Map software

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Bubblehead, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead Been here awhile

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    I know it is a matter of opinion, but I'm working with a plan to head to the great white north this summer, and was wonder what mapping software everyone is using. I have the Delorme, Map and Go, but I'd like something better. It doesn't do cAnAdA well...eh?
    :ear
    TIA
    #1
  2. Smith898

    Smith898 Dancin Man

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    go to the great white north reginol forum and start a thread they should have a good answer fo ya.
    #2
  3. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I've been happy with (Garmin)Metroguide Canada 4. Some of the maps are a bit outdated, but the detail is pretty good overall.
    #3
  4. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    As far as I know, Garmin is the only GPS company that hasmap software of Canada.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #4
  5. Fin

    Fin Kahoon's my daddy!

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    If you're using a Garmin check out their website. City Select North America covers Canada really well as far as main and secondary roads as well as cities and Topo Canada will cover all the logging roads and trails you'll ever be able to run. I have been using City Select for over a year now and am really happy with it and I'll add Topo this spring for more knarly adventures. I also use Microsoft's Streets and Trips at work to shuffle our team of photogs around and it has never let me down locally or across Canada.

    Cheers

    Fin
    #5
  6. BobM

    BobM DualSport

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    Try it before you buy it! It sucks. All the remote areas I've compared with the Canada Metroguide V4 have identical roads/trails to Topo BUT you can't see the roads for the contour lines.

    Bob
    #6
  7. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Gotta agree with BobM. Actually the best one for logging roads around where I live is the Canadian Enhanced basemap.
    #7
  8. Fin

    Fin Kahoon's my daddy!

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    BobM, ZZR_Ron

    Tell me more cause I'm in shopping mode... I've only used Topo Canada once and for the region I was in it was pretty good, can you give me more details on why you like the other options amd where to research them. Also has anyone ever used www.canadianmaps.ca?

    Fin
    #8
  9. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    Fin.

    TopoCanada in many cases is not even giving me as much road detail as
    Metroguide4 for bush roads. As Bob mentioned, it puts all kinds of lines on
    the screen, indicating altitude, which clutter things up badly.
    Also, it eats memory like crazy.
    I wish we had a version like USA Roads and Recreation, which is
    pretty awesome.

    EDIT: I think you can demo various software on the Garmin site.
    #9
  10. Fin

    Fin Kahoon's my daddy!

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    Now that's something I hadn't thought of, topo detail eating memory, and I'm surprized to hear that you're getting more road detail from Metroguide. I hadn't given it much of a look thinking it was basically the same as City Select but I will now. Thanks Ron.

    Cheers

    Fin

    BTW Have you given much thought on when you might get down this way for an early season ride?
    #10
  11. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    I don't know when I'll get down that way, I'm sorta waiting to see if I still
    have a job! The Canadian paper industry is going to hell pretty fast.

    Edit: I forgot to mention, I don't even have Topo loaded on my computer any more.

    I just have a little Etrex legend, with a combination of Metro Canada 4, for the
    2 closest cities (Thunder Bay and Winnipeg) and the Canadian enhanced basemap for the rest of the roads. CEB actually gives me the best "bush
    road" detail, and I can load about half of Canada into the Legends 8 meg.

    Metroguide 4 does have pretty amazing detail for the cities.


    PS Good lord! Just realized I'm over 1000 posts! I gotta get a life....
    Spring will be here someday!
    #11
  12. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    I got all three, and the Enhanced Basemap is the most useful for me. But it lacks the autorouting and poi data, so I have both the enhanced basemap and city nav loaded, then select which I want it to use in the menu.
    #12
  13. Fin

    Fin Kahoon's my daddy!

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    This is a bit of an eye opener (read newbie). The more I learn about gps the more there is to learn, I love it! So i guess the best way to go is to drop the Topo Canada idea and go enhanced base map. OK now comes the really stupid question... wait for it... How the hell do i get the enhanced basemap software? I just spent the last 20 minutes strolling around garmin's website and haven't found it. I'm running a gpsmap 276c and didn't find any links from it's description page so does that mean the 276 doesn't run it? Ya, I said it was a stupid question. But come on, don't keep this geek in suspence any longer! :huh

    Fin
    #13
  14. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    It comes as part of the metroguide canada software. It's about 29 meg for the data, and 57 meg for the whole metro 3 disk.
    #14
  15. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    BTW, best thing you can do is start using that 276 all the time. Going to the store? Take it. Mess with it. Screw with the buttons. They work really well, but you need to understand how they work, and how their logic processes routing requests. It's invaluable training for when you start riding with it. Being well versed with that thing will make it a useful tool on the bike, not a hinderance, or worse, a danger.

