July 13, 2023

The Gtopo program

Gtopo is a program for viewing the National Geographic Survey's "TOPO!" Topographic Map sets on a computer running linux.

The current version is Gtopo version 1.2.0

I also have a program for android that I use on my phone and tablet. See the link below.

I am not giving away the maps themselves, just providing an alternate piece of software. Gtopo uses GTK-2.0 and provides a simple and nice viewer for map images.

I use the program almost daily on my linux desktop (running Fedora 38 in July of 2023 as I write this). The program was written in July of 2007 and is now quite stable, but receiving occasional feature additions

I am pleased if people download and use it and would be grateful to know how it works for them.

It now works quite well for viewing the TOPO! series files.

If you want to run gtopo on your machine, you will need to clone the sources from github and build it.. This should be easy enough to do on a linux machine, and has been done on a MAC running OS-X at some time in the past.

git clone https://github.com/trebisky/gtopo.git

The following link is where I have collected a lot of reference information. None of it is essential reading if you just want to use gtopo, but it should be of interest to people who want to learn about maps, GIS, gtopo internals, file formats, Terraserver, the USGS MRDS database and more!

Subsequent to developing gtopo, I became interested in the idea of using an android tablet to run something like gtopo. This led to the development of atopo (written in Java for the Android). After using it for a while on the tablet, I realized that it would be even more convenient on my android phone.

I have not placed "atopo" on the android store because there is a fairly complex process of putting the map files on an SD card (and most people don't own the maps and would be frustrated). Contact me though if you are interested.

Having the maps on a card in the unit is essential for people like me who operate in remote areas without internet connectivity.

Here is some information on other mapping software:
Feedback? Questions? Drop me a line!

Gtopo / tom@mmto.org