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Can You Recomend A Handheld Gps For A Survey Crew?

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;) Hi everyone, I am looking to purchace a handheld GPS unit that I can download topo maps of my local area so that they are on the screen giving me some idea of where I am in relation to not only my waypoint, but also to my geographic surrondings. The gps units that show streets and hotels and resturants are of very little use in my line of work as a land surveyor, I almost never work anywhere near a town! I am of course wanting this to have a color display, and I already know that this won't come cheap. Space is not something I have a lot of, so I can deal with a PDA type set-up, but not a laptop set-up. I figured you folks that have this wonderful hobby of geocaching know alot more about handheld gps equiptment than I do, so I hope this is something you can help me with. I look forward to hearing your advice, and wish everyone a fun weekend out enjoying your hobby, if the weather is nice!
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Color and topo maps. You will want to take a close look at the software available, as that might be the deciding factor. I know the Magellan side, so I'll make some suggestions there and leave the Garmin experts to tell you the pros and cons on that side of the fence. Lowrance may be another contender.


The Meridian Color is one unit that might fit your criteria, but the new Explorist 500 and 600 models have a vastly superior, albeit smaller display. You can get detailed information in this comprehensive review being assembled by JamieZ. Meridians and Explorist 4/5/600 models have expandable SD card capability, so you can store a *lot* of detail map files, waypoints, tracks, etc. The explorist is also smaller than the Meridian, comparable to many of the Garmin products.


The MapSend Topo3D is new software that has more contour lines and newer street data than the older version. It's pretty good, IMO.


I had an older Garmin model when I started, but moved to Magellan several years ago, so I don't have any current Garmin experience. So a somewhat second-hand opinion comparing the two (say a Garmin 60c and an explorist 500) is that the Garmins have superior interface and features and better customer support systems. The Magellans have better reception in marginal conditions (e.g., under foliage) and SD card capabilites (explorist and Meridian).


Good luck!


Edit: This product page for Topo3D on the Magellan site includes a "Preview Maps" link on the right side of the page that will let you look at their maps in your area.

Edited by embra
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I just recieved the magellen 600 as it replaced my sportrak color. both units feature built in compasses and altimeters which is nice since your in surveying line of work. the sportracks have more changed screens to one's liking and the new 600's big info screen can't be changed it has epe,time,altitude above sea level, trip and battery,location.


also don't forget to look into the transfer speed of data, such as usb vs serial connectors.


this makes a huge difference when uploading maps in a hurry

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Ialso don't forget to look into the transfer speed of data, such as usb vs serial connectors.


this makes a huge difference when uploading maps in a hurry

Transfering maps is no problem with a usb card reader, or a newer pc or laptop with card slots built in ;)

Edited by vagabond
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