    I been messin' with them for about 12 years now, great tool in the hands of the practiced. :thumb
    #15
  16. Sammi

    Sammi 1/2 2 ride

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    My 2 cents, I use a pocket pc with Oziexplorer software. It's a third party software that will handle almost anyones didgital data. All my maps are topo's from Quo Vadis Navigator and they provide excellent detail. Ozi will also handle marine charts if your ride floats. The pc is bluetooth enabled so a Garmin GPS10 is all that is req'd.
    What's nice is that I can still use MS pocket streets for all other poi data or route info.
    Wifi also gives you access to this place when in need of a fix. All this and more in one device, UnFnBelbl. :eek1
    #16
  17. Fin

    Fin Kahoon's my daddy!

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    Ahhhh! That makes sense. Thought I was losing it bigtime. Thanks Drift. And yes I am taking it everywhere cause I need the practice. Like you said "Take it. Mess with it. Screw with the buttons. They work really well, but you need to understand how they work, and how their logic processes routing requests." Right now it's still me making the mistakes and ending up on a page that I wasn't expecting. That will change with time being stubborn and all. :D

    Thanks

    Fin
    #17
  18. tor1150r

    tor1150r --

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    I've been using a Garmin Legend-C (24 mb memory), with Canada metroguide 4 (updating with each full update via garmin.com). I have found this unit quite suitable, despite the smaller screen size than that of the 276, Street Pilots, etc.

    The Mapsource software for Canada does not get updated as frequently as the US. After planning many routes with this combo, and creating an Atlantic trip this summer, I have learned to get around some of Mapsource's quirks. Still...I am very happy with it.

    I use the software in conjunction with MapArt road maps. I find MapArt to be the most accurate and up-to-date (runner up is Rand-McNally).

    Whichever system/method you use...KNOW YOUR ROUTE and take a road map(s) with you. I have also learned, from experience, that the GPS is 2nd to a map...albeit a close 2nd. Sometimes the auto-routing kicks in and will direct you to a more expedient path - which may not be your desired route.


    Bottom line_______
    The Garmin/Mapsource combo has been excellent for me.
    #18
  19. BobM

    BobM DualSport

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    The Canada Enhanced Basemap has been discontinued. This isn't any big loss as it was very inaccurate (i.e. roads were often over 0.5Km from where the map showed them). It's main advantage was it took an incredibly small amount of GPS memory. I've had a Garmin eTrex Legend for several years and it's 8MB was quite adequate then as I could load all of Eastern Canada into 8MB using CEB. It was included on the original Canada Metroguide, as was Canada Roads and Recreation. Unfortunately, C R&R was nowhere near as good as the USA R&R (which I use for all my rides in the US), so it's also no loss now that it's obsolete.
    The good news is that Canada Metroguide V4 (the currently available version) combines the best of all 3 previous Canada mapsets, plus more. I haven't found any back roads or logging/forest access roads that were on CEB that aren't on MG V4. But MG V4 has all the backroad names (CEB didn't) so it's really easy to tie your GPS screen small view to the big pictures using MapArt Ontario Atlas.
    Unfortunately, MG V4 takes about 50 MB to load S. Ontario and with my 8MB I can't load enough for a day of local dualsport riding. I'm just about to buy one of the new Garmin "x" series GPS which have a removable MicroSD memory card, so I can get an extra 512MB card for $70 and load all the maps I need for 1-2 week trips.

    Bob
    #19
  20. Fin

    Fin Kahoon's my daddy!

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    This is all beginning to make some real sense now. It sounds like to me that Metroguide V4 is the way to go instead of adding Canada Topo to the City Select that I already have. Can anyone clarify for me just where city select leaves off and metroguide takes off. I'm just not sure how the two compare.

    Oops, one-year-climbing stairs, gotta run.

    Fin
    #20