TopoQuest is a free web mapping service built on open source software that provides internet-based topographic maps for most of the United States.

The site is one of three internet services used by Wikipedia for providing topographic maps. It arose to prominence in May 2008 after TopoZone through its new owners required payment for access to its maps. TopoQuest map links are the same as Topozone's except for the difference in the domain.

It is operated by Ryan Niemi in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Niemi first experimented with a mapping program in July 2001 as a Linux, PHP and MySQL alternative to Microsoft's TerraServer-USA topographic mapviewer. [ [ About Topoquest -] ]

The domain was registered at Go Daddy to Sunset Dynamics on August 10, 2004. [ whois lookup record] ]

However Niemi did not aggressively develop the website because of the success of Topozone.

After Topozone started the for pay business model in April 8, 2008, Niemi made updates to get the website to match the Topozone URL methodolgy for viewing 1:24K USGS Digital raster graphic maps available from the Libre Map Project and Internet Archive and was operating by May 2008. [ [ About Topoquest -] ]

Code was adapted from the MapServer project at the University of Minnesota. The viewer was made seamless by incorporating GDAL.

In addition to matching the Topozone URL's, the website offers free download of GeoTIFFs, which Topozone had only offered for a premium.

Niemi is working on a Canadian topographic map viewer which he hopes to unveil in July 2008.


External links

* []

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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