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The decline of stand alone sat nav

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by iggs, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Hell, I actually use Basecamp. I wasted the time to learn it, so I still stick with it. Create the track in BC, upload it to dropbox, DL it to phone, select and navigate. Don't even have to connect a cable between my PC and device like I did with all those Garmins.
    #61
  2. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    I know you have a file size issue but using GDB (a proprietary Garmin format) is a big inhibitor for some since they don't use Garmin's computer software. I'd rather deal with multiple files than have to convert the data to another format.
    #62
  3. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    You're basis is in reference to most tiniest mintuia of a tiny group of users. :lol3
    #63
  4. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer Supporter

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    I should preface this to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a dedicated GPS and agree there are circumstances where they may be preferred. And it probably isn't fair to lump mapping needs in with recreational needs..

    1 & 2: Correct that my needs are more than what most people require. My applications include data collection for mapping and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) use. Requirements are different as is the need to collect more associated information than simple geometry. The point I was trying to make is that dedicated units simply don't allow anything more than what is provided out-of-the-box. What that means for the recreational user is that, unfortunately, you are limited to what is provided: Tracks and routes. A 'computer' with a usable OS is inherently more flexible. IF other formats and options were available, I think that would be good for everyone. There are some cool applications on Android & IOS that recreational users could really enjoy: ArcGIS mobile, Arc Explorer, Avenza PDF maps (see my last post) that expand the capacity of a GPS and user experience. Locus Pro (on Android) for example has many different map layers and sources that can be loaded depending on what you want to use. Some are targeted for hiking, some for biking, some for navigation. These are not all available on dedicated units.

    2 & 3: GeoPDF, vector Shapefiles (from a GIS) and kml/kmz formats add a lot of functionality. I believe Garmin can use KML so that is something. Geographic image formats such as .tiff, .jp2, .img would be nice as well. But the ability to connect to 'Web Map Services' (WMS) is really a huge. There are Android/IOS apps that can handle some or most of these.

    People use Tracks and Routes because that is all that is available. They work for specific applications and are suitable for some recreational use, but maybe not the best for others. The Shapefile for example, could really enhance the capabilities of a GPS if it were available as an option. And for the record, I haven't found a good app on Android that handles shapfiles like ArcPad does on Windows Mobile. I (and others!) have been begging for an Android port of ArcPad but ESRI is (I think) driving everyone to their Server GIS (ArcGIS Mobile). I don't like it..

    Button controls and the overall form-factor of dedicated units is certainly a plus. As is battery life. But (for me) not at the expense of overall functionality. If Garmin allowed developers to write applications for their units, I think they would be well ahead of the game. Instead, they keep it locked down which only drives users to other platforms..

    And I think I'm rambling too much..! :evil
    #64
  5. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    keep on ramblin, please.


    GIS in general i'm just starting to dabble with. ok, not really dabble, maybe "ok i turned it on and read the wiki" is about it. but it's geewize neato stuff.


    there is a beta group for LocusGIS http://www.locusmap.eu/locus-gis-android-gis-application/?lang=en and i mean yes, it really is beta. Lots of things are missing you'd expect to find, things are fixed and broken often. if it can do something for you, great, but i'm expecting with your experience you could contribute more by bug reports and FEATURE REQUESTS to the developers. if it's a good fit, great, if not, well shucks, maybe next time :)
    #65
  6. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    I have two problems; file size for gdb vs gpx and the pueny file size limit on AdvRider. This is why all I can post on Adv is teaser files of things like GWT/PCQ/CDR and users must go to GPSXchange.com for the real data. I can post either on GPSX but just to lazy to save gpx as Mapsource defaults to gdb. I am already spending thousands of $ out of pocket just to share my hobby, let them do some work or eat cake! On the way to Moab to GPS more of the Old Spanish Trail. It's a dirty job but someone must do it!

    Do you really think that registered users on GPSX who almost exclusively use Garmin don't have MS or BC?

    Finished dinner in Needles back on the road to Prescott.
    #66
  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    gpx positives:
    easier distribution, both for you and the subsiquent users of them
    universally acceptable/usable without any proprietary software (or hardware) requirements
    one file, for all devices
    smaller file size
    easily editable, even on the phone/tablet
    i think some of the garmins can transmit gpx's to each other, without basecamp or mapsource, right between devices too ?


    gpx negatives:
    two extra clicks while exporting
    ???
    #67
  8. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Well, Jerry is correct in that even the GPX file compressed (ZIP) is still ~50% larger than the same file exported from MS/BC in GDB format. As example, Jerry's GWT file in GDB=1.8MB and in compressed GPX=2.6MB. That of course is because the GDB file is binary and the GPX is text.

