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Tell me about mapping capabilities..

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We've already got a yellow eTrex, but I'm curious about models with mapping capability. How much map can one get in 8MB or 24MB of memory? What would it take to hold, say, the entirety of San Diego county? I'd care about having as much detail as possible -- the smallest streets, topo maps. Come to that, how well can one even see a topo map, on a GPS screen? Can you load both street and topo information, and if you do, do you get to select which to display at any given time? I know topo maps are often indifferent when it comes to keeping up with street changes. The higher-end eTrex models apparently have finer resolution on the same size screen as the yellow; is the print then very, very tiny?

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The detail you're talking about would be the MetroGuide or Roads & Recreation. MetroGuide is more accurate with reference to your position on the map. It also contains a lot of data like restaurant addresses and phone numbers, etc., so it chews up a lot of memory.


8MB will hold the metro area of San Diego and points North along I-15 and points East along I-8. 24MB is enough to store maps to Las Vegas.


With MetroGuide, map storage is more or less a function of population as opposed to area. (More people = more businesses = more data = more memory) 24MB will barely hold most of Los Angeles.


So, if you ever want to take a trip to L.A., and get around using a Legend, then you'd better think about getting the Vista instead! Even then, you might find the 24MB insufficient.


Also, keep in mind that a new line will be coming out in a few months - the GPS map 60. It is said that those units will have up to 51MB with a color screen and quad helix antenna. If you can hold out a while, it might be worth it for you to wait. The new units will probably knock the price of the Etrex's down a bit. I imagine I'll be selling my Legend when they come out. icon_wink.gif

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