By Jeff Porcaro
Many companies are taking advantage of the computer and the information age to make our lives more convenient. Kings Outdoor World is one of these companies. They have created a simple software product for viewing and printing topographical maps.
Map Academy uses a simple image viewer to display maps and allow you to print them. The maps are 1:100,000 scale and are divided into 12 sections. At 1:2 scale a single map section prints sideways on a standard 8.5x11 page. If you have a plotter and want to print all eight sections on a single paper you are out of luck.
To install the viewer software, you choose the appropriate program for your operating system whether it is 16 bit or 32 bit. Once installed, I looked for a Kings Outdoor World menu item or a program icon, but the installation program did not create one. I later realized the program viewer is called "ImageAXS CD", which I found and clicked to view the maps. To view a map you must open a collection from the CD. It is difficult to find specific map areas because Map Academy uses cryptic keywords to identify them.
The scanned images are very clear. However, I noticed that the scanned images include crease marks from the original paper maps.
The program has no annotation capabilities or GPS support. The map sections are not georeferenced. You can cut and paste map areas to other Windows applications. We found it inconvenient that you could not print an area that is between two maps without printing both pages and taping them together.
The suggested retail price for Map Academy is: $39.95.
The adage "You get what you pay for" is evident. This software is as basic as it gets. With no annotation support, all you can do is print the images (maps) on a single page. If you need printed maps and you are cash-strapped, Kings World might work for you. All 50 states are available in the 1:100,000 scale. To find out the latest on product updates visit iGage on the web at www.kingsoutdoorworld.com.
- MicrosoftĆ WindowsĆ 3.1 or greater.
- 486 CPU or better
- 8 MB RAM
- 5 MB of available hard disk space
- 2x CDROM
Jeff Porcaro is a Contributing Editor at GearReview.com, and co-founder. He specializes in stoves, GPS navigation, mountaineering, and trips to Utah's remote backcountry.
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