Thursday, November 12, 2009

GPS Mapping Software : Garmin MapSource TOPO! US 24k West Topographic

I used this with my Garmin Vista HCx and it works well. If you are deciding between the DVD or the micro SD card that loads into the device, get the DVD. It was well worth it! The DVD lets you look at all of the maps on your computer (Mac for me). You can make routes, tracks, and waypoints and load them into the GPS. Awesome! You do need to buy a blank micro SD card for the GPS though. I got the 2 Gig card for about $7 and loaded topo maps for all of WA, OR, and some of northern CA and I left about 60 Megs open! (This took a few hours!) It is also easier to type in route names on the computer than on my GPS. Another cool feature is the fact that you can right-click your mouse on the map and it will grab the 3-D map and move it around like you are looking at it in your hand. From what I can tell, it does just fine including trails. I did notice one trail so far where half of it was missing. Not sure how many errors there are, but I think there are more things correct than there are incorrect. I am also able to use my GPS to navigate on roads and highways and it will give me turn by turn directions. I mostly use my GPS for hiking and these maps are stellar and are at USGS quality. You can print maps, but I don't think their quality is spectacular. Overall, great product! The only problem I have with Garmin products, in general, is that they have TERRIBLE directions. For example: they don't tell you why you would want to make a route instead of tracks, they just tell you how to make each one. Just use it to figure it out, I guess.

My Blog List