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maps for Garmin gps

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maps for Garmin gps

Postby balance » Sun Jun 22, 2014 9:49 am

Greetings. I'm kinda new here, but trying to make some useful contributions.

Anyway, I just got my first gps (Garmin 62stc on sale for 50% off!). Two reasons: Now that I'm 65, can't rely on physical endurance to get me out of a jam, so I'm doing more planning. Also, this is going to make my solo snowshoe trips in the Sierra Nevada slightly more secure.

My question is: What are the best maps (both paid and free) to download to the gps. I've already loaded the California 24k topo from GPSFile Depot (which took me two days of chicken pecking effort). :confused: What are some other good options?

I'm befuddled by this whole process. Viewing raster files??? I've discovered that KML and KMZ files are designed to drive a person KoMpLetely KraZy.

HST people have a wealth of knowledge. Any suggestions or references for the technically challenged? Thank you.



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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby rlown » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:05 am

Did your GPS come with the basemap tool and a default map? assuming yes, but you're looking for download maps i gather.

I did purchase Garmin's Topo 24k US west mapset. It's not cheap. I like it but that's me.

In the old Garmin Mapsource routing tool, it snaps to trail now, which gives you better mileage estimates and saves time on trail routing.

It snaps to trail as well in Basemap (the newer Garmin tool), but BaseMap is really CPU intensive for some reason.

For both products, off trail routing is still a game. I flip the view after setting a route. I use the View in Google Earth option to see what I came up with, looking for cliffs, etc.

You probably still need to use the toolset that should have come with your Garmin unit to download maps, or follow the instructions for uploading maps from 3rd party providers such as topozone, acme, etc.

Sure there will be more from others chiming in, but when i pick a brand of technology, i personally prefer to stay native.

Russ
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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby Shawn » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:36 am

Ditto what Russ said.

I have a similar Garmin (60csx or some such ting). I've got the 24k topo's loaded as the basee map and now use caltopo.com to plan my trips. At caltopo.com you can plan/plot your trip online and the export the tracks and/or waypoints to your Garmin with ease. This has made planning so much easier for me with the tools built into caltopo.

As an aside, after planning and route building in advance, and then saving it all off to the GPS, I find I rarely use the thing. Guess it's nice backup insurance.
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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby rlown » Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:06 pm

balance wrote:I'm befuddled by this whole process. Viewing raster files??? I've discovered that KML and KMZ files are designed to drive a person KoMpLetely KraZy.


KML and KMZ files are generally used in other earth browsers such as Google Earth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyhole_Markup_Language

or: http://www.instructables.com/id/Creatin ... ogle-Maps/


I wouldn't focus on them unless you find a KML/KMZ that you like and then look at it in GE. It's not a mapping tool, per se, but more a reference to what others had done.

When i project my maps onto GE, i can save as a KML or KMZ for sharing later.

Not directly useful unless you want to share your route with others in those formats in GE. I think those formats are still allowed on HST for posting. So if you come up with a route and you want others to "check it out", you can share the KML or KMZ formats!

an example (if you click on it, it should bring up Google earth and show you the route:

puppet from north lake.kmz
puppet rough trace route
(7.07 KiB) Downloaded 15 times


Thanks, Eric for allowing them!

Russ
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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby balance » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:41 pm

Thanks for the info.

I guess when you say "stay native" you mean its better to use the prorietary maps that are designed to work with the particular brand of gps hardware? While optional maps such as caltopo and GPSFile Depot maps might not be as fully functional.

Is there any chance we could go back to the day when all phones had numbers and letters on the front, and you put your finger in and spin the dial around?
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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby rlown » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:54 pm

the use of the word "native" was meant to allow ease of use. Beyond that, it'll be up to you to figure out how to get the map into your device. I have a Rhino 530, and would be happy to try out other scenarios.

Before any trip, I map my trips, fly them through Google earth for fun, and then adjust as appropriate, and then reload, with waypoints. I only take the GPS on new trips where i might be inexperienced. It does have some fun games built into it and it's batteries seem to last 2 weeks minimum, but it's heavy. I also print out maps in case.

Not seeing the dial phone coming back soon, esp while backpacking. :)
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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:16 am

You shouldn't rely on electronics to get you out of a jam - you should plan and leave an itinerary, and be a safe backpacker from before you drive up to the trailhead, and not get in a jam at all. I certainly hope you can read and use a map - the gps will only get you into trouble if you can't. Many people have been rescued by SAR with fully functional GPS units in hand.

That said, Garmin really wants you to buy their expensive map sets. If you are really geeky there are ways to get free maps onto the unit. If you aren't, the map sets are the easiest way.
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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby QITNL » Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:09 am

Hey fellas - Happy black friday, have you done your patriotic duty? I had some coin on an REI card from my mom (ahhh) so I sprung for an Etrex 30. Upgrading from a Summit HCX, a present 6 years ago. It served me well. Waypoints! Like where the hell you set up your tent or dropped your pack in some talus field. I burned up my allotted 500 long ago, I got 2000 now, woot.

Plus I was getting pissed off, the HCX has the memory of a toothpick. Googled "best map for garmin gps" - found this thread. Any updates?

So how useful is the new "preloaded worldwide relief basemap" in the field? I'm not expecting much there.

I imagine I can bump my current files over to the new device.
TOPO US 2008.gmapi
US Topo 24K National Parks West v2.gmapi
But they are pretty ugly.

The new product is "Garmin MapSource TOPO! US 24k West Topographic Coverage for California and Nevada" - long name, no wonder it's expensive. Any improvements? I'll probably get it anyway, card or disc, whatever's cheapest. Go black friday.

I'll probably test http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/523/ and http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/53/ from here http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/state/ca

Anything else to consider? One thing missing on the web is decent screenshots of this all this junk. Maybe I will try to take some. Thanks in advance, have a nice weekend.
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Re: maps for Garmin gps

Postby rlown » Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:43 pm

the topo 24k west does snap to on trails with both mapsource and basemap. I still prefer using mapsource. preloaded crap is ok, but useless for planning. I do all planning on my home pc and upload to the device (rino 530/w maps) and go from there. go disk. it's reliable for reinstalls on a pc between pc's.

More questions, just ask. Happy belated cyber Monday answer!

Russ
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