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Are The Cd Maps Worth It?


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Hi all. I have a Garmin etrex Legend that I've been using a few months now. I usually go out looking for caches on weekends when the kids or wife are up for joining me. Fun hobby! I am just now about too look into GSAK to get a little more familiar with the GPS stuff and making it easier to get the cache coordinates into my GPS. I've found 30 caches so far, but find that I am sometimes driving in circles to get to the general area of the cache. I was wondering if it would be worth it to get one of those map CDs that are available for my GPS. The "Metro" one, in particular. Kinda expen$ive. Or is the GPS I have not worth bothering with something like that? I'm starting to think I'd like something with at at least color, and a larger display would be nice. I'm not sure if I should spend the $ on the GPS I have now to put the maps on it, or if I should sell it and buy a better GPS? I'm still a novice to all of this and would appreciate input on it. With what I currently have (basic etrex Legend model) I use my GPS almost exclusively for geocaching. Would the Metro maps make it easier for me to choose the roads to take to get in the general vicinity of the caches? Sorry for the long-winded post, and thanks for input.

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I have an etrex legend too right now, and also have the mapping software for it. as far that it goes for geocaching, the only difference that the mapping software would ofer you is a planned(plotted) route from your house to the caching area (only if you do it from your computer). In the city the metroguide software would give and show you every street in the cities that you load on the gps and also all the points of interrest but in order to make a route from point A to point B you have to do it on your computer first again.

I am now upgrading from my Legend and going for a Gps Map60C, which is a autorouting GPS(which means can plot a route without the computer ANYTIME), is a colour GPS, and the inside memory of the gps is like 6 time the one of the Legend, somethign else to look into when buying is the antena, Etrex's use an internal antena which is not as good in the bush as a quad helix antena would be.

 

just my 2 cents worth

 

Kingquad

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I was using my Vista (similar to Legend) with Metroguide for years but it is a rather difficult way to drive your way from one place to another. Ther'es no auto-routing, audible voice prompts or sound of any kind and the black and white screen is tiny.

 

When my organizer broke, I replaced it with a color Pocket PC that I use for work and home (phone numbers, appts, To DO list, etc. You can use it for email, WI FI, with cameras and with its own GPS) I have added a full auto-navigation program (Mapopolis) and have gone to paperless caching using GSAK GPXSONAR and GPXMAPLET). The PC has 24K topo maps on it better than the 100K topo maps standard for GPS.s

 

I still use the Vista in the woods but on the road you can't beat a PPC. It can't be beat for fast auto routing, full color visual (twice the size of a 60C) and audible spoken promts for turning and to show where all the caches are located as you drive around. It displays a litle red icon for each cache that you can tap and get the info about it.

 

You might be able to convince your boss to provide the PPC as it can sync with Microsoft Outlook, or take off some if it as a business write-off if you buy it yourself. Well, anyway, it's business and personal use outside of caching is a great buying argument for the missus :D

Edited by Alan2
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If it's a choice between a new GPS with a better display or getting the detailed maps, then I'd opt for the maps. The larger color display won't be of any significant benefit without detailed maps, but the Legend with MetroGuide would make the unit considerably more useful. Not only for finding your way on roads to the vicinity of cache sites, but for general travel to any street address or to the many business and other POI locations included on the maps.

 

The main limitation of the Legend is the 8MB memory size. This is enough to load MetroGuide maps for a single reasonably large metro area so should be enough to be useful for local trips. When travelling you'd need to reload maps fairly frequently, and you may later decide to upgrade to a model with more memory.

 

If the cost is a major concern you may want to consider gettng an older version of the MG maps - either version 4 or 5 (version 3 isn't good for the Legend since it has larger map regions of 7 MB each so you'd be stuck with a single region). These are usually available on eBay for much less than the current version 6. They'll lack the latest subdivisions and road changes, but will still have almost all the streets.

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>I was using my Vista (similar to Legend) with Metroguide for years but it is

> a rather difficult way to drive your way from one place to another. Ther'es

 

You can build the route from cache to cache on the PC and then navigate the route.

 

>no auto-routing,

 

No autorouting in the GPS, if that's what you mean. The autoroute built on the PC can be uploaded to the Legend/Vista, and navigated as a regular route.

 

>audible voice prompts or sound of any kind and the black and white

> screen is tiny.

 

The freeware nRoute download from garmin gives audibles and screens as big as your laptop is. :-)

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Would the Metro maps make it easier for me to choose the roads to take to get in the general vicinity of the caches?

On a small-screened GPS without Autorouting, I would say that you may enjoy the greater detail of the maps but they won't help you get there any easier than you are now.

 

You can, however, plan your routes ahead of time by using the PC software that comes with the detailed mapping programs. Once you have your routes planned you can download them into your Legend.

 

Metroguide may be just want you need.

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Before my PPC I used to used Metro for routing on my Vista. It's difficult. First you have to do it on a PC to download the Route. But of course you never follow the exact route. You always switch road and then the route has little value. Hence the PPC approach that will change the route in real time.

Edited by Alan2
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