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etrex Vista + Laptop. Software Question


TheWilkens
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Here's what I want to do:

I'd like my laptop and GPS combination to work just like one of those nifty auto routing GPS's made specifically for driving.

 

I have seen that there is software for the pocket PC that does this but have not found laptop software yet. Preferably, I'd like the thing to talk to me as well icon_smile.gif

 

Does anyone here do this currently? If so, what do you use and how would you rate the software?

 

Thanks in advance.

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How about a free program called USAPhotoMaps.

 

It's a program like a streep mapping software but you scroll and zoom (from 64m to 1m) using satellite photo. You can download tracks to it and see on a Satellite photo where you traveled.

 

There is a realtime feature that you can see yourself on a satellite photo map using a GPS. It's fun to see yourself travelling down a highway on a real photomap.

 

It's kind of like what you get with ExpertGPS but the whole screen is a satellite picture and you can scroll and zoom easily. Much better than ExpertGPS in my opinion, esp because it's free.

 

It can manage Waypoints, routes, tracks etc. When you first launch the program, it will be a blank screen. Enter a location via coordinates and download the information by pressing "f" or using the drop down menu. It will be very hard to get your bearings because it's a satellite photo. Look for a big landmark to get your bearing. Then start downloading! I've got almost the entire SoCal on my HDD now.

 

Best part is you can switch from Photo to Topo too. It is the coolest thing to see waypoints marked on an actual photo map. Your "Home" waypoint will have a dot on your house.

 

http://jdmcox.com/

 

If you have any questions using this thing, e-mail me I'll be glad to help. You should have fast connection though (768k or higher) and a large HDD because it will be addicting to keep DL

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quote:
Originally posted by The Wilkens:

Here's what I want to do:

I'd like my laptop and GPS combination to work just like one of those nifty auto routing GPS's made specifically for driving.

 

I have seen that there is software for the pocket PC that does this but have not found laptop software yet. Preferably, I'd like the thing to talk to me as well icon_smile.gif

 

Does anyone here do this currently? If so, what do you use and how would you rate the software?

 

Thanks in advance.


 

Have you tried it with Garmin's software "MetroGuide USA" I have both a laptop and a vista. I haven't tried to hook them together other then download stuff to the computer. I would also be interested if this would work.

 

HappyFrog

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Delorme StreetAtlas will do most of what you want. It will do auto-routing from address/point A to address/point B. It does voice prompting, automatic recalculation if you get off-route, and has very good accuracy (though never quite perfect.) I own SA 9 (2002? 2001?), and here's a few problems I have run into:

The address search interface is quirky and difficult. Often the only way to find an address is to know the exact address with zip code. The ability to search for nearby business' by name and/or type is almost unusable, and interacting with the little icons on the map is difficult and non-intuitive.

When the difference between the map's idea of where the road should be and the actuall location gets large, it can be REALLY annoying as it *constantly* tells you to get back on course.

The interface for calculating detours is very cryptic. As of SA9, you had to use drawing tools to draw "exclusion areas", and then recalculate the route. The instructions for this are buried deep in the hints, and are not obvious. Whenever I need to do this, I need to pull over for 5-10 minutes and re-learn the procedure... not practical when you just want to get around a slow area or an unexpected section of road construction. It's usable if you know in advance a particular area you want to avoid. (but then, if you knew that.. you probably know the area well enough not to need the software.)

Maybe some of these problems have been addressed/fixed. Someone with a more recent copy could give more info.

 

-- Pneumatic

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I'd also recommend DeLorme's Street Atlas. AFAIK, it's the closest thing to the dedicated automotive units that you can run on a laptop with your GPSr - it'll give spoken directions, show you business locations along the way, automatically reroute if you go off course, split the screen so you have both a zoomed-in view and a larger overview, etc.

However, the interface is not the most intuitive, especially since it is different from the convention followed by most Windows programs. DeLorme has also switched the source of their maps, so some areas that were ok in SA9 now have problems in the newer versions (SA2003 and SA2004). SA2004 was just released about a week ago and did clear up many of the problems resulting from the change in their source of the maps, so make sure you get the current product and not old stock.

 

Also note that unlike most software vendors, DeLorme has a money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied within 30 days - and that applies even if you didn't buy it directly from them. So go ahead and try it for awhile and if you just can't get used to the user interface or have some other problem with it you can get your money back.

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rjo: This is from their site: Street Atlas USA 2004 not only gets you around the United States but now Canada as well. The U.S./Canadian border highway connectors have all been updated and you can navigate through Canada on highway and primary roads. You’ll also find Canadian places of interest included so you can find the nearest conveniences while traveling.

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I have not used Delorme but have seen several comments here that suggest MS Streets & Trips has a much better data set for Canada (eh?).

 

S&T does routing but does not have voice prompts, etc. I've used it for a couple years and am very happy with it. It also has MetroGuide type info for TO, Mtl, & Van. with restaurants, hotels, ATMs complete with phone numbers. Addresses are databased for most cities above 8,000 or so population & lookups are easy. Streets added in the last 3-5 years are generally not there though. But I have been very happy with (and amazed by) the cow trails that have made it into the database.

 

PS I don't work for or sell MS icon_wink.gif

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It sounds like the answer to my question below is 'YES':

 

Can a handheld (portable) GPS unit be connected to a laptop and used with mapping software on the laptop? So I could use the laptop while driving then use the portable itself while walking. If so, does this happen using the same data cable used for uploading map data from a PC to a handheld GPS?

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