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Topofusion is a very useful program that you may want to check out. It provides a handy and efficient interface for rapidly downloading and tiling topographic maps of a large range of scales, orthophotos, Landsat data, and other sources. The base images are collected from internet map servers as a background operation while you pan the program window. You can easily upload GPS waypoints and tracks into the program and quickly evaluate the position on a topo base that you are familiar with.

I used Topofusion to create this map which shows all of my foot traverses in my Owyhee River study area over the summer and fall. The program offers some interesting routines that generalize complex tracks to create a trail network that helps reduce irregularities and redundancies in GPS tracklogs. This is an easy way to show your progress in field reconnaissance if you are so inclined (yep, I am).

Recently, I used Topofusion to pan through a series of topo maps of the western United States to further investigate the geomorphology (and learn the names) of some very interesting geologic features I had seen on various airplane trips this last year (see related Google Map and Geotagged photo album). Topofusion was the best way to do this quickly because it provides very rapid access to all the detailed topo maps of the US which include many more place names than you can find in, say, Google Earth.


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