Topo Maps :: Beta

A new app, provisionally called simply Topo Maps 2, is currently in development. Ultimately this app will replace the existing app, but they will co-exist for the time being.

A test version of the new app is now available to anyone who has the current Topo Maps or Topo Maps for iPad installed. The test version is distributed using an Apple system called TestFlight. To get started, Click Here. (If you are subsequently asked to enter a code or link, come back here and click the same link again.)

Please try it out and send your feedback. But do please read the notes below!

The new app will include significant new features, many of which have been frequently requested over the years, including:

Much of this functionality is shared with my other apps for the UK and New Zealand. See below for some preliminary screenshots.

Release Notes

May 23, 2024 - build 24987

This is a bug-fix update.

May 18, 2024 - build 24948

Some crashes related to the forms that are presented when creating waypoints, routes and tracks may have been resolved. Or not, I can't explain all of the crashes that have been reported; please keep trying with placing waypoints etc. and send crash reports, with descriptions of what exactly you were doing when it crashed.

Text input - i.e. in the search bar, mark waypoint form, etc. - is now almost fully functional. In particular, the name suggester should now be working as intended; if you want to call a track "Mount Example from Green Valley via Big Falls", you should be able to start typing "M" and then tap "Mount Example" in the suggester, and then type " from G" and tap "Green Valley", then type " via B" and tap Big Falls. Let me know if that works well for you. You should also be able to move the cursor around (including with the loupe), select text, and copy-and-paste. Dictation should work. Remaining issues are that the text cursor and keyboard can remain visible when they shouldn't, the edit menu may not appear every time that you want it, and the selection handles may be difficult to drag using their "blobs".

See below for older versions.

Important Notes about the test version

How to send your feedback

It's probably best to send your feedback by email. Please attach a screenshot if you think it will help describe what you are seeing.

TestFlight does provide a couple of mechanisms to send feedback. If the app crashes, you can send the crash report along with a description; you can also send screenshots. Note that if you use either of these features I probably don't see your email address, so I have no way of replying. Consider putting your email address in your comments.

What to look for

I would especially appreciate feedback about any of the following:

How the TestFlight Beta Test works

The app that you install using TestFlight will work much like an app installed from the App Store, except that it will expire and cease to work after about 90 days. When I release updated test versions you should be notified that they are available; they may be installed automatically if you have enabled that in the TestFlight app.

Eventually, when the final version is ready you'll be able to install that from the App Store. Note that I believe there is no automatic notification about that from the TestFlight system, as far as I can tell.

I have not yet decided on the business model for the new app. It may include a subscription element. It won't be free.


All subject to change.

Sugarloaf Island 2.5 m/pixel imagery
Icefields Parkway 10 m/pixel imagery
Mount Assiniboine hybrid mode
Grand Canyon hybrid mode
Map download selection grid
The new roads-and-cities basemap.
Yosemite Valley in 3D.
Eldorado Peak (Cascades) in 3D.
Pacific Crest Trail GPX route up Mount Whitney, in 3D.
Panorama mode view of Mount Assiniboine from Nub Peak (BC).
Measure Mode - distance rings and distance and bearing below.
Name suggestions for a new waypoint.
Route drawing tool.
Fly mode.
Graph of a recorded track.

Older Release Notes

May 15, 2024 - build 24942

The search screen can now group results by state.

Graph scales should look better, with more labels.

Startup messages, i.e. "Welcome" etc., have been overhauled. Let me know if these seem sensible (if you see them at all).

As always, some bug fixes.

May 10, 2024 - build 24914

This update adds some actual content to the Help screen. Note that there will be more complete documentation on the website, but the Help screen should contain enough for a new user to get started; please tell me whether you think this is adequate, or what is missing. Also if you spot any speeling mistakes or similar, tell me!

Some issues with text input have been fixed. I am aware that selecting name suggestions doesn't work perfectly; if you notice any other problems with text input, please let me know. Has anyone tried dictation, text recognition using the camera, copy-paste from other apps, or other advanced text input features?

May 6, 2024 - build 24872

The file that is currently selected for new waypoints etc. is now highlighted in the Files screen.

"Fly" mode can now hide the track that is being flown; this is useful for screen recordings.

A the top of the screen, a symbol now indicates whether the coordinates (and buttons) apply to the position at the crosshairs or to the selection.

And most obviously... the app icon has changed!

May 2, 2024

Not a new release of the app, but I've just made some significant changes to the download server. Please try downloading some maps and let me know if you have any problems.

May 1, 2024 - build 24839

There have been some bug fixes related to importing GPX files; if you attempt to import the same file a second time, its name will have -1, -2 etc. appended to distinguish the versions (and avoid crashing).

It's now possible to mark significant points during a track recording.

Filtering stats now include climb.

Names are now optional for most GPX items.

April 27, 2024 - build 24812

Most of the changes in this update are internal, related to GPX tracks and routes.

Some significant bugs related to the location filtering feature added in the last beta should have been resolved.

A new "Actions" button with a wrench icon now makes available some actions on tracks and routes that were previously accessible only in the Files screen, namely filtering, deriving speeds, reversing the order of the points, and estimating times.

The filtering screen now shows the effect of the changes on the number of points and the length of the track.

Tapping on the header of a scrollable area will now scroll to the top.

April 18, 2024 - build 24704

This update adds more features for filtering the GPS locations in recorded tracks.

For existing tracks, view the track in the Files screen (e.g. by selecting the track on the map and tapping "info"), tap "ACTIONS", and choose "Filter". In screen that's presented you can adjust the settings and see the effect on the track immediately. Tap DONE when you're happy. (Note that the user interface for this is not final.)