    If someone is using BaseCamp, which Jerry does not, there are no extra clicks for GPX export - it's the default.

    A small issue with using MapSource is that the GPX formatter is out of date. If one doesn't want to risk loss of information, all files should be exported from MapSource using GDB format and then Imported into BaseCamp. Then, that data can be Exported using the latest Garmin GPX schema. If you're using very basic data types (Tracks and basic Waypoints) there most likely will not be any problems if you don't do the export from BaseCamp.
    #68
  9. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    Actually, GPX files are MUCH bigger than GDB files.

    On a file I have posted here, in GDB it is 1850kb, in GPX it is 10,082kb.

    Can't do it with the file posted on ADVrider.

    I have to host it somewhere else and link to it from here.

    The file is only 1/5th of the whole route.

    I've tried both Locus Pro and OSMand+, both have issues for what I do and don't work for me.

    OSMand+ has a nice display of the map, but all tracks are changed in color to Cyan, if you have more than one track in a GPX file - all tracks are renamed to Track001, Track002, etc. So it's a no go for me. That file referenced above - The Northern Route - Rockies - has 37 tracks in 6 different colors, color coded to mean different things.

    Locus Pro handles the tracks OK (it does change the track colors slightly, but I can work with that), but the basic map isn't easy to see. There are other themes that you can use - not easily - that make it better but still not good. Bottom line, too hard to read while riding.

    Both were set up on a Samsung Galaxy 3 Tab 7".

    Was able to get the maps set up OK for both packages, easier for OSMand as you can directly use OSMmaps, can also use OSM maps on the Locus but you gotta go through several external steps.

    So, I'll stay with my stand alone Garmin GPS's for some time to come.
    #69
  10. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    thanks for the correction on filesizes guys !


    osmand+ has a lot of limitations for multiple tracks, which i see you're bumping into there. the color coding and other features of osmand are really lacking, when compared to other apps. as fast as osmand is developed, i'm not sure why those things are left unchanged when it really should be addressed. weird.

    1 you should have proper track colors (whatever is coded for each track) if folder attributes are turned off for them. if folder att's are 'on', they may be all the same like osmand (ugh) or whatever that folder is set to.

    2 basic map.... mmm... you're refering to vector based maps here right ? the locus store has OSM maps (vector based) of the whole world for download, along with a few themes, so no external sources are needed there. unfortunately, there will never ever ever ever be a 'perfect' vector based map, mostly because I like green eggs and ham, but you like blue eggs and ham, or orange, or purpple, or don't like eggs and ham at all. lots of preferences here. there are settings to improve (often the subject) the street name views, but again, eggs are eggs.

    3 hmm, ya, it's definitely NOT setup for the view we're used to with 3D street views, intersections, and lane guidance while in turnbyturn mode. i'd suggest something like Here Beta for that, or Sygic, or Garmin's stuff, or something. while you're riding though, locus can still record tracks in the background just fine, without impacting the battery life much at all. so you have your GPS-like navigtation, and tracking still.

    4 please see the locus store

    5 understood. lots of great stuff out there to use (and abuse) - might as well have some fun :)
    #70
  11. NorthernTraveler

    NorthernTraveler Long time Adventurer

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    If you go through the Locus Store to get the OSM maps you pay for them.

    You can get them for free, but you have to go to a different web site, down load them, copy them to the correct folder, and THEN you can use them.

    Also, you don't know if they are updated since you downloaded them.

    In OSMand+ they are shown on the Vector Maps page which also shows the version date and checks to see if there are updates available. All in one place.

    Yeah, we're talking about Vector maps.

    I never use 3d view of maps, I always use overhead view - often I'm looking at what other roads are available in an area and what goes through and what doesn't. In Garmin you can often also see the grade of road based upon line width and color... unfortunately in some counties (I use the old R&R ALOT) fine green line is secondary paved, in others it's gravel. Not overall consistent, but at least you can interpolate based on the roads you've already encountered.
    #71
  12. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    I guess we have digressed from the future of stand alones to data management.

