GPS software

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Ace4
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GPS software

Post by Ace4 » Jan 04 2008 8:46 am

I just got a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx for christmas, and am anxious to try it out. I was wondering what software people use for analyzing their routes and creating waypoints for their gps? (I know I have to use the Garmin software to upload to it, but maybe there is something better for routes/waypoints) I was looking at the NatGeo Topo Arizona software, how accurate are the trails in it, how is the interface, etc?

Anyone know if the Garmin Mapsource 1:100k topo basemap is worth getting? The default basemap is a bit sparse.

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joebartels
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Re: GPS software

Post by joebartels » Jan 04 2008 8:59 am

I have several programs, TOPO! is hands down superior. It will change the way you hike because you really know where you are going or where you have been. Avoid the National Parks versions, the state version is the way to go.

The 100k isn't horrible unless you like to hike. Purchase a blindfold instead, it's cheaper and more exciting.
- joe

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nonot
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Re: GPS software

Post by nonot » Jan 04 2008 3:12 pm

You could always make your own maps. Free and you can customize it the way you want.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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tkknc
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Re: GPS software

Post by tkknc » Jan 04 2008 4:29 pm

If you want to load maps into your GPS, you will have to use the Garmin software. Mapsource is worth it in my opinion. After you use a mapping GPS, all other GPS's will seem primitive. I use map source to program maps into my GPS, but I use Topo for planning ,my trips and printing my maps.

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nonot
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Re: GPS software

Post by nonot » Jan 04 2008 7:17 pm

You don't need to use Garmin software, get SendMap, it's freeware/donations accepted. No need to spend additional money for something you don't need to buy.

With the expandable memory, you can treat it just like a USB drive too, put the Garmin into USB mode once you get the microSD card: Menu->Setup->Interface, press the rocker switch button (select/click/whatever) for the USB Interface (its the only one available.)

Copy one map by just copying the file over to the USB drive, compile multiple maps using SendMap, it must be named gmapsupp.img and be in the /Garmin directory on the memory card.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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nonot
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Re: GPS software

Post by nonot » Jan 04 2008 7:23 pm

I'd recommend you buy at least a 1 gig card. A 2 gig card can be found for $20 or less, you don't have to buy it from Garmin, either.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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tkknc
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Re: GPS software

Post by tkknc » Jan 05 2008 5:25 am

It looks ike you can download 1:24,000 maps to your garmin using sendmap. Thanks nonot.
http://home.cinci.rr.com/creek/garmin.htm
When you have your "sendmap" on the screeen can you still get to the Garmin POI database, or can you only see the point of intrestes that you have loaded in your map?

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Doug1549
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Re: GPS software

Post by Doug1549 » Jan 05 2008 10:11 pm

I have both an answer and a question. First my answer: I just recently purchased the Garmin Etrex Legend and Garmin MapSource Topo U.S. 2008. I was disappointed on the dirth of trails that MapSource contains. It seems to have just the very major trails and misses many that are on USGS printed topo maps. For instance for those of you that trek around Tucson: For the Rincon sector, MapSource has the Douglas Spring and Tanque Verder Ridge trail, but none of those lower trails that junction off the Douglas Spring or are at the east end of Broadway Blvd, such as the Pink Hill and Three Tank trails. And at Sabino Canyon, it is missing prominent trails such as the Phone Line. I have to assume that, if MapSource misses trails in my neighborhood, that I can't count on it to pick up all the important trails when I am visiting new areas -- which will make me feel insecure without a hard copy topo.

Now my question: is there software out there that does a better job of pegging most of the trails which will work for my Garmin Etrex Legend?

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azbackpackr
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Re: GPS software

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 06 2008 9:17 am

Does sendmap work for the Garmin 60Cx as well? I am not very techy, just learning the thing, haven't had it long. Still have that highway map software on it. The cost of the additional software and necessity of having DVD-ROM on the computer has slowed me down a bit. Any suggestions welcome.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Hoffmaster
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Re: GPS software

Post by Hoffmaster » Jan 06 2008 10:59 am

It could be worse. You guys could have a Magellan GPS unit and Magellan MapSend Topo 3D software, which shows absolutely no trails whatsoever. For some reason though, I still kinda like my Magellan eXplorist 210, at least until I get a new one anyway.
"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown

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nonot
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Re: GPS software

Post by nonot » Jan 06 2008 2:40 pm

If you want to see other maps, like the basemap, your custom maps should be transparent.

I believe sendmap works with all garmin units. If you have an expandable memory unit (with the x in the name), you can copy it to your GPS unit via putting it into USB mode, explained above.

I haven't tested it in combo with the "professional" maps you have to buy.

I am involved in a mapping project that Joe says he's on board with (I'm only about 33% done right now.)

Matt, or anyone with a magellan, what type of maps do you need for the magellan units, do they work with img files?
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!

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Hoffmaster
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Re: GPS software

Post by Hoffmaster » Jan 06 2008 6:04 pm

nonot wrote:Matt, or anyone with a magellan, what type of maps do you need for the magellan units, do they work with img files?
Yes. They do work with "img" files. That is probably all they will accept.
"I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals; I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants." A. Whitney Brown

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chumley
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Re: GPS software

Post by chumley » Apr 09 2008 5:05 pm

I'm gonna revive this thread because I was just reading about an upgrade to National Geographic's Topo! software. The state series will continue in its current form, but apparently next month NatGeo will be releasing its new Topo! Explorer and Topo! Explorer Deluxe software ... which will feature the map detail of the state series, but cover the entire US! But wait, there's more... it will ALSO feature satellite photography which can be viewed together with the topo maps in a semi-transparent/layered view.

And the good news? Its FREE! Ok, there is a catch. It is generally web-based, and accessing and viewing it is free. The nice thing about the web-based interface is that the photography is updated continually. They claim its more detailed than the photography available on Google.

If you want to do the things that you are used to using Topo! for, you will need to purchase an application for your computer that uses the web interface, but still allows you to save tracks, waypoints, elevation profiles, etc. and interface with your GPS (or print the maps). If you are a current owner of Topo! state series, there is no charge for the Topo! Explorer upgrade.

Anyway, I just bought a new computer and was looking to upgrade my Topo! when I noticed this new version is coming out. I've always thought that Topo! was awesome, so I'm very excited about this new version and features.

Does anybody know any more about this, or do I have to wait until it's released next month to learn the real details?
Profound observer

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