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Thread: GPS vs Good maps ?

  1. #1
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Default GPS vs Good maps ?

    Ok so I was debating about coughing up the $400-500 for a new handheld gps and retire my old (working) etrex. But I got to thinking I do not use it that much and if I bought a new one I would have to get the g2 card and other stuff. So my question is are there any good web sites or places to get a good map and just keep my old gps. I'm talking about a satellite view of hunting areas like Google earth. Some of the places I want to look at are blurred out and yet a few miles north or south its clear. I thought about the GPS but I don't think you can get a good zoom in look on it vs a good light weight laminated map.

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    I was just looking at Bing Maps last night. Take a look at them.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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  3. #3
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    Default

    I use this interactive map a lot here in Alaska:

    http://mapper.acme.com/

  4. #4

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    I've worked with maps, geographic information systems (GIS) and GPS for several years. I once thought about starting a custom mapping service for hunters. I'm glad now that I didn't tech companies large and small have noticed the potential and have come out with some very good products and services, including GPS apps and digital and paper maps. A search for "hunting maps" will reveal some of these.

    I take both a mapping GPS receiver and my custom paper maps when I'm in the field. A lot of useful map production can be done quite easily with Google Earth, including the fitting of topographic maps and other layers onto images from aircraft and satellites. Instructions for this are at Creating Photos & Image Overlays in Google Earth . A lot more can be done with a GIS (there are free software applications available), but it will require an investment of time learning how to use it and acquiring data layers. You can also transfer some data layers to a GPS with various software (including Garmin's own BaseCamp), but it would require the replacement of your eTrex with a mapping receiver if you wanted to see more than waypoints and tracks. If you do upgrade, I would recommend getting as large a GPS screen as your budget allows.

    A good collection of data sources for Alaska is at Alaska GIS Data Sources and Services

    I would recommend that you seek personal advice from someone already involved with using mapping GPS receivers, preferably someone who is adept with a GIS or at least expert with Google Earth. You might contact a natural resources or land management agency or a college with a GIS program (such as UAF) for help in finding such a person.

  5. #5
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    If you have a smart phone (iPhone, Android) you might check out Trimble Outdoors Navigator app. For either a monthly or yearly fee, you can download topo / aerial maps to your phone's sd card so you have maps without cell reception. It's not the most intuitive program I have ever used but once you figure it out it works very well. They also sell hard copies of the maps if you prefer.

  6. #6
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    I carry/used both a GPS and topo maps. While maps can give you some good information, in the case of an emergency, there is nothing better then a good GPS for your exact location. We also carry a sat phone so that if something does happen and we need help, we can provide an exact location. It is nice to be able to look an area over via Google earth and other apps.
    I will be interesting to look at some of the other sites mentioned here to see what they have to offer.

  7. #7
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    I like both. I always have a Topo on hand when I an headding into a new area and I also like that nice garmin that I pack in my pocket.

    Back in 2006 my partner and I took our sno-gos up to Kiana, gassed up and headed up over the Omhar River into the Noatak and then up the Nimmi and on to the North side of the Brooks Range for a spring camping trip. We had the entire trip plotted on my Garmin but took the Topos as well. Guess what...The extreem cold made our GPS unit all but worthless. Got into the wrong drainage and was dead ended in a canyon that was almost impossible to turn our rigs and basket sleds loaded with 7 days of gas and supplies around.

    Needless to say the Topos saved the day. Call me old fashioned but the ability to lay out a nice water proof map makes long trips a lot more comfortable and safe.

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country
    Drop Camps and Float Hunts
    Unit 23-Kotzebue
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  8. #8
    Member Antleridge's Avatar
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    Redundancy is a very valuable thing; always carry both.

  9. #9
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    The batteries will never go dead with a map nor will it ever break. I like both!

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