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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I'm new to this GPS game (in fact I haven't gotten mine yet - xmas), but I have a pretty basic question.
I'm looking into map software for my new vista hcx and trying to decide between topo 2008 or the new 24k sd card version for my region (Colorado). Are there limits to the 24k version? It doesn't seem as though I can look at the maps on my computer and plan a course. Can I upload someone else's track onto my unit and still see it over the 24k map?
I'm sure this all common sense once you've used one or any other software out there, but I haven't yet, so please excuse my ignorance!
Thanks in advance.
 

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1. Yes, all the extra detail takes longer to display on the GPS screen...draw times are slower. You will be swapping memory cards if you want map data from other states on road trips or somesuch.
2. Trip planning is better done on a computer. It's not so practical to do that on the GPS receiver itself.
3. Yes, you can.
 

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There are free maps out there if you look. Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah...these are 1:24:000 and seem to work well. Here's a link to the Colorado one:

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/2/

I agree with what NateHawk says, much nicer to trip plan and so forth on the computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
free maps matchup to garmin maps?

Thanks for the info guys.
Yeah, I looked into the free 24k maps and will probably go that route. Is it better to have topo 2008 already loaded to overlay the 24k maps onto?
One bonus of the Garmin brand 24k maps is that, from what I gather, they have the City Navigator included in them. So once I get the bike on the roof I can actually get to the trailhead (I get lost in my own backyard). That way I'm not spending even more duckets to get that feature.
If I got the Garmin 24k version on my handheld unit, but used the free version on my computer to map out routes and such, would I then be able to overlay the routes from my computer onto the Garmin map on the unit? Would they matchup?
I'm starting to confuse myself.
 

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I like having both topo 2008 and free maps on my gps because Garmin, in some places has better stream data and other things. Mostly though, I like the free maps very well. Also, at least some of the free maps won't show elevation if you overlay a track file on it. So if you draw a track for this great ride you have planned, at least in Garmin 2008 you can see a representation of the climbs by looking at the profile.

City Navigator could be a bonus. I don't think any free maps will autoroute, and topo 2008 won't either.

Yes, you could map out routes with the free version and then overlay them from your computer on to your gps. Also, while you may not see an elevation profile on your computer, you *should* be able to see it on your gps. When you select the track, you can look at the profile, and it will ask if you want track data or map data. Since the track data might not have the profile (from the free map) select map data (the garmin 24k) and if should give you a profile.

Since I don't have any garmin 24k cards, I can't test my theory, but it should work.
 

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I've never used the free maps, as availability is limited. Either I would have to make them (I'm a grad student, so nope), or I have to depend on someone else to do it. Not everyone making the free maps does the best job of it. Some do a very good job, from what I've seen. Beyond that, I can't say much.

You probably will not be able to use free maps + garmin 24k maps together, since the garmin maps come preloaded on a memory card. You would need a different memory card for the free maps. Oh, and the free maps will still need a viewer program to use them on your computer. The posted free maps will need Mapsource (which you still need to buy). You can, however, still use Google Earth, ESRI ArcExplorer, MS Virtual Earth, or whatever else you want, but you'll be using different mapsets.

I also can't speak much else for the garmin 24k maps, as they're not available for me at this point. I do use city nav and topo maps on a 1GB card. It works pretty well and I can get a very large area loaded. I haven't changed the maps on my gps since the summer, when I bought city nav in the first place.
 

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Some hints

NateHawk said:
...You probably will not be able to use free maps + garmin 24k maps together, since the garmin maps come preloaded on a memory card. You would need a different memory card for the free maps. Oh, and the free maps will still need a viewer program to use them on your computer. The posted free maps will need Mapsource (which you still need to buy).
The free California maps are pretty good and you do not need a card. You just select the area you want in Map Source and send it to your GPS. It goes in the memory. On the GPS you can select different maps, so I suspect you can have several maps on it. Mine shows both the California topo and Street Maps (or whatever it is that comes on the unit). Download Map Source here.
 

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Wherewolf said:
The free California maps are pretty good and you do not need a card. You just select the area you want in Map Source and send it to your GPS. It goes in the memory. On the GPS you can select different maps, so I suspect you can have several maps on it. Mine shows both the California topo and Street Maps (or whatever it is that comes on the unit). Download Map Source here.
My GPS does not work that way. I have the 76CSx and all maps go onto the memory card. The onboard memory only holds waypoints and tracks. So, if I buy maps preloaded on a memory card, to view different maps I have to swap cards regardless of how little space those extra maps occupy.
 

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NateHawk said:
My GPS does not work that way. I have the 76CSx and all maps go onto the memory card. The onboard memory only holds waypoints and tracks. So, if I buy maps preloaded on a memory card, to view different maps I have to swap cards regardless of how little space those extra maps occupy.
If you are using mapsource, you should be able to upload the maps to your unit. I will be honest that I don't have the 76 but the 60. I am able to upload sections of maps with topo info. I have used the garmin 2008 topo and the free maps listed above.

If you insert a blank or unused but formatted card into your unit, you should be able to load any map that is in mapsource. The maps from GPSdepot are all mapsource compatible. Give it a try. They are free so you have nothing to lose.
 

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bankerboy said:
If you are using mapsource, you should be able to upload the maps to your unit. I will be honest that I don't have the 76 but the 60. I am able to upload sections of maps with topo info. I have used the garmin 2008 topo and the free maps listed above.

