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Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by AugustFalcon, May 18, 2011.
Given that some of the road/trail data on many maps is wrong or non-existent, Google Earth is the only way to determine if there is in fact a road or trail there, and even it can lie to you. Sometimes the road/trail is broken by washouts or landslides and the break is hidden under trees or in shadow. If I can see the road over it's entire length, or if I can see that wheel tracks or motorcycle tracks continue on either side of the hidden portion, I will use GE to create a track and then import it as a GPX file into Basecamp, and then to the Montana. In spite of all this work to get a route, I will never, ever trust it completely unless I have ridden it that year! Many times I have tried a trail I used to ride and it has become impassable or closed. FS motto: We close roads and trails.
Good point. But if you absolutely need visual evidence before you trust the map info, you can also use plain old Google Maps. I'm pretty sure that the satellite view they use is the same satellite view you see in Google Earth, isn't it?
Bing Maps aerial view should also serve the same purpose. And the satellite view in Mapquest. Or am I missing something?
Yes, GE and GM use the same sat photos. The only difference is that GE offers a slightly higher zoom level. But GM has street names, so it's a toss-up. I've never used Bing and rarely Mapquest, so I don't know about them, and if they allow you to draw a track and export it. GE is what I'm most familiar with.
GE also has street names but they don't show up until zoomed in further
There are a lot of sources for aerial imagery - FWIW none of the higher resolution stuff is satellite imagery, it's done with aircraft... lot's of aerial surveys are done yearly or more - e.g. our county does them every year for many purposes including property valuation and their images that are publicly available are even better than the GE/GM images... some agricultural users do them as often as weekly or more for NDVI images - forestry does NDVI on a less regular basis tho
I've found 20-30 sources in the past and different tools to view that have access to them all
GM is ubiquitous and routes, gives traffic and other useful overlays
GE is a cool tool/UI, reminds me of spinning the globes around and being endlessly fascinated when I was a kid... I can kill a long time in google earth as an old guy
Take a look at gpsvisualizer.com. Many map and imaging options and one click download .gpx process. And free.
Having been an aerial photographer, I know the resolution is much better, but I have not found sources that let you define an area and select images easily. What I have tried is quite cumbersome.
The last time I was going after the alternative imagery was for a project I was working on in 2012-2013 - last time I accessed them was 2017. The tools I was using had reasonably good aerial route planning capabilities - likely be fine for ground but just never tried that. Great images from a ton of sources though. I still have the virtual machine I used for that so if I have some time I'll crank it up and see what I can update...
It's funny how this wraps around... I'd been using a 76cx to "survey" points (averaging for a while) back then - I'd also been using far more accurate hardware (<10cm) too but for quick and dirty using the 76cx. I was getting decent accuracy with the 76, usually sub-meter and seldom more than 1.5m if clear sky and not too much nearby multipath sources which was good enough for most of what we were doing. Then I purchased the montana. Survey points with the montana were far worse than the 76cx and not usable. Oh well, I guess that keeps this jabbering on the topic of the thread
Yes, "accuracy" turns out to be very much a relative thing. Measurements that are good enough for terrestrial navigation where we can see the road/trail ahead of us, or not, are a very long way from accurate enough for creating maps. Once I'm following a trail/road, I really don't much care if the navigation line I'm following is 1 or 2 or 3 meters away from the actual track. I've got constant visual feedback from reality to guide me now.
Definitely depends on use!
We were setting drone waypoints and 1m is fine, 2m pushing things when you are 1-2m from the ground or landing - we used ultrasonic for ground detection so only needed 5-6m or so in elevation, just enough to get close enough to detect the ground. We'd sanity check the waypoints on the aerial images just to make sure they weren't way off but you can't really trust their accuracy so they're weren't good enough for the waypoint creation.
