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#172692 - 12/05/12 08:06 PM printing topo maps
Wasatch Offline

Registered: 09/13/09
Posts: 54
Loc: California
A printer that does 13"x19"can do a topo map spread over 2 sheets (2x1 poster printing). Whereas a 8.5x11 takes a 3x3 (9 sheets) for roughly the same size map. Who wants to tape 9 sheets together?

The government allows downloading all topo maps in pdf files (as we all know). And printing your own is cheaper than buying them, by far!

The Canon ix6500 printer will do 13x19 and costs under $100 from time to time online. Such as a Staples online (free shipping). I have recently bought this printer and it works extremely well, am very happy. Amazon customer reviews also gives ix6500 high satisfaction (which is rare for any ink jet printer).

The only place I know to get reasonably priced 13x19 paper is paperworks online. 750 sheets of 13x19 is $43 (24 pound weight), they also have it in 20 pound and 28 pound (28 pound is the limit on this printer for "document paper" (copier type paper).

In 1x2 printing (two 13x19 taped together to make 26 x 19) will give a 32" diagonal map, about 3 feet, perfect size. And just fold the map first along that one tape line.

I really love this printer! No other one that does such a large format is anywhere near as inexpensive. A great all around inkjet printer.

Much better than even 11x17 for topo maps!

#172693 - 12/05/12 08:30 PM Re: printing topo maps [Re: Wasatch]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
For most weekend trips I print two 8x11 - sometimes 3 or 4 depending on mileage and area crossed - in 1:24000.

Spending money on another printer, and bigger paper, isnt' a budget minded decision, IMO. And anything larger than 1:24000 has diminishing returns, if you're going to attempt to use the maps to navigate rather than simply follow trails. You can't really figure out good cross country routes with 1:64500 or smaller...
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#172695 - 12/05/12 08:38 PM Re: printing topo maps [Re: Wasatch]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I actually prefer to have each 7.5 min quad divided into 4 parts. I hike where there is a lot of wind, and handling a full sized topo map is difficult. I have cut most of my 7.5 minute paper maps into quarters and trimmed the border, and then just scan them on an 8.5x11 sheet. When I print of TOPO I do not see the need to have it the same size as the original quad. As long as a scale is on the map and I can still read it, its OK.

I have more of a problem with bleeding when the map gets wet. Waterproof paper is pretty expensive. I just put the maps in lots of zip-lock sandwhich bags.

I would never get a printer just to print maps, but if you get the printer for other reasons too, then printing maps on it is probably the easiest way to go. You can always cut them up once printed. Sounds like you got a good printer.

I worked at an engineering firm, and we had large format printers, so I would just use the work printers. If you know someone who has a this kind of printer at work, maybe you can get them to print it for you.

#172714 - 12/05/12 11:00 PM Re: printing topo maps [Re: wandering_daisy]
squark Offline

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
I live in a university town, so we have lots of copy shops. I've printed a couple of 11 x 17" color maps for around $1.50 each, then painted with a clear varnish. For the (non)frequency of trips I take, it's much more economic than buying a printer.

#172757 - 12/07/12 11:46 AM Re: printing topo maps [Re: Wasatch]
wandering_daisy Offline

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2865
Loc: California
I am surprised that printing your maps is more economic than getting it done comercially. I have a Cannon MG6220 and am about to throw it in the garbage because the ink costs are unbelievable. Are you factoring in the ink costs?

#172769 - 12/07/12 02:52 PM Re: printing topo maps [Re: Wasatch]
BrianLe Offline

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
This is a clever idea, Wasatch, and not one I would have considered --- i.e., I would have assumed that it would be way too expensive.

The particular case I think this might be interesting is if a person had multiple local hiking friends that could chip in to share the cost of printing such maps. Printing them out on a normal printer and cutting/pasting is an incredible PITA that I wouldn't do, and just going with 1/9th sized subsets leaves off edge-of-map information, plus it gets a bit like a jigsaw puzzle trying to figure out what piece goes with what other pieces.

The best alternative are programs or sites that make it easy to print a 8-1/2 x 11 sized subset in a friendly format. But I appreciate your idea --- thanks.
Brian Lewis

#172774 - 12/07/12 04:32 PM Re: printing topo maps [Re: squark]
jbylake Offline

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Sqaurk, if you're taking getting your maps from a print shop anyway, you can just have them laminated for only a slight bit more. I would think it would be far easier, less expensive, less messy, and should last nearly indefinetly, over painting them with clear varnish. I've done this myself.



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