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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPSHow to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
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Tomorrow I'll get the software I ordered (can you believe I forgot the name). It is specific macintosh software.
I'll see how far it helps me and then think about getting mapsource. If I decide to get Mapsource this link will be of great help.
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!
I have the coordinates conversion formulas somewhere at home; I’ll try to dig it up for you. However, I have to say that I haven’t used these formulas in ages since any navigation software can let you enter the coordinates in pretty much any format. It might be cumbersome with some software, as you have to change the mode from the preferences before entering the data and then changing it back when done. Once you enter the waypoint in whatever format they are automatically displayed in the format you set in your preferences. It also gets automatically converted when uploaded to the GPS if it’s set to a different format.
I think you should stop using excel since it will complicate your work process. All navigation programs can store points, routes and tracks into their own database or files and let you edit them and their comments. Use these features instead of having to copy and paste things back and forth.
Also your software SHOULD be able to make routes by selecting points from the map. This is a basic feature. If it’s not there (maybe it is but you haven’t found it yet) then ditch that software for something better.
You don’t really have to learn about projections at this stage. The map projection should be written on it somewhere near the legend along with its parameter. Just enter those when calibrating and you’re done. If this into isn’t there then call up the mapmaker and ask for it.
I would go for 150dpi or 200 dpi max. 300 dpi will make the map unnecessarily big. The file size will be big and will slow things down. Also the typeface on the map will be big. Scan a few A4 section of the map at different resolutions and see what works for you best. I personally scan at 150 dpi.
I would rather spend more time, or money, looking for another GIS shop than will scan the whole map rather than segment it. Although it can be done it require a lot of work and you need to be very very very accurate. A stitching program would do much better than Photoshop. I can give you some info on this if you want but as you said this should be your last resort.
The formula's would be welcome, even just out of curiousity.
With the little bit of map I have I have been experimenting a bit.
You're right, the software accepts any kind of coordinate-format.
And I think it can store coordinates. If you have a map open and then download coordinates from the GPS they will appear on screen. Also you can add waypoints or remove them. All this data is saved in a file that GPSY can read and send to the GPS. I believe GPSY links this file to the according map.
BUT if I want to have a look at the raw data in text format I have to go through a database software (exell for me).
If I want to input a list of coordinates that somebody passes me on that is also the way to go.
What I think it can't do is make a route by clicking several waypoints one after the other.
But again I need more maps to play on and execrise with.
Untill know I don't see a way to leave exell out of the process.
I am talking to the folks of the GIS shop I know. tuesday I'll know if they can / want to scan the maps in.
I also already found out that 300DPI it too much. Actually it seems that a computerscreen is only 75dpi. SO nu use in going above that.
If this software turns out not to be it. Which other software is there out there for Mac?
I don't feel a lot for virtual PC. Heard quite bad stuff about it's stability and so.
75 DPI would be too small in my opinion. Fine map print is very easy to see on paper but not on a monitor. Not so on the monitors since they shine light in your face rather than absorb it like paper. Also maps are usually printed at 300 dpi. Scanning that at just 75 dpi is just too much loss of details. Try scanning small parts of maps on a regular scanner at different resolutions to see what works for you. It might differ from map to map.
I’m afraid I’m not familiar with navigation software on the Mac so I can’t help you there. I however suggested the Virtual PC / Mapsource combo just to upload maps onto the GPS. I wouldn’t use Map Source for trip planning anyway.
Good news. The GIS departement of the city where I am a fireman is willing to scan some maps in for free. They'll do the first one (ING map of Norway) tomorrow. They can scan it in in once an burn it to a CD ROM.
Then I need to get it calibrated. I am sure I'll be back here with questions about that subject ;-)
Yeah, I used Panaview software before and it's really good. However I've always been a bit skeptic when it came to stitching maps. Only one pixle shift on the right map scale and you can be off by a few hundred meters and get into the wrong valley.. ouch!
Fwiewwwww, I'm so glad FINALLY someone is using Macs and thus the software that goes with it for GPS's...!
I also bought the GPSy-software, and I agree: easy to use, quick to get started.
Coping with the same map-problem though.
I enquired at IGN (the Belgian National Geographic intitute - http://www.ngi.be). They recently issued a CD-ROM for Belgium which uses/is calibrated already... BUT, again, for PC only.
They do sell scanned (uncallibrated) maps, but the prices are exuberant, so not an option. Meant for professional use and commercial applications.
So back to square one: scanning and callibrating "on the corner of the kitchen table".
I did make A4-scans of my own area (of an IGN 1/100.000 map). I'm a graphic designer and used to do precision work... but it was/is hard, very timeconsuming, and still frustrating in the end.
A scanner (well maybe not the VERY expensive ones) always has some deformation on one or the other side, so even thoug you get your map 100% straight, you have "to compromise" somewhere, meaning loosing accuracy for sure.
THEN comes the callibration. Didn't work; the waypoints that I shot in the field ended up 2cms below the roads. At least the offset was regular, so I ended up callibrating the map toward the reality... One has to be creative ;-)
Next step is
a) continuing to try to find maps scanned in one piece
b) riding to three corners of my map(s), shooting waypoints, then calibrating the map towards this.
Keep us posted on the Mac/GPS issues. If I find something revolutionary, I'll do too.
Enjoy the weather these days in Belgium Fireboomer (though that's all QUITE UNimportant for the moment... sigh... :-(((
------------------ Iris and Trui
2 belgian women, often travelling on motorbikes (now on DR650SE's)
2nd overland from home to Northern India and back, April-October 2002
Hi Iris and Trui!! Good to see you back here.
Did I enjoy the weather??? Yesterday I was racing through the Eastern Alps and Jura. Blue sky, clear roads and all the rest snow white!!!! Incredible. One of the best three days ever on the bike. About 1800km with 30 hard core 'we always ride no matter what the weather is like' bikers! Never had so much fun on a bike.
Back to GPS and Mac.
I got around the map problem, but it isn't ideal.
I use the multimap website. You can click on any location and then get the coordinates. Then I copy these to a exell sheet that I made. It automaticly strips the things I don't need from the info and I end up with very usable data. I then copy this to a sheet to upload the coordinates to the GPS.
This can be done more efficient. For example the last copy-paste action is something that could easely be automated inbetween two sheet in the same exel document.
The good thing about this website is that is goes to street level and often even dirt roads.
I had prepared the last trip like this and it was amazingly precise. A real pleasure. I am really sure now I want to prepare the next big trip on GPS.
Ideally we want to get whole maps scanned in. I am working on that with some folks from the GIS (Geograp. inform. syst.) department of the city. They managed to scan in a map, but did something wrong with the CD-rom. Hope to get it solved and then I hope they are willing to scann in about 10 other maps......????
I am not sure that is going to work out. The guy can't work outside of the regular hours and has other work too... :-(((
I have also been looking around in the regio here for 'copy-shops' who would be able to scan in a complete map. No luck so far.
I comming to the slide show saturday. Maybe we can exchange some more info there?
Ooops: just realised: where is this again? I reserved a place but that is a long time ago. Can I bring one extra person?
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