Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
mhfares

What are you using for maps?

27 posts in this topic

camoguy Asks:

I'm accustomed to the wonderful mapping software available back in states, from such as NG. Are there any software packages available for the Kingdom? I love to poke around, and have been unsettled by the lack of locally available road maps. Any help appreciated...

 

Welcome camoguy & wish you a pleasant stay ..

 

I’m not an expert on the subject but I’ll tell what I know about local maps..

 

The new GPS I bought comes with its own maps: City Navigator Middle East v3 (http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/citynavMideast.jsp) ..

 

The title may be misleading since the maps are only for GCC countries. They can be very useful and I already found use for them during my last trip to Bahrain. The coverage seems to be more detailed for Bahrain and Kuwait but is not bad either for selected cities in Saudi. Jubail has no coverage as you can see below:

 

2490550570049238478MhOvzU_th.jpg

 

Here is a piece of Dammam showing some Points Of Interest:

 

2075369590049238478uDJFFO_th.jpg

 

I don’t know about the cost but I think you should consider having it specially that you will be staying here for some time (driving your own car) and chances are that you will be visiting many of the big cities around.

 

If interested in doing some off road driving (most caches hidden here are out of city limits) then there are two maps that are popular among Saudi campers. One is made by the Garmin agent Darmoja while the other, named desert maps, are made by a group of Saudi desert enthusiasts. They are both frequently updated and there is some competition between the two which is good for the end user. I mentioned them here :

post

 

They seem to be a must for any serious outdoor geocacher but I managed to do without them since my post over a year ago. But then I managed to do without any maps for that matter. Now that I have my new GPS unit with mapping capabilities, I will buy one. One of them is in English (desert maps, I believe) and it costs SR400 including the 32MB memory. If they include city details (which they probably do), then you may forget about City Navigator and have the desert maps. I will let you know once I buy mine (remind me of that).

 

Here is a small sample of the desert map:

 

2848662950049238478KsyPTf_th.jpg

 

If you are only interested in paper maps to check some places then take a look at these

 

http://www.athagafy.com/maps/Fig-06.jpg (For eastern province including Jubail)

 

The ones with scale 1:500,000 are both Arabic/English like this one:

http://www.athagafy.com/maps/al%20riyadh.jpg for Riyadh

 

The above is very detailed and should be of interest to all of our fellow geocachers especially in the Riyadh area. Other maps of the same detail are available from the same page at:

 

http://www.athagafy.com/maps/

 

Look at the scale 1:500,000 in blue somewhere in the middle of the page. Below it, is a list of maps .. click on a region you like. On the same page, if you check the right column, you will find links to numerous maps that I didn’t have time to check out myself.

 

Hope the above is of some value.

 

Looking forward to see some caches hidden by you around Jubail. By the way, there are some interesting areas around Jubail to the north and west you can visit and explore.

 

You can buy the booklet Desert Treks from AlKhobar ( available at Jarir Bookstore). It shows nice places (some of archeological significance) not far from Jubail.

 

If you want to try the City Navigator maps mentioned above, I can lend you my GPS unit ( If you are driving to Bahrain, I'm on your way and you can take it with you and see for yourself).

Edited by mhfares
0

Share this post


Link to post

can you give me the contact for the agent of garmin here in saudi, darmoja?

 

the only garmin gpsr i saw was the etrex (first medel) which does not support maps.

 

although i already have destinator pn with 6 gcc maps (by navteq) and navio (using scanned maps -farsi (i got from jarir bookstore)), i still want garmin gpsr for its ruggedness.

 

the maps you have given are interesting but navio or megalith tuner can only use 2000x2000 pixel maps.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Here are the phone numbers you asked for TYT523:

 

in Riyadh: 01 4020088

in Khobar: 03 8678054

 

http://www.darmoja.com

 

I found them very poor when it comes to customer service or any service for that matter .. you could hardly get any useful information from them on the phone or in person. Before visiting store, I suggest you check your background info/review on the internet .. I do this for any product I want to buy here.

 

The person I talked to said they sell the City Navigator Middle East maps (ver.3) at SR.1000 including the memory card. As far as their own “desert maps”, they sell at SR.550 (which comes with a 16MB memory) .. I asked him if I can do with their desert maps without the City Navigator and he said their maps miss on the Gulf States. In addition, he tells me theirs do not implement the auto routing which is an important feature if you’re into city driving. Now all of this talk needs to be confirmed by a visit to their store :) . So I guess this partially answers my question which I asked camoguy to remind of before.

