Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Application to test TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views, Expansion Pack

Expand Messages
  • pamwyant
    Application to test TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views, Expansion Pack I have read the entirety of The BackpackGearTest Survival Guide v. 1202, including Chapter 5, and
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Application to test TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views, Expansion Pack

      I have read the entirety of The BackpackGearTest Survival Guide v.
      1202, including Chapter 5, and re-read it as of February 10, 2005.
      My tester agreement is on file. I agree to comply with the testing
      and report requirements.

      Date: March 1, 2005

      Personal Biographical information -

      Name: Pamela Wyant
      Age: 47
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5'5" (1.65 m)
      Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
      E-mail address: pamwyant@...
      Location: Western West Virginia, U.S.A.

      Backpacking Background: Last year I acted on my long time interest
      in backpacking, and started day hiking, researching backpacking
      products and techniques, and purchasing gear. I took a few
      overnight trips, including one solo. I currently day hike often, am
      planning several overnight and weekend trips this year, and hope to
      take a weeklong trip and do a winter overnight. I hike and backpack
      mainly in the hills and valleys of West Virginia, and use a hammock
      sleeping system. For a two-day trip my pack typically weighs 22-30
      pounds (10-14 kg), which I am working on lightening.

      Field Information -

      I would be testing the TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views in West Virginia.
      The main emphasis would be on hiking and backpacking, of course, but
      in a product of this nature, I would also want to test a few highway
      routes, which I would report on briefly. Since I often drive to the
      trailhead, and hope to hike some areas in the eastern part of the
      state that I am not already familiar with, I would consider this
      appropriate unless instructed otherwise. Trails I will be traveling
      would vary from the mountainous eastern region of the state with
      elevations from 2500 to over 4000 feet (762 to over 1219 meters), to
      the river valley corridors in the eastern, western and central part
      of the state, with elevations from 550 to 1000 feet (168 to 305
      meters). Temperatures would likely range from lows in the 30F (-1C)
      range to highs in the 90F (32C) range or possibly as high as 100F
      (38C), with ample rainfall and humidity.

      Testing plan –

      I would be using the software primarily on my home computer,
      planning a hiking or backpacking route on the TOPO! State Series
      software, and then using the expansion pack for the 3-D view and fly-
      thru. I would also try it out on at least a few driving routes to
      different trailheads. I would try laying an updated road network on
      the maps and try the Live Map Update feature. I am very familiar
      with the use of a computer, and often install my own software. I
      sometimes trouble shoot my software (in a do-it-yourself spirit &
      fashion, not professionally), and explain its use and features to
      others with similar software. I am fairly new to backpacking, and
      to this point have mainly traveled well-marked trails or hiked with
      others who are familiar with the trails I am hiking. This year I
      want to expand my horizons and travel "the path less worn". Will
      the expansion pack give me more confidence hiking areas I haven't
      traveled yet? Will I feel I've been there already since I have
      viewed the route in 3-D on my computer?

      I would also like to try the software on the actual trail. I own a
      tablet computer, and can take the tablet computer, a CD/DVD Rom, and
      a few CD's or DVD's along at an extra weight of 6-7 pounds. I would
      be willing to do this for at least four day hikes in different
      areas, to test how well the 3-D compares to the actual trail, if the
      software will allow for this. My concern as to whether this will
      work is whether it requires both the TOPO! State Series and the
      TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views to be inserted in CD Rom's at the same
      time. If so, that would not be feasible, but if only one need be
      inserted at a time, it should work. I would also try to do this for
      at least one overnight trip if it is workable. I would also take
      the tablet setup and the TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views in my vehicle
      traveling to a few trailheads to see if that proves useful.

      For my Initial Report, I will look at the following:

      Ease of installation of the software
      Any conflicts encountered or problems noted after
      installation of the software
      Clarity of any directions to install
      Ease of using the expansion pack and required steps for 3-D
      Views & Animated Fly Thru of an area
      Quality of the graphics
      Relative speed or lack of speed of the software (any long
      waits on data processing?)

