GPS and map tracks^

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Mark R
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GPS and map tracks^

Post by Mark R » Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:25 pm

I'm on the brink of buying a GPS but one thing I don't follow is those amazing map trails that people keep producing, like this one from Douglas...

Image

I have no idea how these are done...some unspecified GPS wizardry or ballpoint pen?

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Mark Rainsley
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Douglas Wilcox
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GPS tracks

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:26 pm

Hi Mark,

while your GPS is switched on it records a track of where it has been. On my basic Etrex it shows up as a line on the screen but there is no built in map. Once home you start your electronic map program eg Anquet and connect the GPS to the computer and import the track which gets overlaid onto the map. I then press Shift+Prt Scr keys to grab the screen to memory, open photoshop or whatever paste in the memory then crop and save as a jpg.

Anquet north britain cost me £180 but its now down to £120. When it first came out you could print A3 maps out but the gov agency (which you and I pay for out of our taxes) that holds the copywright has now restricted this to A4. I recently stood on my specs so can no longer read small print. I am not sure that I am allowed to use these screen dumps on a web site but I am taking my chances though you will note that I have not named said gov agency or spelt copy correctly in case some one starts doing google searches for references. Of course if any employee of said agency found themselves here for kayaking reaons, I am sure, they would be gentlemen or women and quietly enjoy said tracks.

You will be OK as its on my server!

Douglas :o)

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:31 pm

Thanks...just to clarify one thing, does the GPS track align with the map automatically, or do you fiddle about aligning the two images by hand?
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sub5rider
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Post by sub5rider » Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:37 pm

It's automatic with Memory Map & Magellan. It isn't two images, it's one set of data overlaid on another. It really is child's play Mark....

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Mon Sep 06, 2004 10:47 pm

So does the GPS actually show the map and the track when you're using it, or does the map bit come later back in fronr of the pc??

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sub5rider
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Post by sub5rider » Mon Sep 06, 2004 11:05 pm

So does the GPS actually show the map and the track when you're using it
My Magellan Meridian displays a crude-ish map with the track on it which can be useful. I'll take a photo & post it - don't have my camera handy ATM

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Douglas Wilcox
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gps/maps

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Mon Sep 06, 2004 11:11 pm

sub5rider>It's automatic with Memory Map & Magellan

With some systems you will need to manually set the chart datum depending on which chart/map you are using. My etrex did not come with OS GP set up as default and when I first got to a trigpoint the etrex reference was about 100m out and when I got back the whole track was shifted about 100m on the computer map. But you need to set the Chart datum regardless of whether you use paper or computer maps.

MikeB>So does the GPS actually show the map and the track when you're using it, or does the map bit come later back in fronr of the pc??

Yacht and Ferry ones use actual charts on big screens eg MV Hebrides on my recent trip to N Uist. Expensive hand held have a variety of maps some good some bad.

eg
http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap76cs/

Another advantage of an electronic map is that it is easier to program in way points. Eg when I nipped over to Jura I programmed in Tarbert before hand. When I was crossing, I used the GOTO Tarbert function. It gave a continuous readn out of how far away it was plus its direction and ETA based on average paddling speed. As the ETA got rapidly shorter, I knew I was in a very favourable tidal flow. As the eta got longer I knew I was in a counter eddy. Of course I could have just used transits and saved a bundle of cash but its fun and I can navigate without it and I like gadgets because I have a Y chromosome which causes carriers to have features of Asperger syndrome (with sincere apologies to anyone who has an affected relative). It's also good for giving total distance, a recent short windsurfing session on the Solway saw 96km!

Douglas

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:36 am

Garmin - price = "gulp" !!!

I guess you'd also have to have the relevant OS map software to interface with it as well?? I DO like the idea of having an "electronic map" on my deck with the track superimposing itself on it - is that the practical reality of this?

Overall costs must be not insignificant I'd guess??

