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Author Topic: GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??  (Read 698 times)

XiBowhunter

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GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??
« on: April 16, 2018, 06:03:36 AM »
I just bought a Garmin Etrex touch 25 unit. I also came to this site and downloaded some maps for my Dakota 20 when I bought it.

I have been searching for maps to put on my new Touch 25, and I came to GPS File Depot, but I also found a site called GMapTool that has maps of the entire USA.

What are the differences between the maps on the two different sites, and which one should I use?

I am mainly a hiker/backpacker, so good topo maps are a must.

Boyd

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Re: GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 07:06:48 AM »
I believe the maps you are talking about are made by popej, who is also the author of gmaptool and probably knows more about Garmin's map format than anyone else here. He may respond, or you could send him a PM if you have questions: https://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php?action=profile;u=20277

OTOH, popej lives in the EU so his maps are probably a compilation of data from other sources, as opposed to his own personal familiarity with the US. But I don't see how anyone can really answer your question since "which one should I use" is a very personal question - it's like asking "I want some ice cream, which should I choose - chocolate or strawberry"?  ;)

Furthermore, you can't group everything here under the heading of "the maps on this site". They are made by many different people and can vary considerably. GPSFileDepot is just an online archive of maps. It's like asking whether the books in the library are better than the ones at the bookstore.

Since the maps are free, why not just download everything of interest and decide what you like for yourself?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 07:10:47 AM by Boyd »

XiBowhunter

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Re: GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 07:27:45 AM »
I believe the maps you are talking about are made by popej, who is also the author of gmaptool and probably knows more about Garmin's map format than anyone else here. He may respond, or you could send him a PM if you have questions: https://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php?action=profile;u=20277

OTOH, popej lives in the EU so his maps are probably a compilation of data from other sources, as opposed to his own personal familiarity with the US. But I don't see how anyone can really answer your question since "which one should I use" is a very personal question - it's like asking "I want some ice cream, which should I choose - chocolate or strawberry"?  ;)

Furthermore, you can't group everything here under the heading of "the maps on this site". They are made by many different people and can vary considerably. GPSFileDepot is just an online archive of maps. It's like asking whether the books in the library are better than the ones at the bookstore.

Since the maps are free, why not just download everything of interest and decide what you like for yourself?

Sorry my question was so "personal"....

I stated I mainly use my GPS for hiking, so good TOPO maps are my main concern.

The maps I am looking at on GPSfiledepot are the topo maps.  Sorry if that wasn't clear enough for you to give an answer to.

I'm looking for what would be the difference in TOPO mapping, between the two maps on the two sites I mentioned.

I'm looking for TOPO maps and Hiking trails.  Which of the maps from the two sites would be better for this specific mapping? 

Boyd

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Re: GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 07:56:56 AM »
Let me try again. The maps at GPSFileDepot are made by many different people. Some of them are beginners whose goal is simply to say "hey look everybody - I made a topo map", others are  advanced mapmakers that include details based on their personal knowledge. There are no standards as to what a "topo map" consists of, it's up to the author to choose what to include. I have over 40,000 downloads of my own maps here, and can tell you they are very different from others maps at GPSFileDepot.

But since you want a simplistic answer, use the maps from GPSFileDepot. That way you will have a choice of maps from many different mapmakers, many of which are personally familiar with the area being mapped.

XiBowhunter

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Re: GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 08:23:22 AM »
Let me try again. The maps at GPSFileDepot are made by many different people. Some of them are beginners whose goal is simply to say "hey look everybody - I made a topo map", others are  advanced mapmakers that include details based on their personal knowledge. There are no standards as to what a "topo map" consists of, it's up to the author to choose what to include. I have over 40,000 downloads of my own maps here, and can tell you they are very different from others maps at GPSFileDepot.

But since you want a simplistic answer, use the maps from GPSFileDepot. That way you will have a choice of maps from many different mapmakers, many of which are personally familiar with the area being mapped.

I understand all that. 

But take for example, Kentucky.  There are only 3 choices on GPSfiledepot for KY.  A Free TOPO map, a paid topo map, and a wilderness map.

So let me try this again.

What is the difference in the GPSfiledepot KY Topo map, and the KY map that would be on the USA OSM topo map?  Or do you even know?

I would like to know which one would suit my needs better.  Again, I'm using it for Hiking/Backpacking, so I'm needing good TOPO maps and Hiking trails on the maps.

Boyd

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Re: GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 09:41:21 AM »
I have no personal experience with these, but you can draw a number of conclusions by just reading about them.

I assume the free topo is the one by Maps4GPS. https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/126/

His work is very good and his goal was to make maps of as many places as possible so you will find a lot of his work here. This map is 6 years old and unfortunately suffers from the same major bug as most of his maps. Unless you know the "trick", it won't display on your computer due to an issue with the installer he used. The fix is easy and he mentions it in the info, but it has caused countless posts in these forums from confused new users.

Is this the wilderness map? https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/458/
That is not a topo map - it's not even a full map. It's a transparent overlay that contains selected features. It is useless unless you already have another topo map of Kentucky. And this kind of map is basically useless on your computer. Garmin's software can only display one map at a time on the computer, so you will see almost nothing with this map. On your gps, you can enable two maps at the same time, which is the way this map is intended to be used.

Popej's map contains current OSM data. https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/764/

So you should be able to look at the map on the OSM website and get a good idea of what it's like. This map is also routable, meaning that it can give you turn by turn directions to a destination. There are very few maps like this at GPSFileDepot.

Is this the commercial map? https://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/747/

This is an expensive product that seems mostly focussed on annual subscriptions for a smartphone app, but also appears to offer Garmin compatible maps for around $120/state. You'd have to decide whether that is a good deal, Garmin's own maps are cheaper than that. They are intended for hunters and not hikers. IMO, the blatant commercial tone seems out of place here at GPSFileDepot, which they are using for free advertising.

There are also some other free GPSFileDepot maps that are worth looking at. I know you want a simple answer, but there just isn't a "one size fits all". You will need to do your "due diligence" if you want the best maps for your purpose.

I have never seen Popej's US maps, but they are worth a look since he covers the whole US, uses current OSM data and they should also be seamless. You will likely have problems at the overlapping  boundaries of maps from different authors.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 09:56:45 AM by Boyd »

Boyd

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Re: GPS File Depot maps or Maps from USA OSM TOPO??
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 09:52:40 AM »
Oh, and let me add... I went to that Onxmap website just to answer your question. I guess they left a cookie in my browser, because now I'm seeing ads for their products at another website that has nothing to do with maps.  >:(

 

anything