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Unread 05-29-2013, 08:55 AM   #31
aTX427
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Gaia on iOS blows away everything else in the market. I have used it for National Forest and BLM travel throughout TX, AR, CO, AZ, and NM. It is easy to use, allows for offline navigation as long as you down load the maps before you loose cellular service and has about every know mapping layer available; e. g., 24k topographic, NF Topo, multiple OSM's, aerial, Google, etc., allowing you to swap back and forth to ensure a path connects.

You can create tracks, way points, geomagnetic pictures, reverse the paths, save and back up your data to their cloud for sharing and transferring data. I have paid and downloaded literally dozens of apps, looked at Garmin and Lowrance. Nothing comes close to Gaia on an ipad when you combine the feature /function, the screen resolution of the retina display and overall cost.

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Unread 05-29-2013, 09:56 AM   #32
badtux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aTX427 View Post
Nothing comes close to Gaia on an ipad when you combine the feature /function, the screen resolution of the retina display and overall cost.
The iPad with Retina display has only one downside -- it's nowhere near weather resistant. Not an issue for my Jeep where the most that ever comes off is the rear windows, an issue for those of you who go entirely topless. Also, put a piece of plastic shipping tape over the big button (protect the button itself with something non-sticky) to keep dust out of it, because it can get sticky otherwise. Other than that, I agree totally with the above sentiment -- the iPad is about the same price as a high-end GPS, but has better maps, better resolution, better user interface, altogether is just a better GPS than a GPS.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 03:40 PM   #33
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None of the modern navigation units are worth a hoot, for anything far off the major highways. These are Nav units; not GPS units (even though they rely on GPS).

Most don't allow for simple GPS coordinate entry. Almost none have convenient ways to enter waypoints or log tracks, or allow you to navigate by bearing, or provide compass or elevation. You know, all the stuff that a GPS unit should do.

The best GPS devices I have found are the ones for hikers, in terms of useful off-road stuff. I admit I haven't tried them all but I do have 4 or 5 units and the older ones are the best. The mygig in my Jeep is pathetic. I usually take my Garmin Oregon 450t and rely on it. I'm thinking about getting a Montana 650t but there is a new Garming coming out. The Montera, I believe. I'm also testing the Garmin 3597LMTHD, which is a nice Nav unit but it is very limited in what it can do, other than find restaurants and navigate on major roads. The reason I'm testing it is because it can be pulled off the magnetic mount and used in a handheld fashion. I'm going to see how it works with topo maps, although the descriptions says limited functionality in that are.

One of the things I like about my Oregon is that it has the compass feature, integrated with the GPS. So, if I want to know which way it is back to camp, my GPS will have a pointer that I can use to point the way. If I turn the GPS, it still points in the correct direction. Handheld nav units don't do that very well, if at all. I guess one should carry a compass as well as a GPS but it's nice to have both in one unit.

Anything that requires a phone is worthless. Any that heavily depend on phones, ipads or androids are useless. I mean seriously, who the hell cares where the nearest McDonalds is, when you are 200 miles from the nearest city, in Wyoming?
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Unread 07-11-2013, 03:45 PM   #34
badtux
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MikeSD, the programs we mention for phones/ipads/iphones do *not* require a telephone connection. On my hiking trip last Saturday I carried a fairly new Magellan GPS. I also carried my Samsung Galaxy S3 with Backcountry Navigator installed on it and the maps pre-downloaded. Guess which one I used the most? Hint: It wasn't the "real" GPS.

The Galaxy S3 has better screen, better user interface, and better responsiveness than *any* "hiking GPS" on the market (and yes, I have examples of most of them). The only real issues it has as a GPS is a) it blows through batteries really fast and b) it isn't weatherproof. Which is why I hauled the Magellan along, so I'd still have a GPS once I sucked the S3's battery dry. But that's not a problem if you're in a car where you can just plug the S3 (or iPhone or iPad or Android tablet with equivalent software) into your car's power port.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 03:51 PM   #35
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MikeSD, the programs we mention for phones/ipads/iphones do *not* require a telephone connection.
I suspect they require the phone to download the maps initially and when needed to be updated. I have tried sysig and a couple of others and they were woefully inadequate compared to a real GPS unit designed as a GPS unit. But they may have improved since I tested them a year or so ago.

But nothing compares to a real GPS unit to do real GPS stuff.

