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BirdsEye V2 ?


wher2nxt
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Has anyone noticed the change in resolution in the BirdsEye downloads? Also a "v2" (version 2??) after the file name. I have deleted all of my old BE images and started the download process again...in NW Pennsylvania. The images are great on my Montana compared to pre 2014.

Edited by wher2nxt
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Thanks for the heads up on the new imagery! The imagery in my neck of Montana just took a giant leap forward in time! The answer to the question "does Garmin update BirdsEye imagery?" is an affirmative YES! At least once. Time to re-download my image library! My area has much higher resolution as well.

 

Time for everyone to check their own area for updated, higher resolution imagery!

Edited by yogazoo
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I see the V2 on the download popup as well. If this is only version 2, and version 2 means what I think it means, then it's possible Garmin has never updated their imagery banks before just recently. Perhaps they saw our thread on this topic in weeks past or perhaps user emails, from myself and others, have prompted the update. Either way, I'm totally stoked with the higher resolution and more current photo date!

Edited by yogazoo
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I've had a look around my home area and the BirsdEye images are as sharp as the Google ones. Note using Basecamp you can download the imagery without a BirdsEye subscription ... you only need that if you want to send them to your GPS.

Edited by sussamb
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The Amazon reviews for Birdseye are almost universally damming, some as recent as Dec. 2013. Basically slow to download and poor resolution. Has this now changed? How do the images compare to Google Earth?

I used Birdseye about a year ago, and now have a subscription as well. It does seem faster to download now, and haven't had even one "failed to download" tile. It has definitely improved over time!

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Does birdseye have little photos to click on like google earth does? Or only the geo tagged ones you load yourself? Also on Garmins site they have Birdseye Satellite and then Birdseye with raster maps for different countries. I am not quite sure of the difference , can someone clarify, thx.

http://garminbasecamp.wikispaces.com/BirdsEye I am guessing you don't get the satellite imagery with the topo version.

Edited by Forkeye
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OK so I bought V2 and I can download it to basecamp when my 62sc is plugged into my computer, google earth still looks way better than Birdseye V2 does...oh well too late now. Anyway, after the download it wont transfer to my gps, it says my gps does not have an active subsciption and when I start the down load to base camp it says I am not subscribed ,but it still downloads to basecamp. Both my gps units are registered at My Garmin, maybe that's the problem. Is there some place I have to enter my Birdseye order number? Too bad you cant just download from Google Earth. How many devices can you put birdseye on, I read only one on an old forum post, is that correct?

Edited by Forkeye
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Seeing is believing. So far in the state of Montana, away from large cities, BirdsEye V2 bests Google Earth! High country hike planning is better in BaseCamp than Google Earth by a longshot round' here. Results will vary depending on the imagery for your location of course. FYI, all images from BirdsEye were the "Highest" resolution downloads.

 

In the images below I can actually make out scree slopes with Garmin BirdsEye V2. With Google Earth I can't tell alpine grasses from rock scree. This kind of distinction can be critical for back country off-trail routes. BirdsEye is the clear winner here on the Beartooth Plateau just east of Yellowstone NP.

 

Google Earth

1390626842.jpg

 

Garmin BirdsEye V2

1390626981.jpg

 

Closer view - Google Earth

1390627048.jpg

 

Closer view - Garmin BirdsEye V2

1390627111.jpg

 

A different scene in the Beartooths and BirdsEye V2 absolutely crushes Google Earth.

 

Google Earth

1390628145.jpg

 

BirdsEye V2

1390628250.jpg

 

Panning to a different location in Montana the resolution contrast between the two is less stunning but I still give the advantage to BirdsEye V2.

 

Google Earth

1390628357.jpg

 

BirdsEye V2

1390628395.jpg

 

Results around larger cities are almost always in favor of Google Earth but I don't use BirdsEye imagery in cities. Personally I'm stoked about BirdsEye V2 and can't wait to have better than Google Earth photos in the palm of my hand and on demand. Rarely is there cell phone coverage in the back country here. Even if I had cell phone coverage I couldn't conjure the stunning back country imagery of BirdsEye on it. And I don't even have to worry about exceeding my data plan. Win-win in favor of dedicated GPS.

