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 Post subject: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:19 am
Posts: 543
Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I've been using my Garmin GPS for many months now. I bought it just before the big elk hunt, and I used it so much in its most primary function: to create way points and track my way back and forth between camp, trailheads, and locations where I stashed gear and meat. It also led me out to my truck at night while it was raining.

I've recently been continuing to use my Garmin GPS in the same capacity to find my way out on backcountry splitboarding trips, but now that I've got the TOPO! software, I've been diving into the functions of both and now 'pre-loading' various waypoints before a trip to help me find and identify trailheads, entrances, and summits easily when in the field. And then I can go back and retrace my route to save with my favorite photos and trip report.

Does anyone else utilize GPS out in the field? What are your thoughts? Do you combine with any sort of software when planning trips? ?

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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:27 am
Posts: 104
Location: Jay Peak
I dont but I have been thinking about a GPS for when Im out in the woods. What do you use and how do you like it. I love my car GPS but I would really like something I can use off road.


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:16 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:56 pm
Posts: 375
Location: Jay Peak, VT
I use my GPS for everything while out in the woods. Woods are dense around here... so knowing where you've started from and also where you've been before is a very important thing if you don't want to spend a cold night in the woods... I keep lots of archives... One is for outtings (simplified tracks and very little waypoints). Another one is for specific outtings... includes all i took that day. And one is to cover a whole area with all i've got that i can just cut and paste into any other database...

It serves me well while mountain biking too... You can get lots of GPX files on the web and ride only "the good stuff" instead of playing around and trying to find how local people ride the trails... That of course is good outside of your usual playground!

I use the latest version of MapSource and GoogleEarth. I use www.gpsvisualizer.com to transfer file formats... that's about it! Oh yeah... and if you ride in one area, get the 1:20K topo map... they're pricey (100$) but you'll get all the trails, fireroads, doubletracks, streams, rivers and all...

I could put a few links out for CO and UT topo Maps that can be found on the web...


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:56 pm
Posts: 375
Location: Jay Peak, VT
Come to think of it, here it is:

Colorado:
http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/mp_cotopo.html

Utah:
http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/mp_uttopo.html

Enjoy!


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm
Posts: 467
Location: Meyers, CA
As Luca Brasi mentioned, pre-loading routes/waypoints is a super cool trick with gps and mapping software. The result is a whiteout navigation plan extraordinaire.

I still would like to get better at this, as well as incorporating google earth images into trip planning.


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 527
I use a few different programs to Scout out lines like
NASA worldwind 3.1
MSN Virtual Earth
Google Earth
and National Geographic Topozone
In the field I used a Garmin Rino for a long time but Im poor and cant afford the batteries so I switched over to a Suunto X10 watch which you can easily mark your home location and at the end of the trip you can hook the watch up to your computer and track the info via Google Earth like this photo
Image
Hopefully this helps

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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Mill Creek, WA
^ That's pretty cool, I was wondering how you did that.

I've been using the Delorme PN 40 this season and I'm really liking it. http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeC ... tion=10460

Delorme has a great library subscription where for $30 you can download unlimited amounts of data. They have USGS quads, arial photos, satelite images and more. All of these maps can be displayed on the handheld. The software Topo USA has a built in 3D terrain map like the one above which is really useful when planning routes.

Their customer service has been great too. They have an online forum where many of their employees answer questions. http://forum.delorme.com/

This GPS has way too much cool stuff to list here. You're just going to have to check it out.

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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:21 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Park City, UT
I have a Garmin ETrex Legend C - now discontinued. I usually track the route I'm doing. It's more for the fun of looking back at the route we took. I then upload the GPS track into Google Earth. But not everyone has Google Earth so I also post it to google maps.

Here is a point-to-point tour from Big Cottonwood Canyon back to my house we did in January with a couple of sweet laps on Little Water Peak.

Click for The Map



Image


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:27 am
Posts: 104
Location: Jay Peak
sketchyT wrote:

I've been using the Delorme PN 40 this season and I'm really liking it. http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeC ... tion=10460

Delorme has a great library subscription where for $30 you can download unlimited amounts of data. They have USGS quads, arial photos, satelite images and more. All of these maps can be displayed on the handheld. The software Topo USA has a built in 3D terrain map like the one above which is really useful when planning routes.

Their customer service has been great too. They have an online forum where many of their employees answer questions. http://forum.delorme.com/

This GPS has way too much cool stuff to list here. You're just going to have to check it out.



Thanks for the heads up. I've been thinking about a GPS for years and I finally got one. Haven't actually brought it out yet but as far as playing with it in the yard it seems very nice. The subscription for maps is great and the software for the computer is very nice. Today will be my first chance to really take it out and use it.


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:27 am
Posts: 104
Location: Jay Peak
Well I got to bring it out on Sunday. It was a resort day with the 6yr old but I now have some very detailed maps of all the bunny slopes at Jay Peak. Im impressed with just how well it can keep track of things. When I had it out you could actually see my traverses on the trails. It spent most of the time in my lower front jacket pocket however which meant it was a little off and the track shows where it lost lock a few times. For being in a place where it definitely didn't get a very good sky view Im pretty impressed. I really look forward to being able to use it on some longer hikes over the summer and really be able to test it out.


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Mill Creek, WA
Yeah, I was amazed when I was able to keep the PN40 inside my jacket and it still tracked. It's really helpful to be able to kee the gps warm which helps with battery life. That's my biggest gripe with it, the battery consumption. It's a major battery hog although the latest firmware update seemed to help. The software is a little cumbersome but I'm use to highend 3D programs so it may just be me.

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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1619
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I've been playing around with GPS and topo maps for a while now... it's pretty fun! One thing I'd love to be able to do, and haven't figured out yet is a way to draw a route in TOPO, or on Google Earth, and export it as a *track* (not a series of waypoints, which is what TOPO does AFAIK), and then load that track into the GPS. That way you could have a continuous track of your intended route preloaded on the GPS. Again this is different from a series of waypoints - that works, but just doesn't seem as clean.

I recently caved in and picked up an iPhone, and I've been playing with some of the GPS apps for it. Pretty cool stuff, and they're updated a lot more frequently than say, firmware for a handheld GPS, so it's only going to get better. Battery life is the main issue, which I solved for the time being with an external battery pack. Interference with beacons is also a concern, but seems to be mitigated to a large extent as long as you keep some physical separation between electronic devices.

I love being able to add a very functional GPS app to my phone for $3. To bad you can't add a phone to a Garmin for $3!! :)


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 Post subject: Re: TOPO! Mapping Software (and other GPS talk)
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:16 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 2:54 am
Posts: 10
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
yeah i also have a rino 530 hcx, my buddy and i both got one its nice being able to beam locations in the resorts trees. I am also partial to resaving the files so google earth can read them, looks pretty on satellite imagery lol. I have also been looking at some topo map apps for the iphone. But i need to futz with google earth more when im done with this semester, going back to school for my bsn, and figure out the map caching and all that jazz.


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