If you insert a blank or unused but formatted card into your unit, you should be able to load any map that is in mapsource. The maps from GPSdepot are all mapsource compatible. Give it a try. They are free so you have nothing to lose.
Seriously, did you pay attention to the discussion above?

A. Free topos are not available for my area
B. The OP is asking about 24k garmin maps available preloaded on memory cards.
C. You cannot add extra maps to those memory cards.
D. Wherewolf says you don't need a memory card to load the free maps.
E. My GPS requires a memory card (which I have) for loading maps (which I have and use).
F. To use maps on a preloaded card in combination with free maps, you need a second memory card for the free maps (at least for my GPS). For GPS receivers that have both onboard memory for maps AND memory cards, you wouldn't need to do the swap, but my understanding is that most receivers that have memory cards do not allow maps to load into onboard memory..
 

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Just to clarify for the OP, who is getting a Vista HCx (which I have)

1. Maps can only go on a memory card, the built in memory holds the basemap, waypoints, tracks (to a certain point)
2. True, if you get one of Garmin's preloaded cards, you can only look at the maps on that card without switching cards.

Now, in my opinion (for what it's worth) if you do much road tripping at all outside your home state, I'd seriously consider getting topo 2008 on dvd. You'll have the whole country (at 1:100,000) and you will have the ability to load both these and free maps on your gps with a memory card (that you supply, <$10 bucks online). Having multiple maps can be valuable, you can check (for instance) the location of a trail according to a free Idaho topo, Garmin 2008, and Northwest trails. Handy, since nobody has a perfect map. For getting to the trails, pick up one of the dedicated "in car" gps's that seem to be on sale for under 100 bucks everywhere. While the Vista screen is bright and decent for handheld use, I'd personally hate to navigate with it while driving.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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NateHawk said:
Seriously, did you pay attention to the discussion above?

A. Free topos are not available for my area
B. The OP is asking about 24k garmin maps available preloaded on memory cards.
C. You cannot add extra maps to those memory cards.
D. Wherewolf says you don't need a memory card to load the free maps.
E. My GPS requires a memory card (which I have) for loading maps (which I have and use).
F. To use maps on a preloaded card in combination with free maps, you need a second memory card for the free maps (at least for my GPS). For GPS receivers that have both onboard memory for maps AND memory cards, you wouldn't need to do the swap, but my understanding is that most receivers that have memory cards do not allow maps to load into onboard memory..
Damn! Who ran over your dog? Sorry for offering my two cents. If you ever learn the features of your 76CSx, please, keep them to yourself. I know how to use my 60, upload maps, and just about every other funtion.
Cheers, you won't be getting any responses from here on in:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Gracias

Thanks for the info everyone. I'm probably going to get the topo 2008 and layer whatever I want on top of it. Seems like a good idea.
Didn't mean for it to get heated, but I appreciate the discussion.
 

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trail rat
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johnnyspoke said:
There are free maps out there if you look. Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah...these are 1:24:000 and seem to work well. Here's a link to the Colorado one:

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/2/

I agree with what NateHawk says, much nicer to trip plan and so forth on the computer.
Wow, thanks for the link to GPS File Depot! These maps are excellent for those who can use them. I'm in CA and this map is what I have been lusting to have. I loaded them into my 60CSx via Mapsource, and was absolutely astonished at the map. They lack some details such as roads and streams, trails, dirt roads, but if you want 20 foot contour lines, they are wonderful. I need to pick up a 2GB card to load this and Garmin topo to see if they will overlay more info. Woo hoo! :thumbsup:
 

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bankerboy said:
Damn! Who ran over your dog? Sorry for offering my two cents. If you ever learn the features of your 76CSx, please, keep them to yourself. I know how to use my 60, upload maps, and just about every other funtion.
Cheers, you won't be getting any responses from here on in:thumbsup:
Seriously, you shouldn't be surprised with my response since you completely buggered up your interpretation of the discussion.
 

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trail rat
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Let the conflict go...... Peace on Earth, Good Will toward Men, 'tis the Season....... :cool:
 

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slocaus said:
Wow, thanks for the link to GPS File Depot! These maps are excellent for those who can use them. I'm in CA and this map is what I have been lusting to have. I loaded them into my 60CSx via Mapsource, and was absolutely astonished at the map. They lack some details such as roads and streams, trails, dirt roads, but if you want 20 foot contour lines, they are wonderful. I need to pick up a 2GB card to load this and Garmin topo to see if they will overlay more info. Woo hoo! :thumbsup:
OK, I was dead wrong about the lacking detail! I just needed the 2GB card, and to realize that there are background "basemaps" that have the details I thought were missing, as well as many more small detailed topo sections. I was going to load the CA24k topo, and Garmin topo to toggle, but no need. I can load CityNav and the GPS File Depot map and that is all I need. Anyone who has a mapping GPS, and lives in areas that these maps cover, run and get them NOW!

I was out on Saturday trying to find old overgrown trail, and again, the 20' contours just blew me away. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the link and the actual maps. Now I can "get high, get lost" and found again. :thumbsup: :D
 

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GeoMan
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GEOMAN said:
I just received the 24k Garmin Topo microSD for my own Edge 705. Will advise on first impressions after I've had a chance to use it.
Whoa!

Installed the 24k microSD card for my area. Holy moly!

I haven't ridden with it yet (it's WINTER here. 5 degrees this morning) but I can see that this is an important upgrade. The detail is VASTLY improved. Bootup of the 705 takes a bit longer - patience. After that, it's all good.

Enjoy!
 
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