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.
Hope this helps
[This message has been edited by A.B. (edited 15 March 2002).]