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Navigation - Maps, Compass, GPS How to find your way - traditional map, compass and road signs, or GPS and more
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats




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  #1  
Old 28 Nov 2011
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Garmin GPS newbie

hey all

So ive tried searching but all the jargon you pros use confuses me so here goes.

What exactly can and cant an Etrex do in India-im on the cusp of a trip out there and am about to buy one to ride from jaisalmer to cochin in January

Any tips as to what maps to buy/download and exactly what the gps will be able to do for me - i.e. just waypoint and bearing set or can it shiw roads/plan routes also?

Any help will be awesome.

Happy trails

A
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  #2  
Old 1 Dec 2011
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i too am on the verge of a trip ...to south and central america ! and a complete idiot when it comes to my zumo 550 - even though i've had it for 2 years, i still can't use it !

tried downloading from websites but still no luck - hope someone is out there who can help both of us


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  #3  
Old 1 Dec 2011
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I am the last person who should be giving advice on GPS - given I bought my Etrex 1 week before I went on my trip and have fumbled my way through the basics of using it since then - so take anything I say with care. You've been warned!

Etrex - come in lots of models and capabilities. The most basic will only give you your location and a bearing / distance to a set way point, the more capable (expensive) models will allow you to install maps and "auto-route" to set destinations just like your normal in-car navigators. To install maps you need one of the Etrex models which will accept a microSD card - which I think are the Etrex Vista HCx and Etrex Legend HCx (I have a Legend HCx).

I've been pleased with my Etrex - it has worked well since I learnt to put maps on it (which wasn't intuitive) and which buttons to push to set waypoints etc (which also are not always intuitive). I know it is possible to set routes up on it - but I use it in combination with a map and simply select next town I want to get to in turn.

Maps - well you can buy them from Garmin of course but there are free maps known as OSM available on the web. I found most of the information about these totally unintelligible and it really put me off them at first. However I then found the website Free worldwide routable Garmin maps from OpenStreetMap where the host has done most of the work and you can down load maps by country ready to use. To put them onto the Etrex you have to copy them onto the microSD card and this is where Garmin makes it harder than it should be. You have to create a folder "Garmin" and then store your newly acquired map in this folder with the name "gmapsupp" - nothing else will do (you can't put two maps on and call one India and the other Pakistan - it is strictly one at a time). Consequently if you are going to more than one country you need to have several microSD cards prepared or a laptop do it on the road.

Overall I've found the usability of the OSM maps great and the level of detail superb. Having initially been a GPS doubter I'm now a convert - when coming into a strange town late in the day and when you are tired it takes a lot of stress away knowing you are being routed to the centre or to your hotel.

So in summary my advice would be (a) make sure any GPS you buy has the capability to install maps and (b) buy as early as possible and use it around your home area so at least you have a feel for it before you go.

Good luck - hope this helps a little.
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  #4  
Old 2 Dec 2011
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+1 with the above response.

To keep each OSM img file separate, I have directories with the countries name along with a dummy text file with the countries name as the file name. I slide both into or out of the 'Garmin' directory as needed.

Garmin Directory:
gmapsupp.img
El Salvador Image file installed.txt

daryl
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  #5  
Old 2 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlh62c View Post
I slide both into or out of the 'Garmin' directory as needed.

Garmin Directory:
gmapsupp.img
El Salvador Image file installed.txt

daryl
Another way is rename them to gmapsupp.img, gmapsup1.img, gmapsup2.img...
It may depend on your firmware level and device - I have a Montana 600.
I have a GMAPPSUPP.img and a GMAPSUP2.img on the SD card and a GMAPSUP1.img on the device.
Going to the map menu, allows me to select and "enable" any of these three mapsets. It also displays the filename of the map - Ggmapsupp, ...1, ...2.

Cheers,
John
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  #6  
Old 2 Dec 2011
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John
I found out that you no longer require the renaming to gmapsupp1/2/3 (in later units like the Montana or 62S)
just give the file a name that you will recognise like Sth America / France etc
avoiding characters like ! " : etc

that's 6 s you now owe me!!!
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  #7  
Old 2 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
that's 6 s you now owe me!!!

so long as they don't make you

Cheers,
John
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  #8  
Old 3 Dec 2011
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Cuppa T will do John-
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  #9  
Old 11 Dec 2011
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Thanks for the replies guys, wrestling with the software right now and then need to go off and try and find an SD card, always hard to know exactly what you're doing when you're not in the country you'll actually be using it in!!

So waypoints and routes, best to just set them up on your own or depend on the maps for locations and what not?

I have downloaded and installed the mapsource software but find it confusing, how do I get 'garmin img map' level detail on the software on screen, I figure its better to plan the route on a laptop than on the device - I bought the Vista HCx also - got a good deal

Any more input more than welcome!

A
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  #10  
Old 11 Dec 2011
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Also - how good are the city Navigator NT programs, have managed to get the img file from a friend so will put onto mem stick when I get one.
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  #11  
Old 12 Dec 2011
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Is there a dummies guide anybody can recomend me, I think i'll get on better trying to get my head round it from a book ( give me a crank shaft any day)
I have now downloaded a OSM map from the above link and can see the folder on my C drive, what do I do now!!!!

Cheers
Pete
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Last edited by mcgiggle; 12 Dec 2011 at 10:00.
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  #12  
Old 12 Dec 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgiggle View Post
Is there a dummies guide anybody can recomend me, I think i'll get on better trying to get my head round it from a book ( give me a crank shaft any day)
I have now downloaded a OSM map from the above link and can see the folder on my C drive, what do I do now!!!!

Cheers
Pete
This may help.
OSM Map On Garmin/Download - OpenStreetMap Wiki

daryl
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  #13  
Old 12 Dec 2011
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I downloaded the one that I thought would end up in the maps tab on my mapsource program but it isn't there!?
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