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Birds eye view software for Garmin


ham fam
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I've been purchasing the annual Birds eye view software subscription for years.  I do like the end result, high resolution satellite imagery.  I can sort of deal with the slowness of downloading BEV imagery for an area, I'll be caching.  Even though its like a 3 day process for me.  I'm now wondering why I even use it.  And this is my question for all of you.  What benefit does BEV bring you for caching?  In the end your looking at your device, where you are, and where the end point is located.  Its only as good as your GPS signal.  If you find yourself in the deep woods, you're probably not going to see anything on the BEV anyway.  

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A lot of people seem to think its a waste of money. I like it personally, and get a decent amount of use out of it. 

 

For me, hiking/caching mostly in desert environments, satellite maps can prove extremely useful for finding hidden or poorly cut trails. Out here, dirt bikers and ATVs create trails all over the place, and oftentimes I can piggyback on someone's trail and use it to navigate to where I need to. These trails are almost always not in the topo maps as they are too small or recently created.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
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I'm going to ignore the Garmin specific question for a moment and first go back to my DeLorme days, where I got a PN-60 that came with a year's subscription to "maps", which turned out to mainly imagery. I happily used it for a year, but I never for a second considered paying for it after that. I'd kinda realized it wasn't all that important since I rarely had a problem when I found myself off image, but the bigger argument was that I had already downloaded everything for my area, so it was only when I was traveling that I didn't already have what I needed. But this might have been mainly a DeLorme problem: these were in the days when DeLorme was ignoring the GPSr market, so they never put out fresh maps. Even the stock maps they sent out with the units were the same maps they sent out with the first PN-40s a decade earlier.

 

As to Garmin, I was led to believe that my 66st came with lifetime BirdsEye, so I don't have to worry about the cost, but it never connects to the Birdseye server anymore, so maybe not. Even when it worked, it was very frustrating and often useless, so I stopped even trying to use it a year or two ago. I don't really miss it, but, again, that's mainly because I have imagery for most of the places I end up caching. And, to be honest, sometimes when I'm out of imagery, I'm not sure the unit isn't easier to use with just the normal maps, so sometimes I consider disabling the imagery I have downloaded. But I don't, and generally I have to admit the imagery tends to be more useful than I give it credit for.

 

On 7/17/2021 at 7:45 AM, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

For me, hiking/caching mostly in desert environments, satellite maps can prove extremely useful for finding hidden or poorly cut trails. Out here, dirt bikers and ATVs create trails all over the place, and oftentimes I can piggyback on someone's trail and use it to navigate to where I need to. These trails are almost always not in the topo maps as they are too small or recently created.

I don't do much remote stuff, but I do understand your logic and look at imagery at home for that reason. But I rarely find that works on my little 66st screen. As often as it's led me to a trail, it's led me to something that looks like a trail but ends up being an impassible creek bed or some such. Besides, do they release new images so frequently that you can see this year's trails? I'm impressed.

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