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Everything posted by C-Wy

  1. Last year I purchased 120 GPS units. We went through the competitive bidding process and got what we thought was a pretty good discount on Garmin eTrexH models, only to find them listed for the same price in a sale brochure for Bass Pro Shops (about $85). We tried to get funding from Garmin too, but they never even responded to our inquiry.
  2. We developed a statewide program for our state parks in Virginia last year that includes a staff manual, activities, support materials, and policies. I will be glad to share what we have with you. Send me a note at Chuck.Wyatt@dcr.virginia.gov and I can email everything.
  3. At Virginia State Parks, we bought the eTrekH units last year and they seem to have worked really well. We thought we had gotten a really great price at about $79 because we bought over 300 units, but then I saw them advertised at the same price on sale at Bass Pro Shops. If you to with the eTrex's send me a note at chuck.wyatt@dcr.virginia.gov and I can send you some of the support materials we developed. One big problem with almost all units is that the buttons are not very logical or easy to remember for a first time user. We developed a simple system of putting colored dots on the face of the eTrex and color coding the instruction sheets. It really makes instructing much easier. (For instance, instead of saying "hit the Enter button" (which is embossed in black on a black background) we say "hit the blue button").
  4. If you are using Garmin units, you might want to think about getting MapSource Topo USA. We use it in Virginia State Parks to set up activities on one unit, then we upload the waypoints to MapSource. Once the waypoints are on MapSource you can easily edit them (usually just giving the new names...we have a naming convention that helps us keep the games straight) then it only takes about 5 minutes to load up 10 GPS units with the waypoints we want to use. If you would like more information, we developed a training manual on this stuff that I would be glad to send you. Contact me at my work email: chuck.wyatt@dcr.virginia.gov
  5. I work for Virginia State Parks. We developed a staff training manual for developing and delivering GPS activities last year. It is based around the inexpensive Garmin eTrexH and includes everything from setting up the GPS units and managing waypoints to safety. We also developed color dot system for the eTrex buttons that is coded to our simplified "cheat sheets" that we laminated and attached to the GPS units (made instructing students MUCH easier.) If anyone is interested in getting a copy, just email me at chuck.wyatt@dcr.virginia.gov. Also, if you a close to a Virginia State Park, just call the park if you are interested in a field trip to the park to do GPS activities. Each park has 10 GPS units and will be glad to host your trip.
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