View Full Version : Printing Maps

David Earley
07-31-2005, 05:02 PM
Anybody have tips on which home printer to use to print maps from Maptech? Laser or inkjet advantages or disadvantages, besides cost of course!

Any suggestions on which waterproof paper to use: IGage waterproof paper or National Geographic Adventure Paper ?

thanks much - Dave

07-31-2005, 08:45 PM
David -

I print quite a few maps of different types in my work and it seems that most of the newer printers will work fine with most of the newer software. The biggest problem is that regular ink jet ink will run badly if you print on ink jet paper and get it wet. Even drops of sweat or sweaty thumbs. Spray-on fixatives help but don't completely solve the problem. The Ntl Geographic paper is pretty good but it too will run slightly in bad conditions. Laser/ toner-type copies don't run but for me, color laser copies mean a trip to the copy shop, if there is one around. I generally use an HP inkjet and put all maps in a zip lock or covered clipboard - and also use the Ntl. Geo. paper if it might get ugly. I haven't tried the other type.

08-01-2005, 06:23 AM
I am lucky enough to have a color Laser Jet printer at work to print maps. They are outstanding and they don't run from sweat. If I am planning on being out in bad weather or using the maps more than once, I get the Rite-in-Rain paper for copiers. They make it in white now (used to be only in green) so that your map colors stay true and then you have a rain proof, no blead map. I would still put it in a ziplock or other cover to keep it from getting messed up, but it will not be destroyed by rain either way.

Hope this helps.


Ed T
08-01-2005, 06:55 AM
J.L Darling, makers of Rite-In-The-Rain just came out with paper for Ink-Jet printers. I should have some samples this week and will report on it. The other two papers they make are for use with Laser printers or coppy machines. You can always print you map on plain paper from the Ink-Jet, then take it and the water-proof paper to a copy shop for the field ready copies.

Ed T

08-01-2005, 07:23 AM
Although I generally print on the Nat'l Geo paper, waterproofing is much less of an issue (in terms of durability and cost) if you invest in a map case that's user-friendly and accessible enough that you don't consider it a hassle and leave it at home. There are quite a few choices available, but this (http://www.rightstuff-durango.com/map_sushi.asp) is the one I use.

08-01-2005, 11:25 AM
Though I've had good luck with Rite-In-The-Rain and other waterproof or water-resistant papers, I tend to agree with smackdaddyj and DJ's recommendations; put your maps inside a ziplock bag or purpose-made case (like the Map Sushi case DJ mentions and provides a link to - it looks like a clever little rig). That's just one more advantage to printing out on letter-size paper with Terrain Navigator: being sharply smaller, these map printouts lend themselves very readily to being stored and used inside a clear case/cover of one sort or another.


weekend warrior
08-05-2005, 08:57 AM
I was just looking at some of the new Epsons the other day. They claim to use a new "powder" ink that doesn't fade over time. It's supposed to be better for printing photos for that reason. The other benefit is that the inks were supposed to be waterproof once they dry completely the first time. You might want to look in that direction.


David Earley
08-06-2005, 03:40 AM
Thanks for the tips, everyone.


09-11-2005, 07:44 AM
Ed T -
Any word on the Rite-in-the-rain sample for ink jet printers? Time to get my map type figured out.

09-11-2005, 11:32 AM
I print larger maps, i.e 17x22" (nearly regular topo size). For that I use an Epson Color Stylus 1520. I just like having the larger maps. Fold them and stick them in a good watertight zip type bag.

Ed T
09-12-2005, 06:22 AM

I'll print some up today and let you know.

Ed T

Ed T
09-16-2005, 04:03 PM

I printed up some maps on the Rite-in-the-Rain paper for inkjet printers. The results were excellent. The paper is also heavy enough to print both sides. I printed one side at 48% to cover a large area and the other side at 96% for greater detail in the main hunting area.

A couple other options with Rite-in-the-Rain products. They make both paper and plastic "paper" for use with copiers and lazer printers. You can print your map on regular paper then take it to a copy shop along with the Rite-in-the-Rain paper and copy onto the waterproof.

The ink-jet paper is more expensive than the others being the advantage in doing that. I haven't tried this yet so I'm not sure if any detail is lost in the copying.

This papaer and Terrain Navigator really rocks.

Ed T

09-17-2005, 06:31 AM
Ed, your strategies on map printouts with Rite-in-the-Rain paper are dead on. Printing out at the 96% rate for smaller (read rougher) areas is an extremely useful approach. In addition, your printing out at the 96% rate (1:25,000 scale) on one side of the sheet and the 48% rate (1:50,000 scale) on the other is positively inspired.

In terms of the quality of copies, I've had excellent luck copying maps at copy shops with laser color copiers. (In fact, we fitted out every deputy sheriff in our agency with a book of such copied maps; the originals were generated by Terrain Navigator.)