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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a GPS device mainly for roaming through the mountain roads and country side. I'm considering Edge 705. However, as far as I see the maps are showing the main roads, not the terrain (or does it??). Considering that I'm in Turkey I doubt if there is sufficiently detailed/updated mountain road info. I would much prefer to see a satellite view as in google maps on the GPS screen to see the actual roads and trails. Is there a way or a specific device that can do that?

I'd like to note I've never used such a GPS, and not yet familiar with them. Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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burcak said:
I'm looking for a GPS device mainly for roaming through the mountain roads and country side. I'm considering Edge 705. However, as far as I see the maps are showing the main roads, not the terrain (or does it??). Considering that I'm in Turkey I doubt if there is sufficiently detailed/updated mountain road info. I would much prefer to see a satellite view as in google maps on the GPS screen to see the actual roads and trails. Is there a way or a specific device that can do that?

I'd like to note I've never used such a GPS, and not yet familiar with them. Thanks in advance for your help!
I have got a GPS that does what you are asking. The only problem is I am not sure how well it would work in Turkey or if Turkey is a supported map for it. I think your best bet is to go to an electronics store and see if the salesman knows of a GPS that can do what you are asking. Smart phones are another option. With an internet connection some of them can connect to google maps and show where you are on them with GPS accuracy. That works that way in the US, with the way electronics are here I again don't know if the same thing can be done in Turkey.

The riding in turkey must be incredible. Even beyond the destinations I cannot imagine how cool it would be to ride on a trail that has been in use for thousands of years. I feel connected to history on a 130 year old mining road.
 

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"Ordinarily" there are topographic maps available for any mapping GPS receiver. These may be proprietary maps available only through the manufacturer, or open-format maps available from third-party sources. I'm a long-time Garmin user and I know that Garmin's approach is the former. I know that Garmin doesn't sell any topographic maps of Turkey for their models. I'd be extremely surprised if any other major manufacturer does. The only online source of free map data that I'm familiar with (GPSFileDepot) doesn't even list Turkey as one of the countries that you can search by.

As far as I can see, you have a few avenues you might want to explore:

There might be an off chance that some little-known GPS brand that's active in the Turkish market but little known to readers of this forum could have topographic maps of Turkey available for their models. You can figure out what those brands are by looking through newspaper or magazine ads (or window shopping through electronics stores) in Turkey and seeing what brands are for sale. It should then be fairly easy to find the website of each manufacturer to check if they make any such topographic maps available.

Some GPS receiver models allow you to use "custom maps". These consist of an image file essentially. You define (using appropriate software, as per the instructions of each manufacturer) the latitude and longtitude of two or three (or more) points on the map, and this allows the GPS receiver to deduce the orientation, position, and scale of the image and start showing it to you as a map. You can refer to this link for a detailed description and a list of Garmin models that have this feature (other brands do this, too):

Garmin Custom Maps

Of course, once you have this capability, the question you'll be faced with is where to get the map imagery to use for custom maps. Due to the nature of these types of maps, you'll typically be limited to a small area (big enough for one ride perhaps) and a single zoom level, unfortunately. So, you could get by just taking screenshots of the "satellite" view of Google Maps, or even its regular "map" view, for that matter.

Another source of topographic map imagery of Turkey for use as a custom GPS map could be this site that came up on the first page of the search results when I looked for "topographic map turkey" on Google:

Mapstor.com

Of course, they're not free. I don't know if you'll be willing to pay for maps on which you'll still have to spend effort to get into a GPS receiver.

OpenStreetMap might be another source of maps you can use for this purpose. This is the equivalent of an "open source" (or Wikipedia-like) project in the mapping world. Their maps show decent detail in Turkey. Even better, there is an OpenCycleMap that's part of this project, too. That has good detail in Turkey as well, plus, it shows a topographic background. And, as I was browsing some areas near Istanbul just before writing this, believe it or not, I did see some stuff that looked like actual dirt trails represented on that map!

You could take screenshots of views of the OSM maps and use them as custom maps on a GPS receiver, or, if you want to get more sophisticated, you might want to try your hand at converting them into a format that your GPS could load directly. You may find your starting point for that kind of a personal project at this address:

OSM Map On Garmin

(While that page is Garmin-specific, I'm sure there must be information reachable through there that applies to other brands, too.)

When it comes to figuring out the latitude-longitude of a set of points on a map image in order to be able to use it as a custom map, if you are not aware of any tools that will allow you to do that, Google Earth is one free program that can do that for you.

