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Ken in Regina

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Posts posted by Ken in Regina

  1. I don't know about the 1300 so I'll let someone else respond.

     

    Re: the Venture HC, doesn't it have proximity alerts? See if you can set proximity alerts for caches. That way it will beep at you whenever you are getting near one.

     

    That's not to talk you out of the Nuvi, but it's an option you could consider even if you get the Nuvi for car nav.

     

    ...ken...

  2. You're focussing on the right type of unit.

     

    - To confirm, neither of the Legend models (H or HCx) have altimeter and it is not a function that can be added with software.

     

    - If you plan to use the unit outdoors you will find that the monochrome screen is easier to view for most practical purposes.

     

    - If you don't plan on using maps, or maps for a restricted area are sufficient, the 24MB non-expandable memory won't be an issue.

     

    Just so you know where I'm coming from, I love my Legend HCx.

     

    - I could mostly live without the colour screen. The only display it makes any difference on is the map display (useful for some types of maps) and the icons on the menu screens (no loss if they weren't in color). The majority of the most useful screens for geocaching and orienteering/hiking/mountain biking are still monochrome even on my colour unit. The monochrome pages are way more readable outdoors than the colour pages.

     

    - I couldn't live without the expansion card. I initially bought the Venture HC, thinking I could cheap it out and live without the memory card. It took me less than half an hour to discover it wouldn't work for me. I just love to load lots of maps in at once and then not have to worry about loading different maps, no matter where I might use the unit next. In particular, topo maps can be terrible memory hogs and I use a couple of different ones in my unit. Love that 2GB memory card!! Half an hour and the Venture HC went back in the box and back to the place I bought it, in exchange for my Legend HCx.

     

    (Not trying to persuade you of anything ... just letting you know where my comments come. It's always easier to understand comments when you know what the other guy cares about.)

     

    ...ken...

  3. Hm... If you can mark a property line as accurately as a professional surveyor, how come you've never found a geocache?

    I only read geocaching forums and things of this nature now to find valuable GPS, mapping, and software information.

    Ditto. This is a wonderful forum for that. Probably the best around for experiences with a really good cross-section of handheld GPS technology and the related bits and pieces .. what works, what doesn't, etc.

     

    ...ken...

  4. The other observation about coordinate accuracy stands.

    I don't think so. When he projected the waypoint, the GPS resolved the bearing and direction into coordinates. From that point on, navigating to those coordinates are subject to the same errors we always experience while geocaching. Just because it was projected from a fixed, known point doesn't magically make them go away, or even lessen them.

    YeahBut. He wasn't using the actual coordinates of the fixed, known point. He was using the coordinates the GPS provided for it. In this process he really doesn't care what the actual coordinates are. They are not useful or necessary for this purpose.

     

    It is only necessary that he be able to mark three other points accurately relative to the fixed, known point of reference. (We are assuming the known point is, in reality, accurately positioned, regardless what coordinates the GPS gives us for it.)

     

    So, if the error at the fixed, known point was, say, 6 ft and 271°, in such a short distance to the other three points of interest you would expect the error to be also 6 ft and 271°. And it would likely remain so for the relatively short time it would take him each time he located and marked those other three points.

     

    In other words, on a day with good satellite reception, using the method he used, he has almost perfect relative accuracy (the accuracy of locating any one point relative to a particular starting point).

     

    And his results prove it. It was not luck. He reproduced the same results multiple times on different days.

     

    ...ken...

  5. 1. You could have done the same thing with great accuracy with a compass and a tape measure or a piece of string of a known length, using the same technique.

     

    Nope, wouldn't have been as accurate. Without accounting for the rise and fall from the land I would be off. As what happened the first time I did this many years ago, exactly the way you suggest. I even used two pieces of re-rod about 6ft, each as my end-point markers, trying to keep the string (actually, an unstretchable length of wire 100 ft. in length) level between the two stakes between each leg of measure. I guess, according to the GPS measurement, and the official surveyor's mark now in place, that I was sill off by 15 ft. the first time I did it your way, even when accounting for magnetic declination discrepancies on my orienteering compass.

