Custom maps are my latest obsession

I can’t get enough maps. I am a true mapaholic. I now have yet another option when it comes to buying new maps. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing, but my wife might think differently. I’ll tell you about it after this break.

My wife was making fun of me the other day, and she said I have so many maps, I need a map for my map collection. She got a good laugh out of it, but I thought it was a pretty good idea.

She and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on maps. I made the mistake one day of telling her the more maps I have, the better chance I have of making it home from the backcountry. She replied if I buy any more maps, I’ll be better off if I stay in the wilderness. I couldn’t resist telling her if I’m going to stay in the woods, I’ll need a few more maps. She didn’t laugh, so I quit trying to be funny.

Now my favorite source of maps has a new option. For the past few years, whenever I’ve needed a new map, I’ve ordered it from The thing that hooked me on MyTopo was the fact that you can center your map anywhere you want. That took care of the problem of needing three or four maps, if the area you want to go is on the edge or the corner of a USGS quadrangle.

Since I started getting maps from MyTopo, they’ve been adding more options. Now there are six different scales and three different sizes. You can get them overlaid with UTM, Lat/Long or MGRS tics.

Not long ago, they started offering aerial photos, as well. Now they’ve put it all together. You can now get a color aerial photo overlaid with the topographic data.

This is just not fair. I have no hope of resisting this temptation. I’ve already ordered one of these map and photo hybrids, and it’s even cooler than I thought it would be.

I can’t wait to put it to use over the weekend. I ordered it specifically for the area my uncle wants to go fishing. It would have taken four of the old standard quads to cover the area, but it all fits on my new map. And the color photo under the map grid shows where trees, water, and other features are.

Now I just need to convince my wife that we need to replace all the maps we already have with these topo-photo hybrids.

Check ‘em out at Just don’t tell your spouse I told you about ‘em.