Plan Your Hike in 3-D

tow1023000_dt.jpgTrapped at your desk? You can explore the U.S. National Parks in 3-D with National Geographic’s latest mapping software.

You can choose a trail, see the elevation profile, get GPS waypoints, check out a 3D view, or draw your own route off the beaten path. The 3D feature lets you either fly along a trail or get a 360-degree view of any point on the map. A split screen lets you view the maps in 3D and 2D mode simultaneously. The maps can be customized with your photos, notes, and symbols, and you can print them out in color or B&W.

Plus, you can transfer GPS waypoints and routes from the software to your handheld GPS unit. The software doesn’t include every National Park but has about two dozen of the most popular ones.

The package costs $49.95 and you can buy it online. The demo is kind of brief but enough to whet your appetite. For both Mac and PC.