TAT - difference between Sam and gpsKevin

Discussion in 'Americas' started by emacs, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. emacs

    emacs Adventurer

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    Hello everybody,

    I'm from Germany and thinking about riding the TAT in 2014 or 2015. While I'm reading a lot in the Web I'm a little confused by the different offers of tracks and maps:

    There is the "inventor" of the TAT, Sam Correo, and his web site http://www.transamtrail.com/

    And there is gpsKevin, who offers tracks and digital maps for free and has figured out a coast to coast route, here https://sites.google.com/site/gpskevin/adventurerides/trans-america-trail - he refers to Sam Correo, but my questions are:

    Is the route from Tennessee to Oregon the same?

    Are these guys in competition, or do they work togethert?
    #1
  2. Beardoge

    Beardoge Been here awhile

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    Use GPS Kevins tracks, there the same but he doesn't charge for the use of free public roads....
    #2
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  3. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Truffle

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    It depends upon how you feel about compensating someone for doing all the tedious legwork for you.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4
    #3
  4. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

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    Yeah they are just public roads, I'm sure you guys can figure out as good of a route across the country as Sam did........

    Just buy his maps, and be done with it.
    #4
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  5. emacs

    emacs Adventurer

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    If the maps from gpsKevin offers the same routes, but are easier to handle, then I think its a good idea to use his digital maps and buy the printed map from Sam too. 'Cause I don't want to betray Sam - he's spent a lot of time for figuring out the TAT.
    #5
  6. BigShooter

    BigShooter Head Flunky

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    Like was mentioned earlier; depands on whether you think it is worth it to have had someone go out and find all the dead ends, non-existant roads, private drives, gas stops, etc. , for you so you can just go out and ride.
    Just searching the maps and finding ridable tracks in my little area is a chore. After watching numerous videos and reading quite a few ride reports from the TAT, I can only imagine the effort that Sam put into this was tremendous. Looking at it as "paying to use public roads" is a little short-sighted. You are, afterall, receiving extremely accurate and detailed maps and charts. Its not like your simply paying a toll to ride.
    On the other hand; I get the whole "open-source" angle gpsKevin is putting out, and links to with the TedTalk video. However, Sam isn't a multi billion dollar corporation fleecing people and dirty-dealing. He is just a guy with a product to sell.
    Search your conscience and decide whats best

    BTW: would you really want to come all the way over here to ride it with just a gps track?
    #6
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  7. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    By the way -

    Sam offers the TAT route in track form for those who don't want to go through the effort of creating GPS routes or tracks.

    I created my own routes from Sam's roll charts and in the process learned a LOT about what I was facing and the terrain I would be riding through. It does take a fair amount of time, but you learn much about the GPS in the process, and much about the areas....

    Gas, Food, Lodging information is not in the track files, but is in the roll charts. Spending time with maps or ride reports on here will help you with those issues.
    #7
  8. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    I just looked at Kevin's TAT tracks and there are several sections in there that are NOT the TAT as sold by Sam.

    Some of them are the old versions of the TAT, some are entirely different.

    Kevin's start in North Carolina on entirely made up stuff and goes to Jellico TN - the old starting spot that has been changed to reduce the amount of paved roads in TN and MS.

    Checked a few places in Colorado and Utah, and he is way off in many areas.

    Just so you know....
    #8
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  9. emacs

    emacs Adventurer

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    Which digital maps did you use for creating the routes? Garmin? Open Street Map?
    #9
  10. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I think it is nice that there are two routes to choose from. Some of the TAT is a little on the lame side in terms of being challenging. BTW I rode a KLR on the TAT.

    I have done a lot of riding in the west and I feel there are nicer rides in some areas than the TAT.

    Also I have no hangup about not having ridden the true TAT if I chose to deviate from it in places.

    OTH some of the riding in Utah and Nevada is on some pretty primitive roads. I think the average person would have had a hard time finding them. So hats off to Sam for finding and including these.

