Buying maps - what choice?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Little Bike, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    DVD/Downloadable/Card? Bought a montana 650t

    Which is best?

    The last time I really used gps was when you obtained a utm coordinate and then located yourself on a topo....:huh
    #1
  2. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    Buy the DVD and the lifetime updates. Don't mess around with the other options.
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  3. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    okey dokey -thanks:D
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  4. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    The uSD version has one big advantage in that it's not locked to any GPS. So you can move it to any GPS which takes the card type. I do prefer the DVD version, but owning one of the cards means I can try out other GPS units quite easily. I've even lent the card out once or twice. Try that with the DVD version. :)

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
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  5. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    I have a uSD card for European maps so I can transfer it to different gps devices and to lend out to friends.

    But for everyday use in the US and A, I like having the same map in the gps and the computer for route planning, as well as the quarterly(?) map updates.

    Correct me if I am wrong but one cannot do that with the uSD card, right?
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  6. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    You're right - uSD maps and the download version as well can't be updated. For most people the DVD version is a better alternative, but I get a lot of use out of my SD version as well. It's in a Garmin unit I'm Beta testing right now, in fact.
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  7. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    Well, you are SPECIAL. :wink: (What is it? Anything we would like to know about?)

    I assumed the OP was not a beta tester. Unless told otherwise, I stand by my original statement.:ilmostro
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  8. Emmbeedee

    Emmbeedee Procrastinators

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    I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. :lol3
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  9. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    I downloaded Base Camp and now I'm looking over the map choices. I'm going to get the North America road maps, but what would be the best for dirt routes like forest service roads? The 24K topos? Birdseye worth it?
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  10. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    For roads be they graded, unmaintained or 4X4 OHV routes CityNavigator.

    For singletrack trails (very poor coverage) and true cross-country travel (hiking?) Topo. For value 100K and for routable roads 24K.

    Bruce
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  11. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    I was looking at a dirt route I rode a couple of weeks ago and in the 100K map that came with the unit I had to zoom waaaaay in before I could even pick it up. I never would have found the beginning using that map. Do roads show up better in CityNavigator?
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  12. deserteagle56

    deserteagle56 deserteagle56

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    For the dirt roads you'll need the 24k maps. There are lots of them out there but the best I've found are the ones you'll find at gpsfiledepot.com. Those are generally more up to date than Garmin's own offerings which quite often don't show good roads that have existed for many years. City Navigator maps will show some of the dirt roads - but that's all. Just the roads on a blank white screen. I like to see more detail - like nearby mountains and other terrain features, windmills/wells, old mines, etc. Those will show on a 24k topo map but not on city navigator.
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  13. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    Not sure I agree with all you have said. My experience is with CN, an old 100K TOPO and an old Roads & Rec. All have their advantages so I have all 3 loaded and switch frequently. I have also researched the newer Garmin offerings and see that they are claiming that all roads are new NavTec data which used to be reserved for CN. I have never had great luck with the free open-source maps but I know they are getting better.

    I to like to see geographic details at times but the screen can become very cluttered with contour lines. On my old TOPO the 4X4 type dirt roads are shown as 2 dashed parallel lines, using the Garmin map viewer the same roads are shown as single dashed lines in the latest 100K & 24K which to me is confusing because single-track trails are also shown as dashed lines. I like the old way better.

    Bruce
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  14. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    First thing to do is be sure you map detail setting is set to "Most" in the "Setup Map" page.

    No, I don't think there is a big difference as to what zoom level the minor roads appear, maybe 1 zoom level different for my old TOPO 100 and it's the TOPO which is out further. This is why I always tell folks that a small screen GPS will never take the place of paper maps when looking at the "big picture".

    You can go to the Garmin site and pull up the map products and go to the "Coverage" tab, then look to the upper right of the map, often the is a link to the "Interactive MapViewer" for some. This will give a kind of preview of areas you know.

    I am not experienced with Garmin's latest TOPO offerings but I do know the contour lines can cause a lot of screen clutter depending on topography. My old TOPO has a POI file which is loaded with geographic & recreation points but not hotels, food & gas. So if all you have loaded is my old 100K TOPO a search for nearest gas would give no results, it takes CN for that. Also most TOPO roads are labeled as "Road" and in CN the overwhelming majority will be named or numbered even Forest Service roads. Perhaps that has changed in the newer stuff. In the areas I am familiar with CN accurately shows 99+% of all legal two-track. Example: CN shows all legal routes in and around Death Valley.

    I'm not saying TOPO doesn't have its place, I own and use it, but it wouldn't be my only map.

    Bruce
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  15. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    IMHO City Navigator shows about 95% of the dirt roads you might want to ride. I use Topo 100k and Topo 24k to augment this.

    The bigger problem with City Navigator is that is does not distinguish between which roads are open and which are closed. My experience in riding out west is that the most minor roads on private land are closed.

    So you have to have some way of determining land ownership.

    I have lately been using BLM and Forest service Travel Planning maps to determine which roads in those areas are open. They are up-to-date, accurate and by law comprehensive and free. But they are typically only available as pdf files. And you have to search each BLM or NF management district to find them.
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  16. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

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  17. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    Lots of good information everybody. Sounds like at this point I'll put my money into CN to start and get the resources for paper maps. I have my national forest maps so in combo I think that should work pretty well (and I can always look up road closures on the websites). I'm looking forward to not getting lost like a couple of weeks ago. It was fine - the side roads kept ending until there was only one way to go, but still....And I missed out on some roads in another area because I wasn't sure I was in the right spot at all and the gas situation could have gotten bad.:eek1
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  18. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    We suffered this type of riding for almost 30 years before GPS units came out. Now we generally create a planned track for a ride and do some research about what kind of land we are riding on. But we sometimes do leave some leeway for off-track exploring. Even doing this things often don't work out.

    I don't know how you plan to find road closures on a web site. Most CN roads are closed because they are behind locked gates on private land and have never been open. They have no number associated with them.
    #18