small computer for Mapsource/basecamp

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by team ftb, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,772
    Location:
    Lost in the jungles of Thailand
    Once again I'm kicking myself for being computer illiterate.

    I ride DS and offroad and currently utilize a 10.8" laptop w/4GB ram and 500 GB HD. I use the laptop for exploring potential routes on Google Earth and planning routes in the field on Mapsource. What I would like is a lot smaller laptop/netbook/tablet/smartphone to do the same job.

    i checked the requirements for Mapsource and they say it needs a proper Windows based operating system (XP, 7, 8, etc.). Only issue is the smallest computer I can find that runs these operating systems are 10" . I'm not sure how long ago those tech specs were written by Garmin for Mapsource and am hoping there have been work arounds developed/utilized by folks that enable Mapsource or Basecamp to run on Atom or Android processors so I can utilize a smaller computer than 10'. So are there any options out there that would allow me to run Google Earth and Mapsource on a smaller computer, IE 7''? Are there other mapping programs that you can create routes, tracks, waypoints etc that are easy to work with?

    I also have Samsung Galaxy S3 phone to utilize and have found a GE mobile app but not sure how to accomodate Mapsource?

    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,448
    Location:
    Abq NM
    I use an ASUS Notebook for BaseCamp and Mapsource. I got it about 3 years ago for ~$250. They may be more expensive now.

    It is still a 10" size though. I look at one or two 6-7 inch models back then, but the reviews were pretty bad.

    After having used this one for a few years, I don't think I would want a smaller screen. This one packs nicely and has proved rugged.
    #2
  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19,751
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    you're not gonna find much smaller and the PC has completely focused away from net books as tablets have taken oven. prior to tablets coming on the scene (the 1st Apple tablet) net books seemed to be getting better and better. people like the small portable format. then tablets appeared and they dropped like a brick.

    i own one of the smallest, a Dell Mini 9", but it's still kind fat in the waist. it uses a no moving part solid state hard drive. i upgraded the drive to a larger & faster runcore model plus upgraded the memory. it works ok for it's intended use, mapsource use on the road.

    the reality is there is no ultimate solution for this.
    not sure if the guys who switched over to smartphones as GPS units are creating routes very well on the fly either?

    in actual use for tours, i've been using our maps and creating daily routes at home and labeling then day1, day2 etc. and having them all loaded on my gps.

    if we divert, it's back to the old method of consulting the maps and looking for road signs. my gps (60csx) picks up just fine in the middle of routes too (some do not) and all this works for me. i spend years using maps and hand-written day ride notes so i'm use to the old way if need be. If i'm lost, ive programed the end of the day spot in the GPS and it will get me there no matter what.
    #3
  4. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,772
    Location:
    Lost in the jungles of Thailand
    Tablets are indeed a nice option for something lightweight. However are they able to run mapsource/basecamp?

    I'd also like to hear from others that have utilized other mapping programs that can run on smaller processors/smartphones etc. How viable are they in real life and what pro's and con's to them are there?

    Eakin, I live and travel in countries that are not mapped completely for offroad (Lao excepted), therefore I'm on my own in that regard. So looking at satellite images can give me hints on where to look for tracks to explore that cross the jungles. On a sidenote I was going to ask you do the Butler maps have offroad tracks in them through Central America?
    #4
  5. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,211
    Location:
    San Diego
    I just picked up a Surface Pro. One of the objectives was to be able to handle mapsource/basecamp while on extended tour.

    Have not downloaded basecamp yet..................after my years and pain with Mapsource just not quite ready to switch apps yet but I will.
    #5
  6. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,448
    Location:
    Abq NM
    Be prepared for a little culture shock with BaseCamp. I have it and do use it when I need a couple of features Mapsource doesn't have, but for serious planning work I use Mapsource.

    One very useful feature of Basecamp is that it shows minor roads at larger zoom levels than MS.
    #6
  7. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,347
    Location:
    MCAS MIRAMAR
    I've been using an Acer Aspire one for.........hell I can't even remember now. Probably the last 5 years at the very least. It's my on-road laptop for the purpose of checking on the forums and mapping my route as I go. Still ticking today. I usually just drop it in my top case between my liner and other cold weather gear.

    I would like to switch over to my iPhone for all GPS duties but can't find a way to reliably load my own routes into the various apps. So I still use my Zumo.

    Not sure if you are going to find anything smaller than 10 inches. Even most of the Tablet PCs that you you would have to use to run basecamp are in the 7 to 10 inch range.
    #7
  8. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,487
    Location:
    Nelson area, Kootenai, BC, Canada
    As others have said 10" is the smallest that runs the OS you need for Mapsource/Basecamp.
    I have an Acer Aspire One with the Solid State Drive (upgraded to 32GB from 8GB). It has an 8.9" screen with a wide bezel so it's the same size as most 10" screen netbooks. Smaller than that would be painful to really do much with.
    #8
  9. team ftb

    team ftb Befuddled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,772
    Location:
    Lost in the jungles of Thailand
    Rats. Was hoping technology had developed a little further. Time to take a gander and see if there are any other mapping programs utilied on the the Smartphones that are halfway decent. I have GPS's but just would like something for my creating routes and tracks thats small and tucks away in my gear a bit easier than my 10' laptop.
    #9
  10. solidox

    solidox n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1
    I'm a bit of a map freak and for me, the best gpses can't beat tablets and/or smartphones. I used GpsKit on a phone. It has most features of a "normal" gps and many more. I used an iphone 4s for the last 2 years travelling in SE asia and crossing South america. The Ram Mount xGrip for the handlebars ROCKS; I meant to get a waterproof case but couldn't find one that I liked and didn't. I recommend one though.