Having just checked my map-drawer I find I've got over £500 worth of OS maps - at current prices - (some of them show the price as .50p !!) - but still scary, but maybe that puts mapping software into context. With pilots and charts at £15 to £25 a throw, thats even more!

That said, all my pilots came from eBay or AbeBooks and didnt cost £25 LOL.

So - IF I wanted to have a waterproof GPS, relativly simple to use, with "proper" OS maps and with the track displayed on the map and which I can then print to add to reports and such, what should I get? (GPS / software / etc)

Mike.

(PS: V useful stuff this - just adding it to the Sea / Almanac / VHF & GPS pages now!)

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MikeB
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Post by MikeB » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:06 pm

Just checked this - http://snipurl.com/8wkv - "wow" both to price and what it does! (Mind you, I suppose VHF's aren't cheap either - - - )

Disappointed to find it doesn't make the coffee for you when you wake up though!

Mike.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Nice toy but..

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:23 pm

Yes that Garmin 76 is a nice unit. but I do not yet feel like upgrading my basic etrex at £87 (plus computer cable ~£20)

http://www.globalpositioningsystems.co. ... 61dce5f354


and anquet north britain at £120

http://www.anquet.co.uk/product.asp?id=8

Another advantage of electronic maps for people of my age who have good long distsance sight but cant see 18 inches in front of their face, is you can print the OS out at 200%, 300% or even 400%!

Douglas

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Sep 07, 2004 5:38 pm

Well that's a purdy GPS, but realistically is a display that size ever going to be much cop for viewing maps on?

There are plenty of decent sized chart plotters out there, but they would be a bit big to carry on the deck of a sea kayak (along with a 12V battery), and there is plenty of software that can display your position in real time on a map or chart on your laptop (or palmtop), but again that's not so practical.
I have used my e-trex connected to the palm in the car to help navigate around Seattle - I actually downloaded and stored the maps in advance but it's even possible to use the IR connection to the mobile to download the best map for the area as you travel!

This thread is so closely related to the mac thread that I'm in danger of repeating, the software I use on my ancient macs (GPSy) can use many pre-made electronic maps or you can scan your paper maps and calibrate them for use with it (select known points and enter the coordinates - using intersections of grid lines is good). I'm sure I can display tracks by downloading them from the GPS and then uploading with the appropriate map open, only I don't have many appropriate maps :D I need to add that last bit to the mac thread!

JIM

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:57 pm

Anyone please able to pass comment upon or distinguish these products?

Anquet
http://www.anquet.co.uk/product.asp?id=9

Fugawi
http://www.globalpositioningsystems.co. ... ct_id=1787

Memory Map
http://www.memory-map.co.uk/maps_uk_onland.htm


Others???

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Mark Rainsley
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Jim
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Post by Jim » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:19 pm

I haven't used it but there is also Garmin Mapsource to add to the list.

The Anquet maps look reasonable value, in some scales.

JIM

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ChrisS
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Post by ChrisS » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:46 am

Fugawi has the most amusing name. Where the fugawi? Geddit?
But I haven't regretted getting Memory Map.

Matt O
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Fugawi software

Post by Matt O » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:06 pm

I bought the Fugawi UK software from their website in Canada. With the benefit of a good exchange rate it worked out at about £70 for the GB North discs (OS 1:50000), delivered to my door by the freindly local postman, no additional customs charges etc...
As for the product, it is pretty much like all the others - (I think a new version has just been released). All the same OS license restrictions apply, only able to print on A4 for example.

Fugawi also do another product called Fugawi 3 which allows you to scan in and calibrate your own maps - time consuming but very useful. Also the other good thing about Fugawi 3 is that it allows imports of digital marine charts.

