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Start Mapping: Tools To Help You Map Your World

5 ways to embark on your own cartographic adventure
iPhoneApp.jpgBackpacker's iPhone app brings over 3,000 trails to the palm of your hand.

MyTopo
Create custom trail maps with this print-on-demand service. Two options: 1) Import your GPS tracks (use .gpx files) into the Map Pass tool and export high-resolution map files with your trail overlays. Create unlimited maps ($30/year) and print them at home. 2) Have MyTopo print your custom maps on oversize waterproof paper ($10 and up). mytopo.com

Ortelius
Create hand-drawn maps without the steep (and pricy) learning curve of professional cartography tools. The software comes preloaded with map fonts and symbols, as well as royalty-free base maps. $99; Mac only; mapdiva.com

Blurb
Forget the iPad. This is the coolest thing to happen to books in the digital age. Blurb puts all of the tools of publishing—from content to page design to cover—in your hands. You simply download the free software, customize your book, then upload the file for printing (delivery takes about a week). Cool feature for pros: Use the design software you prefer and print from a PDF. Starts at $13 per book (for color). blurb.com

BACKPACKER GPS Trails App
Shameless plug coming: Track your outdoor adventures and create geotagged multimedia content with our new iPhone and Android app, which also gives you access to our database of more than 3,500 hikes.

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