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GPS to PC ?


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Well, I have finally upgraded to a Garmin 60CX, and am excited that I have a chance to work with maps (I think). But I have absolutely no experience whatsoever in this field. If I buy software, such as mapsource, will I be able to transfer waypoints from my GPS onto my PC??? Essentially, I am looking to print out a topo map that shows different waypoints I have entered. Would I need mapsource to do this? Or are there other topo programs available? Is that all I would need, or are there converters involved? Gosh any advice on tranferring info from GPS to a PC would be appreciated. Thanks.

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You will need to buy additional maps. Either Topo or City Select or both. You are pretty much stuck with using Garmin maps. You can preview the maps here... via their online MapSource Map Viewer.

Topo here...


or street maps here...



Now for the good news!

The software that comes free with the GPSr (or can be downloaded here)


will allow you to connect your unit to the PC and practice transferring tracks or waypoints you have created on the GPSr even if you have no map to display them on.


Here is a link to a screen shot of a track and a couple waypoints I created in a favorite hiking spot of mine displayed without any additional maps.


Hope this helps...

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In addition to Thomas D's advice -


If you are only interested in loading data from the GPS to your PC (and not transferring map data from the PC to the GPS), then you are not limited to Garmin MapSource. There are many programs available that will allow you to upload waypoints and tracks from your GPS and display them on maps.


I have used the following three mapping programs with good success: Delorme atlas products, Google Earth, TopoFusion. National Geographic also offers map products.


TopoFusion (www.topofusion.com) has a free Demo version that you can download and use as long as you like. Not all the map tiles will display until you upgrade to the paid version, but the Demo version will let you get used to uploading data and give you some appreciation of the level of detail that is available from mapping programs other than MapSource.


Happy mapping!

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You're not limited for transfers to the GPS, either. There are many programs around which will transfer both ways, notably GPSBabel, which will convert almost any file type to any other, as long as it's remotely GPS related, and will send waypoints, tracks, and routes to your GPS. GSAK will also send cache waypoints both ways, using GPSBabel to do the work.

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If your goal is to print out a map with your tracks or waypoints, you should look at Trackmaker. The free version is an excellent program, to be found at http://www.gpstm.com/. It's especially nice if you already possess paper maps of the area you are interested in. You can't import scanned maps into the GPSr, but you can use them in Trackmaker on the PC. I was able to do this:


- Scan a topo map.

- Calibrate the scanned image to be used as a background in Trackmaker.

- View the tracks from the 60csx superimposed on the scanned image.

- Create a new image that combined the tracks with the scanned image and print it out.


If you want to get more adventurous you can even use Trackmaker to create maps that can be loaded into the GPSr. Instructions here: http://www.gpstm.com/articles.php?article=3

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