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  1. #1
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    Maps that look good

    I recently picked up a Garmin Oregon 450. I like everything about it thus far except for battery life, size and map quality.

    I just ordered some rechargeable batteries and there is not much that can be done about the size, but I think I should be able get some decent maps. The maps in Garmin's marketing literature look great, but none of the free maps look worth a damn in my opinion. I be uploading free maps from various sources into BaseCamp and nothing really look that great. I tried few other applications, the most impressive was TopoFusion but it's probably overkill for me. I just want something that looks like google.maps terrain view.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Maps that look good

    You have fairly unrealistic expectations of getting pretty maps. Won't happen. You can get functional maps. Pretty requires screen resolution and battery life that the Oregon does not have. The size is so it can be more durable than a cell phone and comfortably be held on a hike.

    Topofusion can send maps to the Oregon but they will not be pretty. Again, screen resolution and the way Garmin custom mapping works you can only send one zoom level, which is really only best viewed at one zoom level, maybe 2 on the gps. This means that raster maps are hard to read at times and clutter the screen.

    And to be honest, I don't know why you want pretty maps in the field, anyway. The contour lines in terrain view are barely visible or useful for actually determining your elevation. I want my contours to be obvious. I can tell slope and elevation from basic contours. I don't need or even want hillshade on my field maps.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    You have fairly unrealistic expectations of getting pretty maps. Won't happen. You can get functional maps.
    Well, at least I now know ...thanks! I went ahead and sprung for the TopoFusion Pro version if, for no other reason, to support the guy(s) who put it out there. The maps actually look pretty good.

  4. #4
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    Maps that look good

    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    Well, at least I now know ...thanks! I went ahead and sprung for the TopoFusion Pro version if, for no other reason, to support the guy(s) who put it out there. The maps actually look pretty good.
    Topofusion shows nice maps. The key is that it just displays imagery available publicly already. You can add imagery from additional sources if you know of others and have the knowhow to set up access to the server.

    What I like best about it, though, is its robust toolset for displaying, analyzing, and manipulating tracks and its ability to also use gis shapefiles.

  5. #5
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    After playing around with TopoFusion a bit more, I realize I just like the pretty maps when I'm planning routes. "I'll go up this lesser incline, across this valley with views of those peaks, etc". Once on the bike, well, the map doesn't compete with the territory.

    I do like the "Track Shading" feature to show how fast one was going on each section. The lap analysis should prove useful for the more mundane rides.

    I thought I would have an easier time locating track files however. I can't seem to find a good one of the Big Bend Ranch State Park IMBA Epic trail. I have one that a guy gave me a while back but he sort of wondered all over the place for 3 days.

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