National Geographic launches

I kind of have a thing for maps — when I was a kid I either wanted to be a cartographer or a pickle factory (proper) — so I perked up when I heard that the National Geographic Society had just launched, a comprehensive database and guide for topographic maps in the United States.

Inside, users are free to browse around an interactive Google map onto which the NGS’s topo database has been integrated. One can browse around updates trail and wilderness maps and ultimately customize a personal map to be printed and shipped to you.

The best part is that users can add their own video, pictures and trip reports to the site, making it incredibly easier to research a trip.

User content is still a bit low on the site, but take the opportunity to tool around your local area and see how the topography of the land around you changes. It’s really interesting to see your neighborhood not from the perspective from the roads, proper, but rather from the perspective of elevation and boundaries.