Hiking maps are off course essential for planning a trip. While in the old days you had to buy a paper map first before you could start with planning your trip in detail, today you can already start planning your trip entirely from your computer screen for many regions in the world. Today the Internet is a fantastic resource for a wide variety of maps suitable for hiking:
- Sheets of topographic maps readily downloadable in JPG, TIF or PDF-format and ready to print, usually paying but some are also available for free
- Interactive topographic maps can be consulted in a geographical application on your screen
- Base maps for use on a GPS device
- Interactive topographic maps of specific countries or regions:
- USA and Canada on Mappingsupport: very great tool!
- USA onlinetopomaps
- USA mytopo
- USA Maptech mapserver
- Atlas of Canada shows a basic topographic map. Here you can search for the specific sheet number of 250k and 50k topographic maps and download the preferred scanned topographic map sheets directly from the Natural Resources Canada download directory.
- Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Norway GodTur with altitude profile function and more
- Norway with indication of types of mountain huts and DNT-huts
- Norway Norgeskart
- Norway FINN kart with layer of aerial photographs
- Sweden Länskartor choose the best screen resolution and then search by province and municipality
- Swedish Fjällkartan
- Finland Retkikartta
- UK with login to access 25k topographic maps
- UK where’s the path?
- UK Ordnance Survey maps on Bing map
- Ireland with a very basic topographic map layer
- Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
- France, Corsica and French overseas isles by Géoportail has an aerial photograph layer and whole Switzerland is also covered by a separate topographic map layer
- Germany, Switzerland, Austria and part of the Italian Alps by Outdooractive, has also a huge database of possible hikes, bike tours, ski tours,…
- Germany with first class information about long distance trails
- Czech Republic
- Czech Republic alternative option
- Czech Republic yet another option
- Slovenia other option
- Croatia with layer of aerial photographs
- Romania supplemented by a few trails in Google maps
- Russia with global coverage in satellite images and a basic map, especially interesting for the unique geotagged photo collection over Russia
- Portugal and isles
- Spain other option
- Basque country
- Peter’s Maps has several interactive maps for some European countries
- New Zealand
- This Czech list contains many topographic maps from various corners over the world.
- Wanderreitkarte is a source for hiking trails and long distance trails in some European countries.
- TopoMapper concerns another source for an almost global coverage in topographic maps. Australia, USA, Canada, and the coastal areas of Greenland are covered by national or local map sources. The rest of the world is covered by old Soviet military topographic maps (which are unfortunately not always that accurate). This link can be helpful to better read the Soviet Maps. New Zealand and Antarctica are not covered.
- ArcGIS Explorer is an online GIS application by Esri where you can find a wide variety of maps from a community of users. By registering you can even make and edit your own maps and share them with the world if you like. For a complete understanding of the application and how to browse the maps, use the help function. The entire USA and New Zealand are covered in detailed topographic maps. To find them, type in the search bar in the right upper corner one of the following names to find one specific map:
- USA Topo Maps or
- ArcGIS Online USA Topographic Maps
- New Zealand Topographic Basemap (LINZ)
When planning a trackless hiking expedition in a remote region where detailed maps are hard to find or nonexistent, the following maps in ArcGIS Explorer might also be of value beside the Soviet military maps in Topomapper or any other topographic map. The topographic maps in ArcGIS Explorer only show elevation contours, hydrology and some basic ground cover information for most part of the world. The satellite images give a better idea about ground and vegetation cover. These composite multispectral Landsat images have a resolution of 15m and are sometimes a better source for the few Landsat images that still have lower resolution or cloud cover for a few places in Google Earth, Google Maps, Bing Map and many other sources (although these images are not completely free of cloud cover either):
- ArcGIS Online World Topographic Map or
- MDA NaturalVue Satellite Imagery
Bing Maps have UK Ordnance Survey in a better format…
Very good, I send the best map source in Czech republic:
What a resource! Many thanks for this, this is going straight to the bookmarks!
Best. Post. Ever.
Here is another one for entire Spain: http://sigpac.mapa.es/fega/visor/
Excellent resource thanks
Brilliant post! For Finland there’s also http://www.retkikartta.fi which I find even better than “Kansalaisen karttapaikka” listed above.
I agree with Antti, Retkikartta is much better for maps about Finland. Easy to toggle stuff, print, and fast.
Bing doesn’t work in Belgium.
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/maps/ (login to access 1/25000 maps)
sent some others by mail
I was wrong. Bing is OK
I’ve included the suggestions so far. Thanks everyone! Keep them coming.
Note that the Walkhighlands site starts on Scotland but you can scroll to anywhere in the UK.
A fantastic resource. Thanks for putting this together
Another good one for Norway: http://ut.no/kart
OK, that’s preety handy, thanks!
There’s a wealth of free maps from all over the world here: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/
This one has some useful satellite imagery of Africa: http://www.madmappers.com/
And this one might come in handy for deciphering those old Soviet maps: http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/maps/keymap/mapkey.htm
Great list, thanks! I can spend hours finding new trips on the map 🙂
Thanks for the latest links Peter and Yves! I’ve corrected the mistake concerning the Walkhighlands map. Thanks for the revision John!
Joery, something is wrong with the first hyperlink to the Finnish maps.
And this is another nice one for the Tatra mountains: http://www.mapytatr.net/PRODUKTY/MAPY_TAT/WYSOKIE/SLICES/wys_ii.htm
Thanks Willem! The dead link to the Finnish map should be fixed now.
walks Northern Ireland with maps
Excellent work, this will be a favourite for me too
For the UK rather than bing to get OS, I prefer streetmap.co.uk which gives you both 1:50k and 1:25k and let’s you search with six figure grid references as long as you know the two letter prefix for the particular area you are after.