      For my Field Report, I anticipate reporting on the following:

      Performance – has the software consistently performed? Does
      it crash occasionally or often?
      Ease of use – do I find it easy to use the 3-D view and
      Animated Fly-Thru? Can I easily switch back to the
      regular topographic view of the same area? How easy is it
      to find the areas I want to view when using the software?
      Does it find trails by name? Cities by name? Or do I
      need to center in on the general area on a map & go from
      Consistency – Are the views in the software similar to what
      I actually experience on the trail?
      Split screen – Is it useful? Does it provide an adequate
      view on my 17" desktop monitor? What about my smaller 10"
      tablet computer screen?
      Any conflicts with my computer systems or problems with the
      Expansion pack that have surfaced since the time of the
      Initial Report.
      Printing – is it possible to print frames in 3-D view?
      Enjoyment – do I like using the expansion pack?
      Trail use – I anticipate reporting on one or more day hike
      uses of the software on the actual trail with my tablet
      Traveling to the trailhead – have I found the expansion pack
      useful when traveling to an unfamiliar trailhead? Does
      having it along in the car help me decide where to turn to
      get there?

      For my Long Term report I anticipate reporting on whether longer-
      term use has changed any of my field review findings, and expanding
      on my use of the TOPO! Streets & 3-D, Expansion Pack since the Field
      Report. I anticipate an expanded report on using the software on
      the actual trail, and whether I find this enhances my hiking
      experience or detracts from it. I anticipate writing about whether
      the software has given me more confidence in exploring unknown
      areas. Did the software ever help me find my way if I felt I was
      lost? Did it ever help me find a usable short cut or an interesting
      side trip that I would have missed otherwise? Since I day hike solo
      quite often, does it set my husband's mind at ease knowing I am less
      likely to become lost if I have the software along?

      I do not currently own a GPS, and in fact have never used one,
      however I have a friend with one and may borrow it for a trip or two
      in order to be able to report on it's use with a GPS. If I like it,
      I may purchase one, however, this is only a possibility and may not
      work out. If it does, I would report on how easy or difficult it
      was for a novice to use the expansion pack & TOPO! Software with a

      Both my desktop computer and my tablet computer meet the system
      requirements outlined on National Geographic TOPO! State Series and
      National Geographic TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views, Expansion Pack web
      pages. They both operate on Windows XP (expanded tablet version on
      the tablet computer) and have video cards over 8mb. I have upgraded
      my desktop computer to include DirectX version 9, and will do the
      same to my tablet computer if I am selected to test TOPO! Streets &
      3D, Expansion Pack. I have one black & white laser printer and two
      color inkjet printers networked to allow printing of maps & 3-D
      views (if printing 3-D views is possible).

      I do not currently own a TOPO! State Series. I would need the West
      Virginia State Series.

      I have read the web pages at both links listed in the test
      announcement, http://tinyurl.com/6t48k & http://tinyurl.com31eo5,
      and understand both products. I understand that my testing will be
      on the TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views, Expansion Pack, even though I
      would be receiving both software products. My testing and review
      would not be on the TOPO! State Series, except any features of the
      State Series directly required to test of the Expansion Pack, and
      how they work in conjunction with the Expansion Pack.

      Previously written reviews:

      Lafuma Caravan Child Carrier:

      Komperdell High Mountain Sports Poles:

      Current Tests:

      Dunham Waffle Stomper Terrastryder-Low shoes – initial report posted
      on backpackgeartesters group, awaiting edit.

      Brunton Glorb Lantern – awaiting shipment.

      Previous Tests:

      None. To be very upfront, I am a newbie just getting started. I do
      have sufficient time to test and report on the shoes, lantern, and
      mapping expansion pack. These items can easily be tested on the
      same trips, and of course, much of the testing of the software
      expansion pack will be at home. I am quite committed to this group,
      and applied for the Glorb Lantern following an extended deadline, in
      order that the test would not have to be canceled due to lack of
      testers. I have also posted an additional owner review to the
      backpackgeartest group and am awaiting edit of it. I plan to
      continue to gradually add owner reviews over the next several months
      in addition to testing the shoes, lantern, and hopefully the mapping
      expansion pack. I noticed insufficient applications to fill the
      test of the TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views at the time of my posting, and
      so am submitting this application, hoping if another tester is
      needed I will be allowed to participate. This truly seems to be a
      product made for me to test, considering my goals for the near
      future, my familiarity with computers, and the unique aspect I can
      add to the test, both from being a novice map user, and from the
      fact that I have the equipment to use the product on the trail.

      Thanks for your consideration of my application.

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.