Quote:
The Galaxy S3 has better screen, better user interface, and better responsiveness than *any* "hiking GPS" on the market (and yes, I have examples of most of them).
I have the Galaxy S3 and it does have a great screen. But having a great screen on a worthless GPS is kind of pointless. I tested a couple of the better GPS programs and my Garmin Oregon ran circles around my S3 with GPS apps.

I'll download another of these programs and give it another whirl tonight, to see if there have been any improvements but I doubt they can match a real GPS unit, doing real GPS stuff. Navigating major highways is no test, in my view.

Try this simple test, and let me know how easy this is to do on one of the apps.

1) You are out on the desert some place. Your buddy is out a couple miles ahead. He has trouble and radios back and says his coordinates are 36.066862,-116.437445. You'd be surprised how many modern nav units can't even handle this simple routing problem.

Not degrees, minutes, seconds. Not 123 N. Main street.

I have a couple of $1000 GPS (vehicle) units that can't enter that. The one I'm testing now 3597LMTHD can't even take an input in decimal coodinates. My vehicle (not Jeep) can't take a coordinate at all. My Jeep unit can handle this kind of input though. Any GPS worth it's salt, should be able to handle routing, tracks, bearing, without the need of maps. Yeah maps are nice, but most of the world isn't made up of roads.

The thing that is most annoying to me is that most GPS units used to be able to do this kind of stuff. But somewhere along the line we got away from real GPS stuff to Nav units for cities.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 04:22 PM   #36
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You load the maps on the phone the same way you load the maps on your GPS -- at home, using your local computer or Internet connection. Duh. Once you're in the field, you don't need the phone part to do *ANYTHING*, I have used my S3 and iPad in places that are a hundred miles from the nearest cell phone service to navigate in my Jeep, the S3 stays in "Airplane Mode" all that time, the iPad doesn't even *have* data service (it's wifi-only).

Like I said, I have Garmin, Delorme, and Magellan hiking GPS's. But if I'm carrying my S3 I use my S3, because a) the maps are *much* better (being the real USGS Topo maps, not the fake vector crap that Garmin uses), and b) the screen is *much* better (larger, brighter, easier to read). I use Backcountry Navigator on the S3 and Topo Maps on the iPad (I understand there are better ones out there now, but Topo Maps does what I need on the iPad). Both make it much easier to see where I am and where I'm going (the whole point, duh) than *any* hiking GPS.

But hey, I only use them in the field, rather than talking out my ***, so that clearly means my opinion as a *user* of these (as vs a bunch of hot air that's never used them in the field) is worthless...
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Unread 07-11-2013, 04:26 PM   #37
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BTW, according to Backcountry Navigator, the coordinates you list are near Deadman Pass in Death Valley National Park. Having been near those coordinates I have a good idea of what's there .
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Unread 07-11-2013, 05:35 PM   #38
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Quote:
but Topo Maps does what I need on the iPad
Rationalizing is great stuff, isn't it?

Quote:
Garmin, Delorme, and Magellan hiking GPS's
Why did you waste the money on these, if the S3 and ipad are so great?

BTW, I've looked at Backcountry Navigator and it's the typical GPS application, running on a smart phone. Not nearly as good as a "real" GPS unit. But I'll use that one to test. Perhaps it's better than it was last time I tested it.

Yeah! Great S3 screen but that's about it. But at least you admit that it takes a "real" GPS to do "real" work, unlike most of the modern Navigation systems.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 05:53 PM   #39
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The S3 doesn't have the battery power or ruggedness for long hiking trips so I carry something where I can swap in new batteries. I had a Garmin, updated to a Delorme when they added the ability to put real USGS Topo maps into the thing, then updated to the Magellan because it has a larger screen than the Delorme and now also has the ability to put real USGS Topo maps into the thing.

Once again, the purpose of a hiking GPS is ruggedness and battery life. The screens suck and are unreadable in a vehicle application and the user interface sucks. On purpose. Because good screens use too much power and a good user interface cannot be used with gloves on. Not a problem when hiking, when you can stop and put the screen three inches from your eyes to figure out what that little speck is, and spending a couple of minutes wiggling and waggling a little joy rocker around or going through a clunky menu system on a tiny screen is no big deal. A problem when it's on the dashboard of your car mounted on a RAM stalk.

Regarding rationalization of using the S3 and iPad, I use the bloody things. I don't *rationalize* using them. I actually use them. In the field. Where you say it can't be done. Clearly I'm only imagining that, though, since you say it can't be done . Everybody who's seen my iPad setup in my Jeep (I have a stalk attached to the passenger grab handle that puts it in a nice location) wants one. The big, beautiful digitized USGS paper maps simply cannot be matched on some tiny little hiking GPS.

