Question - Nat Geo GPS USA software

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by blender, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. blender

    blender Just another rider

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    The Middle Coast
    Has anyone tried the National Geographic GPS USA product described here:
    http://www.rei.com/product/715100

    It appears compatible with *most* units: http://ngmaps.arielmis.net/support/gps/ I plan to use with a Garmin Zumo 450. Altho that unit isn't listed it *should* be similar to the GPSIII+ and StreetPilot series. I hope....

    I ask as this seems one of the few routing packages that is compatible with the Mac. Yeah, I run Bootcamp on my MacBook but I just can't get used to using Mapsource.

    For $25 it's worth a chance. Lord knows I've pissed away more $$ than that on farkles that didn't work out....
    #1
  2. blender

    blender Just another rider

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    The Middle Coast
    Apparently no has tried this package so I decided to answer my own question. For $25 my expectations were not high, and this package didn't meet even those.

    First off, it does have a feature to check for & download updates. I tried that *four* times. The download would get to about 50% complete then just stop. I tried both Safari & Firefox, nothing worked. I might try downloading the Mac update using the Win XP machine at work.

    2nd: Map resolution is not great, it's rather small-scale. You can zoom in but only up to a point. For fine resolution you have to buy additional map CDs from Nat Geo.

    3rd: Rouing is rudimentary at best. The route tool basically draws a line along the path you want. You use another part of the tool to create a GPS rout that follows roads. AFA I can tell there is no way to manipulate/modify the route once created. I might actually have to read the manual to figure out how to do waypoints (I *think* this package can do that).

    4th: The GPS upload/download does not recognize the Mac USB ports. There is a Preference option to set the GPS parameters, however I was unable to update any of the options.

    5th: It doesn't recognize the Zumo. I pretty much expected that and might try the Garmin III+ (However I don't think my USB-to-serial conversion cable will work).

    Those are just a few of the things I've found so far. All-in-all this is a worthless package. Looks like for my purposes I'll continue using the Windoze stuff and the Mac/Win dual-boot setup. At least with Mapsource I was able to create, manipulate, and upload a route to the Zumo. Oh how I wish Garmin would *finally* release a Mac version like they promised a year ago.....

    Update: I downloaded the Mac version ugrade via my office Win/XP system and did a sneaker-net install to the Mac. The upgrade appeared to add spiffy new button icons, and *possibly* fix the USB issue (altho it still doesn't recognize the Zumo). All-in-all this is still a disappointing package.

    Definitely Not Recommended.
    #2