GPS overlay maps?^

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Vulch
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GPS overlay maps?^

Post by Vulch » Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:22 pm

I am just about to get an Etrex Legend - this is the one that has the overlay map facility... but I have a few questions:

1) How much does it cost to buy the maps? Are they on a CD? Do you buy all of the UK OS maps on one CD or do you have to buy each area seperately? Can this data be downloaded from somewhere on the Web?

2) Does anyone produce GPS overlays of Admiralty Charts?

3) How easy is it to transfer the data onto the GPS unit? Will I need an additional cable? Is the data compatible with iMacs?


All advice gratefully received...

Vulch

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Mar 03, 2006 2:01 pm

Hi Vulch you need to buy Garmin blue charts or the recently introduced garmin topo land maps which are simplified versions of os 1:50,000 maps but in vector format rather than bitmap format like Anquet and Memory map which you cannot download to your GPS.
Douglas

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Pelagic
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Post by Pelagic » Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:11 pm

Hi Vulch,
unfortunately Bluechart and Topo software isnt Mac compatable, and as far as I am aware Garmin have no plans to make it so.
However if you happen to have access to a pc running windoze, it shouldnt be too much of a problem.

Phil

Memory Map will export Chart overlays to a PDA (pocket pc) but not a GPS.
unfortunately this software is also incompatible with a Mac, however I have heard a rumour its possible to use an emulator, Virtual PC? to get it to work

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Mike Marshall
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Garmin Etrex

Post by Mike Marshall » Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:06 pm

Have you tried looking at the ipaq type deals at the moment?
THere are some out there that incorporate a GPS unit and this allows memory map to be used (requires a PC of course). Some deals around the £200.
THere is nothing better than colour moving map OS on a 4" LCD, although they are a little battery hungry due to their size (2-3 hours). You can also supplement this with a solar charging unit strapped somewhere on the deck, this runs them infinitely. (dont think you can get the iSun any more, but there are others available)
Garmin units, although very good on batteries, are very boring viewing, esp monochrome.
Imho, I believe that OS is better than sea charts on the deck.

Regards

Mike

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Douglas Wilcox
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Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:33 pm

Not sure I agree about charts/OS on a GPS.

Here is an OS 1:50000 of Corran Narrows
Image

Here is the same on Garmin Bluechart
Image

You get much more detail off the blue chart as the detail increases as you zoom in.

Before I got my Garmin GPSMAP76CS I tried my pocket PC with Anquet maps and GPS back. It just wasn't practical for a sea kayak trip.

Here are a couple of shots of the new Garmin topo map of the UK
Image

Image

The cost of the entire GB mainland topo map at 1:50;000 including Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland DVD is £150. You can also use it on a computer to plan point to point routes on roads.

TheBluechart DVD with access to one region like the west of Scotland is £114 but you can zoom into charts of much larger scale than 1:50000 On some GPS units you can point to a tidal station and get tidal information for any time over the next 50 years.

I will be doing a review of types of GPS and their uses in a future Paddles. I will also put it on my own site.

A really cool GPS is the Magellan Explorist XL Europe Magellan do similar charts and topo maps to Garmin.

Douglas

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Mike Marshall
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Magellan with Bluechart

Post by Mike Marshall » Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:55 pm

Douglas,
I can see and agree your point with the level of detail on the nautical maps, particularly the Bluechart, impressive.
If you check the price of the Magellan you linked, then the price of the mapping software, you are not far off the price of a good secondhand boat!
You need to try the new LV Quest!!!

Although there are some useful points on the nautical maps, I personally cant see that I would need that amount of detail for a vessel with 5" of draught and a forward speed of 3-5 knots (dependant upon the amount of Ardbeg consumed the night before). I would have transcribed the relevant points from the Imray chart onto my laminated sheet before setting off :-)

Its all personal choice, but like all gadget freaks, I will probably get one!!
Mike

Rockpool
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GPS

Post by Rockpool » Sat Mar 04, 2006 4:29 pm

After much research I went the Garmin 60CSx route with a 512Mb card. I find using the OS style MemoryMaps on the PC easier, more familiar and more detailed than Garmin's own vector topo maps. You also get 3D flythrough..! Great to re-live a mountain bike ride. It's a shame that you can't have fully detailed OS maps on the GPS' screen as you wander about, but the topos are OK.
Garmin's BlueChart is very similar in appearance to paper Admiralty charts except they are also vector and more angular in detail.

Downloads to the GPS are easy with Garmin's own software and USB cable, though it's quicker to plug the SD card into the PC and copy stuff over.

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