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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been out of the GPS scene awhile and I see the newer garmin units now allow satellite imagery to be installed either using birdseye or other software etc.

My question is how well does this really work? Can you get any reasonable ground coverage with good resolution with the current storage limitations? We use trimble's for field work and with a 16 gig card it's you can't get much for high resolution ground coverage at a scale that's actually useful for on ground navigation. In addition the bigger the file size was the worse time the trimble had dealing with it, in both slowing the unit down and failures to display properly.

I'm sure you can get a local trail system, but can you get the whole say Moab area with descent resolution into an 8-16 gig card?
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I don't know the Moab area in particular, so I don't know what kind of coverage you should expect.

I just know where I live.

I use Topofusion with an Oregon 450 for Custom Maps coverage. It is notable to say that imagery gets downsampled somewhat when using Topofusion and putting it on the Oregon.

With regards to capacity, like with vector maps, the custom maps rasters have a tile limit. IIRC, there's a 1,000 tile limit for display. If you have more than that installed on the GPS, you will get a warning on startup that the GPS will not be able to display them all. From what I can tell, you have to be zoomed out really far to show more tiles, and if you typically operate at a tighter zoom like I do, it seems like the GPS still displays the tiles in your immediate vicinity just fine.

I use a Trimble for work, also. The Oregon handles the imagery much differently. It is a little slower with imagery as opposed to without, but it's not deal-breaking to me. But to be honest, the only trouble I've had with my Trimble displaying imagery has been with it putting black borders around image tiles that covers up parts of the adjacent tiles because of the way ArcPad downsamples the imagery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the answer, I was able to find a better idea of size/coverage average for the birdseye stuff on highest resolution.

Another question, is it possible to preview the birdseye data without buying a compatible unit? I tried both the mac/windows version of basecamp to see if I could preview the data to see how good the resolution was in places I'd like to use it and it kept saying I couldn't preview/download data without a compatible gps unit connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To answer my own question it doesn't seem that garmin allows any way to preview the birdseye data without purchasing a unit at this time.

Considering they won't give any kind of specs for resolution etc. (I'm sure it varies depending on location like most of the available imagery does) I do really like the idea of being able to put imagery into the gps unit, and if it was acceptable quality for me that would be reason enough to upgrade, but I'm not going to pay $400 + a subscription just to see if the resolution is any good for the regions I want to use it in.
 

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Don't feel bad...I haven't figured out if you can preview BirdsEye imagery, either. I've been told it's possible, but I sure don't see it anywhere.

The only thing I'm aware of is that Garmin Connect will overlay onto BirdsEye imagery when you're viewing an activity. What's available there is of limited extent, though, and I have no idea if the purchasable stuff has a larger extent.
 

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I believe you can do almost as well using Google Earth to load images on your GPS without paying $30 a year for the privilege of having Garmin automate the process for you.
 

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MarkHL said:
I believe you can do almost as well using Google Earth to load images on your GPS without paying $30 a year for the privilege of having Garmin automate the process for you.
The Google Earth process requires a bit of legwork. I started a post a little bit ago mentioning software that can do custom maps. I should bump it.
 
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