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How Much Memory Do I Need?


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First I would like to say thanks to those who helped me with my last questions on "GPS considerations for Mac users." The information supplied was very helpful!


I'm still waffling between the Meridian Gold and SporTrak Pro models and my new question is: how much memory does one really need? I know, I know -- you can never have too much... but I don't know exactly how much I should plan on "burning up" in order to download the information I want to my GPSr.


For example, what if I wanted to download, say, 100 waypoints from geocaching.com? or 250?

Or a topographic map of my home county -- if such is available -- from a Magellan CD? or six counties?


I just don't know what each of these might consume in memory, so it's hard to tell if the 23 MB available in a SporTrak Pro is "a lot" or "borderline useful." Right now I'm kind of leaning toward the ST Pro simply because the MerGold just doesn't fit my hand too well -- it's a little big. But it does have those SD cards.... aargh! :rolleyes:


Input appreciated -- thanks!


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We have a Meridian Platinum with maps on the card. We have used about 28MB just for the maps. If you go with the Gold you can use the card utilities to store as many waypoints as you might need ( like when on vacation). Extra memory cards are getting pretty cheap now, so you can store extra maps and waypoints that way.


We love our Platinum and wouldn't switch to another model.


Hope this helps.





editted for grammer & spelling.

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)
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Most GPSrs these days hold 500 waypoints. The memory quoted is for loading maps, and is in addition to the waypoint capacity. If you don't plan to load maps, then it makes no difference, the memory is just not used. For simple geocaching, you don't need any memory at all, but lots of people do like to load maps beyond the basemaps that come with the GPS. But you'll have to buy the maps, since both Garmin and Magellan use proprietary formats, and you can't use any other maps with them.

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I had 8 megs in my Legend and fit quite a bit in there. I had topo maps of most of northern NJ, southeastern NY and most of southern VT in there with room to spare.


I'd say 23 megs is plenty unless you plan to travel over a very wide area.

Edited by briansnat
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First, I have to agree with you about the size and shape of the Meridian. I have a SporTrak Map and it fits perfect.


However, if I was buying again right now and choosing between the SporTrak Pro and the Meridian, I'd go with the Meridian. I've been stung with the upgradability thing too many times. You may not use the extra memory right now, but how about next year? I want to be able to upgrade my GPS when I want to, not have to because it no longer fits my uses.


Hope this helps some. Might just be a different view of things.



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How much of Magellan's mapsend topo can I get onto a 64 mb sd card?  I would like to be able to load the whole U.S.  Is that possible with a 64 mb sd card?



This is almost 64mb of Topo. You have to break it up into four sections though before you can upload it.

One of the advantages with the Meridian Gold and an SD card is the ability to have more than one map on your gps. I use Direct Route for around town driving and routing and then switch over to my Topo map from the same card for caching and hiking and general back country travel.

As far as the waypoints go, you can have thousands of them on an SD card without even making a dent in the memory usage. They take up an incredibly small amount of memory.

Edited by Warriorrider
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I have a Sportrak Pro, and use Topo. I have fully 1/3 of the state of California in it, including the streets, topo, and POIs, and still have some memory left over. And as said previously, the waypoints use a completely different memory.


The STPro's 23MB is plenty unless you are going to be traveling an extremely large area. Of course, as also said previously, there is no such thing as too much memory!!

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SD testimonial.


I find the versatility of the SD much more useful than just the expandability.

As mentioned there is no limit to the waypoints. You can save as many 500 waypoint files as you want to the SD. I have five different Pocket Queries saved to the SD. It only takes a few clicks to switch queries.


I took a 4500 mile motorcycle trip last summer. I made a Pocket query for every region and city I was passing through. Very convenient. My friend had a Garmin GPS V. He was very upset that he had no maps or waypoints after leaving our state. I could load the caches to his PDA. However he had to manually load every waypoint.

I also used two 128meg cards and loaded seven states with there respective queries on them. Half way through the trip I switched cards and continued seamlessly. :D


No other hand held offers this versatility.

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My Legend handles 1000 waypoints with the firmware updated, but I can see how if you travel a lot something with SD expandibility would be pretty handy. I have a couple coworkers who do work trips to all over the US and Europe, they're thinking of going Magellan to get the US and Europe maps on SD to make the travel easy.

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My Legend handles 1000 waypoints with the firmware updated, but I can see how if you travel a lot something with SD expandibility would be pretty handy.

It's not necessarily the raw number of waypoints that can be saved. In fact, I probably don't have but 100 or so waypoints saved, maybe 150.


What makes the SD card handy is the ability to save waypoint files. I have a waypoint file for all my friends homes. I have a waypoint file for different businesses I frequent. I have a waypoint file for neat places I've found. I have taken camping trips and marked my campsites--and saved them to a waypoint file. And when I go geocaching I create a geocaching waypoint file.


You see, the advantage is not that I can save unlimited waypoints. It's that I can save unlimited waypoint folders. It's very handy, although admittedly a little cumbersome to use, given the limited number of buttons. In the end though, it's why I bought my Meridian, and it's why it still makes me happy.



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This may throw a wrinkle into the whole discussion. A few months ago I would recommend something like the Vista I have with 24 megs for maps. But now that I'm using a Pocket PC to navigate on the road, the only thing I use the Vista for is to navigate in the woods and topo maps are all that I use and that's not mandatory. And Topo maps take up very little room in the GPS.


Since the advent of Pocket PC (PPC)and Palm pilots ( which can use their own GPSr or can connect to a stand-alone GPS), the road maps that take up a lot of memory aren't needed in the GPS. Get a cheap GPS for the woods like an etrex and save your money for a Pocket PC with it's better on-board navigation software including road maps. (Watch the flaming now :lol:)


Using free GSAK and gpsxsonar software found here, you can create cache points as well on the roads maps and do paperless caching all with the PPC.



Edited by Alan2
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