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Everything posted by kerecsen

  1. I'm looking for a piece of (preferably freeware) Windows software that can download topo map segments from the internet and show GPS position over the downloaded maps. USATopoMaps is one alternative, but it's a bit too no-frills Thanks!
  2. It depends entirely on the software you use. But there are some very handy apps for both GPSrs and for PDAs. I would say that PDAs are generally simpler, as you can just copy a file to the device (a Pocket PC is essentially a Windows PC with a smaller screen and a slower CPU). [Edit: I was reading and answering in a FIFO, so I ended up duplicating TheBeast's comments... Sorry about that]
  3. Here are my 2 cents. I have both a PDA+GPS combo (Qtek S110 phone + holux 236 BT GPS) and a GPSr (60c, Venture Cx). I use the PDA most of the time, and only reach for the GPSr under extreme circumstances (boating, very rough environment, lack of charging opportunities). The two primary drawbacks of the PDA approach (beside fragility) are battery life and a screen that isn't all that visible in bright sunlight. The battery life is about 10 hours when I hike with my scanned hiking maps (recording track log, occasionally turning on backlight to look at the screen). However, the car navigation software discharges the battery like there is no tomorrow (2-3 hours). Of course if there is a car, there is a car charger In comparison, the Venture Cx lasts well beyond 24 hours regardless of how you use it, and when it drains, you can plop in another couple of widely available, inexpensive AA or rechargeable AA batteries and do another day and a half. The PDA's screen visibility is quite poor compared especially to Garmin GPSes. Garmins get better with more sunlight, the PDA gets worse. However, I never had a case when I couldn't see what I needed to see. It just involved a bit more maneuvering. As for the advantages of the PDA... You have access to a wide variety of software. You can scan you local, detailed, up-to-date hiking maps, or download 24k topo segments with usatopomaps for any part of the US and use them in your PDA. You can also choose from a bunch of auto-routing car navigation tools, some of which are better than even the best Garmins in speed, eye-candy and voice guidance. Also, if you are unhappy with the software you have, you can buy another one without having to replace the hardware. Or you can even run two different ones at the same time and use the best features of both. If you travel abroad, you can get maps for even the most bizarre locales, or at least can scan a local paper map. The touch screen can come very handy when navigating maps. Even without a subscription, you can download the complete web pages for the caches and browse them on site. Since the GPS is a separate box, you can put it in your backpack where it gets good reception, and keep the PDA on your belt where it is easy to reach (but would get no or poor reception if it was a dedicated unit). If a new generation of GPS receivers come out, you can replace just the GPS unit and keep going with improved guidance. You can even add new features like traffic reports. I'm sure there are others, but these came to mind at the moment... About the M*: I wouldn't get a dedicated PDA+GPS combo unit, because the PDA hardware is usually quite weak (about two generations behind real PDAs) and the whole package is way too expensive. As I mentioned earlier, having a BT module is better for field use anyway. The only significant advantage of the combo solution is that you don't need two chargers. My solution to that problem was to get a phone and a GPS that both use mini-USB for charging (so I don't need a charger at all if I'm around computers). (The M3 doesn't have the SiRF chip, so I guess the M4 is the only real alternative) The only combo unit I would consider is the Mio 701 anyway, because I hate those big clunky PDAs.
  4. I'm just wondering: why do you rate the Legend C higher than the Cx? What is the drawback of the latter? (if it's just price, the Venture Cx sounds like the best of both worlds)
  5. The Venture Cx is exactly the same as the Legend Cx, minus the $2 cable, the puny memory card and the useless Mapsource lite CD. The only drawback is the Venture's yellow color (some like it, some don't. I don't -- but I mind the extra cost more ) The Vista Cx add the compass and altimeter to the feature list of the Venture/Legend Cx. So if you can live without those features, the Venture Cx is the way to go. I used to have a 60cs, and I can count the occasions where I used those on one hand. And in almost all of those cases if I had a Sirf III chipset I wouldn't have needed the features.
  6. Amazon has the sandisks for $42 shipped (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EEZCEG). Their card reader prices aren't all that great, but at least they ship free...
  7. Would you care to share what you heard? It might impact other people too...
  8. You will need to be more specific about what it is that exactly doesn't work for you... If you move the contents of the garmin directory (including the mapsource binaries, dlls and various files, and all the .rgn's for the topo maps), the HKLM/Software/Garmin registry tree, as well as the HKCU/Software/Garmin registry tree, it should work.
  9. Here is a better one: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=...2401&adid=17662 Unfortunately it's only for Magellanites, since it's not a micro card that would work in Garmin.
  10. Pretty much all navigation software will display a similar behavior. Until they actually start calculating a particular set of alternatives, they can't really guess how much work is left. E.g. if you drive from LA to NYC, the beginning and the final 100 miles of the route will be real complex to figure out with all the similar alternatives, but the 2700 miles inbetween will be quite trivial. The GPS will rightfully think around the 2800th mile that it's 90+% done, but surprise awaits on the last segment.
  11. Don't worry. If it's v7, you are eligible for a free upgrade to v8 anyway (just call Garmin and order the disk). It may take them a few weeks to produce a v8 DVD, but you can unlock and use v7 in the meantime.