    As to creating routes and tracks, I didn't do it for the TAT. A corider did. But I do a lot of track creation for these types of rides. I normally use Garmin City Navigator, but at times use Topo 100 and Topo 24k.

    If you are new to this, I strongly recommend creating tracks from the routes and do the actual riding and navigating using the tracks or at the very least have the tracks as a backup when routing fails on your GPS unit.
    #10
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  11. ktm690jeff

    ktm690jeff n00b

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    I'm sure Sam is a really good guy, most guys that ride dirt bikes are. But come on now- Sam did not INVENT the TAT! . In other words he charges a toll to ride on land he does not own. He just logged it on maps, wrote about it, & rode it on his bike and is now selling it. I'm sure his intentions are good and he put lots of work into making his TAT available. But the truth is he did not invent it!

    With that said, I'm sure you could have fun riding either Kevin or Sam's TAT. As far as accuracy- I thought this was Adventure Rider website. What is up with your Adventure? Are you afraid you are going to get lost?
    #11
  12. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    I can speak first hand that his GPS tracks weren't reliable for me.. there were few missing gaps in his tracks in CO, UT, and NV. I had to slab when I arrived at the missing gap. :cry
    #12
  13. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Hallo, emacs; Bin Deutsch Amerikaner!

    Maybe Sam didn't invent the TAT but wouldn't you say he created it? Spend a lot of time mapping it since, then went back and corrected or diverted routes due to environmental changes; paved roads; etc. He went out there to make corrections and improvements again and again while others simly rode it and documented it via GPS collections! It's a lot of work...we have all appreciated his dedicated work since then. Now comes along someone who rode it and givng it away gratis... sure it's your choice and you are free to chose of who you want, BUT please do not paint Sam Correo in a different light.

    As for me, I got all his maps, roll charts, etc. - tracked or routed all his maps onto a GPS. Oh, Yes, I learned a lot mapping routes. "Tracks" for constant curved roads, field crossings, etc. but instant "routes" for long straightways or existing State roads where one cannot get lost; just follow the road. All these were transferred to the GPS... followed! Maps and roll charts were on standby atop my tank bag and roll chart holder. Roll charts were hardly consulted. Were there discrepancies, oh, sure... mostly the fault of my own for having mis-read some of his maps then transferred to the GPS.

    My GPS created "tracks" and "routes" were very reliable up to Lake City, Co. where I ceased riding the TAT. I would rather have a paper map/roll chart back up to the GPS only in case your GPS goes on the blink or your crash.



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    My rides accessibility was at times somewhat "limited" all due to this::rofl:clap:norton but had huge amounts of fun doing it.

    cheers...
    #13
  14. Billp1301

    Billp1301 n00b

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    "19th Century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour saving machinery". History tells us they lost!!!!

    Me, I go with progress. I go GPS everyday. Why would I want to study paper when Google have spent billions developing a superb worldwide 3D model that lets me see where GPSkevin will be sending me on my TAT ride (call it Trans America Route if it makes you feel better) Then when you get home using your GPS you can see where you went, how long you stopped, why you went right / wrong etc etc etc.

    Outer banks North Carolina to Oregon off road. Thanks Kevin. Spot on all the way. Only 1 barred route!!

    Me I use paper in the toilet.
    #14
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  15. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Of course, I go with GPS all the time too..many did. Some traditionalists went 100% paper map/roll chart, etc. and I applaud them. It was part of their Adventure, no cheating..:lol3! Paper..well, gets you a more understanding of the terrain, mapology, geography. If you just want to zoom through and claim "I did the TAT" then of course go GPS whole hog where Sams maps have been loaded into the GPS!

    We're also talking here about preserving/supporting Sam Correos TAT creation for which he worked so diligently hard making it possible to run across the US from his home state via dirt sans (then) GPS. He and only HE created it while others are trying to defund, repeal or disect it. Not nice!!

