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Topics - Boyd

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Map Making Support / Bulk USGS Data
« on: September 12, 2012, 05:04:07 PM »
Stumbled across this today while looking for some data: http://seamless.usgs.gov/bulk.php

Unless I am missing something here, it sounds like you can send USGS a hard drive, receive it back a month or two later full of data, and the only charge is the shipping. If so, that's pretty cool.  8)

Quite a list of available stuff too - like the full DRG dataset (238GB) or the full 1/9 arc second (LIDAR) dataset (2.03 terrabytes) or ful DOQ dataset (16.9 terrabytes).

Anybody ever use this service?

See: http://garmin.blogs.com/softwareupdates/2012/08/garmin-basestation.html

Basecamp will now show your position... but you need to have an Astro, Alpha or Rino gps to connect. Now if they would only allow you to connect other types of USB devices, this would be the answer to what many people have wanted...

Garmin Basestation

The latest version of Garmin BaseCamp introduces a handy new feature for your tracking handhelds: Basestation. With Basestation, every update received from other devices by your tracking handheld is sent to BaseCamp, allowing you to track yourself, your dogs, and your contacts on your computer. This can free your hands and allow you to see more of the map on a bigger screen. You might find Basestation ideal for a variety of situations, including tracking dogs at hunting competitions or coordinating search and rescue or fire fighting operations.

Supported Handhelds

Astro 320
Alpha 100
Rino 600 series

To ensure Basestation compatibility on these devices, make sure you have the latest software from WebUpdater. BaseCamp must be at version 4.0 or later.

GPSr Units / New firmware prevents overlays with City Navigator
« on: May 22, 2012, 06:11:14 PM »
Garmin just released new firmware for the Nuvi 3700 series today that has a rather radical change: http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=5063

Changes made from version 4.80 to 4.90:

Made a change so that Topo/Recreational and City Navigator Maps cannot be enabled at the same time.

I wonder if we will see this "feature" appear on other devices now? I am really puzzled... is it a response to people who complain they can't see their topo map because City Navigator is hiding it? Or has Garmin decided they don't want anyone "riding their coat tails" and using overlays?

I am not sure how they determine if another map is a "Topo/Recreational" one. And I don't intend to install this on my 3790 to find out either.


GPSr Units / Garmin GPS sale at Eastern Mountain Sports
« on: May 11, 2012, 11:58:55 AM »
Some very nice pricing - I think this is the lowest price ever on the Montana

$152 - eTrex 20
$231 - eTrex 30
$240 - Oregon 450
$320 - GPSMap 62s
$400 - Montana 600

This is just a partial list, see the rest here: http://www.ems.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3716800&emssrcid=AFF%3AGAN_k172286

I haven't tried this yet myself - has anyone else? http://www8.garmin.com/support/agree.jsp?id=3291

See the discussion here on Garmin's support forum: https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?t=27145

OK - don't panic, everything is probably fine, but if you're on a Mac it's worth checking this out. I posted about it here, but most people probably won't make the connection: http://forums.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php?topic=2771.msg16548#new

When GPSFileDepot was recently hacked, it appeared pretty innocuous and only resulted in users being redirected to some harmless looking sites. Now I have learned that these sites are included in the ones which have been spreading a Mac virus/trojan that's been getting a lot of publicity: http://news.yahoo.com/more-600-000-macs-infected-flashback-malware-report-091608469.html

To check if your Mac is infected, open the Terminal program (found in the Utilities folder inside the Applications folder). Paste the following command into terminal

defaults read /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment

Hit the return key and now paste this command into Terminal

defaults read ~/.MacOSX/environment DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES

If you get a response saying that the domain/pair does not exist for each of these, you are not infected. The strange thing is that if you have Microsoft Office 2008, Office 2011 or Skype on your Mac, evidently the virus won't get installed. Maybe that's why I'm clean?

Apple has issued a software update to close this vulnerability. If I understand correctly, it should also remove the virus if present. The same virus also affects Windows machines and has been around for awhile, so hopefully you will be OK there if your antivirus software is up to date.

Map Making Support / Online .typ editor down?
« on: March 09, 2012, 05:19:32 AM »
For the past day I've been trying to access the online .typ editor at http://ati.land.cz/gps/typdecomp/editor.cgi and all I get is

Not Found
The requested URL /gps/typdecomp/editor.cgi was not found on this server.
Apache/2.2 Server at ati.land.cz Port 80

I hope this is just temporary. I have tried all the other ways to edit .typ files (which I do extensively) and this still remains the best.