 

There are many shops in Riyadh that sell GPS units .. some in Saleheyiah building on King Fahad road. Others are in the famous Morsalat Communication center (here is a coordinate for the shop I visisted few weeks ago:

N 24 44.876 E 46 41.125

0

Share this post


Link to post

thanks.

 

i have already a city navigator 'destinator pn 5'. what i need is a gpsr for geocaching which is usually off road and therefore will cause error in the navigator software.

 

i already visited their website and found it useless. i remember sending an e-mail to them before but they have not replied. again i sent an e-mail yesterday.

 

i will try to visit the shop you mentioned on friday afternoon. i still have not decided if we will go geocaching this weekend.

 

anyway, ill check the shop for garmin gpsr. i prefer the one with data cable for pc connection.

0

Share this post


Link to post

to mhfares,

 

got to the gps shop and purchased the etrex personal navigator w/ pc interface cable and car mount. later i will come back for the car adapter.

 

i am still trying to get interface with the pc but until now, no luck. just inputted all the coordinmates manually. by the way, i got them from darmoja.

 

thanks also for the maps of riyadh and dammam. i already downloaded them in my ipaq/navio and its great. i have to cut it to have 2k x 2k pixels.

0

Share this post


Link to post

It's been a while since this post was visited and I thought it would be good to get people commenting again.

 

Al Farsi has just updated it's Saudi Arabia country and city maps. Available at Jarir across the country.

 

Darmoja now has Saudi desert maps as part of their standard software.

 

Of course, there is the fabulous Google Earth (as long as the area you want has good resolution)

 

If you are in Riyadh, you may want to pop into the Saudi Geological Survey. They have old, but good maps in various scales that you can buy. It might take a bit of negotiation to get through the gate, but they are more than helpful.

 

Also, remember that maps are available online. We have posted some links on www.saudigeocachers.com

 

We also use the regional Desert Treks books - they are very helpful and for the most part still relevant, despite local changes of tracks to roads etc.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I have the same question ("any software packages"), except that I need maps for my GPSr for the UAE. Any suggestions? Thanks.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I have the same question ("any software packages"), except that I need maps for my GPSr for the UAE. Any suggestions? Thanks.

 

Any of the Garmin dealers in the GCC countries will have "Middle East v4" in stock. Alternatively you could try downloading of the 'Net.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I have the same question ("any software packages"), except that I need maps for my GPSr for the UAE. Any suggestions? Thanks.

 

Any of the Garmin dealers in the GCC countries will have "Middle East v4" in stock. Alternatively you could try downloading of the 'Net.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the suggestion, but the City Navigator maps won't do. I want topo maps so I can explore the dunes, wadis and mountain areas around the UAE. Garmin in the UAE (http://www.garmin-uae.com/en/topographic-maps.html), the online site, has nothing available for topo maps right now: Topographic maps

Sorry, but no information at this moment

 

Where off the Internet, which sites, are you recommending for downloading from for the maps?

 

Thanks.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Try this. From what I have seen of the screen shots its about as close to what you want as you will get. He has been working on it for a while and it looks really really good and continues to get better. Just remember the Dunes are a dynamic "living" thing and you can not expect reliable Topo for them.

 

UAE & Oman Off-Road Map

New update for UAE & OMAN off-Road Map on Masarat Website

Vesrion 2

 

http://www.masarat-gps.com ]Marsarat GPS[/url]

 

E-Mail :sales@masarat-gps.com

Mobile Phone :+971 50 4880324

Office Phone :+971 7 2041687

Fax number :+971 7 2041010

P.O.Box :10559

City :Ras Al Khaimah FTZ

Country :United Arab Emirates

0

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you so much! Hopefully I can test it out this weekend!

0

Share this post


Link to post

If you do get it let us know your impressions of it.

0

Share this post


Link to post

The response from the company was quick. I get the maps delivered on Sunday, insha'allah and will be out hiking on Monday, hopefully using the new maps.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Try this. From what I have seen of the screen shots its about as close to what you want as you will get. He has been working on it for a while and it looks really really good and continues to get better. Just remember the Dunes are a dynamic "living" thing and you can not expect reliable Topo for them.

 

UAE & Oman Off-Road Map

New update for UAE & OMAN off-Road Map on Masarat Website

Vesrion 2

 

http://www.masarat-gps.com ]Marsarat GPS[/url]

 

E-Mail :sales@masarat-gps.com

Mobile Phone :+971 50 4880324

Office Phone :+971 7 2041687

Fax number :+971 7 2041010

P.O.Box :10559

City :Ras Al Khaimah FTZ

Country :United Arab Emirates

 

Yep - that's the only other one i know of too. also very keen to know the feedback on these - how up to date - copmpatibility with Garmin (or other) units etc.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Unfortunately, after being told the maps would be delivered on Sunday (last), but didn't, then Monday nothing and no responses to my emails, then Tuesday more of the same, until Wednesday supposedly they were going to be delivered until . . . . ooops, they were in Dubai or some story -- even though we are both in RAK -- finally the maps were delivered today (Thursday). But! I put the card into my GPSr, turned it on and it doesn't work. The GPSr says that it cannot unlock the maps, and when I search for the maps using the settings as suggested in the instructions, the maps do not show.

