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Thread: Alaska GPS topo maps for old guys and dummies

  1. #1

    Default Alaska GPS topo maps for old guys and dummies

    I guess my age is showing in my ability to work with these modern devices, GPS topo downloads remind me of the old 386 computer software downloads, it seems overly complicated.

    Without advertising for any company, could those that are well versed in this area share a bit with the forum about Alaska topos, and installations

    The Garmin software, Alaska enhanced.. is this a solid software package?(if not quite expensive). I downloaded the free MTI maps.. they seem adequate.. but so far have only managed to get them to map source, not my unit(just bought the mini sd card, for my etrex legend). A guy on Ebay sells maps he claims are as good or better than Garmins..??
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/220724230711...84.m1438.l2649

    It seems there are free maps available. What data is Garmin using?.. Publicly available maps is my guess? I would just like to learn what is available to the public.. and if the commercial product is worth the money,


    Any input appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Wow, I must be getting old. No one but me having issues with these new fangled trackin devices..??

    Anyway, in case there are and they are being quiet.

    I managed to down load free topo maps for my Garmin from here... http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/state/all


    got them into map source... selected every one of them(total of about 200 mb).. and put them into my Garmin legend on a 4 g mini sd card..

    they seem like good enough maps to me.. would be curious how much better if at all the Garmin stuff is.(alaska enhanced)


    Who is making all these maps?.. obviously Garmin is not doing their own maps are they??.. Isn't the source of this data government maps?


    I also hear about guys putting together their own map conglomerate?...


    Still a bit curious where these maps originate. And if there are better more up to date sources...

    thanks....

  3. #3
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I don't know about any other source, but I bought the Garmin product. You can load it into the handheld unit and into the computer in the form of "Basemap." The Garmin handheld drives me nuts as I find it about the most non-intuitive piece of electronic gear I own.

    On the old school side, I recommend this site for water proof maps. Quick service, reasonable price.

    http://www.mytopo.com/

  4. #4
    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    Glad you posted this. After a bit of a headache I got it figured out. Darn near as good as Garmin's stuff. I lost my gps a month back with the Garmin stuff on it.

  5. #5

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    I've tried both the mti map and the Garmin map. I like the Garmin map a little bit better, but they're almost identical from a functional standpoint, and it seems like they use the same topo data source. One of the advantages of the Garmin map is that it's a real digital elevation map (DEM), which lets you see relief shading in BaseCamp (and probably MapSource), and it lets you view an altitude profile for a route or track you want to plan. These are awfully small advantages for the cost of that map.

    One of the quirks of these two maps is that the mti map seems to be stretched horizontally compared to the Garmin map when I switch between them. Everything else (like custom maps or BirdsEye aerial imagery) stretches to match the current map, and it all corresponds very well. This may have to do with different map projections/datums, a technical facet I don't have the time to completely understand right now, and I don't think it's relevant to day-to-day use of these devices.

    Bottom line: The free mti map is good enough that you probably don't need to spend the money on the Garmin.
    Jason
    http://www.troutnut.com -- Fly fishing photos & insect hatch encyclopedia.
    http://www.daltoncorridormap.com -- Exact 5-mile Haul Road corridor boundary for GPS & Google Earth

  6. #6

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    I lost my gps a month back with the Garmin stuff on it.


    Ouch, I feel for you! I lost my brand new Garmin 62S on its second trip out this fall, and luckily found it a couple hours later (it had fallen out of a pocket while I was belly-crawling on a stalk). The worst part of those two gut-wrenching hours was thinking, "If only I had some sort of device that would allow me to perfectly retrace my steps..."
    Jason
    http://www.troutnut.com -- Fly fishing photos & insect hatch encyclopedia.
    http://www.daltoncorridormap.com -- Exact 5-mile Haul Road corridor boundary for GPS & Google Earth

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    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troutnut View Post
    "If only I had some sort of device that would allow me to perfectly retrace my steps..."[/COLOR]
    Too Funny! That was exactly what I was thinking the whole time I was looking for it!!

    I wasn't able to find it like you did though...

  8. #8

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    QUOTE=GD Yankee;1033838] The Garmin handheld drives me nuts as I find it about the most non-intuitive piece of electronic gear I own.



    http://www.mytopo.com/[/QUOTE]


    that's my take on it.. Garmin seems to be pretty awkward to operate.(non-intuitive ) is a good way to put it.

    But I got the mti maps loaded, and they seem good enough for what I want to do, and the price is right.


    navigating around on map source is not that convenient either..


    is what it is..

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    I'm not a tech person. PERIOD. I have to read the instruction book to change the clock in my car. I was at a Wildland First Aid class a short time ago and the instructor is both an outdoor person and super tech. I was with one group in an exercise and he was talking to another person in another group about GPS. Instead of GPS unit, he uses his fancy cell phone (what ever they're called). He has aps for GPS and it has some kind of interface so when he was looking at some mt. peaks trying to figure out which was which he just had to hold up his phone and it showed the peaks and named them. He claimed his phone put most GPS units to shame. I hope to talk to him about it in the next class we have with his outfit.

  10. #10
    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    Instead of GPS unit, he uses his fancy cell phone (what ever they're called). He has aps for GPS and it has some kind of interface so when he was looking at some mt. peaks trying to figure out which was which he just had to hold up his phone and it showed the peaks and named them. He claimed his phone put most GPS units to shame. I hope to talk to him about it in the next class we have with his outfit.
    Which is great if you have cell coverage...

  11. #11
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    There are topo apps with GPS tracking for the Iphone that don't require cell coverage. I tried a free one this weekend it's called "You Need a Map". The topos are decent, you can download specific layers for your state or region for better resolution. The GPS worked great.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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