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Thread: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

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    Default What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Hello all. I'm new to the community. I hope I'm posting this thread in the correct forum.

    I work for a small civil engineering firm utilizing Civil 3D 2016. We create large scale rural water system maps that encompass as many as 12-16 UGSG quads in a single system. We used to have a topo program that worked extremely well. It could export large scale seamless usgs topo maps in jpeg, tiff & geotiff format. Unfortunately my hard drive had to be replaced and we no longer have the installation discs for the program. The software was discontinued years ago, and I've been unable to find a good replacement. I've been downloading individual UGSG quads in geopdf format from the national map website. By the time I create a USGS quad mosaic and process all of the files for georeferencing purposes, the size of my drawing file is nearly unusable. It's taking hours to do what I used to be able to do in minutes and drawing quality is lower. I'm sure there has to be a better way.

    Is there a good software program that can create high quality seamless USGS topo map image files?
    Is there anywhere you can download USGS quads in geotiff format?

    Thanks in advance!
    - Daniel

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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    If you are using the 2016 version of Civil3D look at using the online Bing Maps you can capture (save) the images in your maps.
    J. Murphy
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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jmurphy View Post
    If you are using the 2016 version of Civil3D look at using the online Bing Maps you can capture (save) the images in your maps.
    Hi Murph, Thanks for the response.

    We create large scale water system maps that require section line, section number & contours. I need something that can create a seamless topo map with similar quality and content to a USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle map. I have to be able to read it all the way out to around 1:5,000 scale.

    I've used the GEOMAP feature in Civil 3d to bring dynamic aerials, roads, & aerial / road hybrid maps into the drawing background. It's a very valuable feature to help create site plans & plan sheets when survey's aren't available. But for large scale system maps I really need something different.

    Is there a feature I'm overlooking that allows you to bring USGS topo maps directly into Civil 3D?

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict cadtag's Avatar
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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    The GeoPPD format can't be georeferenced by Civil3d or Map3d.

    Closest I can come is to use PDFATTACH and xref them in, then PDFCLIP and manually line them up visually. And, unless there's a trick I'm missing, the older quad maps work better -- I don't see any way to turn iff the extra layers I don't want to see.

    Might try looking at Delorme
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    Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050 http://ascelibrary.org/doi/book/10.1061/9780784412077

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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by orangepower07413043 View Post
    Hello all. I'm new to the community. I hope I'm posting this thread in the correct forum.

    I work for a small civil engineering firm utilizing Civil 3D 2016. We create large scale rural water system maps that encompass as many as 12-16 UGSG quads in a single system. We used to have a topo program that worked extremely well. It could export large scale seamless usgs topo maps in jpeg, tiff & geotiff format. Unfortunately my hard drive had to be replaced and we no longer have the installation discs for the program. The software was discontinued years ago, and I've been unable to find a good replacement. I've been downloading individual UGSG quads in geopdf format from the national map website. By the time I create a USGS quad mosaic and process all of the files for georeferencing purposes, the size of my drawing file is nearly unusable. It's taking hours to do what I used to be able to do in minutes and drawing quality is lower. I'm sure there has to be a better way.

    Is there a good software program that can create high quality seamless USGS topo map image files?
    Is there anywhere you can download USGS quads in geotiff format?

    Thanks in advance!
    - Daniel
    Checkout Datagateway.com It is a USDA NCRS site to get all kinds of maps and geospatial info from USGS quads to Lidar to Aerials and soils. Only problem much of it is metric. But if you use a software like Infraworks 360 the elevation/tin surface can me imported into c3D easily. But back to your original question, sometimes when ordering from the site you can clip the images and they will send them cropped then you can run them through Lizardtech geo viewer, there is a free and pay version I run the free and it will line everything up and export it as one combined file. Then I will use map 3D and raster design to insert these into a dwg file.

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict cadtag's Avatar
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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by orangepower07413043 View Post
    .... Unfortunately my hard drive had to be replaced and we no longer have the installation discs for the program. The software was discontinued years ago, and I've been unable to find a good replacement...
    What was the name of the program?
    Real pirates wear silk suits & ties, and write EULAs
    The only thing more dangerous to the liberty of a free people than big government, is big business.

    Toward a Sustainable Water Future: Visions for 2050 http://ascelibrary.org/doi/book/10.1061/9780784412077

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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Try ArcGIS for AutoCAD, a free download from ESRI. Allows you to use their base maps and USGS topos streamed and seamless. It has other benefits also but these address your issue.


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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    The GeoPPD format can't be georeferenced by Civil3d or Map3d.

    Closest I can come is to use PDFATTACH and xref them in, then PDFCLIP and manually line them up visually. And, unless there's a trick I'm missing, the older quad maps work better -- I don't see any way to turn iff the extra layers I don't want to see.

    Might try looking at Delorme
    I am currently using a very similar process. The only difference is I have Raster Design installed on top of Civil 3d. So I use Acrobat to export the geopdf files as image files before bringing them into my Civil 3d environment. Then I trim the collars and rubber sheet the image file to match the correct georeferenced location. My problem with this method is that the image file size becomes larger after rubber sheeting. Whenever I'm required to create large mosaics of 16 or more USGS quads, the drawing file size becomes so large, it's nearly unusable.

    We've discussed trying the Delorme software. They have several different levels available. I need to do some research and talk to someone with Delorme to find out if they have a program that will meet our needs.

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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by cadtag View Post
    What was the name of the program?
    The name of the program was National Geographic TOPO! State Series. It was a simple topo program that only cost $50. But you could export high quality USGS topo maps in jpeg, tiff & geotiff format. You could generate large, high quality topo base maps in minutes. It wasn't that advanced of a program but it worked perfectly for what we needed it for. Unfortunately it was discontinued a few years ago. You can still find copies of certain states on ebay & amazon, but I haven't been able to find Oklahoma.

    I really appreciate the help.

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    Default Re: What software do you use to create seamless USGS topo maps?

    Quote Originally Posted by MCS View Post
    Checkout Datagateway.com It is a USDA NCRS site to get all kinds of maps and geospatial info from USGS quads to Lidar to Aerials and soils. Only problem much of it is metric. But if you use a software like Infraworks 360 the elevation/tin surface can me imported into c3D easily. But back to your original question, sometimes when ordering from the site you can clip the images and they will send them cropped then you can run them through Lizardtech geo viewer, there is a free and pay version I run the free and it will line everything up and export it as one combined file. Then I will use map 3D and raster design to insert these into a dwg file.
    It seems the website's name may have changed. I'm assuming you're referencing this website. https://gdg.sc.egov.usda.gov/

    I've checked this website out in the past, but I overlooked it because the USGS topo link takes you to the national map website that I currently use.
    After digging a little deeper, it seems there's a great deal more available for download. I'll have to do some research and see what's applicable for what we do.

    I'll have to check the other programs out that you mentioned as well.
    Thanks for the direction.

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