Summer 2007

The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

2007 Conference
Silent Auction
From the Chair
Spring Workshops
Award Nominations
Scholarship Winners

Right of Way Maps Online
More Photos via WMS

Governor's Council
Applications FY08
Commendation Nominations


County GIS Association
Ramsey 2006 Orthos
Utility User Group

SSURGO update
Web Soil Survey v.2
2010 Census Tracts
2010 Census Address Update
Land Cover Website
Satellite Mission

Higher Education
U of M GIS Job Fair
St. Mary's Update

Other Places
Seamless Photos/Topos
WI GIS Coordination
City GIS Sites
Climate Change Risk
Projections Poster
European GPS Update
1507 Map of World


Seamless Photos and Topos

By Will Craig, University of Minnesota


If you are like me when you want to map your favorite piece of turf, you’ve got two problems:


  1. Your area of interest sits on a sheet fault, the border between maps and
  2. You are torn between USGS quad maps and air photos.

 I just read an article in the April 22, 2007 Star Tribune that looks like a good solution. The article was about TopoPhoto Maps by The Gear Junkie. The article appears on his website -

 TopoPhoto overlays topo lines and print atop recent orthos. It allows the user to center the resulting map, choose map orientation (portrait vs. landscape), pick map scale (1:10,000 to 1:35,000), and output size (18"x24", 24"x36", or 36"x48"). Maps are printed and mailed within 24 hours. Three paper types are available for output: waterproof, glossy, and laminated. The waterproof and laminated are good for fieldwork, while the main use of the glossy would be decorative. Prices range from $24.95 for the smallest waterproof or glossy to $81.95 for the 36"x48" laminated.

My favorite place, Washington Island, Wisconsin, falls on the corner of four USGS quad maps. No problem for TopoMap. I just spent 20 minutes of fun looking at many different ways to view my Island. The interface was both useful and intuitive. I was allowed to view my final product both in detailed closeups and final format. I could add grid points or reference lines. I could even customize the title of the map. Our old farmhouse sits in a swale, 40 yards off Lake View Road. It is surrounded by meadow with trees on the edge. The combination of quad map and air photo allows me to see contours, the road name, and land use on a single map. I am ordering one for myself for Father’s Day.


The company that makes this product is MyTopo.Com. They have other products that allow the user to focus on USGS topo maps or on the 2003-06 air photos. The new TopoPhoto maps is a hybrid and contains the best of both.