Edited by yogazoo
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OK maybe I am being too critical too soon. Those images of yours are very good. I will give it a decent try, but back to some of my questions if you can assist me. If I have 2 units listed at My Garmin is that going to screw things up, because it keeps saying my gps is not registered and after I download to basecamp it says only a demo version can be transferred to the gps.

Edited by Forkeye
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OK maybe I am being too critical too soon. Those images of yours are very good. I will give it a decent try, but back to some of my questions if you can assist me. If I have 2 units listed at My Garmin is that going to screw things up, because it keeps saying my gps is not registered and after I download to basecamp it says only a demo version can be transferred to the gps.

 

No, two units having a subscription won't screw things up. I currently have 3 and I never get the demo version prompt. Be sure your subscription is still active for both of them and make sure one of them is connected to the computer when you try to download and things should go smoothly. If it still doesn't work your not doing anything wrong, just contact Garmin and they'll check your subscriptions and walk you through each step to see where things go fowl.

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OK so fixed my problem of downloading to my unit. Finally found where I needed to register my device and activate Birdseye.

Anyway still have to say birdseye V2 looks lousy in the mountains near Vancouver BC here. The imagery was taken when lots of snow was still around so everything is pretty much white which makes it hard to see things. In the summer the snow is gone, thats when they should have taken the images and the clarity is not as good as google earth.

Edited by Forkeye
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A different scene in the Beartooths and BirdsEye V2 absolutely crushes Google Earth.

 

Google Earth

1390628145.jpg

 

BirdsEye V2

1390628250.jpg

This pair really makes your point, "crushes"!!!

 

I went to Brent Lake in GE to see for myself, exact results you show. One note, I've seen a dramatic improvement in GE imagery since 2011, so perhaps part of the reason.

 

Given the low resolution of a GPS screen, how does this translate in the field?

 

Thank you for the effort.

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Note using Basecamp you can download the imagery without a BirdsEye subscription ... you only need that if you want to send them to your GPS.

How does one do this? I clicked on Birdseye within BC and it didn't offer to download images, rather sent me to the BE webpage to purchase a subscription. I have BC 3.2.2* if that matters.

 

*Upgraded to BC 4.0.5, no difference.

 

Thanks

Edited by MtnHermit
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GeoTrekker26, you can see the coordinates on the Google Earth screen shots.

 

MtnHermit,

Zoomed in a tiny bit closer than the images above. On an Oregon 650t.

1390680082.jpg

 

And closer still.

1390680665.jpg

 

Looks like the exact same resolution as found in BaseCamp. On anything that has the pixel count of the Oregon 650 at least.

 

Here's the same shot in Google Earth on my Android phone.

1390682603.jpg

 

Yeah, I get it. It's a small sample size but is indicative of the broader landscape in one state, Montana. I'm sure it's a mixed bag anywhere BirdsEye is available and Google Earth probably has a resolution advantage in many other areas. The point here is that you might just be surprised. If your hesitant because of previous poor resolution then simply download the demo of V2 in an area of interest and compare resolution for yourself before springing for a subscription.

Edited by yogazoo
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MtnHermit,

Zoomed in a tiny bit closer than the images above. On an Oregon 650t.

1390680082.jpg

 

And closer still.

1390680665.jpg

 

Looks like the exact same resolution as found in BaseCamp. On anything that has the pixel count of the Oregon 650 at least.

The second image show some pixelation, but the first is impressive. However, I'm really interested in your subjective field experience. Do you use these or the topo or both?

 

I have a OR 450 and I've loaded a number of geotagged photos, always viewable but never great. Pretty sure the 450 and 650 have the same resolution but not as bright as your 650. Also the 450 is portrait only, not both.

 

If your hesitant because of previous poor resolution then simply download the demo of V2 in an area of interest and compare resolution for yourself before springing for a subscription.
Haven't figured out how to do this.