    Sorry Keo, you're right. You'll have to forgive me. I live on the Canadian Prairies (northern extension of your great plains) so the hilly thing isn't often much of an issue here. Near me, in 100 ft you could use a couple of pieces of re-rod about a foot tall for end markers. And still not need half of it. ;)

     

    The other observation about coordinate accuracy stands.

     

    ...ken...

  6. Most Garmin units that support geocaching also support auto-routing ("turn-by-turn). You just need to add the proper autorouting road maps.

     

    My eTrex Legend HCx supports both, although it's not the best one for storing geocache info. The GPSMAP 60CSx and 76Csx do both. I'm pretty sure the Oregon's, Colorados and Dakotas all do both. The latter three model families support geocaching the best, I think.

     

    P.S. Don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of replies to your email address. These forums are designed to have the discussion here, not through private email.

     

    ...ken...

  7. Hate to rain on your parade but there's two things to understand. Both have to do with the fact you had a known "benchmark" point to start from.

     

    1. You could have done the same thing with great accuracy with a compass and a tape measure or a piece of string of a known length, using the same technique.

     

    You really just used the GPS as a high-tech tape measure and compass. You were able to do that with great accuracy because...

     

    2. That 6 ft. "margin of error" really wasn't relevant to the exercise, other than it gave you an idea of what days you had a good enough satellite constellation for accurate tracking of your movements and your relative location (e.g. your position at any moment relative to the original marker).

     

    With four points so close to each other, the direction and distance of the error of your exact coordinates would be virtually identical at each of the four points. Since actual coordinates were never an issue in this exercise, it was a great way to use the GPS.

     

    However, with the string and a compass you wouldn't have had to wait for days with excellent GPS reception. And you wouldn't have had to do it so many times to satisfy yourself you were ending up at the right spot. ;)

     

    ...ken...

  8. My impression is that these forums are meant to replace the old MotionBased forums, which had a strong emphasis on fitness. I'm hoping we'll see their forums expand in the future.

    As are many of us. They have good coverage for Mapsource and POILoader now. There's even one of their developers checks into the Mapsource forum fairly regularly.

     

    ...ken...

  9. well, to those who say Garmin is going to lose geocaching market segment.

     

    Since the beginning of 2008.... Garmin has come out with all of the following... the Dakota series, the Oregon series, the Colorado series... plus total upgrades to the Legend H , Etrex H, and Venture HC

     

    Way more units then all the other handheld manufacturers combined. Garmin has not relented one bit on the geocaching market.

    They've even taken a run straight at one of the features that until a few weeks ago was unique to DeLorme and very favored by those who like handhelds for caching or other outdoor activities: the ability to put your own raster maps on the unit. Yes, it needs work, but it took away one of the truly unique distinctions the DeLorme units had.

     

    ...ken...

  10. Dan's two pictures show another difference between Ibycus and Topo Canada that matters to me. With my tired old eyes, Topo Canada is generally easier to read than Ibycus. However, the more up to date data in Ibycus means that I carry both.

     

    Where the latest current road data is going to be less of an issue I'll use Topo Canada simply because it's easier for me to read. Where it matters to have as up to date data as possible, I'll switch to Ibycus.

     

    Topo Canada v4 contains all the autorouting road data and POIs that Metroguide Canada v5 does so you can use it for occasional in-vehicle nav as well, if your GPS supports it.

     

    ...ken...

  11. 2) How many of those were bought with geocaching as the main intended use?

    3)... and for hiking?

    4) .. and for bicycling?

    Good questions, Lee.

     

    It's interesting that in the Garmin forums Garmin has chosen to set up forums for "Running&Fitness" and for "Cycling". But Geocaching doesn't appear anywhere as a subject in their forums.

     

    Now I'm no mind reader and I certainly don't have any inside knowledge but I don't think it would be a stretch to guess that might have some relationship to the relative sales volumes??

     

    ...ken...

  12. The link that was provided was to point at a comment Caleb made about what DeLorme has done to begin moving into the international market. DeLorme has rebuilt their world base map from the ground up to be able to address these very concerns.

    The world basemap in SA 2010 is very good. It's available today. In SA. Shucks, the SA roadmaps would be acceptable for caching, even in Canada, although perhaps not in countries where there is only the basemap. But...

