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Old 01-26-2004, 10:49 PM   #1
Chips
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GPS Resources

I plan to use a GPS to find trailheads and plot hikes such as the 46 peaks. What GPS maping resources do you suggest? Do I need to stay with the manufacturer's products, or will others also work? Thank you. Chips
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Old 01-27-2004, 12:29 AM   #2
Rick
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Chips,
Depending on the type of GPS you get, if you can download basemaps to your GPS, you might need to stay with the manufacturers proprietary software. Otherwise, if you are just downloading routes and waypoints, There are better maps out there.

It can get confusing, For example:

I have a Garmin Etrex Vista GPS - I loaded the Garmin "topo" basemap onto my Vista. However, The Garmin Map really is terrible when I look at it on my computer - It really isn't well defined. Therefore, I use Natiional Geographics 1/24,000 Topographic Maps on CD Rom for planning routes, creating waypoints and the like. These maps are expensive, but offer incredible levels of detail.

When compared to Garmin 'Topo!' There is 1 cd for the Eastern half of the US with Garmin, 1 for the western half and one for AK & HI - Total around $99. National Geographic comes with 10 cds for just the New England States Alone - For $99.

If you are thinking about a getting a GPS without map download capability (but you can still download routes and waypoints), then you need not concern yourself with Garmin (or other manufacturers) proprietary maps. You might be able to just get the National Geo maps, plan your route in luxurious detail and download it to your GPS. (Most good maps have import/export functions for the manybrands and models of GPS's.
For waypoints on the summits, you can download right form the net and copy into your mapping software.
Try this site -

http://alavigne.homeip.net/newHomePa...sp?navpage=gps

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-27-2004, 01:07 AM   #3
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Hey Rick,

Another great site. The more the merrier! I'll have to link it in our resource list. Good eye.
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Old 01-27-2004, 12:04 PM   #4
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Map Tools

Also important, the ability to find the co-ordinates on A Topo map.

Go to Map Tools and order UTM Grids and latitude/longitude rulers and the book on using the tools with a map/

Total cost for all the tools and information you need about $10.00

I don't bother with GPS's that have topo software capability. I pull out my maps and Crank up DeLormes Topo 4 (All of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii for under $100.00) and look ar my route. Since I usually Bushwhack I find my waypoints to avoid bogs, swamps, mountains, etc and punch them into my gps and I also write them in a small waterproof notebook that I carry (in case I lose the data in the GPS).
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Old 01-27-2004, 04:07 PM   #5
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ralph,
My situation is exactly like ricks, I have a Garman E-trex vista, and I use Nat. Geo. topo software. I used DeLorme Topo at first, but the detail in the maps are a little lacking. Whereas N.G. Topo uses USGS maps, and joins them 'seamlessly'. The only thing you can't do is download a map from the cd to the gps. In order to do that, I would have to buy Garmins map cd, which I felt the quality and the detail were a little lacking. I'm sure it's the same with Magellan, DeLorme, etc., as far as using their own software.
What you can do is map out waypoints, routes, tracks, and give them names, with N.G., DeLorme, etc., and download them to whatever brand of GPS you want. Just make sure you have the mapping software and the GPS set to the same map standards.( North Amer. Datun 1927, N.A.D. 1984, whatever you want.)
My personal preference is to use UTM coordinates, instead of degrees of lat. and long.. Only because it's based on the decimal system, instead of 60 seconds to a minute, 60 minutes to a degree.So much easier to do the math.
Another nice tool to use is a lexan scale that has different scales with graduations on it. You just lay it on your paper map, orient it with the grid marks, and you can get the UTM coordinetes of a position right down to the hundreths of a kilometer. They're only about $7, and you can get them at most on-line GPS dealers like GPS Now.
But reme3mber , it doesn't eliminate knowing how to use a map AND compass. It is another tool to use in combination with them.
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Old 01-27-2004, 04:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by mashysteria
ralph,

Another nice tool to use is a lexan scale that has different scales with graduations on it. You just lay it on your paper map, orient it with the grid marks, and you can get the UTM coordinetes of a position right down to the hundreths of a kilometer. They're only about $7, and you can get them at most on-line GPS dealers like GPS Now.
But reme3mber , it doesn't eliminate knowing how to use a map AND compass. It is another tool to use in combination with them.
Those are available from maptools which there is a link to in the above post.
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