 

I went to a 12,000 foot lake I backpacked to in 2013 and compared the 2011 and 2012 GE images. Just like your 2011 GE Brent Lake image night & day difference. So the source(s) that Garmin and Google use are getting better.

 

Thanks for the reply.

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You can download a "demo" BirdsEye tile by connecting your BirdsEye compatible GPS to your computer. Once the GPS shows up in the left side window pane in BaseCamp you can then go to the BirdsEye tab along the top and choose to "Download BirdsEye Imagery". Once the Garmin server checks your GPS serial # and discovers that you don't have an active BirdsEye subscription it will ask you if you want to download a demo tile.

 

When in the field I use both the BirdsEye and vector based topo maps enabled at the same time. Vector line features such as topo, streams, roads, and boundary lines are visible over top of the BirdsEye images. It creates a very visually pleasing and informative terrain reference. The new Monterra is pretty slick in this regard because it goes a step further. The BirdsEye aerials can be viewed in Automotive Mode and shows as a 3D view of your terrain similar in effect to Google Earth (providing you own a Garmin map product with embedded terrain / digital elevation (DEM) data.).

Edited by yogazoo
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Note using Basecamp you can download the imagery without a BirdsEye subscription ... you only need that if you want to send them to your GPS.

How does one do this? I clicked on Birdseye within BC and it didn't offer to download images, rather sent me to the BE webpage to purchase a subscription. I have BC 3.2.2* if that matters.

 

*Upgraded to BC 4.0.5, no difference.

 

Thanks

 

You need to have a BirdsEye capable GPS connected, so a handheld that you could download BirdsEye to if you had a subscription.

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Note using Basecamp you can download the imagery without a BirdsEye subscription ... you only need that if you want to send them to your GPS.

How does one do this? I clicked on Birdseye within BC and it didn't offer to download images, rather sent me to the BE webpage to purchase a subscription. I have BC 3.2.2* if that matters.

 

*Upgraded to BC 4.0.5, no difference.

 

Thanks

 

You need to have a BirdsEye capable GPS connected, so a handheld that you could download BirdsEye to if you had a subscription.

 

Note: You can only download a single "Demo" tile. Last time I checked you can't just download all the imagery you want into BaseCamp without a subscription.

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You can certainly download more than you're allowed to send as a 'demo tile' to your GPS, how much more I have no idea as BirdsEye doesn't really excite me ... I prefer just to have the map.

 

Sussamb you may be correct here as I don't currently have a device that doesn't have a BirdsEye subscription to run a test. But back in the old days (a year ago) before I sprung for a subscription I distinctly remember trying to download aerials just for use in BaseCamp for trek planning but was denied and relegated to the small demo tile. So I purchased subscriptions for all of my compatible devices.

 

Aerial imagery obviously excites me. :)

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You can download a "demo" BirdsEye tile by connecting your BirdsEye compatible GPS to your computer. Once the GPS shows up in the left side window pane in BaseCamp you can then go to the BirdsEye tab along the top and choose to "Download BirdsEye Imagery". Once the Garmin server checks your GPS serial # and discovers that you don't have an active BirdsEye subscription it will ask you if you want to download a demo tile.

 

When in the field I use both the BirdsEye and vector based topo maps enabled at the same time. Vector line features such as topo, streams, roads, and boundary lines are visible over top of the BirdsEye images. It creates a very visually pleasing and informative terrain reference. The new Monterra is pretty slick in this regard because it goes a step further. The BirdsEye aerials can be viewed in Automotive Mode and shows as a 3D view of your terrain similar in effect to Google Earth (providing you own a Garmin map product with embedded terrain / digital elevation (DEM) data.).

So far, so good.

I connected my OR 450 and then started BaseCamp 4.x. When BC opened there was a banner at the top notifying me my OR 450 was BE compatible and would I like to go to the BE server. Clicked Yes and it displayed an overlay to extract. Using its tools I stretched the area to cover a planned 2014 backpack which crosses the Continental Divide 4-times. Started downloading then hung??? No mention of demo?

