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Newbie Confusion On Uploading Maps


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Hi all.

I'm a GPS/Geocaching newbie. I have a macintosh running OSX and am considering getting a garmin etrex vista. after reading posts here and googling it sounds like i will be able to transfer waypoints to/from the vista/mac, but on OSX i can only upload maps to the vista using virtual PC and garmin's mapsource software. is that a true statement?


thanks for any help.


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Not entirely true. There are free downloadable programs that will enable you to manage waypoints, routes and tracks. EasyGPS is one such program. USAPhotoMaps is another, and there are others as well. You will still need the VPC program, but not the MapSource program. There may be some Mac programs out there, but being a PC kind of guy, I'm personally not aware of them.


That being said, the Vista is a mapping GPSr (meaning you can upload map data INTO the GPSr, and display the maps on the GPSr's screen). In order to upload the map data into the GPSr, you WILL need the MapSource program.

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Hi Tadpole,


Regarding use with Macs, I'm sure there are several threads regarding this all over this forum. But to summarize them:


If your GPS is based on a serial interface, then you should have no problems with using a Mac with any Mac GPS software (some mentioned above, I use MacGPS Pro) for uploading and downloading waypoints, tracks and routes.


If you have proprietary maps that you want to upload or download, then you need Virtual PC (or another emulator allowing for .exe applications) to work with the unit.


Now, for USB-interface GPS's, there's really no hope because no one created a Mac USB driver, and no one wants to....except for one company and the only product they have is the GPS antenna only. It's not a stand-alone (or all in one) GPS. In case you're interested, it's called the Rayming TripNav TN-200 GPS receiver.


Incidentally, if your GPS is bluetooth enabled, then you can connect using bluetooth.


As a side note, USB 1.1 data rate is theoretically 12mbps, with actual being generally about 4-8mbps. Bluetooth is about 725kbps (much slower). Serial is agonizingly slow at around 115kbps. So serial connections are painful when uploading or downloading maps, but just fine for waypoints, tracks, and routes. pretty much the same for bluetooth.


Hope this helps

Edited by tekkster
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