  12. That address find dialog is one of the worst pieces of software engineering that I've ever seen in my life. Anyway, the "solution" is that you should try entering the address in several different orders. Clear all fields and start with the street name. If that doesn't work, enter the state and then the street. Or the city and the street. And so on. Or better yet, just go online and use google maps
  13. Report the bug to them, and hopefully they'll fix it. By the way, the map doesn't contain individual addresses, it only has an address range for each street segment (one range for the even side, another for the odd side). So if you have empty lots at the end of the street, or one lot that occupies a long stretch, the numbering will be incorrect regardless of what they do. Their only goal is that if you enter an address, the cursor comes out reasonably close to the target house. If you randomly point to locations on the street, the numbers will likely be bogus.
  14. You can use Mapsource or something like g7towin to download the data from your GPS. If neither of them outputs a file format that arcmap can read, you can try GPSBabel or this: http://happysquirrel.com/index.php?feature=waypttoesri to convert the gpx output to some other file format that it can. See also http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=1149&t=190685&mc=6
  15. What fun is geocaching if you can tell your position with centimeter accuracy?
  16. Yes Absolutely. In fact, using a card reader results in a much faster download (if you discount the time you spend digging the card out of the 60cx ). For the last 2 or 3 generations of Garmin maps this has become a requirement. You can no longer run maps off of the CD/DVD, you must install them on your HDD. It had been done in the past, but only for products that aren't on an annual update cycle (such as the topo maps), or in cases when the map turned out to be defective (back before the time of automated unit testing ). For products that are on the annual cycle, you will need to pay $70 every year to get the latest and greatest (or you can keep using your old maps indefinitely, if you are happy with them). If you find bugs, you should report them to Garmin or NavTeq, and they will most likely resolve them by the next version. You can load different mapsets (such as topo -- if you purchase it -- and CN8 at the same time). There are also "mapsets" that only contain POIs, that you may or may not be able to load together with CN8. However, you can't select which "layers" you want from a particular map. If you load a map segment, it will have all the data that is contained in the map segment. The only thing you can customize is whether you want to keep the routing info, or remove it during the download -- but I can't imagine why you would ever not want a crippled map in an autorouting gps with virtually unlimited memory. The map is split up into segments, and you can select which segments to load. You can look at the segment outlines in the interactive map viewer on Garmin's site (look for the thicker gray outlines). Typical segment size if 4-8 megs, which corresponds to half a state in sparsely populated regions, and quarter/half a city in metropolises. The base map is not erasable or overwritable by the user. When you download CN8, it will be shown "above" the base map, meaning that you will see CN8 where you have downloaded map segments, and the basemap where you haven't. If you download multiple mapsets (topo, marine, cn8) at the same time, you will need to toggle certain mapsets on and off to see the others. (Garmin has set a "priority" list and the "best" maps are shown if multiple mapsets are available for a particular area. CN is on the top, the basemap is on the bottom, the others are inbetween.) Yes, that will work. However, you will need to have both your starting location and your destination on a particular card to be able to plan a route from start to end. Or you need to rely on the basemap to carry you through the "blind spots". Your plan is definitely a good start, and if in a few months'/years' time you find that switching back-and-forth is too much of a hassle, you can just wait for a good deal and get another large card for peanuts.
  17. It is widely regarded as one of the two best choices in its class. I have the Holux 236, because I wanted a mini-USB charging port so I don't have to drag a charger around with me (plus my phone has a min-USB too). The big advantage of the GlobalSat is the longer battery life and the auto-off functionality (which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you use your GPS ).
  18. That's pretty unusual. My experience has been that they fix most reported issues in 2-6 months. The 40 year old neighborhood part is not that strange. Probably the original city plans/maps they started from were incorrect in the area, and there was never any major construction work or bug reports that would have made them do a field survey. Are you positive you got the bug report right? Have you checked virtualearth/mapquest for the latest map versions? You may try to resubmit the report with more details and references to satellite imagery.
  19. There is currently no facility on the GPS to enter a code from the unit. The other alternative of entering the code on the PC doesn't work, because some Cx units come without a cable, and giving a Mapsource CD with the preloaded card would defeat the purpose of the preprogrammed card. My personal guess is that they will use the SD serial number for protection (it's very hard to fake unless you happen to have your own flash card factory). The other alternative is that they get an advanced card that does hardware-level encryption, so they cards wouldn't even be readable on a PC. The main drawback of the SD-serial is that you need to program each card individually, which makes large scale replication somewhat costly.
  20. There was another thread about this a couple of days ago. Mapsource puts the maps and any unlock keys for those maps that it knows about on the card. So if your mapsource has a key for both units, the card will work in both units (or 3, 4, 100 units, depending on the size of your collection) . Garmin used to make a lot of removable flash card units way back when, it was only a recent (and temporary, thank goodness) phenomenon to have units with built-in map memory. So they have figured out how to make it work without opening loopholes for stealing maps. Sendmap doesn't unlock the maps, btw.
  21. Just out of curiousity: when did you report the errors?
  22. Can you confirm those segment sizes quoted above?
  23. Where does it say that? Are you sure you're not looking at the 2005 date for 7.0?
  24. Althought it's not really relevant to your situation, but I use a QTek S110 (I-mate jam) with a bluetooth GPS. For car navigation it is about 2 classes above any Garmin under $1000 (and a class above the rest in many respects). It's also great for hiking, because I can use my detailed, scanned hiking maps instead of the lousy default topomaps. For caching it probably makes sense to get something a bit more waterproof/shock proof.
  25. Someone has recently posted an email from Garmin explaining how tremendously difficult it would be to extend the coverage of the 24k maps beyond the national parks. In addition, looking at the size of the current 24k maps, the result would encompass several DVDs. So it would be a suprising turn if they decided to do it afterall.
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