Garmin MapSource TOPO! US 24k West Topographic Coverage for Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada (DVD)September 24, 2009 0 Comments
Garmin MapSource TOPO! US 24k West Topographic Coverage for Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada (DVD)
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Great new product!
I'll cut to the bottom line: As far as I can see, this is the best topographic mapping product available.
It's better than computer maps from DeLorme, National Geographic or other vendors, and much better than Garmin's earlier "MapSource" product. Maps displayed on one's PC or Mac (I've tried it on a Mac) are visually compelling, with very high resolution and near-perfect accuracy. There is also an excellent user interface -- you can browse, zoom, rotate or tilt to your heart's content.
Even better, these high-resolution maps (unlike anything from other vendors) can be downloaded directly into your Garmin handheld. Most recent Garmin models are supported. I was able to download all of California and most of Nevada into a 2 Gbyte microSD card that I bought for my Garmin GPSmap 60CSx (these cards are available from Amazon for less than $10). Also, I have heard that Garmin has recently released a software fix for certain handhelds that permit them accept even larger microSD cards. With a 4 Gbyte card, you should be able to download all or almost all of the maps on this DVD (Cal, Nev, Ore, Wash).
Today while out hiking I was astonished at the detail and resolution on my handheld -- 40 ft topo lines make a enormous difference when deciding whether the hill in front of you is a mountain or a molehill.
The only downside I have noticed is that there aren't very many hiking trails indicated on the maps. But it's always a good idea to obtain a local trail map if one is available. Drivable roads near where I live are all there, and as far as I can see there are no errors of labeling or placement. This is a big relief, because some other products I have seen are loaded with errors.
P.S. (26 Jun 2009). One note on microSD cards: Almost all 4 GByte (or larger) microSD cards currently available from Amazon or elsewhere are actually microSD-HC cards. According to Garmin tech support people, with most Garmin handhelds (including the 60 CSX) do NOT accept microSD-HC cards (as of 26 Jun 2009). So if you buy this map product, and wish to download maps to your Garmin handheld, first check with Garmin before you buy a new storage card. You may be limited to 2 GByte microSD cards.
This thing is a kick!
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.
Must Have for Hikers,
Not sure what I can say about TOPO maps, specifically, other than you're going to need them if you spend any time in the back country -- whether you are hiking or backpacking or just bumming around in the woods. The maps are clear and easy to read on my Garmin HCx Legend. They're not cheap, but what can you do? Sure you can look around online for free, compatible, download-able maps from online sources but I found I couldn't always get the coverage I needed from free maps. Simply put, if you're going to be using your GPSr for anything outdoorsy, on the ground, in the western states of Washington Oregon, California or Nevada just suck it up and get these 24K TOPO maps. Not the 50k:1 or 100k:1 ... Get the standard of the realm 24k:1 TOPO maps. Then learn to actually READ a TOPO map if you don't know how.
Garmin provides two, free to download, guides for using a GPSr. One specifically covers using your GPSr in conjunction with a paper TOPO map. These are both good resources and are worth reading; especially if you're unfamiliar with the wealth of information a good TOPO map provides. Get them here:
About Garmin MapSource TOPO! US 24k West Topographic Coverage for Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada (DVD) detail
- Amazon Sales Rank: #787 in Consumer Electronics
- Brand: Garmin
- Model: 010-11314-00
- Format: DVD-ROM
- Dimensions: 1.50" h x 7.75" w x 8.00" l, .1 pounds
- Provides interactive viewing of detailed topographic maps
- User can pre-plan their trip from home, using MapSource on the PC, then download waypoints, routes&tracks to their Garmin GPS
- Provides descriptions for topographic contours, trail names, summit elevations, POIs & much more
- Topographic data is comparable to the 1:24,000 scale paper maps provided by the United States Geological Survey
- Compatible with Oregon series, Colorado series, GPSMAP 60CX series, GPSMAP 76CX series, eTrex HCx series, Rino 530HCx, Rino 520HCx, 500 series & Astro
Garmin MapSource TOPO! US 24k West Topographic Coverage for Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada (DVD) Description
MapSource TOPO US 24K West DVD