View Full Version : Any proficient GPS geeks out there?

07-02-2007, 01:49 PM
I want to be one. Within reason.

I can basic land nav with an eTrek with the best of them, and am a waypointing son of a [gun]. I have been trying to expand my envelope with this Map Source and Points of Interest stuff in the context of two upcoming ops:

Vacation to MA, with a little Freedom Trail action thrown in
Generic intent to pump up the GIS component for some battlefield tours in the MD/PA/VA area. Maybe famfire it in conjunction with the Civil War Century (http://www.baltobikeclub.org/index.pl/cwc).I spent some time on the Garmin site and found the conceptual orientation and the FAQs to be wholly lacking for the way my brain works. The site lays out some coordinating instructions for various widgets, but not the intent. I can't see the forest for the trees. I know there's a world of stuff out there behind the green door, but right now me confused. I've heard of housewives deftly uploading all the kid-friendly items on their vacation route, but I'm still staring at a bowl of jello, a laundry list of external providers with no triage, and plenty of expensive map products that I don't know what more or less they do for me. Some of my top questions at the moment:

Is there a good POI service for that kind of historical Stonewall got shot here, Washington slept there stuff? And any others just for GP, as I plan to eat, drink, and be merry, too?! Free is nice, but I'm not incurably cheap so pay is fine if the value is there. BTW, I found the garmin POI loader tool and downloaded it. The mission now seems to be to hone in on the right POI provider(s). I can do the slot A into tab B stuff OK once I'm past the source selection.
What are some good companion desktop tools? Again, free is nice, pay for value is fine.
I see there are beau coup additional basemaps available. I understand the use for one in a new AO (e.g. Australia vs. North America). But when you're talking about using another one for the same AO, do they play well together? Any experience with some good ones?
What is all this MapSource Unlock mumbo jumbo about? I tripped across it in the context of checking for updates on the installed base map. It seems I have the latest version. But I have the key to unlock something, and I damn well want to, without pointlessly shooting my unlocking wad.I've had an eTrek Summit (no base map, e-compass) for ages. I just got a Nuvi 660 for the car. It has the CityNavigator North America NT v8 base map -- which incidentally SUCKS at Camp Lejeune / Cherry Point since it doesn't see the new and improved 17 / 24. But otherwise is a handy piece of gear. I must master it.

07-04-2007, 04:32 PM
Perhaps I set the bar too high with "proficient" and the stigma too low with "geek" ;)

Any semi-aware roguishly handsome masters of technology and all they survey out there? I've got a burning urge to naviagate through history.

07-04-2007, 06:48 PM
Mapsource is going to have what people paid to have on there. Having used a Garmin 630csx mapping GPS in the greater NOVA area for the last 6 months, some things show up in national Parks/Historic sights and some don't. I haven't messed with the unlock thing, because the best I can determine is that it provides fishing holes. I agree with you, the Garmin site is not the most user friendly. I do not think it how your brain processes information, I think it is that Garmin's site is vague and not updated very well beyond their hardware side.

08-11-2007, 05:17 PM
this may be a day late and a dollar short, but I use IMG2GPS tool. It's an automated loader that essentially does what MapSource does. I am in the same boat as you - just got my Garmin a month ago and I'm trying to master it, normally don't have a problem with such things, but I think this is the first tool I've bought that's smarter than I am.

I bought mine for use in IZ, I've been thinking about fooling around with GeoCaching, just to increase my familiarity with it.