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Garmin Topo: Why 24k Maps Only For National Parks?


YuccaPatrol
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I'd LOVE to have highly detailed topo maps, but Garmin only offers the 24K maps for national parks. It bugs me because I don't go to national parks a lot (too many hominids to be found in those parks) but do like to get out into my national forests and other natural places very often.

 

Unfortunately, Garmin does not have a single such map for my entire state (Alabama). I have had TOPO for several years with my 60CS and now am using it with my 60CSX and it is workable, but I want more. Now that the x series is out with nearly unlimited memory, you'd think that they might offer some better topo maps to highlight the capabilities of these units. . .

 

So why hasn't Garmin offered more quality topo maps?

Edited by YuccaPatrol
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Probably the costs involved and size the maps become. My 24k map of a mountain near here is 3-4mb. An entire state like Colorado would be a few gigs.

 

Roll your own is my suggestion and with enough people doing that we could make our own super topo, for free.

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The lack of 24k topo maps is Garmins #1 weakness IMHO. I wondered not only your question, but also... Why haven't other mfgs stepped up to fill this gap? Is there some sort of legal reason why NG topo can't doesn't make a product that allows Garmin uploading of maps? Why are private individuals able to painstakingly create/upload maps and not a product for sale?

 

Thanks, Marco

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The lack of 24k topo maps is Garmins #1 weakness IMHO. I wondered not only your question, but also... Why haven't other mfgs stepped up to fill this gap? Is there some sort of legal reason why NG topo can't doesn't make a product that allows Garmin uploading of maps? Why are private individuals able to painstakingly create/upload maps and not a product for sale?

 

Thanks, Marco

 

I think the reason is market share. The biggest need is maps for car travel with auto routing. People going on foot through tfields and streams are a minority and the maps required needs much more details than just roads.

Take a topo map and compare with a regualr one.

Eventualy it will come.

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It would be nice to be able to add roads, trails, POIs, but this can't be done without expensive software like arcview and the professional version of cgpsmapper and that's assuming you have accurate information which almost nobody has. At least with the freeware you can make transparent overlays to US Topo and City Select/Navigator, but you won't be able to correct the inaccuracies in the roads and non topo, stream features.

In answer to the original question ... it is resource intensive to create accurate maps. The USGS no longer does and that is where 24K comes from. Most USGS maps are sorely out dated.

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I'd LOVE to have highly detailed topo maps, but Garmin only offers the 24K maps for national parks. It bugs me because I don't go to national parks a lot (too many hominids to be found in those parks) but do like to get out into my national forests and other natural places very often.

 

Unfortunately, Garmin does not have a single such map for my entire state (Alabama). I have had TOPO for several years with my 60CS and now am using it with my 60CSX and it is workable, but I want more. Now that the x series is out with nearly unlimited memory, you'd think that they might offer some better topo maps to highlight the capabilities of these units. . .

 

So why hasn't Garmin offered more quality topo maps?

 

I emailed Garmin suggesting they do some R & D toward dev. of 24K topo. Here's their reply:

 

Thank you for contacting Garmin.

 

 

Unfortunately, the USGS has not published the whole of the US in digital, vector 1:24K detail (the scale of the 7.5' quads so commonly used)...they have for the 100K scale, though, which is the reason MapSource US TOPO (010-10215-02) uses that detail.

 

 

This is USGS detail, but it is similar to what you would see on a 30' x 60' USGS map.

 

 

The USGS does have Digital Raster Graphics over most of the States in 24K detail, which are in big part what PC based products commercial products out there have. They are largely raster based (scanned quads). We MUST have digital, vector detail for product, though. Our market is different. And the USGS does not have that all over the US, unfortunately. That’s the crux of it.

 

 

The USGS does have some 24K digital, vector detail...but not all the US in such for that scale. We put the 24K National Parks West, 24K National Parks Central and 24K National Parks East products together using some of the digital, vector detail they had.

 

 

http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/topo24knp.jsp

 

http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSourc...po24knpeast.jsp

 

http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSourc...4knpcentral.jsp

 

 

But there are many holes in this vector detail they offer...you might have a transportation layer for a quad but not a hypsography layer, for instance, in the vector detail. We ran into this a lot just with putting the National Parks products together. To fill such holes, we put quite a few resources into it.

 

 

But these parks products just cover the specific areas noted/listed on the coverage maps with them.

 

 

If and when these are updated/republished down the way, etc. I assume new coverages will be added. But it is a pecking order on that.

 

 

Please don't take the preceding paragraph too seriously...it is personal speculation...it may pan out differently. I hope it does, really...might mean more data faster. But I expect it will be something like that at this point.

 

 

Thank you again for your interest in Garmin GPS. Have you seen our online Map Viewer? Preview the basic data in many of the MapSource products firsthand.

 

http://www.garmin.com/cartography/

 

 

Best regards,

 

Loy

 

mailto:cartography@garmin.com

 

 

Garmin International

1200 E. 151st Street

Olathe, KS (USA) 66062

http://www.garmin.com

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I don't go to national parks a lot (too many hominids to be found in those parks) but do like to get out into my national forests and other natural places very often.

 

Most of the hominids I've seen at US National Parks seem to congregate in flocks near large patches of asphalt covered with fossil-fuel burning transportation. You get a mile away from any parking lot and you'll see relatively few of that species, and two miles grants you almost perfect serenity if you stay off the most heavily-travelled trails.

 

Anyway... In ye olden days I'd preplan my backcountry trips using USGS topo quads, marking waypoints and drawing out bearing lines between 'em. Nowadays I'll preplan in Delorme TopoUSA or USAPhotoMaps, then transfer the waypoints & routes to my GPS. I honestly don't feel a strong need to have a detailed topomap displayed on my Legend Cx as long as I have all the waypoints & routes preloaded from my preplanning. Now in truth I do download the Mapsource Topo maps (1:100,000) to my GPS, but really the waypoints are enough.

 

So maybe I'm part of the problem --- even though I'm an avid GPS user I wouldn't buy the detailed TopoMaps for my GPSr, since I can see decent detail in Delorme or 1:24000 detail from the scanned quads in USAPhotoMaps while I'm preplanning.

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But there are many holes in this vector detail they offer...you might have a transportation layer for a quad but not a hypsography layer, for instance, in the vector detail. We ran into this a lot just with putting the National Parks products together. To fill such holes, we put quite a few resources into it.

 

Yeah, I've noticed this in making my own 24k maps using DLGs. Lots of missing data. Its really annoying.

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Not enough demand, and it would take a lot of memory to get any serious geography loaded. I personally wouldn't ever spend the money. I use my GPS with paper maps and a grid card for back country use. I would never, ever trust my life to just electronic maps. If my GPS croaked, I would be left without maps...A bad, bad ting to have happen in the back country. This is the same reason I have never bothered with a built in electronic compass. I am going to have one that doesn't depend on batteries!

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