After playing with the GPSY software for about half a day I think I can give it "the thumbs up" sign.
To start with:
I use an 'old banged up' Ibook G3, running MACOS 9.2
I bought GPSY software for about 100 Euro's excl. taxes. But... this is including the special cable!!! (wich makes it a good deal I believe)
For info on GPSY: www.gpsy.com
There is also a GPSY-pro version but I haven't looked in to that yet.
First installation and connecting the GPSIII+ to the Ibook.
I am quite a 'nerd' if it comes down to computernetworks and communications.
But just in about 45 minutes I figgered out the correct set up and had the Ibook and Garmin III+ exchanging information.
Then I played around by downloading and uploading waypoints from and to the Garming III+
You can get all your waypoints, routes, tracks,... in a simple list. I use Microsoft Exell spreadsheets for this.
Then you can adjust name, comment,... Also for the III+ you can assing a symbol that the GPS has to use. But I still have to figger out the codes for these. Will take a while.
I tried to make a route from my home to a friend with coordinates I pulled of the internet ( www.multimap.com)
Worked quite well. Without any experience I was able to put the route together in about 30 minutes.
The only problem is the format of the coordinates on the net. I don't know enough about the different ways to write these out and thus don't know wich code I have to assing to wich type of coordinates. Have to work on that.
This time I did it manually. For ex. 12°45'67E became 12°45'67.0''
Either I have to be able to switch the code in the software so that the GPS accepts the first set of coordinates, or I have to find some sort of script in Exell to switch the coordinates automatically in the Exell sheet.
I think this is a problem that can be solved easely. But I might be wrong. Who has experience in this? Anybody who knows how you can manage diff. types of coordinates in Exell?
Next step is clicking on a map displayed in GPSY and copying these waypoints into a route.
I think this is were the program can do better.
You click on a point, then type 'command-C', switch to the spreadsheet and paste the waypoint into the route.
Good point is that GPS numbers the waypoints and pastes the whole into the correct lay out to upload them to the GPS. You change the name of the waypoint, add comments, add a symbol (if I have all the codes for the diff. symbols),...
Other way is to send a waypoint direclty from the map to the GPS. GPSY then asks you to name the waypoint and you can add a comment. Then the waypoint is uploaded directly to the GPS without any spreadsheet use. But then it is a waypoint, not a route.
In the opposite way, if you have the correct map and download a route or track from your GPS, then GSPY will automatically place the route on the map.
It would be nice if you could build up a route within GPSY without having to use a database program.
You can also use GPSY to navigate 'live'. In a car you car follow you position on the screen if you have the correct callibrated map in the back. This is what GPSY is originally desinged for and is for sure it strong side. But not much use on a bike ;-).
What I am looking for now:
* Info on diff. types of coordinates and how you can switch between those formats.
* a place where I can get my maps scanned into a computer. Untill now only found A3 formats. I have put all my hope on the folks from the GIS develloping centre. They can scan maps in at once. And we are sort of colegeas so...
* have to learn about the diff types of projections so that I can calibrate maps correctly.
Considering this last point. With wich DPI should I scann the maps in? I heard that 300 is ok.
Would it be doable to scan a map in in several A4 pieces, then paste them together with for ex. adobe photoshop or illustrator? (last resort solution)
I think eventually this program will allow me to do exactly that what I wanted to do. Build up a route then upload it to the GPS and also download tracks and waypoints from the GPS.
Then finally routes, waypoints,... become something you can really easely exchange with other folks over the net.
Voila, hope this gives some info to other mac users out there. Any feedback, suggestions and further help very welcome!