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Has anyone used the QuoVadis maps and Touratech program with their GPS's?
I've looked at their website (http://www.qvnav.com./) and they have just about the whole world digitized from Russian mil. maps. I've found it can be difficult to get detailed paper maps from countrys like Chad, Sudan etc. Has anyone tried printing maps from the program as backup if your laptop dies?
Then there is Fugawi,(www.fugawi.com) with their TPC maps of north africa and navigation software.
Is one of them better and/or easier to use?
[This message has been edited by Erik D. (edited 07 March 2002).]
[This message has been edited by Erik D. (edited 07 March 2002).]
I've been experimenting with the demo versions of QuoVadis and Fugawi.
Like most of these products I personally do not find them particularly intuitive.
QuoVadis seems to work OK, and certainly prints maps. I've been able to import and calibrate my own scans, and print my maps and those scanned by other people.
The big thing going for it is that it is a German product. As most Sahara travellers hail from Germany there are a lot of Sahara maps scanned and calibrated for QuoVadis available, eg the French IGN maps as well as the Russian ones.
I haven't got very far with the Fugawi demo yet. Its file handling is crude and its screen processing is very buggy. Given that this is a packaged piece of software, then if the retail version is remotely like the demo version I certainly won't be buying it.
Anyway, that's my opinion. Why not download the demos and decide for yourself?
GARtrip (another German product) also allows you to import and calibrate maps. I've got the hang of GARtrip now and am using it to capture and store waypoints and routes, as well as communicate with my GPS. I haven't played with its mapping functions very much yet, but I'm so pleased with it that I've paid for the full version.
I have Quo Vadis, Fugawi, Ozi Explorer as well as other navigation software. And here’s what I think about them:
I bought this software first. It’s pretty basic but does the Job. I wouldn’t recommend it since the other two products in the same price range and are much better in terms of features, handling and overall quality.
Ozi Explorer:Ozi Explorer
This is a slick peace of software that does the job very well. It has more features than you’ll probably need and it’s easy to use, fast and stable. The only reason I’m not using this program anymore is that I found that Quo Vadis handles large waypoints database better for my purposes. But I have to say that my purposes are quite unusual (How about a 44000 waypoint database sound?). For regular overlanders it will do the job pretty well.
Quo Vadis:Touratech QV
My favorite. I haven’t seen anything better. It has almost all the features of the other 2 programs combined and best of all it has a database manager to manage your waypoints, routes and tracks. A nice feature is it lets you draw shapes and insert text on the maps itself for reference. It can handle a big number of maps and switching between then is easy and fast.
Quo Vadis is the most expensive but it’s worth it. However if you don’t need all the database features then Ozi Explorer would suit you great. All programs allow you to enter your maps and calibrate them. That means that you can get the TPC (Fugawi) or Russian (QV) maps to work on any program of the three.
TPC (1:500.000) and ONC (1:1.000.000) Maps:
I have the TPC maps that Fugawi sells. They are very nice to look at but pretty much useless other wise. The topographic and elevation contour lines are scares and some are not that accurate. You won’t be able to tell if you’re heading towards a ridge or a mountain. There are big shifted areas but at least it says so on the map. The thing that pisses me off the worst about these maps is the fact that all the roads, tarmac, dirt tracks, camel tracks and pretty much everything else is represented by a single black line. Having said that they look very nice. I even bought another brand new set to make a collage of Egypt to hang on my wall. But I wouldn’t take them in the desert.
Remember, these are aviation maps and they show land features like they appear from the sky. Something we don’t really care about.
The Russian Maps (1:500.000):
These maps are much better than the TPC/ONC maps when it comes to land navigation. The Russians made a colossal survey of the world mid last century and produces amazingly accurate 1:25.000 maps. The 1:500.000 maps are compiled from these maps.
I always prefer 1: 250.000 maps for land navigation since they provide good amount of details and don’t use too many sheets. When you downsize to 1:500.000 you inevitably loose details. The Russians did a great job packing a lot of useful information into the 1:500.000 maps. Most of the contour lines and elevation data are there. Best of all the desert tracks, camel tracks and roads are there and indicated properly. Just remember the roads are on the maps as they appeared mid last century. I even discovered a few tracks and passes that I didn’t know existed just from these maps.
The only problem with these maps is that they are in Russian. I though this would be a big problem when I first got them but now I don’t even notice it. I overlay my waypoints, with English names, on the maps and use those. I use the maps to figure out the terrain.
I also uploaded the GNDB database in my navigation software so I can find the names of the landmarks and land features that I don’t have in my waypoint database.
Quo Vadis has a nice feature that lets you translate the Russian names into English. It displays a small Russian keyboard on screen. You copy the name as is appears and it gives you the English pronunciation.
I believe that Daer, Germany, sells the Russian paper maps in different scales.
Terry, Where can I get he French IGN maps?
PS: If the map scale talk above is confusing let me know and I’ll explain in more details.
TTQV is the best. ok - i trying to buy it in next month.
but now i buy DVD with europe and nort africa. scale 1:200 000.
the maps are just ;ike "satellite view". maybe its a great idea but i have great troubles to find my own city!! i saw many maps /not nasa fotos!/ and to find my city takes me 3 minutes.
but these maps /*.sid format only for TTQV/ have to many colours! cities are in pink(?!) trees are in light green, dark green, deep green, and others. streets /main streets/ are immposible to find them! i realy dont know, all is ok? .. maybe this DVD /2 DVD's/ are only for professional use?
Are you talking about the Landsat images? I posted a few clippings of these maps in the photo gallery of my site ( oasisphoto.com ), are these the ones you’re talking about?
Is they are the same then you should know that a lot of the colors presented in these maps are not real. They represent different things, like mineral content for example. For example look at the image of Ghard Abu Mahareek. I’ve been there and I’ve never seen any of the colors that appear in the sat images other that different shades of yellow and brown.
Generally, sat images are not the best to navigate with. They are mainly used as an aid and exploration tool when traveling off road. Even then you must navigate with regular maps and use sat images to look for interesting features to explore. For example they helped me find a pass in the western desert near Fayoum that I didn’t know exist and saved me about 50 km or so. Andras was telling me that he uses them to identify potential rock art sites in valleys that are not drawn on regular maps.
You should never even attempt to navigate with them if you’re traveling on paved roads since as you said they’re not visible and nothing is marked. For this type of navigation, use regular street maps. You can put all types of different maps on your hard disk and use QV to switch between them. That’s what I do personally when planning trips.
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