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  1. #1
    Euphorically Confused
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    Garmin Topographical Software

    I am preparing for an elk hunt in Wyoming and I just recently purchased a BT-338 and iGuidance. A friend of mine has the Garmin Topo software and I didn't know if anyone has successfully gotten it to work with a PPC. Obviously this would be a benefit to me if it did work. So, if anyone has any knowledge about this software and compatibility I would appreciate any information. Also, are there any other GPS programs designed for the PPC that support topographical mapping?

    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Techguru alanb's Avatar
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    The only way to use the Garmin software on a PPC is to purchase their GPS10 which includes QUE software for the PPC and city Select (highway) maps. I believe once you have QUE though, you can load any Garmin maps.

    There are at least two other options though, for putting TOPO maps on your PPC.

    National Geographic TOPO! can export maps to the pocket PC. The backroads explorer software is equivelent to USGS 1:100,000 series topo maps, or you can get state series maps which are equivelent to the USGS 1:24,000 series (they are actually scanned USGS maps). However, there is no GPS integration in the pocket PC.

    Delorme Street Atlas USA HH in combination with Delorme Topo USA 5 can put GPS capable topo maps on your PPC that is compatible with any GPS that your PPC can communicate with.

    Another option is Maptech Outdoor Navigator, but I don't have any specific information about it (it is fairly new).

    There may be other options, but these are the ones I am familier with.

    For information about all things PALM and PDA related, see http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/PocketPC/wince.htm

    Alan

  3. #3
    I'm a total loser and I've been banned!!!
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    MMm... Elk Goulash.. Had some in Montana once... best ever!

    Good luck on your hunt!

    E

  4. #4
    Registered User SpineDoc's Avatar
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    I have maptech, have had it for a while. Get the Pocket Navigator, not the outdoor navigator. The pocket navigator is a better product.

    Keep in mind that Maptech are official topo maps which are resized for your Pocket PC and have the ability to have gps coordinates, follow a gps receiver, waypoints, tracks, etc etc. I would think that all topo map programs get their maps from the same place.
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  5. #5
    Techguru alanb's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SpineDoc
    I have maptech, have had it for a while. Get the Pocket Navigator, not the outdoor navigator. The pocket navigator is a better product.

    Keep in mind that Maptech are official topo maps which are resized for your Pocket PC and have the ability to have gps coordinates, follow a gps receiver, waypoints, tracks, etc etc. I would think that all topo map programs get their maps from the same place.
    For US topo maps, there are basically three data sources (all from the USGS, but the type of data differs), and within those sources there is a good bit of variation.

    Vector data is used by Garmin and Delorme. It takes up less storage space then scanned map bitmap data, but except for National parks and a few state parks, is only available at the equivelent resolution to 1:100,000 series papaer maps.

    Bitmap or Raster data that is essentially scanned maps. Data providers can get this for free (well, for the cost of reproduction) from USGS in the form of DRG's (digital Raster Graphics) or scan the maps themselves. I believe Maptech scanned the maps themselves and then did a good bit of cleanup and enhancement, because they have the best looking raster maps I have seen.

    Digital Elevation Model. This data is available in a couple of resolutions, and provides the elevation data that underlies the raster or vector data. This is used by virtually all of the map vendors in addition to the visual display information and is how they provide things like route or track profiles.

    I also need to correct my earlier post. national Geographic did have a PPC program that was GPS capable, Topo! Synch. It is no longer on their website, and their current pocket pc applicatoin is not GPS capable, but you might still be able to find Topo! Synch on store shelves or ebay.

    Looks like the best priced product currently is the Maptech product, and it is the only one that also has marine charts. (I have been looking into it since I posted earlier today, and it looks pretty good).

    A word of warning for using a PPC and GPS v.s. a dedicated GPS for outdoor use. The battery life of a PPC when communicating to the GPS is not nearly as good as a dedicated GPS, and any PPC or Converged device with the exception of some ruggedized units from Trimble will not be waterproof, where virtualy any dedicated GPS purchased todat meets IPX7 specifications (submerged 30 minutes at 1 meter).

    Alan

  6. #6
    Euphorically Confused
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    First, thanks for the great info and insight.

    So, does the Que software only work with the Garmin hardware? Or, can I get it and use the maps my friend has?

    For the price, the Navigator software looks pretty good. When talking about resolution and scale (a little foreign to me), are there major differences between the Garmin and Navigator?

    And yes, I do not plan to use the PPC as a full time GPS while we are out there. It will mainly be for emergencies and periodic spot checking.
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