GPS/SOFTWARE, too little/much info

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by SndyRds, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. SndyRds

    SndyRds Adventurer

    Mar 2, 2005
    Edge O' the Woods, New Mexico
    I've searched for information, on GPSR'S / SOFTWARE everywhere. I've either been overwhelmed, with add ons, vector vs. rastering, third party interfaces (JDCOX, OZIEXPLORER), etc. On the othe hand, others just say get Garmin TOPO, (or is it TOPO 24k), or Ciry Select, with no other info.

    I'm thinking of getting a Garmin 60cs, or the 76cs. My primary use will be off-road. As far as mapping software goes, seems that Garmin besides being proprietory, is just about useless for maps on the GPS itself. The reason for my use is to use the gps itself to upload tracks, to find my way around at places where others have ridden, borrowed tracks (hence the reason for the garmin). I'm not looking for maps (software to show me forest, or single tracks on the unit itself (unless that was actually available). I plan taking (or making) my own printed maps, and use the gps to confirm where I am, and to get un-lost, and record tracks, of good places I've found, and return there.

    I think both of these units have some sort of built in base map (but how usefull). I recently purchased Garmin's TOPO 24K, only to find out that it's only Natl. parks, luckly I have not opened the box, and can exchange it for Delorme's, or National Goegraphics, mapping soft ware, or......?????

    The terrian I ride in is thick forest, w/ single track, and fire roads. There are miles, and miles of good riding, yet I'm wasting my time trying to explore it blind, as it were. It would be nice to use it with the street bike, just as a turn here stupid, helper. But a regular map will do that if used correctly. As far as mapping software goes, I'm going to need a coordinate system that can be used forward and back with the gps. It would be really nice to have enough map in the gps, to look at, and compare, to a paper map. OK I'm here (on the GPS), and my map say's there's a a peak there, a valley there. and that would confirm I know where I am.

    I don't think I need sat photos, or 3-d per-say (maybe later), But I need lots of map detail, because I'll be in New Mexico (just moved here), and Colorado Forests, and getting lost can be a real issue if going it on your own. I've been riding for years and years, and I've seen people get lost, and seperated, in reasonably flat desert.

    I use common sense, and even take a compass (as a backup). I'm computer literate, I'm able to do work arounds with third party software, but I'm not going to go out, and spend hundreds of dollars, experimenting, with (Garmin's, Delorme's, Nat. Geo) software, to find out what works, and what doesn't.

    I don't want a $900.00 or $100.00 GPS ($400-500's 0K)and, I'd rather spend double my budget, on say mapping software (computer/and GPS if so) for what works, instead of cheaping out, and having to end up spending triple instead of double to get what works.

    Sorry for the long post, I think many people, don't ask the questons, right to find out what they need about GPS/SOFTWARE, so maybe this will help others who don't know enough to ask the right question to get them in the right direction.

    I'm not going to finding myself lost in the forest, wishing for a lap top and a sextant scratching my sack and whispering to myself WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT, if I can help it!!!
  2. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

    Nov 4, 2004
    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
    I do pretty well what you do, (except I'm in Canada) and I usually run Topo
    Canada when I'm in the bush, and Canada Metroguide on the paved stuff.
    I seem to get very good detail, and of course it always nice to have the GPS
    tracking where i was so I can find my way back.

    Of course, you would have to get the USA versions, I think they are called
    Metroguide USA 5 , and Topo USA.

    BTW, my friend runs the 76CS, you can sure put an amazing amount of maps in that thing!

    DRGNHTR Dragonhunter

    Apr 2, 2004
    Castro Valley, Ca.
    What he said. I've been running TOPO and Metroguide. My new Quest came with City Select and so far it seems pretty good for in town.
  4. TIM I.

    TIM I. and some dry white toast

    Aug 7, 2004
    EN41RO (IA)
    Generally speaking withing the Garmin cartography, the newer the map the more detail it has. Example, Metroguide 4 (older) versus City Navigator (6, latest). I was surprised to find that CN has more dirt roads and class B roads throught the state than metroguide. I run 2 gps's that use the respective software, just when testing.

    Now here's the tricky part. I can make routes at home with CN but my favorite GPS doesn't use CN, it uses METROGUIDE. So I make the WAYPOINTS with CN then transfer them to my GPS that has METROGUIDE maps in it.

    Then for things that aren't on the maps, I take a Gazetteer. (xerox the grids I'm going to ride).

    Your comment about software supporting grid coordinates in a route 'forward and backward', that's a Hardware / firmware feature, not that of the 'mapping software on the PC'. You want a GPS that will REVERSE route. Not all do and it is an extremely useful and frankly safety wise , good attribute to have. the pc software can invert a route, but I that's only useful if you have a pc and plan to use it to reload...