Note one important bug with this: the track metadata, including the name and style, is lost during filtering. This will be fixed in the next version.

For new track recordings, tap "Options" in the track recording bar at the bottom of the screen and similar controls will be shown.

By filtering the recorded locations using these features, the reported lengths of recorded tracks should more closely match your expectations, especially for hiking and other low-speed activities where the "jitter" inherent in both the GPS data and your actual movement can make the raw tracks longer than they should be.

April 14, 2024 - build 24682

There have been further improvements to text input, though it still has some bugs.

Graphs should now show local time when the date/time axis is used.

April 6, 2024 - build 24657

Text entry now uses more standard iOS features including selection and the loupe (magnifier) - though there are some known issues with this, including the loupe being off the top of the screen when used with the search box, and name suggestions not working, and the menu not showing the most appropriate items. Let me know how well this works for you.

The "record" button is no longer in the Location panel, but is a regular button by default in the "more..." button box at the bottom of the screen.

The button layout settings now allow you to entirely hide buttons that you never use.

As always, assorted bug fixes.

March 28, 2024 - build 24630

A location spot is now shown in the graph window, which could be useful if you are trying to follow a route. There have been various minor changes to the user-interface. Downloads might start a bit more quickly.

March 17, 2024 - build 24580

If you turn off Location while recording a track, the track recording should now continue. There is now more flexibility in the button settings; you can move any button to any of the button bars. A crash-on-start bug has been fixed.

March 13, 2024 - build 24555

This update makes the app look a bit more like the old app, if you adjust the settings. Specifically, you can change the crosshairs style to look more like the old app, and you can move some of the buttons from the popup that's shown when you select a point to the top of the screen. This makes it possible to place a waypoint at the crosshairs position with one fewer tap.

Please let me know what you think, especially if you're one of the people who said "I like the old app as it is, please don't change anything"!

March 8, 2024 - build 24516

This update has removed some of the bogus items from the Canadian search data, has tweaked some details of the user interface, and has adjusted the appearance of the placeholders shown for detailed maps when you zoom out.

March 5, 2024 - build 24501

This update has updated the "Maps" screen and the associated map grid overlays. In particular, the "synchronize terrain" button has been replaced by a "download terrain" action which requires that you select the (old app) maps for which you want to get the corresponding terrain data.

Please try downloading and deleting a few maps of different types and tell me whether it works, and whether the experience is easy enough to use.

March 1, 2024 - build 24486

This update has made some changes to the Maps screen; you can now select more than one map type to download at the same time, and by default it will select maps appropriate for the current map mode.

When you zoom out, detailed maps are now replaced by dark squares rather than disappearing.

And there are numerous bug fixes.

February 6, 2024 - build 24399

Important: your existing 1:63k maps of Alaska will be removed by this update. You will need to re-download those maps.

Alaskan 1:63k maps are now shown as a separate category in the Maps screen and hence have a separate grid, making it possible to select the maps that you want where both 1:24k and 1:63k maps are available. Canadian maps are now also shown as a separate category, for consistency.

The app now has a mechanism for presenting "hints"; any suggestions about where hints would be useful would be appreciated.

Please tell me what you think! For example, what do you think of the maps and imagery? What about the hybrid map mode? Have you tried recording tracks? Did that work well? Thanks!

January 12, 2024 - build 24323

This is a bug-fix update.

January 7, 2024 - build 24291

This update is primarily a bug-fix update to resolve crash-on-start issues in the previous version on some devices. There are also some minor fixes elsewhere.

January 4, 2024 - build 24270

This update adds:

December 4, 2023 - build 24201

This update adds downloads for "traditional" USGS topos.

I have processed about 56,000 maps and I think most are OK, but there are some glitches:

Please report any other issues not listed above that you spot with these maps! I obviously can't inspect all 56,000 of them myself. Please check a few of your local maps and see if they align properly with adjacent maps, etc., and make sure that they are at least as new as the same quad in the old app.

November 26, 2023 - build 24169

This is a bug-fix update which should resolve many of the visual glitches seen in 3D mode.

November 24, 2023

Not an app update, but today I've made a change to the server, currently only for US Topo map downloads. Please let me know if you have any problems with US Topo downloads. I'll extend this change to the other download types eventually.

November 24, 2023 - build 24160

New in this version:

There have also been plenty of tweaks to the user interface and bug fixes.

November 14, 2023 - build 24118

This is primarily a bug fix release.

November 12, 2023 - build 24108

This is primarily a bug fix release.

November 3, 2023 - build 24045

New features in this version:

October 18, 2023 - build 23890

This is a primarily a bug fix update, with some improvements to the "fly" feature.

October 16, 2023 - build 23869

I believe that yesterday's update did resolve the crash-on-start issues for some users, though not all. This is a further bug-fix update.

October 13-15, 2023 - build 23857

Update x3: build 23857 is a further attempt to resolve the crash-on-start issues that many have seen over the last week.

New features in this version:

October 5, 2023 - build 23776

New features in this version:

Setptember 23, 2023 - build 23660

New features in this version:

Bug fixes include issues crashes when the system language is set to something unusual, e.g. Chinese.

Setptember 13, 2023 - build 23611

New features in this version:

Bug fixes include issues when US Topo and traditional topo maps are adjacent, and crashes when US Topo, traditional topos, and imagery are all shown simultaneously.

Setptember 1, 2023 - build 23559

This is another bug fix related to downloads. If you previously found that the "Synchronize Terrain" button or other downloads failed, please update and try again.

August 30, 2023 - build 23551

This update is a bug fix; the previous version was downloading more terrain data than necessary.

August 28, 2023 - build 23533

This update has the following new features:

July 28, 2023 - build 23331

First beta release.