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  1. #1
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    newbie question about garmin us topo 24k west parks maps.

    Im new to gps.....

    i bought the garmin 60csx and the US topo 24k maps. I was hoping it would provide me with all the maps i need of trails here in los angeles. But, after installing it, i found that only a few parks were included....and the ones i was interested in were not there. Like Angeles crest area, or Santa clarita area like the santa suzanna mts or even in Orange County trails.

    Am i missing something in the topo maps? Do i need to buy more maps or unlock maps? Is there other 3rd party products that i can install to my 60Csx?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The 24k maps only cover the areas listed on the box...no more, no less. Don't ever EXPECT digital maps to include extensive trail data. Feel lucky if you get any, but if you want trails, you have to find files other people have recorded and uploaded (like at motionbased or other sites).

    If you need coverage of areas not covered by the 24k maps, then get the 100k topos that cover the whole US. It's not as detailed, but good enough for general reference purposes. If you know your way around computers and maps, you can put together your own topos you can load onto your GPS, but it's a very labor-intensive project to undergo. There's a discussion here about using raster imagery on your Garmin. Again, more conversions to get it there (and a respectable computer).

    You have options. Some involve money, and some involve labor and knowledge. I've been around the GPS and GIS scene enough to know I shouldn't expect much from commercial mapping products, but most newbies don't and get frustrated. Your GPS has limitations. Become familiar with them so you don't get disappointed in the future.

  3. #3
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    crap....i was afraid you'd say that.



    So, the easy route is the money route i guess....so, are there actually 3rd party software i can buy that sells maps of specific areas i need?

    And i guess the hard route would be to make my own or convert maps to be compatible with my garmin 60csx? can you point me to some useful websites i can start my research on this?

    thanks

  4. #4
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    here is an excellent summary of the process to make custom maps for Garmin devices:
    http://home.cinci.rr.com/creek/garmin.htm

    Laura Sanborn provides a free, custom, high-resolution topo map of California:
    http://www.vr6.com/gps/
    This is likely to be useful in L.A.

  5. #5
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    Going the custom map route, you do not need to spend extra money. If you want to create your own, all the software is freeware/shareware. It's even less involved if you use someone else's. Only drawback is that certain things are usually left out (labels, peaks, structures, and sometimes even roads and streams). What's left out or included depends on who put the map together, their skills, the time they had to complete the project, the equipment they had, and the data they had access to.

    Honestly, it's more work than I'm willing to put in, and I'm perfectly happy with either basic road data or general reference topo data on my GPS. If I want more detail, I print a paper map so I can see more area at a glance.

    I use more software than most. I have Garmin's Topo USA and City Nav NT, National Geographic Topo!, and some heavy duty GIS software (QGIS and Manifold at home and ESRI's ArcGIS 9.2 on my office PC). I'm tempted to use MOAGU (detailed in another thread...just search for it, it was fairly recent) to put scanned USGS topos on my GPS for giggles, but I don't feel like I NEED that on my GPS (like I said, I'll print it if I need it so I can see more area).

  6. #6
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    A friend pointed me to National Geo Topo maps... This looks perfect for what im looking for...

    so, just to get it straight...i can buy just the map i need and it will work on my garmin 60csx?

    I noticed you also have the topo maps....how does it compare to the garmin Topo 24k?

    is this a good product? I will check out Laura Sanborn's page too...

  7. #7
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    The Nat Geo maps will NOT work in your 60CSx. You can dowload tracks and waypoints from your GPS to your computer and then open them in Nat Geo but you cannot upload the Nat Geo maps to your GPS. You might want to check out the Geocaching (www.geocaching.com) Forums and look in the GPS and Technology section, there is a lot of discussion there about maps, including a bunch of free maps.

    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...owtopic=189762

    These guys did all the leg work and created downloadable maps for the Garmin GPS and they are free.

  8. #8
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    cool...i will check it out now.

    thanks guys...i'll be back!

  9. #9
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    I'm in the same situation as neversummer (new 60csx). I appreciate the recommendations, too. I'm downloading the California topo right now.

    I'm going to be riding some fairly remote Idaho/Montana/Colorado trails in August with intentions of tracking all of these rides to share with others.

    Thanks again for the help. I'll be asking for more mapping assistance as my trip approaches!

  10. #10
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    Also, for Utah/Montana, check out miscjunk: http://www.miscjunk.org/ . I'm unsure how those maps compare to the groundspeak.com forum maps, which I'm trying now. Thx for that link!




    Quote Originally Posted by rippling over canyons
    I'm in the same situation as neversummer (new 60csx). I appreciate the recommendations, too. I'm downloading the California topo right now.

    I'm going to be riding some fairly remote Idaho/Montana/Colorado trails in August with intentions of tracking all of these rides to share with others.

    Thanks again for the help. I'll be asking for more mapping assistance as my trip approaches!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ca_rider
    Also, for Utah/Montana, check out miscjunk: http://www.miscjunk.org/ . I'm unsure how those maps compare to the groundspeak.com forum maps, which I'm trying now. Thx for that link!

    indyjpr, who creates maps on/owns the www.miscjunk.org website also posts on the groundspeak fourm.

    FYI - there has been an issue with the miscjunk.org maps and Garmin Training Center. The two did not play well together and adding the miscjunk maps caused Mapsource to lock up.

  12. #12
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    I followed the thread in groundspeak forums....it seems like the maps Dale is doing are all street maps....is this right?
    So, "rippling over canyons"...where did you see the california topo and how did you download it? it seems like you have to download this big US map and pick the california maps from it. right?
    thanks...

  13. #13
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    Here's the link to the California topo:

    http://www.vr6.com/gps/map-dl.htm

  14. #14
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    I've been trying to optimize my California map for about a month, and came up with the following. My goal was to have high-resolution contour data with accurate water features, roads, and other labels simultaneously visible. I first tried to union the vr6.com high-quality CA contours with the IbycusUSA 1.4 map for features (.IMG files are easily merged with the GMapTool 'Join' function). As great as the Ibycus map is, in Santa Barbara the labels are inaccurate (the local highway is named as a street, and the entire area is colored as a National Park, which it is not, etc.) so I picked up the 100k TOPO 2008 CD and exported CA as an .IMG file, then merged it with the vr6.com .IMG file, and great, now I have all the *accurate* feature labels and roads contained in the Garmin (low resolution contour) topo map, and the high-resolution topo lines from vr6.com are visible simultaneously.

    This method works best when the 'roads/waterways' layer of the vr6.com map is turned off. By random luck I finally found that the keystrokes: Setup_Map|i|Menu(key) allow one to 'turn off' the various mapsets compiled into the active .IMG file. To lose roads/waterways in the vr6.com map, click 'Hide Mapset' on one or the other 'mapset' entries and figure out which one is roads/waterways by trial and error.

    I've tried a lot of other freely-available maps, and finally decided that with a month of reading up on it, quality is difficult to further improve. I was going to compile my own map, but now feel it is not necessary. I wonder, does anybody else have a better strategy for California on a Garmin device?

  15. #15
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    thanks...rippling over canyons.... i will try that now.

    If im only more competent in this gps thing, i would totally be into looking into this. I cant believe CA doesn't have a complete topo map somewhere.... esp with all the riders and techie people here.

    thanks again guys.

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