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Opinions of Accuracy/Completeness of Logging road data

Started by gnorthern, June 07, 2009, 09:30:29 PM

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Basically I would like to get as complete possible logging/fire/dirt road information, without spending more money then needed.  I see three options, Garmin's 1:24,000 maps, Garmin's 1:100,000 scale maps, and the maps here.  Can anybody tell me how complete these maps are without extensive field testing?  Again the only data I care about is road data. 

Also, long shot. but I have to ask.  Can anybody tell me if City Navigator has good wildland road data?

My only experience is with a friend's GPS while in the coast range of Oregon, where Gramin's 1:100,000 maps have very complete road data. If the road data is that good everywhere, I would prefer to purchase the larger scale and get more states. Obviously though I would prefer giving a small donation over the cost of Garmin's maps.

Background. I have a Vista HCx that should be arriving in the mail tomorrow. I am asking for use on wildland fire.  Also since I plan on using the GPS with my motorcycle and bicycle, I may also order City Navigator, pending testing of the city road data from this site.

Thank you for your answer.

Indrid Cold

It would help if you mention what area you are interested in and which map from this site you mean. All are not created equally.


More likely than not, maps on this site will have used TIGER road data. I assume you are the same person who asked about this at GPSFileDepot and you are looking for Oregon maps. Since the maps here are free, why not just download one for your area and have a look yourself?

I believe the OpenStreetMap project has also used TIGER data (please correct me if I'm off base here!). You can browse their maps here:


First, thanks for the additional link.  And I did ask about this in another forum.

And I am mixing two different desires, my desire to have good street data and my desire for good forest road data.  I will take all of your great advice with the street data.  But I am still curious about forest road data.

In wildland fire I have been all over the country, which is why I would like to have access to data that generally accurate over the western states.  But the reality is I have spent 85% of my time Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, and would be happy with accurate data for those states.  

I am getting out of the physical side of fire, which is why all I care about are roads.  My days of going through the woods on a fire are coming to an end, which is why I do not care how accurate the topo data is.  And I will always have a laptop with me which I can pre-load with data.

One thing I did not think about until writing this post is that I can judge forest road data by comparing it to the aerial photos in Google Earth.

And in reality the fire idea is probably a bad idea.  Though GPS units are used extensively for mapping fire data, they are rarely used for navigation.  I assume there is a reason.  But a wildlife biologist I work with has been working in this area for 20 years, and when I went out him he used his GPSMAP 76-CSx to navigate the roads.


The roads data as far as I can tell is okay.

My city navigator had okay roads and my topo maps had okay roads.  If its a true road then it's probably loaded; on the other hand if its a one-lane used to be a farmer's road but is now used by the government then it may not be on there.

Download the maps from here and do spot checks and use Garmin's map viewer and do spot checks.  Thats what I would do.
Dan Blomberg
Administrator - GPSFileDepot
GPS Units: Garmin Dakota 20, Garmin GPSMap 60csx, Nuvi 255W, Nuvi 250W, ForeRunner 110, Fenix 2, Tactix Bravo, Foretrex 401
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