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Apparently you can scan your own maps and drop them into the programme, tell it 3 known GPS coordinates and it interpolates the rest. You link your lap top with the GPS unit and it marks a cross as to where you are moving on the map.
I would like to buy the software but would be interested in any information on how well it works
Well, it works fine. I bought it a few years ago but never use it any more. Although it works it has very limited features and the interface looks like something programmed for windows 3.1, if you can remember that back . For, more or less, the same amount of money you can get much better software like Ozi Explorer or for a bit more my personal favorite Quo Vadis. Here’s some links to get you started:
Most favorite software,... don't know yet. Gonna start (tryin) to use GPSy software for macs. But have very little knowledge and no experience with this.
For a start: are the maps you can buy from Touratech OK? I am interested in the ones from Scandinavia (Sweden and Norway) and Belgium.
Looks like the maps are only made for the Touratech software. Or can you export / import them to other software?
The maps Touratech sells are the Russian survey maps made many many years ago. They are great topographical maps. That means they show the land features, which is useful if you plan to go Offroad in an area that hasn’t been developed much in the last 40 years or so. They are great for Africa since it hasn’t developed much and there are very few alternatives.
If you’re driving on roads then other recent road maps would be much better. I imagine Scandinavian countries would have very decent, and recent, maps, so I would get those instead.
The maps come calibrated for Quo Vadis, but you can easily calibrate them for use with other mapping software. All you have to do is define at least 3 points on the map and tell the software their coordinates. You’ll want to pick the 3 points as close to the border of the map as possible and from the grid line intersection to be able to figure out their exact coordinates. The more calibration points the more accurate the calibration will be and therefore the more accurate the waypoints will be. Also needed by the software is the map projection, which is usually written on the map. If not call up the map maker and ask them for it. Simply put the projection is the method used to draw the curved surface of the earth on the flat peace of paper you buy.
If you get paper maps you can easily scan them at any mapping or GIS shop. I would recommend at least 1:500.000 scale maps, but 1:250.000 or better would be best. If the map details and printing isn’t very small then scanning them at 150 dpi would be best.
As I said above, if you’re mainly driving on road then something like Garmin’s Map Source would be best. It contains a lot of roads maps in vector format, which can be uploaded directly to your Garmin GPS. Vector maps use lines and curves to represent roads, no images whatsoever. Other bitmap (images) maps used in Ozi or Quo Vadis cannot be uploaded to your Garmin. Only the waypoint you pick from these maps.
I’m not sure but I don’t think there’s a Mac version of Map Source so you’ll need to use an emulator or something.
You cannot upload anything into your Garmin other than Map Source’s vector maps (simple lines representing roads). Anything you scan into your computer stays there. Here are a couple of scenarios to give you a better Idea about the process:
I scanned all my maps on my computer and also uploaded all my waypoints, routes and tracks as well.
I use the PC to plan my trip by selecting waypoints and routes and uploading them to the GPS. I also display the routes on the map and print it out for reference.
On the trip I only use the GPS and occasionally consult the printed map.
When I get back home I upload my new waypoints and tracks onto the PC for storage and display them onto the maps for analysis or whatever.
In a 4x4:
When in my Jeep I fix my laptop on the dashboard turn it on and run the navigation software. The GPS feeds the navigation software my location in real time, which in return displays my position on any of the maps I have stored. I can easily switch between satellite images, Russian or American aviation maps on the go and the software will always display my exact location on the map I choose. It even switches between maps automatically when my location shifts from one map to the next.
On a motorcycle:
I haven’t tried this yet but will work on it once I finish rebuilding my bike. Get a Pocket PC based PDA install in on the handle bar right next to the GPS in an Otter Armor Box www.armorbyotter.com for weather protection and hook it up to the GPS. Get the Pocket PC version of Ozi Explorer and install that on the PDA with some maps. It will work just as described above only the PDA will hold fewer maps since it has smaller memory.
I hope I’m not making this look complicated since it isn’t. Let me know if this isn’t clear.
Nope, looks ok and doable to. But I don't think I'll use a PDA on my bike. I will plan the routes at home, then put the waypoints / routes in the GPS.
Last year I manually put in quite some waypoints into my GPS and it took a lot of time.
Now I can use my labtop to upload them and that will make it a lot quicker.
I hope to find a good basemap for the software I bought so that I can just click and copy the waypoints into a spreadsheet. Then I can upload the list of waypoints into my GPS.
If I don't find a decent basemap I would use the Calle website to find the coordinates, then copy them into a list and upload them with the software into the GPS.
Once back home I can download info with the software from my GPS easely and pass it on to other folks.
Next week I can start trying stuff out.
Does this all look ok? Or are there things I am forgetting?
Below is my bit about Memory-Map, which I've earlier posted in a Route-Planning thread - probably more appropriate here:
I've tried a few GPS/computer mapping options, and I've got to say I think I've now found the ultimate! It's at www.memory-map.co.uk or www.memory-map.com (US), and the beauty of it is it uses raster maps rather than vector maps, i.e. _real_ maps! In fact I bought the whole of south of UK in true Ordanace Survey (UK govt. mapping agency) 1:50,000, identical to the paper versions, for GBP 160 (a bargain in itself!) with the software, and they chucked in a 1:1,000,000 Europe atlas with it!
You can also scan and geo-reference your own paper maps (if you've got plenty of patience!), in fact I've done so with my Michelin 953 (only joking, Michelin!), as I couldn't find any digital Africa maps. It's uncanny how accurate it is - you view your location according to the programme at grid intersections and there's only a very small error. This enables you to then plot waypoints, routes, and as simply as right-clicking upload them to your GPS (or download). Your maps at different scales are loaded at the same time as a background, so you plot things and instantly view them on different maps, including even satellite photos (available for UK at GBP 60 for 1/12 of country). You can also track your progress in real-time.
I might sound a Memory-Map salesman, but it really is impressive! I've used Garmin's programme and Autoroute, but they're basic in comparison. I think they might do a trial version for download. The only thing it won't do is routing (i.e. shortest, quickest, etc.).
The other thing I find very impressive is the speed with which you can zoom and pan "images" which may be as much as 500Mb, with only modest computing power.
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