west usa

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - West & PNW' started by JOKER650, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. JOKER650

    JOKER650 Long timer

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    British Columbia , Canada.....Eh
    any free city/street maps of the wetern us-of-eh ?
    Heading down this week on hollidays and want to get really lost! :lol3

    Thanks :freaky
    #1
  2. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    All you can carry, just join AAA.
    #2
  3. JOKER650

    JOKER650 Long timer

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    thanks for the info brutha :freaky
    #3
  4. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    If you are looking at maps for a Garmin GPS, look at www.gpsfiledepot.com

    The Ibycus US is good, non routeable street map for the whole US.

    The Planametric set of Topo maps are good 24k topo maps for the US... there are a total of 8 for the whole US.

    Paper maps? Don't know, but AAA sounds about right.
    #4
  5. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    I just went through this for Arizona.

    Downloaded an AZ map for my garmin from gpsfiledepot for free. Detail seems great. It does not seem to be routable though. It's still in my hard drive though. I'll get it onto GPS later today and find out for sure.

    Went to AZ State Park office and AZ Tourism offices. They gave me lots of paper maps. The State Park maps are better, but the AZ tourism maps show roads as paved or otherwise.

    The lady at the State Park office mentioned that AZ Game & Fish also have a ton of info. Going there later today.

    I'm not a member of AAA.
    #5
  6. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    You're right the free maps are not route-able.

    Topo maps on the GPS are too busy to actually use - generally.

    But they are great for route planning on your computer, and as secondary maps on your GPS to see more detailed info when you need it (turn off the primary map and the secondary map will be showing - there is a hierarchy of which map will be showing).

    I don't know of any free maps that are route-able.... not to say that there aren't any, I just don't know of them.

    But they are great for when you are learning to use the GPS before you invest more money in whatever map you decide to end up with.

    For instance - the Ibycus USA reminds me of the old Road & Rec in that it mostly shows roads but also waterways, without a lot of other detail. But the Ibycus map data is 10 years newer. So this is a good map to have showing while riding.

    I've also got the old Topo V3 and Topo2008.... the Planametric series has more elevation detail than either, but the Topo2008 does shading on the PC which is pretty nice. But I've modified the old Topo V3 so I can load the whole US at once, so that's what I run on the GPS. (you are limited by the number of map segments you can load on your GPS - my 276c's can only have 900 segments while my 76Cx's can have 2025 - this is in addition to the memory limits).

    Routing is handy for me - but only sometimes. Thinking about it, not very often at all. I'm much more apt to just zoom out a bit, figure out where I want to head, and start working my way in that direction. Perhaps that's because I've learned that the places I go the maps are not always that good and that I can't rely on them. They are generally right... but not always. The roads change with time....
    #6
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    GTR state paper Topographical and Recreation maps are not free but are only about $4 ea online. They are very detailed and do have some color-coded topo info. I was just on a trip in the 4 Corners area and used them quite a bit to augment my GPS routing and tracks. It is nice to see the big picture and have fine detail at the same time.
    #7
  8. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    How does this hierarchy work? I am going to load the free AZ map. I'll have to turn off the US map? I can figure that out.

    A segment is on of the little blocks that you send to GPS?

    You're right... routable does not mean useful. Sometimes the trail on map ends long before the real trail, it just becomes useful to find the next biggest trail. I have found forest fires and floods tend to change roads.
    #8
  9. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    When I have Metroguide and Topo2008 and US Road & Rec loaded and all turned on, Metroguide shows.
    If you turn Metroguide off (You can turn whole map sets on and off at once, OR individual segments) I think I get R&R.
    If I turn Metroguide and R&R off, I get Topo.

    You'll have to play with it a little bit for whatever maps you have loaded to see what the hierarchy is for your maps.

    You do know how to load multiple maps, don't you?
    In Mapsource have a mapset selected (for example Metroguide), then using the map selection tool (yellow bordered trapaziod) highlight the maps you want from this mapset (or if you are following a route/track, highlight the route/tracks you want to follow, right click, select maps around routes/tracks). Then switch to the next mapset you want to load some of, repeat the above. When you have all the mapsets selected that you want to load, THEN transfer the mapsets to the GPS. You have to load all your maps at once, and they erase whatever maps were already loaded. At the bottom of the maps tab, it will tell you the number of map segments you are loading and how much space they take.

    The loading of multiple mapsets simultaneously is one of the reasons to buy maps on DVD, not SD cards.

    Routes, tracks and waypoints load differently - they will be added to whatever ones are already loaded into the GPS. This is why it's a good idea to clear them BEFORE loading the new ones for a big trip.

    Hope this helps....
    #9
  10. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    One nice feature in Mapsource that I use a lot is to view a route or track in Google Earth. You can generally see if a road and sometimes a trail actually exists.

    Sometimes a road shows on GE but not on any digitized map. It is tedious but I have created tracks between waypoints by iteratively going back and forth between Mapsourse and GE and getting the waypoints on the road I want a track for.
    #10