New Extension Allows Direct Read of TOPO! Data Sets in ArcGIS

ESRI and the National Geographic Society announced the immediate availability of National Geographic's award-winning TOPO! software, which combines seamless map coverage of most U.S. states with easy-to-use mapping tools. Also available through ESRI is National Geographic's TOPO! extension for ArcGIS, which allows users of ESRI's flagship ArcGIS product line to use data contained in the TOPO! products for geographic information system (GIS) applications. TOPO! products cover an entire state or group of states. Each product includes statewide coverage from scanned United States Geological Survey (USGS) 1:24,000- and 1:100,000-scale topographic maps and is global positioning system (GPS)-ready. TOPO! products can be used to create routes and upload waypoints to a GPS. In addition, three-dimensional digital shaded relief can be toggled on/off.

TOPO! products are currently available for Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, the mid-Atlantic states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia as well as the District of Columbia), Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, the northeastern states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont), Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Other states will be available soon. TOPO! products are priced at $99.95 each.

National Geographic's TOPO! extension for ArcGIS lets users import TOPO! state series basemap data directly into their ArcGIS project. The extension compiles the scanned map data and quickly imports a seamless map into ArcGIS that exactly matches the project coverage area. During this process, the basemap is copied to a hard drive and conveniently stored as a single layer or theme. The extension supports a broad range of projections and is compatible with ArcGIS 8.1 and ArcView 3.x. "The TOPO! extension to ArcGIS 8.1 and ArcView 3.x provides a simple way to import seamless, high-quality USGS topographic background images into any ArcGIS project. The software automates repetitive tasks associated with working with the images. A user clicks a button on the ArcMap toolbar in ArcGIS, and the extension imports maps from a CD-ROM that fills the data frame with a seamless image. Searching for maps, clipping collars, edgematching images, and reprojecting data are tasks of the past," comments Matthew Heller, vice president, sales and business development, National Geographic Maps Technology Group. "ESRI is excited to make National Geographic's TOPO! products available through our GIS Store, as these tools are a great way to integrate clear topographic details into GIS maps. ESRI and the National Geographic Society have a common interest in geography and GIS, and TOPO! is another great example of this collaborative relationship," adds Andy Huntington, developer program manager, ESRI Business Partner Program.