better than the Garmin Topo Canada stuff?



  17. #17
    dooveman
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    From the sounds of it, because it is from the government it should be newer. My estimate is that Garmin topo is 12 years old. Based on the size of the trees I found growing on the road that topo claimed. But 10-12 years is what I have heard. So for me, having both is best. Topo Canada lets you navigate.

    You can get backroads on CD and I know people that use it on their palm. Not on their Garmin. Big issue with any map that comes from Backroads or any other source is that they may not be hierarchical. Meaning, as you zoomin, you get more detail, font stays same size. When you zoom out of a backroads map everything gets cluttered and smaller until it is not readable.

    Garmin maps are in a format where every road, object contour are unique objects that are modifiable. Backroads is a basic gif.

    Brian

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    I just finished the download (let it run while I was at work) and it has better detail than Topo Canada. The only potential downside is that it doesn't autoroute like Topo Canada, but that's minor, I can build the route in either Topo Canada or City Navigator and view in this. Or use this set to find and establish waypoints and build the route around those or just import the waypoints into the GPS unit.

    Thanks for the link!!!!

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    Yak_KLR650 wrote:
    I just finished the download (let it run while I was at work) and it has better detail than Topo Canada. The only potential downside is that it doesn't autoroute like Topo Canada, but that's minor, I can build the route in either Topo Canada or City Navigator and view in this. Or use this set to find and establish waypoints and build the route around those or just import the waypoints into the GPS unit.

    Thanks for the link!!!!
    Have u loaded it into ur GPS yet? I was wondering gow it all shows up.
    My life has a superb cast, but I can't figure out the plot...

  20. #20
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    Yak_KLR650 wrote:
    I let it run while I was at work
    Oooh! I bet your net admin loves you. Of course your boss probably has a bazillion bps connection.

  21. #21
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    PaulBurke wrote:
    If you use it, I would definitely donate some money to the student that did the map conversion. The Canada TOPO set is $130? Buy the guy a case of beer at least.
    Good comment Paul - lot's of work to assemble this.

  22. #22
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    Dorky wrote:
    Yak_KLR650 wrote:
    I let it run while I was at work
    Oooh! I bet your net admin loves you. Of course your boss probably has a bazillion bps connection.
    No. I let it run on my home computer while I was at work! and yes we do have a very fast connection in the office that doesn't freak over huge files!

    I am planning on sending the guy some money -this is great work. I wonder if he can do this with map image files, could he do the same with ortho photographs? That would be cool!

    I am just about to load some on the GPS - let you know in a few minutes!

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    Just finished installing Ibycus. Nice add-on. Took 3 hr 18 min to download. Anybody know the creators email? Haven't compared everything/everywhere: sometimes Mapsource seems better other times Ibycus. Nice to have more options.

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    Yak_KLR650 wrote:
    I am just about to load some on the GPS - let you know in a few minutes!
    I loaded a couple of mapsheets (shows Joker's house) and it looks good (the GPS image not Joker's house!). Gives way more detail and you can see the small roads without zooming in as far. The contours are not as noticable until you zoom in, so it doesn't get cluttered. I don't know what it would look like on a non-colour screen because of all the green on the federal maps but it looks fine in colour.

    Is it worth the time it takes to load? Yes. Is it worth sending the kid that developed this some money - You bet! It's about time someone started to break Garmin's strangle hold.

    I now have Topo Canada, City Navigator 2008 and Ibycus Topo on my computer and my GPS. Glad I got the 2 Gb card!

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    250ccforme wrote:
    Anybody know the creators email?
    It is on the website at the bottom:

    d a t k i n a t i b y c u s d o t c o m AKA

    datkin@ibycus.com

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