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Bradinn

A question about software to use

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I was hoping that someone could help me with a question that I have regarding the use of mapping software. I have searched the forums and found quite a bit of useful information regarding this (some of which I don't completely understand - I am fairly PC literate, but mapping and navigation is still new to me).

 

My situation is this: I have a little yellow etrex which we have been using for caching, and has been perfect for feeding our addiction. Now we are beginning to branch out and go after caches that our outside of our local circles. The yellow Etrex does not support maps, and can only accept uploads of waypoints (which is fine). What I am looking for though is a mapping program which will allow me to find a cache and see it's approximate location, then use waypoints to create a simple route to it (or say to the nearest parking area if we are not familiar with the streets). I have been doing some reading in the forums, and the popular choices seem to be Ozi and Trackmaster (I just want to start the learning curve before I spend a lot of money - I want to make sure I know what I'm doing).

 

I do have paper maps, both topo and street that I can scan in and use (I assume that there are instructions somewhere for setting up a scanned map within the software that might be a little more - ahem - idiot proof than the ones in the software).

 

Would anyone have suggestions on which might be a better choice or easier for a beginner to use? Also I guess, does the software do this? Most of the posts I have read focus on uploading the entire map to the units, however all I really want to do is to use the map as a visual reference to plan our initial trip to the cache location, then set it up as a route. Can the software interface with an etrex to send waypoint information only?

 

As an example: I want to visit Cache A, so I open up the software, load a map and find the cache's coordinates, I see roughly where it is and what streets to take to get there, so I set waypoints at the major intersections, etc, and upload them to the etrex, then load a topo map and plan a basic route to the cache area, upload those waypoints, then in the etrex arrange the waypoints as a route.

 

The reason I am asking this in the Canada post and not in the GPS post is that I am trying to find something that has a good selection of maps for Ontario if I can.

 

My apologies if I'm asking a redundant or blatantly obvious question here; although the unit itself is simple enough, the school of electronic navigation and some of the toys that go with it have a bit of a learning curve attached I am finding. Thanks for any help!

 

"When I was a young man, I journeyed to the West to find myself......it turns out I had the wrong coordinates."

 

[This message was edited by Bradinn on July 23, 2002 at 07:11 AM.]

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Bradinn

 

For free stuff GPSTrackmaker http://www.gpstm.com and Toporama maps http://toporama.cits.rncan.gc.ca/ will do what you want. These are not as full featured as other products (OZI and better didgital mapping) but the price is right and they're a good place to start.

 

As you get some experience using them you'll be able to figure out for yourself what extra features are desirable to you and use this info as a basis for upgrading. icon_razz.gif

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Bradinn

 

For free stuff GPSTrackmaker http://www.gpstm.com and Toporama maps http://toporama.cits.rncan.gc.ca/ will do what you want. These are not as full featured as other products (OZI and better didgital mapping) but the price is right and they're a good place to start.

 

As you get some experience using them you'll be able to figure out for yourself what extra features are desirable to you and use this info as a basis for upgrading. icon_razz.gif

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I'd recommend MS Streets and Trips for your overview. See my posting here. For your close in view, the gpstrackmaker is free and quite good.

 

In some parts of Canada, Softmaps sells (For $60) map software that contains topos that would cost you $1000's!!! Unfortunatly there interface leaves a lot to be desired.

 

I like OZIExplorer but I'd recommend Fugawi because a) They are a Toronto based company and ;) they have a palm app that you get free.

 

The price of Ozi is $70USD while the price of Fugawi is around $150CAN, therefore about the same!!!

 

Cheers,

 

Rob

Mobile Cache Command

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I want to thank you for your suggestions. I have acquired Streets and Trips 2002 and you are absolutely correct, it is excellent software. I'm quite impressed with it.

 

I'm still working on Trackmaker, theres a bit of a learning curve with it I am finding, but I'm getting there.

 

Thanks again guys!

 

"When I was a young man, I journeyed to the West to find myself......it turns out I had the wrong coordinates."

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