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What Happened to the "Open Map Window" and Other TNP 11 (and TNP 12) Questions

Version 11 represented a long-needed overhaul to the internal "engine" that drives Terrain Navigator Pro.  After nearly two years of development, version 11 was first released in December of 2016 - coinciding with TNP's 20th anniversary. Version 12, which contains further revisions to the software (but without a radical overhaul) was released in April 2019.

Present in "G-REF version 1.0" (released 12/6/1996) was the "Open Map" window, which allowed quick access to matching USGS quad sheets on CD-ROMs. This was state-of-the-art at the time, as each individual quad sheet could be opened and viewed. In fact, only one quad sheet could be opened at a time – there was no "seamless" view.

Now the world has shifted. The USGS no longer produces traditional quad sheets and most cartography (and digital imagery) is served across the globe via the Internet. With this change, the Open Map window was retired so to allow global access of seamless maps at any scale.

Downloading the Latest Software
As with any software product, especially after a major reworking, there are a series of patches and improvements made on a regular basis. As part of our commitment to our customers who maintain an active subscription, TNP is updated roughly every three months. For instructions on downloading the latest version of TNP, please see:

How do I quickly access an area of interest?
TNP has always featured many ways to find an area of interest. Here's one easy way:

When you start TNP, set the map scale to 1:18,056. You'll find the scale control on the toolbar: 

Then use the options in the Find menu to orientate yourself to the desired location. There are find commands for searching by street address, city/town, zip code, etc. You can also find layer objects that you have already created (such as markers, bookmarks, etc.) You can even locate the area by the old USGS Map name and Reference Code (as it was in the Open Map window.)

Can I just "zoom in" like other mapping products?
Absolutely.  Position the mouse cursor anywhere on the map then roll the wheel in the center of the mouse. This will step through various map scales, always keeping the position of the mouse in-view.

Also available are the + and - buttons to the left of the map scale: these will zoom in and out on the center of the map screen; the Zoom In and Out tools on the toolbar can be employed; there are Scale In and Scale Out commands in the View menu; and right-clicking on the map will give options to Scale In and Out.

The auto-zooming has been improved in each subsequent version of TNP; now whenever you Find a layer or place name, TNP will automatically adjust the map scale (if necessary) to view the object.

How can I quickly view an area that I frequent?
Try creating a Bookmark.

Once you navigate to a location you want come back to frequently, open the View menu and choose Bookmark this View. Give the bookmark a name and press OK. Now you will be able to return to that location quickly (including the map type and scale) by opening the Find menu and choosing Bookmark.

Once I "Find" a location, the bottom of the Find menu shows the most recent choices. That's handy.
Yes, at the bottom of the Find menu will be the five most recent places that you've visited. Note that you may want to adjust the map scale after going to one of those spots.


Why can't I set a starting location for TNP?
Actually, you can.

The starting location is set per Project. If you are not familiar with projects, check out:

The easiest way to set a starting location is to create a Bookmark as described above. Then open the Layers menu, choose Manage Projects, select the project that you want to set the starting location for (if it isn’t already the active project) and change the Starting Location to the name of that Bookmark.

You can also set the project to open the last location you were viewing (whenever that project is deactivated or TNP is closed) or to the location currently being shown on the screen. 

Now, whenever that project is activated (including when TNP starts) the location that you have picked will be displayed.

For more details on this process, see:


I don't really use Projects, can I still set a starting location?
You bet. You are probably using the "Default" project. Follow the same steps above, but change the starting location for the project named <<Default>>. Alternatively, you can set the starting location to <<Last Location>>; this will open TNP each time to exactly the same place where you last were.


I get a lot of "Not Responding" messages and white maps. What's wrong?
TNP 11 consumes and processes a massive amount of map information. To help manage all this data, a sophisticated system of internal memory was devised. This means that TNP is constantly "learning" your viewing habits – and downloading/processing the map data you will need. 

At first, it may seem that TNP is a bit sluggish – especially when you first view a new area. However, as you proceed with your work, you should notice that TNP will work faster. 

Note that "Not Responding" is a Windows message that means that the Windows Operating System cannot communicate with application. It does not necessarily mean that TNP has "crashed" – it may mean that it is simply very busy processing all that map data. Be patient when using TNP in new geographic areas, and it will reward you with great looking maps at any scale.

