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Are Map Accessories Needed?

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How helpful have people found the Mapsource info? Have just been using the eTrex Venture for geocaching with no maps and may not realize what I am missing. Want to buy a second unit and am considering the Legend. Is it 'worth' it to buy the map information as well? Why? How detailed are they and what should I expect to pay for it?



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I had an eTrex Venture for over a year. I was using Mapsource's Points of Interest (POI) CD with it.


In my opinon the $50 POI added a lot of functionality to the Venturer not to mention the track/waypoint and route management functions that come built in to Mapsource. It did have one bad side effect - it made me want a mapping unit so I bought a Legend.


Points of Interest works well with other mapsource products so it wouldn't be a waste of money to start with it.

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Personally, I haven't found additional mapping info all that necessary for my purposes.


I've been using a eTrex Vista with the standard base map for quite a while. It works pretty well, but it obviously lacked some detail.


Later on I purchased Roads and Recreation. It added detail, of course, but still lacked a lot of minor roads in the area.


However, what I really noticed is that the detail around large bodies of water really improved. Lakes were no longer rough polygons, but looked more natural.


I've done several caches around lakes...with the basemap, often the cache would be "in" the lake...often by quite a distance. With the improved detail, the caches now show up on dry land.



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Foss Stars,

You can get R&R or Fishing Hotspots for around $90 to $100.


The point of asking if you fished or not is that the Fishing Hotspots CD contains something Garmin calls "Recreational Lakes" which is newer and is equivalent to Roads and Rec for detail downto and including street names and secondary roads. Since I purchased FHS I have been using the Recreational Lakes instead of Road and Rec. and have been very happy.


Since you also get coverage of certain lakes within one region, FHS provides more value than R&R for the same price.


The guys are Garmin's cartography group are super about answering questions. You can e-mail them at:




Personally, I am using a Legend and always load some combination of


1) Points of Interest, mostly businesses and marine data

2) Recreational Lakes for driving

3) Fishing Hotspots for freshwater fishing

4) BlueChart for marine navigation

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I've used the Topo software and Cityselect.


Cityselect is great around town, but those caches don't give me trouble. The topo has let me cache on the fly and find the trail's and access points that you need to be on. Sometimes finding the access point is half the battle of finding the cache.


So In my opinion mapping software is well worth it.



Wherever you go there you are.

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I have a Vista and use both Topo and MetroGuide. Metroguide has almost almost every road I have ever wanted including National Forest roads. Topo has stream data which here in the Pacific Northwest can be very handy to determine which way to approach a cache. I don't much like the implementation of the Topo map data because National Forests are shaded and on the grayscale Vista it makes visibility an issue. The data seems accurate enough for geocaching use, however.


I don't have a separate unit for my vehicles and so I use the map data extensively to help plan how to get to urban (and sometimes rural) caches.


The Mapsource software itself seems capable enough and if you get MetroGuide it will do autorouting. If you have your cache waypoints loaded, you ust click from one to next and it will create a route for you. I also find the visual representation of where the caches are to be of great use, although from reading these forums it seems that there are other options for that.


Just my opinions of course, but I hope this helps.



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Thanks SO MUCH for all of the comments! I never imagined such a great response. I will go ahead and get the Legend and a couple of the mapping cd's - it seems worth it based on your comments. Perhaps we will cross paths sometime.

Jeff (Foss Stars)

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Consider investing in a GPS V Deluxe. It includes great map software, is currently at a great price with the $75 rebate, and has features, especially built in autorouting, that are well worth the extra cash if you will be doing any road navigation at all. Check it out.

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