 

As tomorrow is the first day of Eid, I don't expect much in the way of customer service until at least Monday.

 

I'm very disappointed.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I am sorry to hear that. I hope he puts his mind on correctly soon and corrects this deficiency.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Unfortunately, after being told the maps would be delivered on Sunday (last), but didn't, then Monday nothing and no responses to my emails, then Tuesday more of the same, until Wednesday supposedly they were going to be delivered until . . . . ooops, they were in Dubai or some story -- even though we are both in RAK -- finally the maps were delivered today (Thursday). But! I put the card into my GPSr, turned it on and it doesn't work. The GPSr says that it cannot unlock the maps, and when I search for the maps using the settings as suggested in the instructions, the maps do not show.

 

As tomorrow is the first day of Eid, I don't expect much in the way of customer service until at least Monday.

 

I'm very disappointed.

Sorry to hear that.

 

Keep us informed of the progress please.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Update:

 

I was told today, in an email, the following:

 

"After the latest update for Oregon, this devices stop supporting 3rd party

maps, so we are working on a new version compatible with the new Garmin

software, expected to be ready first week of October.

 

You have the choice to refund the 300 DHS, or you can wait for the new

version. We are so sorry for any inconvenience."

 

Don't know why they didn't know this a week and a half ago when I first inquired/ordered about the product.

 

I will give the new(er) version a try, though, once it is available. Hopefully it will be ready when they say.

0

Share this post


Link to post

In their defense - I think the newest updates for the Oregon (especially the x50 version) caught people by surprise. My Oregon stopped working completely and was replaced by Garmin with a new unit.

0

Share this post


Link to post

In their defense - I think the newest updates for the Oregon (especially the x50 version) caught people by surprise. My Oregon stopped working completely and was replaced by Garmin with a new unit.

 

 

I bought my Garmin in June 2010 and have not done any updates. Perhaps when Masarat and you refer to updates, you include the newest version of the Oregon? Again, I'm hoping this is the issue and once the maps from Masarat are adjusted to work with the newest versions of Oregon, it will work for me.

0

Share this post


Link to post

I download web updates of the Oregon firmware from the garmin website fairly regularly (every month or so).

 

I find some useful; new features and bug fixes have been introduced. Like assistance on multiple waypoints for multicaches etc.

 

It was one of these updates that froze my Oregon.

 

Perhaps Masarat are just responding to one of these "updates" that caused an incompatibility with their software?

0

Share this post


Link to post

Just an update on my attempts to get maps from Masarat. I was told that the updated version of the SD card would be ready by early October. I figured that the 15th of October was giving them adequate time to get it together, so I contacted them again to ask if it was ready. The response was quick, informing me that they would deliver the maps on Saturday.

 

Saturday came and went and no maps/SD card was delivered. I emailed Masarat on Sunday asking what happened, but I got no reply.

 

I emailed again on Tuesday and on Thursday, and still have not heard back.

0

Share this post


Link to post

Just an update on my attempts to get maps from Masarat. I was told that the updated version of the SD card would be ready by early October. I figured that the 15th of October was giving them adequate time to get it together, so I contacted them again to ask if it was ready. The response was quick, informing me that they would deliver the maps on Saturday.

 

Saturday came and went and no maps/SD card was delivered. I emailed Masarat on Sunday asking what happened, but I got no reply.

 

I emailed again on Tuesday and on Thursday, and still have not heard back.

Frustration .... thanks for the updates on your saga

0

Share this post


Link to post

Just an update on my attempts to get maps from Masarat. I was told that the updated version of the SD card would be ready by early October. I figured that the 15th of October was giving them adequate time to get it together, so I contacted them again to ask if it was ready. The response was quick, informing me that they would deliver the maps on Saturday.

 

Saturday came and went and no maps/SD card was delivered. I emailed Masarat on Sunday asking what happened, but I got no reply.

 

I emailed again on Tuesday and on Thursday, and still have not heard back.

Frustration .... thanks for the updates on your saga

 

Good news! I finally got the SD card and put it into my GPS. It works beautifully.

0

Share this post


Link to post

That is good news. Let us know how it fares for you where it counts, in the desert!

0

Share this post


Link to post

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0