    Don't worry Sammy, you got a huge following and thank you for all you've done for us real TAT'ers.


    cheers...
    #15
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  16. lopaca

    lopaca Been here awhile

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    Come on boys, if it is about the money, then maybe you should pick another hobby. I, like most of us on this board, have spent money on a whole bunch of stuff for my bike that was nowhere near the value for the money spent for Sam's maps.

    If it is a matter of principle, then fine, don't buy the maps, but REALLY? I mean come on, you get the route, printed maps (I always have printed maps as an adjunct to my gps on any trip dirt or slab, just in case...), and roll charts and some cool stickers. :D

    On top of it all he is a really cool guy. He responds to emails promptly and even offered to meet us at the beginning of one of our trips to help us get started.

    It is not like he is holding the route hostage for crying out loud! Maybe it's a nice way to say thanks for the all the time and hard work, granted he did it for the love of the ride, but REALLY?....:huh
    #16
  17. Clockwatcher

    Clockwatcher Been here awhile

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    The last time I rode ( Nov 11-16 , 2013 ) the TAT we had the maps and route sheets, and also used the GPS stuff, got both from Sam......Thanks Sam....went west on the south route, and returned on the north route.

    Now to the point ...........if you don't want to ride Sam's route.......don't!!!
    Go and find your own route across this entire country......there are thousands of them.......just find them, make your own ride keep it a secret......wouldn't want anyone to ride your route.......wouldn't want anyone else to enjoy seeing what you see or following you on your adventure.........wouldn't want you to make a dime for your trouble or expenses.......I believe that is capitalism.......

    So there you have it..........don't like Sam's TAT........Do your own!!!!![​IMG]
    #17
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  18. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    have ridden about half Trans American Trail on Bicycle. was planning on riding the motorcycle TAT and purchased a full set of maps. but had I known about gpsKevin's open source efforts. would not have purchased maps.

    from gpsKevin's site:

    About Sharing the TAT: I believe in an open source ride world, so I give away all the info to share the ride, in the hopes that others will do the same with other great rides. I have ridden the entire Trans America Trail, and studied it greatly and collected feedback from many sources and refined it. But it will be an adventure because things do change from year to year. gpsKevin

    Download Printable TAT Ride Maps Download the TAT GPS Maps Download the TAT Tracklogs Download the TAT Waypoints

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    here's the bicycle TAT
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    #18
  19. ktm690jeff

    ktm690jeff n00b

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    Betray Sam, buy maps and be done with it -Blah Blah Blah. I can see why some folks need to ride with a side car- you need the space to carry all the maps and books to ride the TAT. (Nice ride by the way :rofl )I'm guessing those of you loyal followers don't buy generic items either. Should I take a Tylenol or Acetaminophen for the headache some of you fellas are giving me?
    #19
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  20. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Here is my .02 cents..

    I do appreciate the hard work that Sam has provided for creating the TAT routes.. no question! If I understand correctly, Sam had to re-route few of TAT routes in few states? Let's be honest, how long can he keep up with re-routing? It is possible TAT will live on after Sam has reached his limit on earth.. then what?

    I think Sam has already got his cost covered and the smart thing would be to make it open source. Let other locals monitor the trail and report back any changes and rerouting trails. Reduce the cost of map/etc to the actual cost of publishing and shipping, and provide GPS tracks for free like TCAT. Seriously, I think TAT is due for version 3 with colors assigned for some technical difficult that you can see in TCAT GPS tracks.. And honestly, how many of us feel the need to motel it every night?? I love camping and stealth camping is more fun so how about few waypoints of campground and such?

    There is nothing wrong with getting credit for being a TAT founder and then make it open source like TCAT. At least his name will always live on as long as TAT exist.

    EDIT: And seriously, how long can Sam babysit this project? I think it would be good idea to include the community that share the same passion as Sam does and keep TAT alive for as long as the community can keep it alive. That's another food for thought. Also, if Sam expires then what? It is not like he owns the copyright information because it is all public information? Will his children and/or grandchildren take over and share the same passion as we do? We don't know that for sure?
    #20
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