And yes, I predate GPS units. Give me a map, and something that tells me where I'm located on the map, and a scale on the map so I can find other things on the map, and a compass heading, and I'm happy. All that other froufrou you talk about is just crutches for people who can 't read maps.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 06:13 PM   #40
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Quote:
I actually use them. In the field.
As do I.

Quote:
The big, beautiful digitized USGS paper maps simply cannot be matched on some tiny little hiking GPS.
Which is why I've been trying to find another gps, with larger screen. However, as is clear by my post, that what I'm suggesting is most of the modern larger "nav" gps, are pathetic, in terms of functionality, compared to the hiking ones, like the Oregon or Montana. For instance the flagship Garmin model 3597 can't hold a candle to the Garmin Montana, for an off-road GPS unit. I'm not trying to justify a hiking GPS over large maps or large screen models, except in terms of actual GPS functionality. I'm saying those are far superior as a "real" GPS than the But it's a preference thing. One really doesn't need a large crisp display, for what a GPS is intended to provide.

If you still don't understand what I'm saying, then you really are just rationalizing.

Quote:
And yes, I predate GPS units. Give me a map, and something that tells me where I'm located on the map, and a scale on the map so I can find other things on the map, and a compass heading, and I'm happy. All that other froufrou you talk about is just crutches for people who can 't read maps.
I couldn't agree more. I literally predated the GPS systems by a good many year. I remember watching the first satellites going up. Not the first GPS satellites but the first satellites.
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Unread 07-11-2013, 06:31 PM   #41
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Which is why I'm fine with the notion that Topo Maps on my iPad doesn't have all the froufrou you talk about. It gives me a digital version of the USGS topo map, and a crosshair located where I am located. With that and a compass, I have all I need. In your scenario I can place a waypoint at a specified coordinate, see it on the map, use my (old fashioned magnetic) compass to shoot the heading, and head that direction. Sure it'd be nice if the software could do that for me, but I don't *need* the software to do that for me, so I haven't looked for better software. I view my iPad as just a somewhat more compact version of paper maps, because that's basically how I use it. Keeping all the USGS paper maps that are digitized on my iPad in my Jeep as actual paper maps would require adding a roof rack for the pile of paper .

That said, I do *not* recommend Topo Maps for new iPad users. There are other similar programs which also have digitized USGS maps but which do have some of the froufrou you like.

As for the "navigational" GPS's, I don't use any of them. Navigon on the iPad has a better display and better user interface for on-highway mapping, then once I leave the highway, I switch over to Topo Maps. One device, two purposes.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 11:10 PM   #42
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You can add lat and long with this GPS. Has internal antenna and also can use external antenna. The KOH (King of the Hammers) uses them. Pricey though. $599

http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...S5m-en-us.aspx
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Unread 08-22-2013, 06:01 PM   #43
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I haven't actually ran this system yet, so i can't really say how well it works, but after doing lots of research this is the best/most cost-effective set-up I've come up with; 7'' Android tablet which can be had for anywhere between $80 to $500, depending on how much you want to spend, loaded with BackCountry Navigator and this...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Qstarz-BT-Q8...item1e7bac84c5

Allowing you to use GPS based apps without a network connection (i.e Back Country, Google Maps). For $150 bucks, I don't think you can get a better set up. The tablet has its own uses for your trips (pictures, videos, games, music, email{with a network or wifi} ect.) plus even out of the service range of your phone you can use the excellent navigation services of Back Country.
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Unread 10-14-2013, 12:48 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Sccafire View Post
You can add lat and long with this GPS. Has internal antenna and also can use external antenna. The KOH (King of the Hammers) uses them. Pricey though. $599

http://www.lowrance.com/en-US/Produc...S5m-en-us.aspx
Agreed!
Lowrance HDS units hands down!

they now have 10hz updates speed, antennas with a compasss so you don't need to be moving for it to know where you are. not to mention the new map cards that are coming out with sat imagery, trail head marking, trail traces, ham radio repeaters .. I can talk all day about them.
They also have new touch screen units, some are listed here:
https://ruggedrocksoffroad.com/acces...1203_1184.html
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Unread 10-15-2013, 07:55 AM   #45
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I guess I believe in using the right tool for the job. In my opinion, and I know there will be objectors to this, any GPS that requires a cell connection, is worthless. And I include that to mean "needs at any time".

A GPS, to be worth a damn, needs to be able to operate fully, without EVER needing a cell phone connection.
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