Best GPS software

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Jul 21, 2003
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Wilmington, NC
I am looking at buying some GPS software to use with my Magellan GPS. I will be using it hooked to my laptop in the L/C. I was wondering if any of you guys are using a setup like this. I want a software that will give me live tracking. I am leaning toward the Delorme Topo 4.0 or the national geographic Topo. Anybody use these. I wll be needing the Oregon maps only.

Tim
 

Photoman

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Mar 28, 2003
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Tim,
Sorry, I use the Garmin now. But, I have done what you want to do and that is run it via the laptop with live tracking. I have used both the Garmin software and interface, and Microsoft Streets and Trips with the NEMA protocol. Both work fine - the problem comes in with the laptop. I use a Toshiba 5105-S607 run through a true sine 125 watt inverter. I can't keep the computer running for hours without it shutting down and then losing the data to that point. I tried all the usual disabling of power saver schemes etc. and think the darn think just gets hot and quits. It's a pain to have to pull over and save the data every so often and then if it does quit there is still a gap. So, I guess my point is, if your going to take long trips, make sure your laptop can stay on in a confined environment for the whole trip. It is a nice way to go other than the big tangle of wires.
Bill
 
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Photoman

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Thanks Alaska-,
Now I must confess. I was worried about vibration etc. so I put the computer in the back on top of my sleeping bag to "cushion" it. That's sort of the problem. If I set it on something hard so the airflow will work I was afraid of it vibrating while running. If I cushion it, it overheats. I think there was a thread on SOR? and someone was running truck over the road and not having any problems with a laptop. My solution is just to let the GPS record the route and waypoints for the day, then every evening I download everything to the laptop. The drawback is if I need to locate myself on the map, trying to see that tiny screen.
Oh, speaking of laptops, there is something surreal about camping on top of a mountain in Alaska at night and watching a DVD on the laptop.
Thanks again for the info. They don't post their prices I see.
Bill
 

alia176

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Tijeras, NM
I use couple of different software with my Garmin III+:

Microsoft Streets and Trips 2004 for all U.S./some mexico/some canada roads, down to address level. You can load the data cd into your hdd, so that you won't have to mess with a CD when looking up addresses. This is a great software and it's cheap too.

For Topo, I use 3-D topo quads with various CDs...
For more detail, I use Topo! by National Geographic for 7 1/2 min map. This is great for Moab and Colorado trails.
I've used Delorme Topo 2.0 for a region by region topo map. Works quite well if you don't need detail information.

I think all topo software that I listed above have live tracking and routing options.

On another note, is anyone using a jotto desk, RAM laptop or anyother mount for their FJ80? How about home made laptop mounts?


ali
'96
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2002
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For running off road I use DeLorme's 3-D TopoQuads. It gives you every 7.5 Topo for your state. Interfaces just fine with Garmin and Magellan. You can download from the GPS to the mapping program or upload from the mapping program to your GPS.
 
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Leduc County, AB
use an ipad mini (with GPS) and get a US topo program
 

FrazzledHunter

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you bumped a 19 year old thread.
That must be some sort of a record.

But it's still a good question and kudos to MUDZLLA for not creating a new thread LOL!
I guess the more things change the more they stay the same!

I'm still using Garmin handheld and car units (Colorado, Nuvi etc...) with Garmin's BaseCamp desktop PC app which runs on our laptops that stay in camp, car, tent, hotel, cave or whatever structure we're living in. In the past we exclusively used it to transfer waypoints, routes etc... amongst the devices.

But we've recently graduated to a Garmin inReach 66i, Garmin's Explore app on our phone with a subscription that lets us communicate emergency, SOS, and non-emergency messages via satellite.

With the inReach subscription we can publish our location via satellite (Garmin MapShare) and those with the web url and PW (which we supply) can see where we are on a map in real time, with annotations placed on the map by us; map viewers can message us too.
As for phone apps:
Hopefully I didn't sound like a Garmin advertisement.:giggle:
 
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Murica
I'm a big fan of Gaia, an app. I think it's $20 for a basic lifetime subscription, which gets you their topos, usgs topo, several satellite imagery maps, and more. If you pay an annual fee they have a lot more layers, worldwide. It's easy to build gpx/kml/kmz files and then upload them, say if you were driving a specific route and someone had already marked points at the turns. Plus you can download map areas ahead of time so you don't need service. Route tracing/track recording too if that's your thing. I've used it for 10 years and love it. They tend to have more roads listed than my Garmin handheld does, but that unit/map is probably 10 years old.

Plus it supposedly works with android auto/Apple carplay, so you could use your head unit it you have one that supports this. I do not so can't personally vouch, I just remember getting an email a while back.
 
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Gaia's legacy lifetime membership was phased out in 2017. Gaia now offers only premium membership ($35.99/month if you buy if from the website). I have the lifetime membership, and found it useful for my purposes, despite not having full access to all of Gaia's map layers. I supplement Gaia with the Avenza app (free) and bought forest service maps through them (one-time fee) and MVUM maps (free)
 

TheGrrrrr

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As a former Gaia fanboy, I have moved on to OnX Offroad for all of my wheeling and adventure travel. Gaia is powerful, but OnX is simple, user friendly and the company is pretty active in the community, sponsoring events and providing discounts to event attendees. I switch back and forth every so often, but still find myself preferring OnX. Can't really go wrong with either.
 
Joined
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Palo Alto, California & Squamish, British Columbia
As a former Gaia fanboy, I have moved on to OnX Offroad for all of my wheeling and adventure travel. Gaia is powerful, but OnX is simple, user friendly and the company is pretty active in the community, sponsoring events and providing discounts to event attendees. I switch back and forth every so often, but still find myself preferring OnX. Can't really go wrong with either.

Gaia is good for a variety of activities, in particular, trail running, hiking and especially mountain biking, as well as motorized activities. For example, it has difficulty ratings for moutain biking trails. Does OnX offer that? Just wondering as I tend do more of those three activites than off-roading, so a pure off-roading mapping product isn't that useful to me. Off-roading is just to get me to those activities and not an end in itself.
 

TheGrrrrr

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I believe OnX has other variants relative to different activities but I haven’t used them. They have a hunting version that is popular. Gaia may be better for non-4x4 uses.
 

80t0ylc

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Gaia's legacy lifetime membership was phased out in 2017. Gaia now offers only premium membership ($35.99/month if you buy if from the website). I have the lifetime membership, and found it useful for my purposes, despite not having full access to all of Gaia's map layers. I supplement Gaia with the Avenza app (free) and bought forest service maps through them (one-time fee) and MVUM maps (free)
I also use Gaia with the premium membership. Your $35.99/month should be $35.99/year not per month. At least that’s what I pay.
 
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Palo Alto, California & Squamish, British Columbia
I also use Gaia with the premium membership. Your $35.99/month should be $35.99/year not per month. At least that’s what I pay.
You are correct. Mea culpa
 

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