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Thread: Which mapping software?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    United Kingdom

    I've just aquired a Garmin Etrex summit HC, and needed advice on obtaining good OS standard mapping for the unit.

    This is my first GPS unit and need advice on purchasing a descent mapping product. I'm aware of the British TOPO mapping system, but how good is it? i.e. accuracy, ease of use etc. ????

    I would be greatful for any advice out there



  2. #2
    Ultra King Parky Again's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    United Kingdom

    the only mapping choice youhave is the TOPO. it has it's uses but i'm unimpressed. there is just too much information to be displayed on the very small screen and it gets very confusing at anything over about 300m (the gps zoom where the scale is shown in the bottom left corner of the screen)

    i couldn't possibly recommend you doing this but i have beenled to understand that TOPO mapping is available via BitTorrent which may be an option toexplore a try before you buy.

    personally i would suggest you buy yourself some proper digital OS mapping with the moneye.g. Quo, Tracklogs or Memory Map (if you must indulge any masochistic foible).

  3. #3
    Mini Goon Twig's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    United Kingdom

    If I have understood your post, you want to download maps onto your gps?

    If this is the case, then unfortunately there is no OS standard UK mapping available for the unit. TOPO is a simplified version of OS mapping (as I understand it due to licence restrictions from the OS).

    The software mentioned by Parky will work on your computer but not transfer the maps to the unit.

    If you want contours over the base map then the SMC has a free set.

    SMC Contours

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    United Kingdom

    There isn't good OS standard mapping for the Etrex. There is TOPO but that doesn't satisfy the definition of "good" or "standard". As Twig has said, the TOPO is a simplified or cut-down mapping. In addition, not only is there insuffient detail on the TOPO system but you can't even print the mapping. All in all, pretty hopeless from my point of view. Oh and my GPS eats batteries when the TOPO is on.I have the GB TOPO for my Legend C. I wouldn't buy it again, I think the TOPO is so "cut down" as to be hopeless. In my view, the SMC maps are just as useful.

    I am with Parky that the better way to spend the equivalent of the TOPO, is on Tracklogs or Memorymap or Anquet.

    In my view, the best thing is a proper digital mapping solution with which to plot routes/tracks which can be downloaded into the GPS and a proper paper map of the area - either by way of a print from the digital mapping system or a paper map from the OS or Harvey. The GPS is no substitute for a proper map and the ability to use it.

  5. #5
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    United Kingdom
    If you go down the route of mapping software on a PC then as well as the three that Peter mentioned, there's also Quo (link via its advert on OM) which is very good. You'll no doubt find advocates of each of the main systems but Quo also does pretty well on price.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    United Kingdom

    Yeah, I use Quo and although I dont have experience with any other software package I find it to be pretty good (and not slow as I have heard someone complain about).

    I got an e-mail from them on Friday withspecial offers for the holiday weekend but I'm afraid I have deleted it but you could drop them an e-mail for details, they usually respond quite quickly. I know I got all of scotland at 50,000:1 plus Quo Pro for around 42.

    I also have the SMC contour map on my GPS which is a great benefit although it does get a bit ragged around the coastline.

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