Wow, what an inredible database! I’ve got one more: For Germany and Austria there is also the platform http://www.outdooractive.com which offers topographic maps including hundreds (thousands?) of tours (length, difficulty, GPS-Track, description, 3D-flight… ski, hike, bike etc.)
You can get quite good topographic maps for Romania if you use google maps and you select the “Terrain” option:
Ulligunde, That is a superb tip! Thank you!
Istvan, the Romanian geoportal site isn’t that great so any information provided by Google maps might help. Thanks for the addition!
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Thanks man, this is great!
Hi, I’m the owner of http://onlinetopomaps.net
I just wanted to point out that we have topo maps for more countries than just USA. You can switch the map provider in the upper right corner, map providers have maps for different countries.
Periodically updated official Spanish server (map + ortho) link http://www2.ign.es/iberpix/visoriberpix/visorign.html
Another link for Portugal ( better road map than both Navteq + Tele Atlas but underdated ortho in comparison to Bing ones)
another link but limited to coastal Southern Portugal (Algarve)
Best regards Javier (Spain)
Although technically not an online map, this topographic profile tool allows you to generate an elevation profile for any route on earth and is more accurate than the one included in Google Earth:
Superb list! Something to add to the maps for Finland:
– Free and legal Garmin GPS maps for Finland: http://kartat.hylly.org/ (Please donate for the nice guy who made those!)
– Another online service with aerial photos and other nice stuff: http://www.paikkatietoikkuna.fi/web/fi/kartta
The latter is of course available also in English: http://www.paikkatietoikkuna.fi/web/en/map-window.
For example try to layering topo map (“Background Maps” “Topographic Map”) (100%) with aerial photos (“Orthoimagenary” “Orthoimage”) (say 75%). Very usefull for example when planning packrafting routes on rivers.
Alternative for Czech republic: covers all country, with hiking routes according to czech turist club
And another good list of online topographic maps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_online_map_services
I’ve found this site for Northern Ireland: http://maps.ehsni.gov.uk/MapViewer/ (apologies if you already have this)
USAPhotoMaps is another great resource for U.S. topos.
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for anyone going to Japan, here is a good link :
The map there is centered on Aso caldeira on Kyushu island… you have the GPS coordinates in the http link at top of page. Check the desired coordinates in Gmap or other place and enter them to get straight where you want to go (otherwise scrolling to Hokkaido can be very long ^^…)
Thank you for this great website with many usefull information. We are creating maps for our longdistance hiking trail called Sultans Trail. Please look at our website http://www.sultanstrail.com if you have any information how we can make easy and cheap maps is much appreciated.
Great collectio, thanks for the effort.
Here’s a free garmin map of Poland, under constant development:
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Utterly written articles, regards for entropy. “Life is God’s novel. Let him write it.” by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Does anyone have a link to get 1:25000 maps of the Italian Alps, particularly Monte Rosa and the Dolomites.
I’ve been surfing online more than three hours nowadays, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It’s pretty price enough for me.
In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the web will likely
be a lot more helpful than ever before.
I found this site just a few moments before and have checked only the 3 links about Czech Republic (where I am from) and the Slovakia link. this site looks very usefull and I am looking forward to comb through all the links here, but something must be told to the 3 links about CZ. I have never seen them before (maybe the second I could) and for CZ the very best and most used map is – mapy.cz – especially the tourist version is really top. and the satelite (“letecká”) version is finer than on google maps. compared to mapy.cz the CZ links here (maybe except the second) are almost usefull. no offense 🙂 just helping.
+ I can recommend some another link about slovakia – freemap.sk – but I am not saying it is better
Here you are polish service with Mountain Turistic Map with feew layers like, turistic map of polish mountains, slovakian turistic map, OSM etc.
p.s. you can also draw and see you mountain trip and profile of your path, here http://www.planetagor.pl/places/application/TrialDraw.php
Wow, that’s what I was searching for, what a data!
existing here at this website, thanks admin
of this site.
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http://loadmap.net/ – very good website with free, downloadable, Soviet maps – very good source if you travel to Asia…
Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are
a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community
in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful
information to work on. You have done a marvellous
Excellent site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing
like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!
Sicily is a great place for hiking! But it seems impossible to find any good maps, like topo 50k…..
Has anyone had better luck than me?
The Italian Geoportale Nazionale can provide topos at almost any scale imaginable.
Iceland alternative: http://ja.is/kort/
Slovenia alternative: http://gis.arso.gov.si/atlasokolja/
forgot Austria (you need to click on karte einblenden top right)
This is a good one for Sweden
Here’s one for all of Australia topo and satilite can be overlayed..
print able but not a download able active map,,also useful an app for android phones,
back country. Use your phone as a of line map GPS
For Switzerland, the following link provides swiss topomaps:
For Latvia topomaps (when you zoom closer):
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Excellent list. You could also add great Swedish map: http://kso.lantmateriet.se/
Excellent and great Job!
What is missing: Openrunner, which has all French IGN 25,000 maps online and a very good route planner, import/export gpx etc. Simply the best. http://www.openrunner.com/
for IGN maps choose “Topo France”
an addition for German maps. Still in it’s beta version, but it looks quite promising: http://www.tim-online.nrw.de/tom-online/mobile/timobile.html.
I would say that for Estonia you would get a better map and more possibilities for outdoor activities here: http://xgis.maaamet.ee/xGIS/XGis, but the interface is somewhat more complicated and troublesome than the suggested “postimees” site map.
Very helphul list!
Thanks for sharing those topographic maps