If this is a chronic problem, or TNP seems unstable (and/or displays black maps) the internal map engine may need to be refreshed. For details, please see:


Speaking of scales, why are they so different than what I am used to? Can't I just pick '1:24,000'?
Well, you can type in any map scale you wish into the scale control on the top of the map window, including 1:24,000. However, you might not really want to; here's why: 

On a computer monitor, the map scale is completely arbitrary. Unlike a printed page, where the scale of the map can be determined, a computer monitor could be any size, and one of thousands of screen resolutions. In short, a monitor (unless calibrated for specialty use) does not present a true representation of map scale. 

Most of the scales that we have chosen are optimized for speed within TNP. While a scale of 1:18,056 may seem like a weird choice, you will find that the panning and display speed at 1:18,056 will be significantly better than at 1:24,000. Moreover, many map types display at their best resolutions at these scales. However, this varies based on the dpi of the original map image. 

For the standard edition, "1:24,000 quads" USGS topographic maps, the best quality will be achieved at a scale of 1:14,400. (This is equivalent to the 1:1 zoom in prior versions of Terrain Navigator Pro.) However, the fastest performance will be found at scales of: 1:4,514, 1:9,028, 1:18,056, 1:36,112, and 1:72,224. 

For the Aerial Orthophotos (any edition), the best quality will be achieved at scales of 1:15,108, 1:7,554, and 1:3,777. However, the fastest performance will be found at scales of: 1:4,514, 1:9,028, 1:18,056, 1:36,112, and 1:72,224. 

For all other map types/editions (alternate edition shaded relief USGS topographic, satellite image, street, and terrain maps) these scales will produce the best quality and speed:  1:1,129, 1:2,257, 1:4,514, 1:9,028, 1:18,056, 1:36,112, and 1:72,224. 

Note that not all map types are available at all scales. For example, alternate edition shaded relief USGS topographic maps are not available at scales below 1:9,028. Standard USGS topographic maps are not available at scales above 1:1,155,580.


What about map scales when printing (or publishing maps)?
Yes, in that case scale does matter – since you a producing an output of a fixed/known dpi. Thus, be sure to type in the desired scale (such as 1:24,000 or 1:50,000) when printing/publishing maps. You will find the scale setting in the Properties tab of the Print window when the Map page block is selected:

 For more details, please see:

What is a MapPack? What happened to "Copy maps to the hard drive"?
A MapPack is an area that you have set aside that will always be available – even when TNP does not have an Internet connection. This replaces the Copy maps to the hard drive feature that was quad-map based and present in prior versions of TNP. 

Use the (new) selection tool  to create an area, then open the File menu and choose Save MapPack. The minimum scale should be such to provide the desired level of detail. Note that the smaller the scale (such as 1:1,129) then the more detail is provided (as in the main map viewing area.) However, this exponentially increases the disk drive space required for that area. Moreover, only a reasonable amount of map data can be downloaded within a single MapPack.  Again, you can download a 7000 square mile area (which is as large as most US counties) at a minimum scale of 1:4,514; a smaller area (such as a large lake) can be downloaded at 1:1,129 into a single MapPack. (Note that with the exception of the Satellite Images, most map types do not display well at scales under 1:4,514.)

For more information on MapPacks, including step-by-step instructions on creating and maintaining them, please see:


What happened to Non-Seamless View? Can I access the USGS Map collars?
Yes! The non-seamless view mode has been integrated into TNP's new design and is included as an "edition" of the Standard USGS Topographic map type. When the USGS Topographic (Topo) map type is selected on the tool bar, change the edition to Standard USGS with Collars. The collars will be revealed, and all other functions of the software will be available (including printing/publishing, copy to clipboard, and georeferenced exporting.)

I use TNP to export maps into other GIS applications. How has that process changed?
Use the Selection Tool to set the area of export, then open the File menu and choose Export, Georefrenced/Reprojected Map. For details, see:

Can I downgrade back to version 10.42?
While you can certainly uninstall the current version of TNP (using the Windows Control Panel) and reinstall (using your 10.42 Installer DVD and declining all software updates) we do not recommend doing so.

1. The servers containing the 2014 (and older) aerial photos used by TNP 10 have not been updated with 2015, 2016 or 2017 aerial photos. Instead, these servers have been decommissioned. To obtain the latest aerial photos (and utilize the high-resolution satellite images) the current version of TNP must be employed.

2. Further software upgrades for version 10 will not be available. In fact, should you choose to downgrade, you may want to turn off the "check for software updates" preference in File, Preferences, Internet Access and Map Cache to avoid being further alerted as we continue to refine and improve Terrain Navigator Pro.

3. We can not offer technical support for discontinued versions of TNP. TNP 10.42 was discontinued upon the release of TNP 11 on 12/1/2016. Technical support for version 10.42 ended one year later.

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