     

    The roadmaps from SA are not available on the PN-XX models.

     

    I think you'll agree that SA, even on a netbook, isn't quite the right tool for geocaching. :D

     

    ...ken...

  13. Hi TotemLake,

     

    I don't disagree with what you say, nor with what RRlover said. It's quite possible that I'm not totally up to the minute on what DeLorme has promised. But...

     

    I'm trying to keep my comments in the context of the original post, which stated:

     

    Within two years - four at the outside - I expect the DeLorme will dominate the Geocaching market segment the way Garmin does now.

    I'm starting from what I can buy today, which is the only relevant starting point. The recent addition of some raster pictures for Canada can definitely be defined as a small step. Really small.

     

    From there, small future steps won't fit Lee's schedule unless you limit the prediction to the continental US.

     

    Arguably it won't even do it there because the other guys aren't standing still and aren't settling for small steps to maintain or increase their dominance.

     

    It most assuredly will not happen outside the continental USA even with relatively large steps.

     

    Remember, Lee said "dominate", not just "be pretty darn good".

     

    I respect that DeLorme has some fine products and that they are moving them forward. One day they may be easy even for those of us outside the USA to put on the short list for a new purchase. We live in hope.

     

    But "dominate" in two to four years? Not hardly. Not outside the USA. Not even just in the geocaching niche market. So my original response to Lee stands, that his prediction only has a chance if he constrains it to the continental US.

     

    My revisiting DeLorme's communications about recent small steps and future promises won't change that. And they don't interest me in any other context.

     

    ...ken...

  14. Me thinks you need to re-visit DeLorme's posts regarding offerings for Canada, recent past, and

    future planned.

    Hi Norm,

     

    I have SA 2010+. It tells me everything I need to know about DeLorme's presently available Canadian mapping content. Very mixed. Hardly evidence of something that will be industry-dominating - outside the continental US - any time soon. They would have to make vastly larger improvements than they have since my last version of SA (2008).

     

    I don't need to revisit any posts about DeLorme "futures". I'm not interested in what they promise because I can't buy and use promises. In the future, when I'm ready to buy something new I will do the usual research.

     

    ...ken...

  15. ... less than half of all cachers worldwide have the opportunity to use a DeLorme unit anyway, simply because noone outside the US is able / allowed to use or even buy DeLorme.

    I'm surprised the DeLorme fans let you get away with that.

     

    - I live in Canada.

     

    - Canada is outside the US (at least it was last time I checked).

     

    - I can buy anything I want from DeLorme any time I want.

     

    - I can use anything from DeLorme any time I want. Anywhere I want.

     

    I just can't have much, if anything, in the way of maps if I want to use their stuff outside the continental US. Which is the point of my response to Lee.

     

    ...ken...

  16. Within two years - four at the outside - I expect the DeLorme will dominate the Geocaching market segment the way Garmin does now.

    In order to have any chance of being correct you need to add one serious constraint. You need to add the phrase:

     

    "... DeLorme will dominate ... ... in the continental United States of America."

     

    ...ken...

  17. So when you're within... say, 5 km of a surveyed landmark, you can expect Google/Bing to be correct within... how many meters?

    That's way too far away to say with any certainty. Much too far.

     

    Just to illustrate, as I mentioned above, I've done a lot of messing around with my eTrex Legend HCx to use it as a golf GPS. I have found a fairly significant variation in accuracy of Google Maps versus the GPS reading from one part of a golf course to another.

     

    If you are as much as 5 km away from a spot they used for calibration, the error could be nearly anything. Mostly it would be unpredictable. But I doubt you'll find many areas where you would be as much as 5 km away from a calibration spot.

     

    ...ken...

  18. To actually answer your questions:

     

    It is undoubtedly coming from GC.com. Garmin would have no reason to restrict it and every reason to keep their customers happy with unrestricted access if they could.

     

    The way the restriction is implemented Garmin or GC are probably counting the wrong thing. They probably count a search result as a "download". Complain to Garmin about it. Tell them if they're going to restrict it to such a small number they should at least count the right thing so you get to actually download the meager number they allow.

     

    ...ken...

