Confused about software

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by fiwi, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. fiwi

    fiwi Been here awhile

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    Hello all. I thought I had things sussed in regards to the gps I am going to buy, but now i have more questions, hope someone could help me.

    I am going to purchase a montana650, with NZ and Australia topo software. For some reason I assumed that, like my cheap Nuvi30, it would have built in city navigation. Apparently that isnt the case. Is purchasing city navigator the only way to have city navigating features or does it have a basic city navigator of some kind already installed?. I dont understand why it is going to cost me $189.00aus for the city navigator software when my $150.00 nuvi30 has city navigating features with spoken directions. Also, does base map serve some of the functions that the Australia topo software does, or are they totally different?.
    Thanks
    Grant
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  2. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    A rather small point but none of it is software or even firmware, it is just data and in this case Map data.

    If by "navagating features" you mean "navagating functions" they are in your built in GPS firmware not in the map data you load. However if you mean navagable data, then yes this is in map data.
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  3. fiwi

    fiwi Been here awhile

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    Hell, I dont know what I mean now :huh

    I am heading off on a remote trip in Western Australia in the near future, alot of unsealed roads, tracks etc. In that respect I am quite happy to buy nz and aus topo, as bundled with the montana I think the deal I am getting is pretty good. If I am spending this much money I would also like it to be my primary gps, car and bike, so I would also like it to be able to navigate in the city. But 190 dollars for city navigator, wow.
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  4. syzygy9

    syzygy9 Been here awhile

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    Fiwi,

    You have some hardware which is the GPS unit itself (which can be anything from a laptop, tablet, PDA or as in most cases a purpose built 'micro-computer' in a small box). This hardware has some software which provides the 'navigation' and than you have some data which are the maps.

    Most purpose built 'off the shelf' GPS that you buy effectively package this all into a single unit (hardware, software and data) into what you know as a 'GPS' unit.

    Naviagtion can either be achieved by using 'vector' data, which is what you see on 99.9% of city navigation GPS's. The map data in these cases are vector in nature and have the routing and 'turn by turn' nav you are familiar with.

    Another option is off-road navigation units which effectively use digitized (scanned and georeferenced) topographic maps where you appear as a dot (or arrow) on the center of this map. Picture a 'paper' map on a computer screen with your position in the center, and this map moving as you move along, keeping you centered in the screen. This is often referred to as 'moving map' navigation as your position generally stays centered on the map and the map 'moved' as you move along. This type of nav generally does not do turn by turn nav but you don't need that in the bush. The good thing about this type of navigation is that the digitized maps used contain the same info as conventional maps - roads, tracks, fences, hills, dams, creeks, forests, houses, etc, all the sort of stuff you need to locate your self in the outback.

    For a good description of this have a look at the Australian Hema 5i navigator which has both city (turn by turn) and off-road (topographic) built into the same unit (don't buy the GPS though as the Hema 5i 'hardware' is utter crap, the software - iGo and OziExplorer - and maps though are pretty good). http://www.hemanavigator.com.au/Products/HEMANavigator5/tabid/100/Default.aspx
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  5. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    If your question is "How do I put in a start and end point and have the GPS create a route I can follow, your GPS will need routable map data. Garmin sells City Nav NT for AU/NZ (this is the U.S. link) There are likely others.

    But, once you have routable map data, it will work. If the map data is not routable (like some Topo data in the U.S.), you will be able to see roads, but the GPS will not be able to create a route you can follow.

    Do yourself a favor and don't buy the SD card. It is harder to work with. The download will be easier, though you will have to then download map data to your GPS.
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  6. fiwi

    fiwi Been here awhile

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    Im resigned to having to buy city nav if i want to use my Montana as my 'city' navigation unit as well as my offroad unit. Its spend 170 odd dollars on the city nav or carry my cheap nuvi30 along with the Montana if i want to navigate built up areas.

    syzygy9, can you tell me if there is a huge amount of difference in the garmin aus/nz topo and the hema Oziexplorer?. Would they effectively do the same thing for outback travel, finding tracks, dirt roads etc?. As has been pointed out, auto routing in the outback isnt really such a huge issue
    I like Hema maps, have always used them. There seems to be enough detail in them( i think )to get by, but is there enough detail for remote out back travel? (Rudall river NP).

    I can get a montana650t bundled with the aus/nz topo for $680, which seems good to me. As a total novice in regards to navigation, I feel that this is the easy first step for me in regards to heading into the outback. If anyone would love to prove me wrong then please do. Grant
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  7. syzygy9

    syzygy9 Been here awhile

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    Fiwi,

    Hema maps are pretty good and have a wide coverage. I am not sure of all the 'formats' these come in or whether they are even available whatever raster file format Garmin use for the navigation maps. A quick check on the web might answer this. Personally, I like a range of raster maps and use the Hema map collection (which covers all of Aus), the Westprint maps (much more limited coverage) and I really like GeoScience Australia's 1:250k topo series which on a recent trip across Aus proved to be very detailed and accurate. These are oll in ozf which is the OziExplorer native raster file format.

    The Garmin 'proprietary' maps look really expensive so I would check that before committing to buying the Garmin Montana. If the required maps are not bundled with the GPS, you could fiind the maps are more expensive than the GPS itself!

    I am a big fan of OziExplorers ozf format which has maps widely available for it and lots of programs on the web for converting in and out of and it is not proprietary. Have look at this site to learn more about map file formats, specifically OziExplorer, but it should give you a better understanding of the raster (image) map formats work http://www.hemanavigator.com.au/man...Appendix_1__-_About_Oziexplorer_map_files.htm
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  8. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Did you happen to stop by and read any of the Garmin Montana thread? No Garmin Handheld GPS comes with pre-loaded City Navigator maps. You purchase them separate. The cost in Australia might be a bit more expensive than they are here in the States but they aren't outrageous. Only purchase the DVD for any Garmin map product. Never the download. The µSD Card version is OK but you loose your option of addition µSD Card storage on the unit using Garmin's card for the maps.

    You will want them or try Garmin compiled Open Street Maps for Australia.

    You will want to install Garmin BaseCamp on your computer (Windows or Mac) for trip planning. It "knows" the Montana and will be more advantageous once you learn to use it.

    Cheers,
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  9. fiwi

    fiwi Been here awhile

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    Thats right. The Montana I have been looking at comes with Aus and NZ topo maps preloaded, for city nav it is about 180 more.
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  10. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    Just to make it perfectly clear...

    As far as I know the Montana 650 comes with no map data at all, and the 650t comes with some map data.

    The 650 is cheaper and there is a wide variety of third party map data available, of different types (streets, topographic, marine). Some data sets are cheaper (or even free), while others are going to have better quality.

    You should find out what map data has good coverage for the area of WA* you're travelling in, and then make up your mind. You might find out the bundled maps on the 650t are no good for how you want to use your Montana.

    * Western Australia, not Washington
    #10