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Question to Explorist owner (Topo 3D)


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I have an Explorist 400. I don't have either of Magellan's detail software, yet.

I'm leaning toward Topo 3D (USA) software and am wondering exactly what that software has in it.

 

Topo's of course, as in the name, but does it have better detail road maps? At least better than the basemap that came with the unit? Also, do the maps (topo and road) overlay each other like layers?

 

Also, when you turn on a TOPO, does the basemap go away?

 

Also, I have a 2GB SD card in the 400. How much of the US could be crammed into a SD card that size? A couple of states? 10? All?

 

Thanks. ----Woodstramp

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I have Topo 3D USA, version 1.0. I think there might be newer versions, so your experiences might be different.

 

1. I do many things outdoors and off-highway--snowmobiling, 4 wheeling, etc.--so the Topo is much better for me than the streets and maps.

2. Detail road maps ARE included, including points of interest such as gas stations, restaurants, banks, scenic points, etc. (See notes below).

3. The basemap will still be present on your GPSr, but the TOPO maps make it so you won't even care.

4. No "layers", but you can select how fine of detail you want turned on. The higher the detail, the slower your GPSr unit will be. (But high detail is not too slow for me).

5. You can easily fit all the U.S. on a 2GB SD card. You will want to transfer regions that are smaller, however. I never cut a region that is more than 50 Meg. larger files slow down your GPSr. For a basis of how much goes into 50 meg, all of Utah is just under 50 meg. (Utah is a pretty big state geographically). My guess is you could get all the U.S. in about 20 or 30 (maybe fewer) region cuts of 50 meg each.

6. Topo will NOT give you driving instructions at all. That is what the street by street version (or whatever they call it) is for.

 

Notes: (At least for the version I have)

1. Mapsend is a pain to use with an eXplorist. Mapsend was written for units before the eXplorist line, and the maps that come straight out of Mapsend are not directly compatible with eXplorist. You have to save the cut region to your hard disk, then run the "Magellan Conversion Manager" that came with your eXplorist to get the map transfered to your unit.

2. The software has copy protection. You can use the software for up to three units. You have to enter the unit's serial number (from the "About" page) to generate usable maps.

3. The copy protection requires you place CD #3 into your computer every time you want to use mapsend. (There are "Patches" available that disable this requirement).

4. The points of interest for restaurants and gas stations, etc. are very out of date. I don't know how to get updated info (I've not looked because I don't use these).

5. I think the street maps and points of interest are from about 2001. New streets don't appear. If there is a way to update this, I'd like to hear about it.

6. You can turn off displaying of various points of interest, such as "don't show restaurants". But if you then switch to a different region and back again (Active Map or Active Setup, then choose a different detail map) everything you've turned off comes back on. Stupid.

7. It is really cool to take a track log from your GSPr, run conversion manager to transfer to mapsend, then see your track log in mapsend. I take track logs from snowmobiling trips in the Uinta Mountains and view the track logs in 3D mode. You can rotate the view and see all the steep hills and cliffs. Some my track logs in the mountains frighten me to see where I've been. Way cool!

8. Cutting a region then converting to eXplorist is slow. On a 2.3 Ghz core 2 duo (2 year old PC) it takes about 30 minutes to do a 50 Meg cut.

 

I wouldn't be without my Topo map on my eXplorist because of the way I use it. I wouldn't be without some form of detail maps on any unit, because it is so helpful to have all the little streets shown (even if the maps are a little old).

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I see on the magellangps.com site a software download for "MapSend Lite".

https://www.magellangps.com/products/map.as...amp;PRODID=1717

It looks like it is specifically targeting the eXplorist line.

 

It looks like it is free (you have to register as a user on Magellangps.com). I've never used it, so I can't say what it does.

 

It does not look like it will put maps onto the GPSr. It looks like it will show my track logs without messing with a conversion, though. I'll try it out this weekend if I get time.

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I see on the magellangps.com site a software download for "MapSend Lite".

https://www.magellangps.com/products/map.as...amp;PRODID=1717

It looks like it is specifically targeting the eXplorist line.

 

It looks like it is free (you have to register as a user on Magellangps.com). I've never used it, so I can't say what it does.

 

It does not look like it will put maps onto the GPSr. It looks like it will show my track logs without messing with a conversion, though. I'll try it out this weekend if I get time.

 

LETMEIN,

 

Thanks for all the details. That helps a lot coming straight from a user. That is much better info than Magellan give out in their pamphlets and website. :)

 

Mapsend Lite came on DVD with my unit. It's not much.....Just a blank coord grid of the US that will take POI's,

GC points and saved routes.

 

One other thing I'd like to ask you...... The basemap ( though scant with detail roads) on my Explorist 400 seems really accurate on roads. The track can sway left and right on the highways, but overall it's right on the money. What I have noticed is inaccuracies on railroads and waterways. One railroad north of here is shown 1000" North of where it is in reality. My Father-in-Law's lake house is shown 200" into the lake, etc.

Does your basemap do this and is the TOPO 3D software more accurate on these kind of features? Thanks.

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I can't tell when my unit is using the base map and when it is using the detail map. I think they exactly line up, so one is exactly on top of the other. (I don't ever see two lines for a single road).

 

I couldn't say if the detail map will be better at railroads and lakes. I wouldn't think it would make any difference, unless the basemap people were sloppy when they drew in these things.

 

I doubt that using detail maps will change your precision showing on roads.

 

What accuracy does the unit show? Does it ever show WAAS in the accuracy box? (The eXplorist 500 Europe firmware allows use of WAAS, but I don't know if it would destroy a 400 to install it.)

 

How accurate has the unit been with the geocaches you've found?

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What accuracy does the unit show? Does it ever show WAAS in the accuracy box? (The eXplorist 500 Europe firmware allows use of WAAS, but I don't know if it would destroy a 400 to install it.)

 

How accurate has the unit been with the geocaches you've found?

 

I'm new to GPSing/GCing and didn't know about all the WAAS trouble until after finding this site while doing research on the subject after purchase. I registered my new unit and downloaded the newest firmware update at Magellan online. From reading here I assume that my 400 doesn't have WAAS. The satellite signal screen shows 2 "W" satellites mixed in with the others after she warms up.

 

How accurate is it? Well, I was curious about that too after a few failed attempts at finding caches and benchmarks. Some good folks at the Benchmark forum pointed out some local "accurate" BM's for me to gage this 400's accuracy. I drove right up to the first one (witness post) and when I laid the 400 at it's base the it said I was 8' away. Since then I've found 3 out of 3 caches that I've hunted. On average (of the 3 found caches) my unit says 12' away when found. Maybe I got WAAS, maybe not? Not puter/GPS savvy enough to know. I never see the word "WAAS" on any of the NAV screens, but there is the accuracy box.

 

There is a ton of info here about how to get WAAS back on a Magellan, but it's kind of scary to this non-geek. Especially when most of the suggestions direct you to defunct Russian sites for quasi-legal downloads that used to be there, to save basemaps that I can't find and the author's punctuate instructions with "do so at your own peril". ;)

 

12' is looking purty good, WAAS or no.

 

Glad you told me that the TOPO 3D was good for three units. I never read that anywhere before. If this 400 holds up well I may buy another for backup. Thanks for all the help.

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