Topo Maps+ works really well for trip planning. I am getting ready to backpack the Devil’s Dome Loop in the Pasayten Wilderness and here is how I used Topo Maps+ to plan this trip.
Routes For Each Day
First I break the trip up into which trails we will hike each day. To do this I select the trails on the map and then change the end points on the map to find out how long and how much elevation that section will be. When you select a trail on the map you can move the crosshairs at the ends of the trail to make a new route. If there isn’t a selectable trail for where I am going, then I trace out the routes.
Click here to learn more about interacting with trails.
The Devil’s Dome Loop starts with a brutal climb, so I decided to make the first day be a bit shorter. When you save your new route you can see the total elevation gain, total elevation loss, and distance in the elevation profile view. Once I have a route for the day I change the name for this custom route.
To make the route stand out on the map, I then generally change the color.
I will then do this for each day of the trip. Now, when I zoom out I can see the full loop, with each day’s segment in a different color.
Waypoints For Points of Interest
Once I have the routes set up for each day, I add waypoints for points of interest on the map. I do this so that those points stand out on the map, and because waypoints are automatically indexes for route sections in Topo Maps+ PRO (coming in Fall 2016).
To add a waypoint to the map simply tap and hold on the map, move the crosshairs to where you want the point, and then tap on Add.
You can customize the name and icon for the waypoint once you add it to the map.
Click here to learn more about waypoints.
Organize The Data with Tags
Next I create a tag for the trip and add all of my data to the tag. This lets me keep all of the data for the trip organized. You can access the tags from “My Data” -> Tags.
Scroll down to the bottom of the tags to add a new one. You can give it a name and either choose a built in picture or add your own.
Next select “Add Items to Tag” and select the routes and waypoints for the trip. Alternately, you can select each item on the map, then select tags, and then select the tag you just created.
Click here to learn more about working with tags.
Sync My Data
Next I sync my data so that it is backed up and so that I can use all of this data on my other devices. Often I will do these planning steps on my iPad and then use these data on my iPhone when I go out.
To sync your data just select “My Data” -> “Sync.
Click here to learn more about syncing data.
Check out Flickr Photos
I like to see what an area will look like before I get there. With Topo Maps+ PRO I can look at public Flickr photos along a trail.
Share With Friends
Once I have all of the data for the trip ready to go I share it with my friends that are going on the trip. This lets them have this data in Topo Maps+ on their iPhones and for the ones that use Android it lets them import the data into the app they use. While you can export the data, I generally share it. When you share data it uses a custom Topo Maps+ share format that preserves more of the Topo Maps+ specific information and it lets me update the data and my friends using Topo Maps+ just get the updated information and not duplicate information.
From the tag for you trip, scroll down to the bottom and select “Share Tag”. Then select “Share Map Data with Friends”. Finally, tap on the “Share” button.
This will generate a share link. Give this link to your friends. Those who use Topo Maps+ can use the “Import into Topo Maps+” button on the web page. The others can use the export to KML or GPX buttons. Most mapping applications support importing KML and GPX files.
Here is the sharing link for the Devil’s Dome Loop. http://topomaps.parseapp.com/share?shareId=HHQbvG3rbb
Click here to learn more about sharing data.
Now that I have all of the data for the trip, I download all of the maps for the trip. Tap on Download in the toolbar and then tap on all of the grids you want to download.
Click here to learn more about downloading maps.
Finally I print out the maps for the area I will be visiting. I never solely rely on technology so I make sure I have printed maps with me. When you print maps from Topo Maps+ it will print the custom trails and waypoints you added to the map. If you don’t have an AirPrint printer you can print to from your iOS device, you can email yourself the file to print and then print it from another computer.
To print a map, select “My Data” -> “Print Map” -> “Print the map on my printer”.
Next pan and zoom the map to get the area you want to print inside the box. The actual printed map will use zoomed in images inside the selected box. Once you are ready to print the map, just select “Print” in the upper right corner or “Preview” to see what it will look like. I generally print out multiple maps for larger trips like this one.
You can use the “Map Options” to change settings like the size of paper or to change to landscape.
After following these steps I have all of the data for my trip, the maps are downloaded and ready for offline use, and I have printed maps of where we are going. Now its time to hit the trail and have a great time.