    Wondered what the difference was that used so many bits (text is also binary bits but many more of them).

    Yes I manage all my tracks with Mapsource. I have over 4,000 files that take 1.25 G. I just looked at the few where I still have both gdb & gpx, the gpx is 5-6 times larger. I have no world outside Tracks and Waypoints.

    I only save one as gpx so I can post on Adv then usually delete it as soon as posted so as to not get confused which is latest. Like Dan observed I should probably post second gpx copy on GPSXchange to help some users but also it provides link direct to Google Earth to view map.

    My only other use for gpx files is that they are the best way to download tracks to new generation Garmin users. Mapsource will do it but it will not put them in the Archive Folder (see post on New Garmin track manager). Also gpx is the only way to download to Trail Tech and a few other devices that show up at my rides. In those cases I actually copy to their micro SD in my lap top card slot.

    I do have a general PC question. Can I have two versions of Mapsource installed?

    The early versions had a box to control the "Show on Map" bit. I think the same time they added the Draw Track tool, they deleted the box. This is very inconvenient. To set the bit on each Track, I must download all Tracks to my GPS, Open each Track and set the bit, then upload back to PC , to I can download Tracks to customers ready to use. Obviously users of new generation units with Garmin's extremely unfriendly user interface must screw around for 20 minutes and ask me a bunch of dumb questions. It would be much easier to open my ride file with old version of Mapsource and check/set he "Show on Map" bit all right on the PC.
    #72
  13. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Catching up. I try to convey Hard/Easy even though I think they should all ride the Hard way, crew them if they can't ride. I would rather not even deal with a rider that does not know if he is going up or going down or he doesn't know if he is in the low desert to high mountains.
    #73
  14. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Yes both of us are quite obvious about our outlook probably based on life experiences. I spent most of my life working on very conservative NASA projects, the last 15 years on manned ultra conservative projects.

    My previous bosses would have told you:

    I ask what time it is, you just told me how to build a clock!

    I want you to KISS which is Keep It Simple Stupid!

    And the most common NASA response to my great ideas "Better is the Enemy of Good"!
    #74
  15. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Yeah, when I heard responses like those in my DoD life, I usually suggested they find someone else for the job - since the problem was seldom simple and I didn't think I was stupid.
    #75
  16. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    i must be a luddite.I like my LITTLE sony xperia go but it stays in my pocket .
    I dont use a gps on my bike at all,or have music.
    My nuvi and ipod goes with me everywhere wether in the car or in my 4wd.
    I would have a nuvi ised montana with 5 in screen in an instant.I love the stable powerd mounts proper gpsr have.
    I refuse to spend hundreds and hundreds on phones or gpsrs
    The sony comes out when i want to check emails,adv rider etc only when required.
    #76
  17. Downs

    Downs KK6RBI

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    And some people like to pedal their bikes across the country. Doesn't make them any less right or wrong.:freaky
    #77
  18. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Agree with post above, is there any remote connection to the subject of this Thread in the post two up?
    #78
  19. KLF

    KLF Adventurer

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    Upgrading and keeping updated my standalone TomTom 930 with current maps would cost about 50-80e /year depending on what kind of deal they throw in my inbox. For some reason I haven't updated it for couple years anymore since I got a decent smartphone. Even the free Google maps or whatever is built-in iPhones is good enough, altough needs live connection.

    Buying TomTom maps app for iPhone was 35e one time thing with lifetime maps. I can use it in all my iDevices: two iphones and one ipad. 99% of my use so far has been in car, basically work-related.

    That just differs by country and operator.

    Back in the days we never had any real difference between smart- or dumb phones. Basic plans would just include data that was charged by MB (super-expensive) instead of fixed monthly price so every smart person would get a data plan addition when they upgrade to smartphone and rest got it after they received their first bill with new phone :D

    So much for off-topic :)

    This summer I'm planning to use waterproof case for my phone, connected to my n-com with bluetooth/cable and 12V from bike. Or I'll just stuff it into the tank bag.

    Software-wise that previously mentioned TomTom will be enough for now: if I find myself outside asphalt road it's time to call paramedics anyways. Last summer I missed few times some nice twisties that I planned to take because I simply rode past the intersection in area I had not been in before.
    #79
  20. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Anyone still using Mapsource probably still uses Windows 98. :lol3
    #80