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Application: Nationa Geographics TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views, Expansion Pack

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  • Jennifer
    Please accept my application to test the TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views, Expansion Pack. I have read the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide v1202, specifically
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2005
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      Please accept my application to test the TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views,
      Expansion Pack. I have read the BackpackGearTest Survival Guide
      v1202, specifically Chapter 5, and agree to abide by all the rules
      therein. This will be my first test series and I agree to test this
      product objectively and completely. I have sent my Tester Agreement
      to Shane and he has confirmed receipt of it. I do not own the TOPO!
      State series software and would need the California version for this
      test. I have read the system requirements on the National
      Geographic webpage and my computer meets the minimum requirements of
      both the state series and the expansion pack software packages.

      Tester information
      Name: Jennifer Pope
      Age: 24
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5'7" (1.7 m)
      Weight: 140 lbs (64 kg)
      Computer: Sony Vaio, Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, Windows XP
      Email address: jennifer dot pope at gmail dot com
      Location: Los Angeles, CA
      Date: February 27, 2005

      Backpacking background
      Newbie. I've been a car camper as long as I can remember and have
      been backpacking in Northern California since I was about 16. I've
      recently moved to Southern California and plan on backpacking in the
      California desert; low elevation mountainous terrain; and the high
      Sierra in the warmer months. I also do a mix of short and long day
      hikes in and around Los Angeles.

      Field Information
      Over the next 6 months I plan on going on many backpacking and car
      camping trips. Currently, I have reservations to camp in Yosemite
      Valley for mid-May. I plan on combining this car camping trip with
      a 2-3 night backpack (depending on trail conditions) or another few
      nights outside the Valley or in the Sequoia/Kings Canyon area.
      Other trips are not set in stone, but will definitely include
      several trips into the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests.
      I will also be making a couple trips to the desert before it heats
      up (definitely to car camp- maybe to backpack). I also may be
      taking another trip to Yosemite in late summer to hike into the
      backcountry. If I'm not backpacking I usually get out somewhere to
      do day hike close to every weekend.

      Testing Strategy
      I plan on using this software to familiarize myself with trails
      before I go out on a hike. I plan to locate hiking locations with
      the National Geographic TOPO State software, then use the 3D
      software to get a better "feel" for what the trail will look like.
      I plan on using the software for both day hikes and overnight
      backpacking trips.

      Upon first receipt, I plan to "get-to-know" the state software.
      Since I currently do not own this software, I will orient myself to
      this comprehensive tool. At this point the only information I have
      about this software package is what I've read on the National
      Geographic website and in the reviews on BackpackGearTest.org. I've
      been eyeing this software package for a while, and if I'm not
      selected for this test (which I hope isn't the case!) I would
      probably end up buying this software sometime soon. And although
      reviews are not required for the state software, I would plan on
      eventually writing an Owner Review if chosen for this test.

      I hope to test several things with the TOPO! Streets & 3-D Views,
      Expansion Pack. The two most important features for me in any
      software package are 1. its user-friendliness and 2. its value (not
      monetary - but if it is or becomes a useful, necessary tool). As
      far as user-friendliness goes- how easy is it to use the 3-D
      software with the state software? Is it easy to switch back and
      forth between the software packages? Do they run as one package, or
      are they more independent (i.e. are the 3-D software functions
      integrated into the state software toolbars)? In regards to the
      programs value- is it a useful add-on to the state software? Is it
      something that will quickly become necessary for me to check before
      heading out on any hike? Or will I only want to use it when
      planning longer or more complicated hikes? Will it run smoothly?
      Or will it be slow and cumbersome? Will it lock up my computer or
      will I be able to zoom in and out and pan through the 3-D images
      easily and smoothly (or will I have to wait for each new image to
      load)? How useful is the updated road data? The National
      Geographic website says it contains roads from "superhighways to
      forest roads"- how accurate is that statement? I occasionally
      travel on back roads and dirt roads when trying to get to a
      trailhead- are these roads included? I plan to check destinations
      that I've previously traveled to and also use the software for
      upcoming trips. Is there any other useful information other than
      just streets? Is there information on trailhead parking? Are car
      accessible campground locations on the street maps? I'm also
      interested in the live map updates. How frequently does the system
      check for updates? Does the "update-checking" interfere with me
      easily opening and running the program (does it check for updates
      every time I open the program, is the process quick)? How long do
      the downloads take? Is it easy to integrate the updated maps, do I
      need to do anything? How often are maps updated?

      If given the opportunity to test this product I will give a fair,
      honest, and complete review of the software in a variety of
      different environments. I thank BackpackGearTest.org and National
      Geographic for the opportunity to apply to test this product.

      Thank you for your consideration,
      Jennifer Pope

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