Catskill Highest Hundred: Acme Maps Information
Created, compiled and researched by Mark Schaefer
Better functionality. Currently ACME appears to provide the most useful functionality compared to the competition. ACME is far better than the former Topozone.
Acme Maps by Tom Rankin
Performance. I have noticed that the map download may be a bit slower than Topozone using broadband, but not much. ACME downloads the map in smaller pieces obtained individually from TerraServer. These are then assembled in your computer's browser. Hopefully it is not too much slower for dial up users versus the former Topozone.
Intuitive. Most functions are easy to use. You probably can figure out most of it on your own. The familiar google pan and zoom functions are employed. You can recenter a map by double clicking on any position on the screen. Some help info can be viewed by clicking on About in the tool box which displays this page.
Full Screen. The map will occupy nearly the full browser screen with no border areas. Wide borders are common on the other online map tools. So you see more map content with ACME maps.
Search function. It works well if the name is unique, such as a search for: Gray Peak NY or Mount Eisenhower NH. It is tolerant of some spelling variations, abbreviations, and typos. However, a search for Panther Mountain NY will find one, but probably not the one you want. There is no "search result list" comparable to Topozone - a deficiency of ACME. So you may need to think of a nearby geographical name with a unique name. You can also enter in coordinates such as N42.1 W74.1. Click on About in the tool box to see more search options. If you get a pop up window Cannot parse location when you search, that means the name could not be found in the USGS GNIS database.
Markers. Each time you search, an opaque google marker is generated. Also you can click Mark to create a marker at the current map's center. They may be helpful to annotate a map. ACME's ability to place multiple markers anywhere on the final map is useful. However, the markers accumulate in your browser's cache. Any linkable map URLs that you create will become very long and complex if there are markers in the cache. If you are creating a map link to post, delete any markers that do not display on the current map, and use them judiciously as they may cover map detail. Click on Markers to delete all or specific markers.
Linkable map. As you search, zoom, pan, or recenter the map, the URL field of the browser is not updated as it was with Topozone. To generate a linkable URL for a map, click on Link to this page. The URL field will be updated. If there is more than one marker in the browser's cache, the URL becomes very long. Even one marker results in a URL that is too long for my tastes. Unless really required I recommend deleting all markers before clicking Link to this page to generate a linkable URL for the map.
Browser history navigation. As mentioned above the URL field is not updated as you navigate the google controls and move around the map. Nor is the browser's "history" updated until you click Link to this page. So beware that if you use the browser's "back page" control, you will revert to the map when the URL field was last updated. The browser will retain no history of your recent map navigating from the current URL. Previously deleted markers may also reappear in the browser's cache. "Reloading" (PF5) also reverts the map to the current URL and loses any subsequent, recent navigations.
Maps other than topos. It is very easy to switch to satellite images or road maps via the buttons on top or the Links in the toolbox. Also there are many other good functions available via the Links. You can link to a map using another popular map service, link to geocache and benchmark data, find geotagged photos posted on the flickr service, and other good stuff.
Toolbox. To hide it, click on the revolving globe in the tool box. Click on the globe again to bring the toolbox back.
Map display quirk. I have noticed an occasional quirk with some browsers on some computers (which I have not been able to debug). Very occasionally the map does not display, although it has been fully downloaded. If that happens, click on Link to this page or other function in the toolbox, and the map should rapidly appear. Most times the map displays properly. I suspect it may be something in the browser cache or internet preferences, but I have no further clues.
Printing. Before printing select the desired orientation (profile vs. landscape) using the printer preferences. The printed page and browser window may not have the same aspect ratio and orientation. The northwest corner of the map and the scale will be the same on the printed page as it is on the display. ACME will add or drop map content from the east and south to fill the printed page. Use the browser's print preview to ensure that you will print the topo portions that you need. Note: none of the ACME boxes (tool, buttons, etc.), nor the google navigation controls are printed -- which is as it should be. You will have to write the distance scale on the printed map if desired. I have seen some problems using some older printers, but I have had no problems with more recent printers.