I had been using the 76cx for most of the points and never had an issue... have to laugh 'cus when I got montana it was a much newer unit and when we were finding that the aircraft was ending up too far off didn't think to check the survey gps accuracy since we were constantly fiddling the nav/control loops in the aircraft and montana was a much newer (better?) unit... took a fair bit of system debugging to figure out it was the survey gps LOL... Man we got those loops really tuned. That thing was usually within 1cm or two of where the GNSS radio position would state and the aircraft GNSS radio we were using was usually <10cm. We got it to the point where it was like it was hyper-caffeinated doing high speed micro-adjustments... but it would still hold position even when it was in super turbulent 30mph winds... hardest part was getting it to track super accurately moving horizontally at changing speeds while descending/ascending... fun time...
Yes, horizontal movement will give you headaches if you need tight accuracy. Most consumer GPS units don't sample quickly enough for that.
@Bullwinkle and I were part of a two-year trial to see if it was possible/desirable to use GPS technology on motorcycles for insurance premium purposes. Among the [many] issues we helped uncover with the proposed technology in general and the specific supplier's approach in particular, was the issue of sampling frequency. Once per second is nowhere near accurate enough for some things: determining road speed around curves, for instance.
I have a unit that samples 10 times per second rather than the once per second that the test units were sampling. When I used it for some comparison runs it showed up a number of issues with slower sampling rate of the supplied test units. (We won't get into some of the holes in their methodology that you could drive a semi through.).
Agreed - I've been using 50Hz units
5Hz is generally adequate, but just barely, 10-20Hz is easy to get and is likely enough for most.. since I have access to 50Hz, I use them
So my Montana which has been trouble free since day one in 2011 just sufferd a broken power button. Options now that it is not supported?
If there are no sensible options what would be the preferred go to for similar features for mainly adventure riding and tracks?
I have a refurbished 600 that I've been using for 7 or 8 years. If it ever dies, I'll just go on the hunt for a refurbished unit of pretty much any model of Montana.
My montana died of the same fate
I used a different unit until I finally decided to get the refurb with more an eye on selling it but the few folks that made offers gave silly lowballs - closer to the refurbishment cost... so it sat just as a potential backup to the 276cx - same mount, very handy.... never used it as a backup... funny thing - once the refurb program quit then I got some more realistic offers, but still not enough to justify... I put a mount on my other electric bike that I mostly use for a loaner and that's a very happy home for it although it doesn't really get used all that much...
I am a little worried about that too. My refurbished unit is about 5 years old. I see one can still buy the 610 series of units.
I think I would probably buy one of these.
I get the impression that Garmin is not refurbishing the 600 series anymore. At least they don't have the replacement deal. I don't know if anybody else is refurbishing them, or if I would trust them.
I don't think I really need the bells and whistles of the new models and don't want to pay for them.
But I thought that when I switched from the 60 to the Montana. And I am really happy I made that switch.
Do those units with the broken power buttons still auto turn on when put in a powered mount or have a USB connected?
Mine did but it wasn't really usable that way, especially since I was using it more for the bicycle - but even with a powered mount or usb doing things like changing the backlight level are a problem
I've been using mine in the motorcycle mount for so long that the backlight level is exactly where I want it. I can't remember the last time I used the power button other than to turn it on/off when I connect it to the computer, occasionally, to check for updates. In a pinch, I could just put it in the powered mount to turn it on, remove it from the mount and poke the "Stay On" button before taking it in to connect to the computer. Reverse the process to turn it off.
Yeah, a nuisance, I know. But for as often as I would have to do it I wouldn't mind. Still w-a-y better than having to use my backup Zumo or spend the money for a new Montana.
By the way, has anyone noticed that you can't run some of the 7xx series on AA batteries?
I'm the opposite with backlight level - I turn it up as much as it takes to be readable in the day and it can be different depending on conditions - down as far as it can go at night and still be readable... I seem to remember that the night brightness was like the second or third step up or so (276cx is perfect at the lowest for night, I rarely use it at full brightness)
The inreach 7xx versions won't run on AA's, the non-inreach will