I hope this gives you at least some leads to pursue...
 

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even if gpsfiledepot doesn't have basemaps for download, hit up the tutorial section to see how to make them yourself. Sourcing the original GIS data for that could be tricky, but free data is available for most places. Sometimes, the best you can get would be street map data.

Here in the US and in a number of other countries, map data is generated by the government and it's provided to us for free because our tax money paid for the generation of that data. Private companies do exist to create data, too (usually more detailed/accurate than what the government offers), and they charge for it. Some countries do not operate that way. Map data is sometimes held 'secret' (think secretive communist governments) and others simply charge for that data, which stifles development of map products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
erginguney said:
Some GPS receiver models allow you to use "custom maps". These consist of an image file essentially. You define (using appropriate software, as per the instructions of each manufacturer) the latitude and longtitude of two or three (or more) points on the map, and this allows the GPS receiver to deduce the orientation, position, and scale of the image and start showing it to you as a map. You can refer to this link for a detailed description and a list of Garmin models that have this feature (other brands do this, too):

Garmin Custom Maps

Of course, once you have this capability, the question you'll be faced with is where to get the map imagery to use for custom maps. Due to the nature of these types of maps, you'll typically be limited to a small area (big enough for one ride perhaps) and a single zoom level, unfortunately. So, you could get by just taking screenshots of the "satellite" view of Google Maps, or even its regular "map" view, for that matter.
Merhaba!

Think you're Turkish too from the name ;) Thanks for the extensive explanation. Custom mapping is a good feature; although requires some workaround this may be used to apply what I want, but this is not available in Edge models :( What I want is to upload the google-earth "satellite" image of a certain area to the device (preferably zoomable) and see my location on that. Simple as that! I am still not very clear if this is possible on any Garmin?
I would also like to have HR at least and cadence may be; so I'd like to stick with the Edge models.
 

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burcak said:
Merhaba!

Think you're Turkish too from the name ;) Thanks for the extensive explanation.
Aynen. Turkish-born, and lived there 'til I finished college. All my interest in GPS and biking started much after that, though. So, I might not have as much "local insight" into this as some local Turkish GPS nuts, if you can find any.

burcak said:
Custom mapping is a good feature; although requires some workaround this may be used to apply what I want, but this is not available in Edge models What I want is to upload the google-earth "satellite" image of a certain area to the device (preferably zoomable) and see my location on that. Simple as that! I am still not very clear if this is possible on any Garmin?
I'm afraid the quick answer is a firm "no". If you check the "Compatibility" tab on that Garmin Custom Maps page whose link I've given, you'll see that the Edge model name is nowhere to be found. The only models listed as being capable of doing that are Dakota, Oregon, Colorado, and a couple of GPSMAP model ranges. Sorry...

I'd be inclined to say "if you're willing to buy a different brand, you might be able to find a biking model that accepts custom maps", but I doubt it. Garmin seems to have the most advanced biking GPS receivers on the market. (Though I could be wrong.)

Of course, anything is possible given enough time and money. (The emphasis being on "money".) You could buy a Dakota model for mapped navigation using custom maps and get a separate small bike computer that measures heart rate, cadence, etc. But then you're looking at hundreds of dollars of extra expense, naturally... :)
 

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erginguney said:
Aynen. Turkish-born, and lived there 'til I finished college. All my interest in GPS and biking started much after that, though. So, I might not have as much "local insight" into this as some local Turkish GPS nuts, if you can find any.

I'm afraid the quick answer is a firm "no". If you check the "Compatibility" tab on that Garmin Custom Maps page whose link I've given, you'll see that the Edge model name is nowhere to be found. The only models listed as being capable of doing that are Dakota, Oregon, Colorado, and a couple of GPSMAP model ranges. Sorry...

I'd be inclined to say "if you're willing to buy a different brand, you might be able to find a biking model that accepts custom maps", but I doubt it. Garmin seems to have the most advanced biking GPS receivers on the market. (Though I could be wrong.)

Of course, anything is possible given enough time and money. (The emphasis being on "money".) You could buy a Dakota model for mapped navigation using custom maps and get a separate small bike computer that measures heart rate, cadence, etc. But then you're looking at hundreds of dollars of extra expense, naturally... :)
He could use a Colorado. It accepts the satellite imagery, either via Google Earth, Topofusion, or the BirdsEye subscription service. The Colorado (300 and up) can accept a speed/cadence sensor and a HRM strap. That may be the way to go if he doesn't want to create his own vector maps (or cannot due to data availability).
 
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