Free GPS maps
Just spent awhile updating the Mobile Atlas Creator resources on my site here

Have been testing a lot of apps on all platforms for compatibility, there are about 40 of them and there are screenshots and links for 30 that I have tested.

My Mobile Atlas Creator tutorial has grown to 62 pages. See section 3 about the built-in mapsources, such as free topo maps and aerial imagery of the entire United States from the USGS National Map and free topo maps for all of Canada from National Resources Canada.

The appendix shows you how to access scans of the classic paper USGS 24k topo maps for the whole US. These are actually the same maps previously used in National Geographic TOPO!

All the apps in the spreadsheet above are covered in the tutorial, including "Laptop GPS" software such as OziExplorer, CompeGPS, TwoNav, OkMap and others. Mobile Atlas Creator is a really versatile free program, it runs on all platforms, supports dozens of apps and will give you access to a wealth of free maps for the whole world. Check it out!
Ken in Regina
Thanks Boyd. Great work!!

Thanks - glad you enjoyed it!
Here's an update on my recent projects ("How I spent my summer") which now include three different websites. About a month after my last post in this thread, I began work on an online map portal with coverage of New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland with in-depth coverage for Philadelphia and New York City. I also registered as a HERE maps developer and have included their maps of the region.

I registered as a Bing developer as well, and had their maps up on my test site, but after reading their license agreement more carefully, I decided that it just wasn't for me. The HERE license is much less restrictive, with a higher allocation of free map tiles.

You can explore the site here, there are about 120 maps to choose from, inluding all of my own:

Click the question mark icon to view extensive help files for the site, and the document icon has detailed information and metadata for every map. Now this is just a site for people who like maps, you can't plan routes or anything. In the future I plan to offer a way to use your own waypoints and tracks however. Like my other sites, everything is free, there are no ads and no registration. Someday it would be nice to figure out a way to make a few bucks off this, but not really thinking about that now.

I was unable to get satisfactory map performance with the shared hosting server on my old site, so this new site runs on its own Linux virtual private server with a fast disk array. There are almost 70gb of my own maps here, plus access to many terabytes of off-site maps.

A few weeks ago, I started another site for visualizing LIDAR-based terrain in three dimensions using WebGL. Quite a learning curve, and I'm only getting started. These maps make heavy use of your computer (specifically the graphics card), but should work on most newer systems and browsers. Am doing my development/testing on 2012 Mac Mini with a lowly Intel HD-4000 integrated graphics chip, which should be a good "lowest common denominator".

Using one-meter LIDAR data (each pixel represents one meter on the ground), I found that about 720 x 720 meters was the largest map that would give decent realtime performance (about 500,000 elevation samples). Using 3-meter LIDAR I can cover about 2.4 x 2.4 kilometers (a larger area with lower resolution).

Now these maps all cover areas in Southern New Jersey, so they have a limited audience, but you might enjoy the concept anyway. You need to realize that the terrain in South Jersey is very flat, with the highest spot only a little over 200 feet above sea level, yet these maps appear to show mountain ranges! The elevations have (obviously) been exaggerated, and that brings out subtle details that you won't find on other maps. For example, there are a number of "ghost towns" in the million-acre Pinelands preserve that date back to Revolutionary War times. By playing with the lighting controls, you can find evidence of some of these in the form of old cellar holes.

As the name says, this is a beta site. Have not yet decided how far I want to go with the concept yet. This has all be quite a voyage for me, last April my knowledge of HTML dated back to websites I built in the 1990's, I knew very little about Javascript and nothing about CSS. Have come a long way, and while it's often really frustrating, I'm having a lot of fun!

To get started, hold the left mouse button down and drag to rotate and tilt the map. The right mouse button moves your viewpoint around. The scroll wheel moves you in and out. There are a variety of different maps to choose from the, with 6 different rendering styles for each on the overlay menu. About