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Messages - dbperry

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General Discussion / Re: Any topo maps for Europe?
« on: February 07, 2013, 04:55:03 AM »
Not mainland Europe, and I haven't tried it, but this seems to get mentioned a lot as the best maps for the UK:


General Discussion / Re: Garmin ETrex VistaHCX
« on: January 26, 2013, 12:31:54 PM »
Completely dead? Won't do anything? What happens if you connect it to your computer? Is there any corrosion on the battery contacts? How do you know the batteries are good?

Try these:
but note all the warnings about trying at your own risk. If you're not comfortable with the risk of possibly bricking your unit, you may want to wait until talking to Garmin.


What device are you using? That might make a difference...(e.g. are you using one of the newer devices that can support multiple IMG files with different names?). If so, you might be satisfied with a combination of OSM, maps from here, and KMZ files. If you want something simple, you might be happier with the single Garmin $$ solution. Or you might be satisfied with just one of those free solutions. You really need to try everything for yourself...

I went through the same question that you face back a couple of years ago when I got my 78sc. I downloaded almost everything I could find, both here on this website and from other sources. For me, here in New England, I eventually decided to pay the $$ for the DVD of the Garmin 24K Topo Series, and I'm happy with my decision.

One of these days I'll make screen shots of all the different maps so you can see the difference and how I made my evaluation. But what works for me might be far different than what works for you - too many variables: coverage in your location, quality of OSM data in your area, quality of freebie (here) maps in your area, and your budget. There is no easy answer and no one-size-fits all answer.


Using The Maps/Garmin Software / Re: coordinates
« on: January 01, 2013, 01:46:59 PM »
You should also watch all of these videos:


The particular answer you are looking for is in this video:


Site Support / Re: Christmas downloads
« on: January 01, 2013, 07:26:55 AM »
Me too! Thanks Oz for letting me clog up your server with all my silly little KMZ maps!  ;)

Here's to Happy Hiking in a Happy New Year!

General Discussion / Google Maps used to support KMZ files...
« on: December 13, 2012, 07:38:06 PM »
Google Maps supports KMZ files... but not perfectly. I did a quick search on these forums and haven't seen it mentioned, so I figured I would share what I learned.

I was actually introduced to this idea from a steward of one of the properties that I had created a KMZ for. He led me to upload the KMZ to my website to see how it would work in Google Maps. I can get this particular KMZ to display in Google Maps, but not properly. For some reason, Google Maps doesn't support the rotation. So the map is centered on the correct spot, but without the necessary rotation:

A little google searching reveals the problem:
(note that KML element <rotation> is not supported)

and a potential solution:

I understand Nymor's fix and I understand how I could do it. But I'm not going to bother...too much work for not much benefit, especially considering the incredible complexity of the massive Hemlock Gorge reservation... ;)

I uploaded my KMZ of Notchview, which doesn't need rotation, and that turns out pretty cool:

I tried my Blue Hills KMZ, but it is too big. File size limitation is 3MB:

The downside to this feature is that you need a website / server to host the raw KMZ file - obviously Google Maps can't support the zipped KMZ files that are hosted here.

But a pretty neat feature that I didn't know about before today!


Using The Maps/Garmin Software / Re: 24k topo for Wisconsin+Minnesota
« on: November 30, 2012, 10:18:48 AM »
Looks like nowacc is talking about the GARMIN 24K Topo series. "North Central" or "Northern Plains" contains MN, while only "Northeast" or "Great Lakes" includes WI.


If nowacc wants to stick with a Garmin product, can nowacc purchase the DVD for each different region and create one supplemental map within Basecamp that has both MN and WI for the GPSMAP 78? I agree that purchasing the "SD Card" version of those products would be the wrong approach.

When I was researching available topo maps for New England, I downloaded all of the free maps that I could find and transferred them to my 78. I found that the contour interval varied quite a bit between the available maps - and none of them had the 10' contour interval of the Garmin 24K series. So perhaps that is what nowacc means when he says "50K" in terms of resolution.

But I agree with Boyd - before investing in the Garmin products, use the tutorials to help you download all the free maps you can find and then if you are not satisfied, invest in the Garmin maps. Also spend some time learning and trying the menu options that change the level of detail on the GPSr - those can make a very big difference in what you are seeing.


GPSr Units / Re: Loading map to Garmin Fenix
« on: November 08, 2012, 04:54:55 AM »

My polish is a little rusty and I didn't bother to google translate, but I found this thread:
This thread has all the info you need- make sure and read it to the end.

it appears there are two limitations:
1) the name of the .img file is limited to particular names, and
2) the size of the map is limited by the memory on the Fenix.

It also appears that support for additional maps beyond the included basemap is an undocumented and unadvertised feature of the Fenix. Pretty cool!


GPSr Units / Re: Loading map to Garmin Fenix
« on: November 07, 2012, 06:25:21 PM »
I took a look at the specifications for the Fenix when it was announced. I didn't see anything that would suggest that it is capable of displaying any map. It appears capable of displaying a ROUTE, but not a map. What makes you think it is capable of displaying a map?

Map Making Support / Re: Transferring PDF to Basecamp
« on: August 02, 2012, 03:45:47 PM »
Here are Garmin's instructions for creating a KMZ:



Map Making Support / Re: Help requested with Colorado Public Map data
« on: August 02, 2012, 10:26:55 AM »
Looks like the KMZ files have a single doc.kml file with multiple vector polygons coded in it...

Using The Maps/Garmin Software / Re: Why Custom Maps?
« on: August 01, 2012, 11:24:07 AM »
To add one thing to what maps4gps has said, there are two kinds of custom maps.  Most of the "Custom Maps" listed on this site are vector maps (lines are defined by connecting endpoints).  Some of the maps here are "Garmin CustomMaps" (note spelling).  CustomMaps are raster maps (entire map is a bitmap like a JPG) that have been georeferenced.

I think this clarification is important. I'm not familliar with calling the "Garmin Custom Maps" "CustomMaps" with no space - I wish Garmin had named their "Custom Maps" something like "Gazooble Maps" then we wouldn't get confused. But, as someone suggested to me, when I'm talking about "Garmin Custom Maps," I try to refer to them as "Custom KMZ Maps."

Anyway, for the benefit of the OP, here is what we're talking about when we're talking about "CustomMaps" or "Custom KMZ Maps" or the "georeferenced raster maps":

And to add to the discussion, I think the two different kinds of custom maps solve two different problems:
1) "Vector custom maps" (installed as .img files) offer the 'cheap' and/or (depending on your opinion) better (or not better) information as an alternative to purchased Garmin maps.
2) "Custom KMZ Maps" offer the ability to add information to the GPSr that (a) might not be readily available in any other format, and/or (b) is easy for the very casual user to create and install.


i like the beanbag, or in the words of Garmin: "Portable Friction Mount"


I don't like sticking things to the windshield.

What device do you have?

There was just a discussion about NOAA charts in another thread:

Read that whole thread and see if it helps.


General Discussion / Re: GPS track animation
« on: June 17, 2012, 09:11:57 PM »
What about Google Earth?

Watch the first video here:

Don't get nervous at the beginning of the video, stick with it until the 1:30 mark and then you will see the relevance...

The second video on this page is also relevant.


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