 

Overall the tool had a short learning curve. Appears rather than "demo" you get a single image resident on BC at one time and it deletes the previous image. Found this on my second try.

 

Here's my extract in case anything jumps out:

 

Birdseye-Extract.jpg

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Thanks for the screenshot! So it looks like either I was wrong or BaseCamp changed. Looks like you can download one full tile at a time in BaseCamp but only send a demo of that tile to the GPS? Is that a correct summary?

To me there is no "demo" but rather one "tile" if what I have pictured (green area) is a "tile"? One download is all you can save on BaseCamp w/o a subscription. Your terminology differs from what I see on the BE dialogs.

 

Still have nothing to show, first time it failed, second time didn't get past pending. Will try again. If I'm able to download that one area as my "demo" that will be excellent. My biggest concern is download speed (~70Kb/s). I'd love broadband but when you live off-the-grid, any internet is good. Satellite and 4G LTE are both options but at double to triple the cost per month. So the $30/yr for Birdseye is not really an issue.

 

Thanks for all your time/thoughts. :)

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Needless to say, I'm not encouraged. Not sure what all the fails mean. My instincts are to abandon the whole Birdseye experiment.

 

BTW, why so many images? Are images your tiles?

 

I have lightening fast internet and sometimes I get "failed" tiles too. It's ok, after the download is finished you will have the option of re-downloading the failed tiles. I think I remember you mentioning that you had slow internet and unfortunately that will be your biggest hurdle. Hang in there. It took me three days to download 1/3 of the whole state of Montana. Really, when anyones plans to go with BirdsEye and wants to download an extensive catalog, you should give yourself a week. It also takes some time to draw up adjacent tiles and make it so that they are just barely overlapping (to avoid gaps). So there's alot of zooming and panning involved. There is also some strategy when choosing the resolution (Standard, High, Highest).

 

Yes, the tiles fit in to what you see as a blue grid. Chopped up images that serve to improve draw times on the GPS screen. There are tiles of varying size for different zoom levels.

Edited by yogazoo
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ec, agree emphatically about the tile sizes. Not only does it take longer to set-up and download so many "Highest" resolution tiles but then you have the problem with the GPS taking longer to boot up the more tiles you have loaded on it. If I want a large geographical area I'm going to download it anyway and tax Garmin servers just as much. Garmin just makes it a PITA for the end user by imposing limits.

 

With 22GB of BirdsEye on my 32GB card it takes the unit 3 minutes to fully boot. Buying a 64GB card to load more imagery isn't worth it. It would take my unit a whopping 9 minutes to boot.

 

My wish is for Garmin to spend a little time either getting rid of those tile size limits OR for them to make the boot-up time go quicker with alot of BirdsEye on your unit. But you know what they say about wishes. Wish in one hand and ____ in the other and see which one fills up first.

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I took another stab at downloading Birdseye. Several of my earlier statements appear incorrect, re loading a single demo.

 

At the end of my unsuccessful download, I got a prompt to load a demo, said yes and perhaps the demo is loaded to my OR 450. How do I view Birdseye? Special menu item? I have firmware version 5.50 if that matters.

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Success!!!

 

The root problem was BaseCamp, I had v4.0.5 and all I got was 100% failed download images, upgraded to v4.2.5 and got 100% downloaded images. Perhaps this will help someone.

 

Loaded a small area to the OR 450, went outside in the bright sun and pretty much decided it wasn't very useful. More tests to follow.

 

Thanks to all for the feedback.

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I am dissapointed with mine, I live in the Pacific Nortwest between Canada and the USA , Google Earth seems to be better . The main issue I dont like is I got it for hiking, but when they took the photos there was a lot of snow on the ground in the mountains and so all the lakes and most other features are all white . Not only cant I see these features, but the almost white screen is terrible in sunlight. If they had taken the photos in the summer there would have been hardly any snow and it would have been noticably better.

Edited by Forkeye
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