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Base Maps Error?

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Just went out and found my first cash, my 60cx was within 8 feet of the actual site but I have one question. I live near the coast and according to my basemap I was in the the water? Are the water areas on basemaps an estimate that can be off ? Like I said I was dead on but the map showed me in the intercoastal waterway!!


Thanks for any responses,



Edited by autonut
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I reckon the basemaps on all handheld recievers, were a result of the manufacturers, starting a drawing competition between Grade1 students, from their respective parts of the Globe!!




The basemaps may be deliberately woefull in accuracy/detail, to 'pursuade' customers to upgrade to detail maps?? ;)

Edited by arthurking83
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I thought so. Which map software do you suggest?

I'd start with CitySelect-NA, v7. That has the most up-to-date roads and includes data to support the autorouting feature of your 60cs. It also has a database of business locations and other sites which can be quite useful when traveling although you'll undoubtedly find a number of errors. They also let you search for specific street addresses and intersections, so if you know an address the GPS can lead you directly to that spot.


Garmin's USTopo maps are also good, but with some caveats. They're based on the USGS 1:100,000 scale maps which aren't nearly as detailed as the 1:24000 series we generally use for hiking. As with the paper USGS maps, they can be very dated and generally don't have labels on most of the smaller roads. These maps also lack the address searching and autorouting features of the CitySelect road maps.


Garmin's website:


has a MapViewer so you can preview any of their maps. Zoom way in on a few areas with which you're familiar and you should get a good idea of the level of detail.

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Those basemaps appear to be slightly better than nothing to me.

I just got my unit, a Garmin 60 CSx with optional mapping software, ie., Topo, and City Navigator v7.

While MUCH better than basemaps, I guess all mapping software has errors we have to live with, even at the outrageous prices they charge for them.

While brousing Nav on my PC, it seems to have lots of errors as far as addresses around my area that I am familiar with. Several are located on the wrong side of intersections, etc.

Example : it shows my daughters home address on a south east corner, when in fact, she is on the south west corner. My Harley shop address is completely wrong, and couldn't be found at all with an address search, as the numbers listed in Navigator at that section of highway, don't even exist.

I think for the most part, City Navigator, or City Select, are pretty accurate, but there will be errors in all the software available to date.



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Check out this cache where I had similar errors with the Garmin Base Map that showed bogus info and resulted in 2+ miles hiked for a DNF.


Here is the cache where I had problems with the Garmin maps;

Lost Hills Treasure (GCH224)



This section of the freeway is prefectly straight. If they can't get it right here...i don't know...I wish I used my old reliable GPSr and left the 60 in the truck...maybe someone would have ripped it off.

Edited by sundogranch
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My Magellan Meridian with Mapsend Topo is no better. At leas tthe Mapsend Topo (older version, not the current "3D" version) DID include most all roads, including small local ones, as well as the Topos. It will autoroute, although I don't use it for that. I often end up on the wrong side of the road, in the water, or whatever. My take on it is we are dealing with fair (at best) information to start with, and then lots of compromises (vector issues) to make it small enough to be usefull in handheld devices. It is still big; all of CA & NV is about 62MB. Good thing the Meridians have SD card slots.


Now, for streets, my Jeep installed system is great! Very accurate, etc. BUT - it has 4.7GB of data at it's beck and call on the DVD it has in it. It's all one big trade-off between accuarcy, size, cost, etc.

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At least the Mapsend Topo (older version, not the current "3D" version) DID include most all roads, including small local ones, as well as the Topos. It will autoroute, although I don't use it for that.

The original MapSend Topo maps don't support the autorouting feature and the roads are based on the less accurate TIGER map data from the Census Bureau. For autorouting you'd want the newer DirectRoute maps, but those don't show contour lines. The roads in both DirectRoute and 3DTopo are based on significantly more accurate NavTeq data but there are certainly still plenty of errors to be found as is true of all extended maps.


Do you know the source of the map data in your Jeep system? I think it's also NavTeq in which case the accuracy should be about the same as the Magellan DirectRoute and 3DTopo maps with only slight variations depending on which has been updated most recently.

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