get topo maps on your iPhone

TopoPointUSA is a new application for iPhone by Ebranta Technologies. Apparently it’s worlds only GPS enabled application for displaying United States Geological Survey (USGS) high resolution topographical map images and your GPS position whether you are online or not. It costs $10.

Here are the features of TopoPointUSA:

  • Complete USGS Map coverage of the USA, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Offline Map availability when located outside cellular service
  • Scrolling map with current GPS or browse location display
  • Automatic offline or online operation
  • GPS Position with accuracy and map scale information
  • Powerful Browsing capabilities with position display
  • Fully featured Waypoint capabilities


14 Responses to “get topo maps on your iPhone”

  1. Celia Clause Says:

    Actually there is another one that was just released:

    I don’t know how the feature set compares. It would be nice if someone could do a review of both of them and let people know the +/- of each.

  2. Jeff Says:

    I just bought the application mentioned in this article. I am disappointed. There is no Zoom in or out, and marking a way point requires the user to type in the x and y coordinates. Don’t waste your money, i am sorry that I did.

  3. Mark Olsen Says:

    The iTopoMaps has zoom in/out. Developer is also very active in making improvements.

  4. Eric Says:

    From the application description:
    “Current GPS location or browse location is recorded by simply tapping the coordinate display text button in the bottom toolbar.”

    Just touch the lat/lon displayed in the main screen on the bottom toolbar.

  5. Eric Says:

    Thanks for the interest in TopoPointUSA. We developed the app, and would like to comment on the zooming issue.

    As of now, zooming is not supported. However, our usage/field testing indicates zooming is not really necessary when viewing this type of map data. We believe the Google maps iPhone app is cool, but it seems to have set an expectation that is not really applicable to TopoPoint’s purpose. Google maps gets small tiles from a web server and only caches an area slightly larger than the screen at a single zoom level. As a user zooms in Google Maps, new tiles are requested from their server – it will “resample and display” the current tiles while requesting new tiles, but as you probably have observed such tiles are not very useable and only really serve as a placeholder until the new tiles arrive over the internet.

    Since offline storage is a central purpose of TopoPoint, and resampling map data does not yield acceptable results, we chose to fix the resolution to the highest practical level. And we used the iPhone’s processing power to present more robust map scrolling than Google maps, which we believe is a more economical use of the iPhone’s limited capabilities.

    Our field testing has determined that TopoPointUSA is accurate enough to determine whether you are standing in your front or back yard (provided your house is on the USGS map), or what side of a street/river/trail/.. you are on. Essentially if you are standing at a specific feature on the USGS map (e.g. trail intersection, switchback, well, spring, etc) TopoPointUSA pegs you right on that map feature (provided the GPS accuracy is available).

    We strived to offer a valuable v1.0 feature set to support TopoPoint’s main purpose and live within the iPhone’s current hardware limitations. While it was tempting to spend development efforts on nonessential features such as zooming, we believe such features would come at the high cost of battery charge.

    How about trying TopoPointUSA out in the wilderness from a navigation perspective and see what you think?


    Eric Brod
    Ebranta Technologies Inc.

  6. bill Says:

    Does the application allow you to locate yourself when out of cell range using offline map data? ie does the GPS locating feature work when cell phone reception is not available?



  7. Kelso’s Corner » Blog Archive » App: iTopoMap for iPhone Says:

    […] and programs has gotten around to designing a topo map application. (There is another app called TopoPointUSA for $10 but I don’t like it as […]

  8. Scott Says:

    I just used this in the Colorado Never Summer Wilderness on a back country backpacking trip and it worked GREAT!! I was so impressed. And we started at night in an unfamiliar area. It was spot on! What is SO COOL is that you can find features nearby that you wouldn’t know about. I find ponds that aren’t on my other maps. I met a guy with a new Garmin and this was better and he said he was going to sell it and buy an iPhone with this app instead.

    Accuracy: 10 of 10. Zoom – I agree with the developer that the fixed zoom levels are fine! I didn’t want for zoom at all. Ease of use: 10 of 10, but you need to practice before a trip. Well done!

  9. Scott Says:

    And yes, offline maps work fantastic!

  10. Scott C. Says:

    Can you add and export waypoints and map data that are compatible with other apps, or at least in a widely used format?

  11. N - | 106987 Says:

    […] […]

  12. stewart Says:

    is there a new nothern ontario that will zoom in , track, able to transfeer and print?

  13. American Heretic Says:

    Viewing the map in the illustration, it appears that the coordinates are in UTM? The the app give coodinates in either convention? If so, this would be great if working with a USGS paper topo and a UTM grid template.

  14. How to develop an iPhone application Says:

    How to develop an iPhone application…

    get topo maps on your iPhone — NaviGadget…

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