The only viable alternative is typWiz, but it is still buggy: http://pinns.co.uk/osm/ostyp.html

I spent awhile using it on my last map and ended up going back to the online editor after my .typ file became corrupted when changing draw order. I also wasn't able to get the extended font support to work correctly in some cases. It's a very nice program though, so I guess I'll have to learn to live with the problems if the online editor is really gone.  :(

General Discussion / End of the line for Lightsquared
« on: February 15, 2012, 07:05:06 AM »
Really, it's ridiculous that this has gone on for so long IMO...


FCC kills LightSquared

February 15, 2012 by Rich Owings   

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) wrote the FCC yesterday (PDF) saying they had concluded “that LightSquared’s proposed mobile broadband network will impact GPS services and that there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time.” Shortly thereafter, the FCC announced that they would “(1) vacate the Conditional Waiver Order, and (2) suspend indefinitely LightSquared’s Ancillary Terrestrial Component authority to an extent consistent with the NTIA letter.”

Map Making Support / Experiments with LIDAR
« on: December 27, 2011, 09:15:55 PM »
We have pretty extensive coverage in Southern New Jersey with USGS NED 1/9 arc second LIDAR DEM, so I'm trying to find a way to use this in a map. It's especially nice around here where everything is so flat because it reveals a lot of surface detail in the forest.

It would be very easy to make a garmin "custom map" (.kmz raster image) from this data, but it's pretty limiting both in size and in the number of devices that can use it. So my thought was to vectorize it using Globalmapper's function to create polygons based on RGB values.

I have all the data, so for starters I cropped it to the outline of the map I want to make, then exported it as gridded 8 bit grayscale TIFF's that are ~500x500 pixels. Globalmapper converts these into anywhere between 50,000 to 60,000 polygons when using a match distance of 16. Smaller values for match distance create way too many polygons.

Here's a comparison of the original TIFF to the vector image. Globalmapper really does a great job - it's hard to tell them apart until you zoom way in.

Next I export a shapefile and use Filemaker Pro to do some processing of the .dbf, parsing the RGB values and mapping them to MP_TYPES in a custom .typ file. I decided to go this route instead of using a program like MOAGU or Mapwel because it gives me full control over everything.

I then import the modified shapefile back into Globalmapper, combine with other vector features like roads, then export an .mp file to compile with cgpsmapper. My current prototype breaks a USGS 24k quad into 8x8=64 tiles, each of which is ~1MB. So far so good. Here's what it looks like in Globalmapper

And the compiled map in Mapsource looks surprisingly good - bet ya didn't think Mapsource could do this!  ;)

But then the fun begins... there are two problems on the GPS. First, it practically brings the unit to its knees due to all the little polygons (I tried on a Nuvi 205 and Montana 600). But worse, the GPS doesn't seem to render the image with as much precision as Mapsource, even with detail set to max. Basically, it's a mess. Kind of an interesting abstract art image, but nothing like the original.

So I'm going to need to re-think this and do more experimentation.  :)

Anyway, it's an interesting although time consuming and sometimes frustrating project that I wanted to share. I have also recently refined my technique for processing the Landsat NLCD 2006 landcover data in a similar fashion and that is working out really well - but that source imagery is about 10 meters pixel. I'll post some details about this in another thread soon.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays - here's wishing a happy New Year to all! :)

Site Support / Broken link in Mapmaking tutorial #1
« on: December 20, 2011, 05:44:46 PM »
Just noticed this, for what it's worth...

See: http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorials/how-to-create-garmin-topo-maps---part-1---setup/

I will not go into a lot of detail on how to use this excel spreadsheet at this time.  The descriptions are available in the article and as I use each feature it will be metioned.

The link to the article doesn't work. It takes you to the index page for the tutorials - http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/articles/100k-quad-lists-and-dem-links-for-each-state/

Using The Maps/Garmin Software / Major new beta release of Basecamp
« on: December 15, 2011, 05:44:08 AM »
Very impressive update. Garmin has certainly been listening to users. I have not tried this yet myself, so install with care since it's beta. One user in Garmin's forum's reported some issues after installing. See this thread in Garmin's forum for lots of screenshots and explanations of the new features.


BaseCamp 3.3 is here! We are starting off with an early Beta release to give everyone a chance to check out the new features and pound on it for a little bit before we release the final version.

Download it here: http://developer.garmin.com/apps/BC/BaseCamp_3.3.0.2_Beta.exe.

We have incorporated a lot of user requests from this very forum. If your desired feature/bug fix didn't make it into this release, don't hesitate to remind us.

[COLOR="DarkOrange"]We are very interested in your feedback, please report bugs and oddities you find, and comment on the new features.[/COLOR]

This is the change-list from 3.2.2 to I will add some explanations and screen-shots in later posts.