Another product worth looking at is Tracklogs. The only company that cover all the UK with digital versions of the OS 1:25000 maps (apparently)
Expensive but worthwhile for selected areas you may visit frequently.
http://www.tracklogs.co.uk/cgi-bin/publ ... i?obj=home
--- Matt ---

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GaryM
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Mapping Software

Post by GaryM » Tue Sep 14, 2004 3:54 pm

Fugawi:
You need to be careful, as they only got the rights to the maps, they did not get the rights to the elevation data from OS. They use the NASA scan data, which only gives elevations every 900 metres, so very little use if you want to know the elevation, as you need to read the map and then look for the contour lines. I found that the summit of Snowdon was 700 feet off what it said on the map! Pity they don't tell you this in their sales blurb. If all you want it for is the maps and the tracks and routes though, it's good.

Memory Map:
Very good, elevation data is spot on ,and it is very easy to use.
The only slight gripe is that you can only enlarge in their preset increments, you can't chose a 47.8% enlargement, and sometimes one is too small an area to display, while the next one is too large.
You can get round this when printing out a map, by selecting the appropriate size, but it's hit and miss.
Easy to upload to a PDA, and with the right memory chip, you can hold most of your favourite routes, and even link it to an external bluetooth GPS.
Gary Mascall

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callwild
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gps mapping

Post by callwild » Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:42 pm

I use garmin and memory map and am well pleased with all aspects for both mountain and sea paddling.

However, has anyone experience of Track Logs software.

http://www.tracklogs.co.uk

A mountain bike friend of mine uses it and a nice feature (although not very usefull for sea paddling) was the ability to limitless scrolling around the loaded maps in 3D view.
Memory map and anquet, I think, only allow a 3d view of the screen on view at the time of selecting 3D.

Any other differences?
Worth a look.

Stuart

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Mark R
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Post by Mark R » Tue Sep 14, 2004 11:55 pm

I shopped around and ordered Memory Map (UK South) for £100 (rrp £130) on the net.

I'll let you know how it goes.
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Richardb
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GPS map or chart ?

Post by Richardb » Tue May 30, 2006 5:33 pm

I am finally getting my GPS organised.

I want to record where I go as an overlay on a map/chart, and upload the waypoints easily to a GPS without the endless keying in via the GPS itself.
What would you recommend maps or charts?

At the beginning of this forum Douglas shows a track on a map which seems very clear. Given that most of the time we are paddling in kayaks off a coast is this enough, or is the full chart required?

This doesn't of course replace proper paper charts, with the information they give for obstacles, water heights, lighthouses etc

and Mark 18 months on, how is the Memory Map UK South software?

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Mike Marshall
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Memory Map and GPS

Post by Mike Marshall » Tue May 30, 2006 6:48 pm

I have Memory Map and an Ipaq with a 1Gig card which carries the majority of the British/Scottish coastline on it.
This all sits nicely in an aquapac and bluetooths to a Navman GPS receiver on the foredeck or anywhere else you want to place it.
Once the GPS is locked you have a colour moving map in front of you laying your track and giving instant reference on your OS. Touch screen still works through the Aquapac (but can be problematic).

Memory Map is best bought on ebay. There are some great offers there occassionaly. Make sure you dont fall for any copies though!!

The downside with the Ipaq is the battery time. About 2.5 hours :-(
However I also have a battery booster pack which runs it for 13 hours.
All very nice, but a logistic nightmare on any lengthy trip, so I have just bought a Garmin etrex for simplicity and St Kilda :-0
T-9 days!!!!!
MikeM

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Robert Craig
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Post by Robert Craig » Tue May 30, 2006 7:39 pm

I've got an eTrex (base model) whicg survives being dropped in the sea, and Anquet GB north at home on the PC. This lets me enter waypoints from the map, and also lets me easily download tracklogs from the GS to the map. No other software is required. An interface cable is required - eg Lynx cables.

Previously I had Gartrip, which is freeware, and very nice it is too - nicer than the Anquet track stuff. But you have to calibrate maps when using it, which is a pain.

There are things which annoy me about Anquet (such as its inability to distinguish true north and grid north) but it does basically work. Curtrent versions are difficult to pirate.