    So yeah, gpskit. It can do mostly everything a high end gps can: it can easily import tracks; has about 10 maps sources available and you can add more (google maps, bing, open street maps, satellite, height maps, etc); they are cacheable (for offline), downloadable (you select an area or road and it downloads it), you can publish your realtime track on any old gsm data connection, not even 3g required, great dashboard with ALL the data you will ever need to see in a trip. It makes graphs of your ride (plotting your speed, altitude, etc); when not in motion, the heading of the map uses the internal accelerometer to point where the handlebars are pointing (hard to explain but great in real life); if you have friends with the same app you can see in (almost) real-time where they are. But to me, the multiple maps thing is the best. No maps provider has good maps for ANY location. But with this one, you have A LOT more options, so chances are much higher to find a good map. AND satellite images for the places where there are NO maps.

    I think on an ipad mini would be perfect, if you can find a waterproof case for it, and it doesn't look silly, ipad mini on bike thing, heh. I think there's an xGrip for it too.

    Oh and a major drawback: you cannot plot routes directly "on it" :) Basically you have to import a route, or just lay as many waypoints on it as you want, and follow them. Somehow it was never a big issue to me. If I have a great map and an arrow on the screen that is me, and a destination, I don't really need a route. I keep it pretty zoomed out, and I can still see A LOT of detail, the Retina display of the iphone/ipadmini is orders of magnitude more detailed than that of a normal gps.

    But yeah, have a go at it if you want.
    #10
  11. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,487
    Location:
    Nelson area, Kootenai, BC, Canada
    There are a few tablets (8" and up) out now that run Windoze 8 (8.1). Add a bluetooth mouse and Bob's your Uncle. Run BaseCamp and/or Mapsource.
    #11
  12. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,055
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Been using an Asus X202E for 6 months or so and it's light years ahead of my old Dell. 11" screen, Win8, touch screen and I snagged it for under $400. Might upgrade to a SSD this coming year. Basecamp runs great on it.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414658,00.asp
    #12
  13. kave

    kave Gravel rules

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Sweden
    Is there anything else than a Macbook Air 11"? Now that BaseCamp runs better on OSX than windows the choice is easy.
    Count in that you wont need antivirus, antiphising etc etc and that it will last much longer than any plastic cheap pc.
    #13
  14. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,055
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Word on that. A Mac Book Air 11 was my #1 choice. Think you could buy a basic refurbished one from Apple for around $800+. At the time it was too many beans for me hence the Asus.

    Sent from my HTCONE using Tapatalk
    #14
  15. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Oddometer:
    10,210
    Location:
    NWA
    #15
  16. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,487
    Location:
    Nelson area, Kootenai, BC, Canada
    #16
  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19,751
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    as long as those are Windows 8 Pro tablets and not the RT ones.
    only the pro versions are true Windows that can load any program written for Windows. they are more pricey than the cheaper RT ones that need tablet specific software.

    unless it says Windows Pro (tablet) it's not. don't buy one and then be disappointed to find it will not run mapsource or basecamp. verify what you are buying!
    if it's labeled Pro then you are good. some are not labeled Pro but they are indeed full Windows not the RT tablet Windows. and finally some are not labeled Pro and are truly RT versions.
    MS made a big mistake with the not full Windows RT tablet and i'd say those are going away, but always check.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8_editions

    here is a Dell Pro tablet
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._t=1401&pf_rd_p=1638533742&pf_rd_i=1000957911
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2428009,00.asp
    #17
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19,751
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    10" is not the smallest. never was.

    there are less common 8" (Sony) netbooks
    and very common 9" (Dell mini 9/vostro a90) ones.

    i'm running a vostro a90 (screen hinges back farther than mini 9) with 2gb ram, 32gb fast runcore solid state hard drive, another 64 gb of storage w/ the sd card (used for Itunes songs & movies) & Windows 7 home premium 32bit. it's nice and fast w/ Windows 7 (not a big Windows 8 fan at this point...time will tell. i bypassed Vista completely) and mapsource & google earth.

    yes it's fatter than a tablet, but it has the version of Windows i want (Win 7) plus the true laptop jacks and features (incredibly sharp screen, 2 full size usb ports, vga port, ethernet port, sd card slot) i want. no moving parts (passive cooling system & solid state hard drive). works for me.

    then there is that Dell 8" Windows Pro tablet i posted above.
    just add this to get your start button back
    http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/
    #18
  19. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,487
    Location:
    Nelson area, Kootenai, BC, Canada
    I was aware of the RT issue but failed to include that in my (quoted) post. In some other post I had noted "not RT". As others do too, MS has a sometimes confusing naming scheme. Too many almost the same names with vastly different feature sets.
    Netbooks seem to have mostly dropped out of the markets and tablets/convertibles are emerging.

    I recently got the tablet in albie's link and really miss the good old START. 8.1 touted a START but it's not the good one.
    #19
  20. ramz

    ramz Professional Trail Rider

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,051
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    On Big River:

    Toshiba Encore WT8-A32 8-Inch 32 GB Tablet by Toshiba
    List Price: $329.99
    Price: $299.99


    Better reviews.

    :ricky
    #20