  • Added collapsible list folders and sub-lists for improved organization.
  • Added shaping point support for zumo devices like done in MapSource.
  • Added explicit support for shaping points.  These will be transferred to supporting devices.
  • Added support for transfer of waypoint categories on supporting devices.  These are displayed in BaseCamp as lists.
  • Added more activity profiles, with improved activity routing on supported maps.
  • Added specific avoidances for various road classes, removed the road selection slider.
  • Added custom activity profiles.
  • Added keyboard short-cuts for editing tools (divide, insert, erase).
  • Added a tools menu for easier discovery of tool keyboard shortcuts.
  • Changed to make GPX files on a memory card directly editable.
  • Changed to read all GPX files on a memory card, similar to how devices behave.
  • Improved graphing of track data.
  • Improved graphing when multiple routes or tracks are selected.
  • Improved layout of geotagged photo, waypoint, route, and track properties.
  • Added additional statistics to route and track properties.
  • Added 'Center on map' check-box on route and track dialogs.
  • Added an easier way to add waypoints to routes (Insert Waypoint button).
  • Added additional data fields to waypoints (such as address and phone number).
  • Added display and updating of date last modified for waypoints.
  • Added display of lists that contain this data item to properties.
  • Added receiving geocache visits from devices.
  • Added logging geocache visits on OpenCaching.com.
  • Added printing of geocaches.
  • Added alternate notification mechanism (less annoying pop-ups).
  • Added display settings to adjust width of routes and tracks.
  • Added support for importing waypoints and tracks from KML/KMZ files.
  • Added suggested file name when exporting (so it isn't always 'untitled').
  • Added more map details for higher detail setting.
  • Added data filters to map view.
  • Added preserving the dialog size for each data type.
  • Added option to reset track's altitude to map data.
  • Added functionality to remember display feature settings per profile.
  • Changed 'Remove List and Contents' to 'Remove list and unique contents'.
  • Added Shift-Delete short-cut for 'Remove list and unique contents'.
  • Improved printing of routes and tracks.
  • Fixed issues with sending routes to the zumo.
  • Fixed elevation profile labels for Windows XP (no longer invisible).
  • Fixed issue when duplicating a route. BaseCamp will now also duplicate the waypoints in that route.
  • Fixed issue with the data filter not being remembered between application runs.

Site Support / Error message when editing existing map info
« on: December 11, 2011, 03:16:39 PM »
I was trying to update the info for one of my maps, and no matter what I did the edit would fail with some kind of database error after I hit the submit button. After some screwing around, I *think* the issue was that the title of the map contained an apostrophe (Boyd's Map of New Jersey). In any case, when I removed the apostrophe from the title, the edit was properly submitted.

It's odd, because I didn't change the title of the map, the previous version also had an apostrophe in it. Anyway, kind of trivial but I thought I'd mention it.  :)

Map Making Support / Installer script... again
« on: October 06, 2011, 01:08:36 PM »
I'm getting ready to release a new map but got lost somewhere in the various threads about installer issues. Do we think that the current template file in mapmaking tutorial number 8 has resolved the various Windows 7 issues? http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tools/map_install.zip

GPSr Units / Oregon 450 - $200 at REI thru 9/5
« on: August 30, 2011, 11:43:14 AM »
Title pretty much says it all. REI sale price is $250 and there's a $50 mail-in rebate from Garmin. This is by far the lowest price ever on this model. I'm embarrassed to admit what I paid for my Oregon 400t about 3 years ago. But you could buy Oregon's for the whole family for about the same price at this sale.  ;D

General Discussion / Re: Upload
« on: July 28, 2011, 05:24:49 AM »
This isn't related to the upload process, but here's a utility that claims to install .gmapi files on Windows (also does a lot of other handy things). I didn't realize that was possible! If true, maybe it would allow us to start offering downloads in a universal format that doesn't require messing with the Windows registry. http://www.javawa.nl/gmtk_en.htm

Maps in the new format (not using registry settings) are becoming more common. These maps have the extension .gmap or .gmapi. Sometimes they are presented as maps for Mac OSX (RoadTrip/BaseCamp), but they can be used in Windows too.
Garmin MapManager for the Mac provides an easy way to install them, but there is no Windows version of it.

This option in JaVaWa GMTK enables you to install these maps. It will check that no existing map will be overwritten, and after installing new maps, JaVaWa GMTK will perform a check for possible file errors and conflicts with other maps. Even on the Mac this method is preferable, because Garmin MapManager doesn't check anything and will overwrite existing maps without warning.

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