By printing to Adobe Acrobat, I can get images a bit bigger than A4, but not A3. Rum (from whence I'm just back) doesn't quite fit on A4.

Incidentally, I'd recon I'd got it wrong if I had to refer to the GPS to see where I was - but I do get it wrong. It's a great confidence builder if I'm almost sure where I am, and I do admit to using it occassionally.

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue May 30, 2006 8:11 pm

Robert Craig wrote:Rum (from whence I'm just back) doesn't quite fit on A4.
Robert, you must have massive cahones!

Richard, because sea kayaks draw very little water there isn't all that much need to use a chart with them. Tidal information is better gained from pilots although the indications of overfalls and very occasionally stream arrows in channels on charts can be useful. Depth information is rarely of interest since we only need a few inches and can see shallow areas coming up in time to stop. Other than that charts are useful for lights and leading lines but it is very rare that we need either.

OS maps on the other hand still give an indication of high and low water mark and the type of terrain on beaches, along with a lot more land features from which to orientate yourself.

It is entirely up to you, I do use both maps and charts (paper) but I use maps a whole lot more!

To be honest if you are doing all your planning in advance and have paper charts (I get this impression from what you have written) you can easily use both in conjunction but just make your rouites up on electronic mapping software rather than chart software.

It's a different story in a yacht, especially if like my boss you are planning to take one through the Clachan sound, but once again, all you need for that in a kayak is the tidal info from the pilot....

JIM

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Post by David P » Tue May 30, 2006 10:28 pm

Just to add ... I'm a Memory Map fan (on a PDA) - with most of Southern England at 1:50k on a 500 MB card - but battery life precludes real life use other than in the car (you do get slightly longer battery life without the screen backlight on!). You can get digital charts in the same Memory Map series (and samples are provided with the main Memory Map software). The big advantage (someone else commented on this) is that the pukka digital maps are already calibrated to GPS devices. You CAN - in theory - use a scanned map or chart, say - BUT you'd need to manually calibrate the thing so that the GPS knew exactly what point was where, which was north, etc etc.
David P

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JulesT
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Post by JulesT » Tue May 30, 2006 10:38 pm

Interesting problem mentioned by Douglas - chart datums. I have an Etrex and the unit itself works perfectly on OSGB (1936). The problem comes when you download the data, its downloaded as WGS84 (lat & long) and there's nothing you can do about it, your plotting software has to do the transformation from WGS84 to OS lat/long then to OS grid. The two lat/long systems coincide at a point off lands end but differ the further you go east and north. Typically on Anglesey this is about 90 metres to the east and 25 metres to the south. There is a good explanation on the net somewhere but I cant re-find the link right now.

I've been writing my own plotting software to do just what this thread started with but also to add some extra features. e.g. zoom and pan, and each point is drawn as a shallow triangle that shows the direction of movement. And for the nearest point to the mouse (shown in red) all data at that point is shown on the left hand panel. ie you can see data like the time and distance into the jouney, speed, & elevation (useful for MTB / walking). For screenshots see here http://www.zen40268.zen.co.uk/seakayaki ... creen1.jpg and here http://www.zen40268.zen.co.uk/seakayaki ... creen2.jpg Note on the second screen I was chasing DF who had the full sailing rig up at the time !

Maps ? anything goes, e.g. download free OS squares of the area of interest from the internet and ‘stitch’ them together. As for the datum problem I've yet to integrate the correct transformation software components, for the time being I use DNR Garmin and apply offsets. On copyright, reading the OS site it sounds like as long as its not for commercial use should be OK. You’ll see I’ve complied with their requirement to include their permission statement.

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atakd
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Scanning in own maps / charts

Post by atakd » Wed May 31, 2006 1:58 pm

Seaclear, which is freeware, allows you to scan in and reference your own maps. I have to say though that Mem Map is a lot easier.

http://sping.com/seaclear/
Andy

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