  19. I've been using a really interesting Google Maps mashup that helps me turn my GPS handheld into a Golf GPS device. I also have a golf GPS application for my iQue 3600 (Palm PDA with integrated GPS) that lets me take coordinates from Google Maps and type them into the application.

     

    Both of these let me use the aerial views of Google Maps to set the locations of greens and various hazards on the golf course.

     

    In doing this, I have used my own GPS devices to check the locations that I've input from Google Maps against the locations of these things on the golf course. I've found that the error between my devices and the Google imagery is not huge, probably not enough to mess up a search and rescue operation. But it's enough to screw up your golf game in most cases. On the local golf courses the error is anywhere from 30 ft to 100 ft.

     

    ...ken...

  20. Does the Vista Cx connect by USB? If not, forget it.

     

    Does the Touch 3G have a USB connection? If not, forget it.

     

    Is it a Host connection or slave (big connector or mini connector)? If it's a mini connector, forget it.

     

    If there's some way to make a USB connection with the Touch as the Host device, then you could look around to see if there's an app that will accept GPS signals from the USB port.

     

    ...ken...

  21. It would be a whole lot easier to just connect your 60CSx to a netbook with Google Earth and Earthbridge or GooPS on it and use the 60CSx as your receiver for the netbook (works better than most of those $35 pucks you see out there!!). If you want to be able to use it when you don't have a wifi connection, add one of those USB sticks for cellular data and you're in business anywhere you've got a cellular connection.

     

    For offline use in constrained areas you can browse the area in Google Earth ahead of time to get the necessary stuff into its cache.

     

    If a 9" or 10" netbook screen is too big for you, there are some Windows computers with 7" and even 5" touchscreens out there (check out Viliv, for instance).

     

    ...ken...

  22. I posted the question of route differences on the Garmin Mapsource forum. Specifically I asked why Mapsource (6.13.7 and 6.15.7) gives me a different route between Columbus, OH and Pittsburgh, PA than:

     

    Mobile PC on my netbook

    Mobile XT on my Palm T|X

    eTrex Legend HCx

     

    All three of these produce exactly the same route, a route that is totally different than the two versions of Mapsource (which produce the identical route).

     

    Here's the answer from one of the Mapsource developers:

     

    Ideally, that would be true. MapSource and the devices use the same routing algorithm, but 1) they might run different versions of the algorithm and 2) the algorithm is configurable (i.e. MapSource uses a more powerful version than the units).

     

    So in your example I think it's the unit who doesn't find the correct shortest route(due to its limited processing power). The northern route is 179mi, the southern route is 185mi.

     

    If you find out that the unit finds a shorter distance route than MapSource, then something might be wrong. But in the case you were describing everything seems to be working as intended.

     

    ...ken...

  23. Larry, this discussion really has me curious. I have three Garmin "devices" at the moment: iQue 3600, Legend HCx and Mobile PC, as well as Mapsource. I would like to test to see how their routing algorithms compare. ...hmmmm... Make that four. I also have Mobile XT on my Palm T|X.

     

    Would you mind sharing the starting and ending waypoints for your route so I could compare Mapsource and the three devices to see if they differ? I think it would be a really interesting exercise.

     

    I also have Microsoft Streets&Trips which uses the Navteq maps that Garmin uses. It might be interesting to see what it does with the route, too.

     

    ...ken...

  24. Larry, I use a Notepad replacement called Metapad. It's free, small and fast. It works exactly like Notepad for all the basic stuff. It has some additional nice features, some of them invisible, like it opens files of unlimited size.

     

    The reason I mention it here is that one of those neat features is when it encounters a file like Mapsource's GPX files it will notice those huge chunks of blank lines and ask if it should remove them. It really cleans the file up nicely without you having to do anything.

     

    If you are interested, there is even a way to make it completely replace Notepad rather than just running it as another text editor.

     

    You can download it here: http://liquidninja.com/metapad/download.html

     

    By the way, I think you would be best to recreate the route in Mapsource and use its file for checking pocket queries. Using the Route tool from the tool bar to just click on the places you need to get the exact route is quick and painless. I do it all the time when I want to play with various route options. Once you get a route that's close, it's really easy to mess around in the Route Properties to add/remove/reorder via points to make more changes.

     

    ...ken...

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