MapSource, BaseCamp, Nroute, City Navigator I am so confused.

Started by ParaBellum, January 02, 2011, 04:25:41 PM

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Ok so here is the plan and it almost kinda works :)

Just got a Acer Netbook and plan to use it as a dedicated GPS unit in my 4Runner. I will be doing a lot of back road traveling using TOPO maps etc. However I will also like to use the netbook for city travel when I will need turn by turn navigation.

I have downloaded and installed Mapsource and Nroute. My problem is that I do not know where to go from here. I have downloaded several TOPO maps from this site and they work great. So I got the off road side of thing covered and taken care of.

What do I need to install to use my netbook as an actual turn by turn gps unit? I thought Nroute would do the trick but it does not recognize roads or anything. If I choose a destination of just draws a line across the map and tell me tyo drive to my destination?

Any ideas? Thanks

Also I am using a GlobalSat BU-353 GPS puck and GPSgate software to run in mapsource and Nroute


You need a map with routable roads for what you want, and that's going to be a problem with nRoute. It won't work with current versions of City Navigator NT. You would have to  try and find an old version of City Navigator as Garmin stopped making the non-NT version some time ago. I enjoy playing with nRoute on a netbook using topo maps myself, but it's not a viable solution for actual navigation IMO.

If this is the way you want to go, Garmin MobilePC would be much better. It's not free, and there are some subtle differences between the different versions. I don't think you'll find many people here that have used any of this. I'd suggest visiting - it's really the go-to place for this kind of thing.


About a year ago I was trying to do the same thing, I think.  If you are going to have a companion, n-route used to work very well.  There is a lot of information in a post on page 2 (I just looked it up, and man it's had a lot of people looking at it.) called  Running GPS with laptop  may have some usable information for you.  However the newer maps don't seem to work with n-route anymore.  OSM maps will give your companion 5 minutes or so to see roads coming up and route you.  You can only have one file of OSM maps on mapsource at a time tho.  My wife was very good at looking at her laptop and telling me where to go.  Doesn't even need her laptop sometimes.   We did have some problems with 7, or windows 7, operating system with it.   Also I just found OkMap  @  yesterday which is supposed to do about the same thing as n-route, and maybe more.  You are supposed to be able to use it with google earth or google maps, both of which seem to work ok.  Or with the maps in mapsource, or a lot of others.  I have not figured out how to use those maps yet.  I am awfully computer illiterate, but in time I hope to.  These great people on here have been a big help to me, and I hope I have helped you.  You do need a navigator to watch the screen for you the way I did it.  I'm not sure if you could use OkMap with City Navigator or other routables either, as I'm still pulling out what little hair I have left and wondering how to install maps and do other things on it yet.  Good luck  Oh you will also need a GPSR


My suggestion would be to rethink your need to use the laptop for GPS.

With the cheap big screen GPS units available, and the dust and dirt and banging around the laptop is going to see, the GPS device seems to be the winner there.


OKmap is not compatible with Garmin-format maps. Kind of cool that it supports shapefiles though :)

QuoteSupported formats:

    * Images: ecw, bmp, gif, jpg, png, tif and many others
    * Maps: gfw, jgw, pgw, tfw, bpw (Drg maps); ecw (Earth Resource Mapping); map (OziExplorer); gmi (GpsTuner)
    * Vectorial data: shp, dbf (Esri shape file); dcw (Digital Chart of World)


That explains my trouble getting the maps installed.  It says it works with Garmin receivers, and mapsource, and a friend told me I could use my Garmin maps, but in the about 1 hr a night I have to be on the computer at night, when internet is real busy,and the user manual online, I have not figured out much yet.  Weekends I can do more on the computer.  I was trying to help ParaBellum have as good of luck as I had with n-route and was told this would do pretty much the same thing.  You and others here helped me use it.  I had not looked for img files as a supported format.  Sorry.  Babel says it works with 11 different Garmin things.  including mapsource txt and mps which I thought was mapsource itself, gdp , SML, POI, et al.  Okmap says it works with what babel works with.  I realize now, that img files were not listed and that's what Garmin uses.  And I can't get them converted to okm files to use.  Therefore you must be right, too bad tho as I thought this had a lot of potential.