Friends of Big Bend National Park
Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

+-Calendar for sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!


Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?

  • 63 Replies
  • 21007 Views
*

Offline stingrey

  • Animal Whisperer
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 734
  • I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back.
    • Mother Nature Framed
Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2007, 09:33:48 AM »
For reference, I won't be using the GPS to get to/from the park... Just on the hikes that we will be choosing. My car already has a built in navi system for driving and what not. I'm really scrambling for insight into GPS software at this point, so if anyone can help, email me direct @ stingrey@stingrey.com. I don't mind shelling out a few bucks for a lesson or some info, either. Help!
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

*

Offline iCe

  • Random Pixel Generator
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 1854
    • Wild Light Imaging Studio
Good topic
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2007, 02:33:11 PM »
I am sitting here reading about GPS devices on my computer screen while perusing a DeLorme Topo USA map on the other screen and cross referencing the DeLorme topo to a Trails Illustrated map of Big Bend :cool:


BTW- I have and use a Garmin 7Csx. It's claim to fame is that it floats and when it's used in a kayak that's a good thing. Other than that and the fact that it doesn't have an external antenna it's very similar to the 60CSx that everyone here likes.

*

Offline Red Hawk

  • Roadrunner
  • *
  • 77
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2007, 10:26:54 AM »
zrock. Greetings.

I'm a professional navigator (at sea and on land) and have used satellite, then GPS since 1972. Recreationally, I've used the little GPS's for a number of years and found that they are a help but not a substitute for a good map and compass. Batterties fail, they get lost, they get broke and worst: they distract me from the real reasons for being there.  Nevertheless, I do use a little Garmin etrex. It costs around $100 and tells me all I need to know.

Tiny map screens make it really hard to get the big picture especially when bushwacking. I've always preferred to have the paper charts and topos for orienteering and for understanding the lay of the land. Mostly, I simply use the GPS to give me a position fix to plot on the map. I don't need or use almost everything else that they can do. Though, my little etrex has a neat list of over two hundred campsites where I have stayed, and thats very nice. 

Real map and compass make it easier than handheld GPS to identify that distant peak or see the best route to a spring. Perhaps most importantly to me, real paper topos are a delight, especially when they get all marked up with notes, coffee and trail stains; they make it possible to relive the trip in a much more personal and immediate way even years later.

Like cell phones, they are an additional tool in your quiver, not a replacement for good outdoor skills.  spc
Barn's burnt.
Now
I can see the moon.

*

Offline xseption

  • Do it in Big Bend!
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 780
  • BiBe is the BEST!
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2007, 02:46:48 PM »
Sony has one thast attaches to your camera, helps keep track of where you were when you shot your pics;  and I think CanoNikon may have them soon.
I would be very interested in one of those!

Appreciate the insights in using a GPS unit!

~ edd
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 02:54:04 PM by xseption »
Be the kind of person that you will want to meet!

*

Offline stingrey

  • Animal Whisperer
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 734
  • I play for keeps 'cause I might not make it back.
    • Mother Nature Framed
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2007, 03:21:48 PM »
You know, I never followed up on this thread when I actually got my GPS. The 530HCx is pretty sweet... That's the one I ended up buying! as PyramidBlaster might be able to confirm, the walkie talkie feature came in pretty handy a couple of times! Once when we were about to begin "high tailing" it from a late ranger show in the basin (by Lost Mine trailhead) all the way to Tuff Canyon... As PyramidBlaster passed by, he hit talk and asked if that was me passing him by.

Turns out it was me, and furthermore I just saved us from flying all the way to Tuff and not meeting PyramidBlaster since he wouldn't have been there!!! The battery life on the 530HCx is so good that I never had to turn the walkie feature off to conserve power, and for that reason I caught that message where I'd have otherwise just continued on down the road. That is just one example of how the walkie feature came in handy... I've used it in several other similar situations where that feature just seemed to save the day.

The GPS functionality? That is pretty handy, too! Though I don't know how to use EVERY feature of that bad boy, I'd have to say that considering how much it does, it is pretty easy to use without a manual. The maps on the small screen are fine for me when I'd otherwise have to contemplate how far away X was or how to track back from the way I came (if hiking off trail for example), and the visibility in the sun is great, too. All in all, this rugged device is quite nifty and then some!

If you are in the market for a hand held GPS, I HIGHLY recommend this bad boy if you also at times find yourself playing with walkie talkies. The form factor is similar to a portable GPS and/or walkie, but all in one unit. The signal acquisition is superb, the satellites are tracked/available even under the cover of trees, and the thing has an NOAA weather receiver built into it. Need a weather update? Need directions? Need to call someone up who just passed you buy on their way to meet you? It does it all and then some!

:)
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

*

Offline Robert

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 999
  • He who limps is still walking. - Stanislaw J. Lec
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2007, 05:58:25 PM »
I just made the plunge and purchased a 60CSx. I bought the North American road maps but balked at the $100+ price for the National Parks Central when all I need is Big Bend. So am trying the link that Badnees posted to create my own topos. While I still take the topo paper maps along I like having the GPS as a confirmation of where I'm at (or think I'm at) especially when traveling the Sierra Quemada where washes don't always show up on the maps. Plus having the ability to track speed and projected arrival is nice to have as well as some of the other features.

Quite frankly a GPS is just faster when it comes to navigation. I love looking at maps and figuring out the routes but I like the simplicity of using the GPS.

What I really like about the 60CSx is that it is cross functional and can serve as a route navigator. I do some cycling and this feature will really come in handy when out in the country on unfamiliar roads. Mounted on the handlebars it will be easier to reference that a small map that you have to stop to look at. While on vacation, it as the ability to pull up business locations to find a place to eat!

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4394
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2007, 06:52:20 PM »
I just made the plunge and purchased a 60CSx. I bought the North American road maps but balked at the $100+ price for the National Parks Central when all I need is Big Bend. So am trying the link that Badnees posted to create my own topos. While I still take the topo paper maps along I like having the GPS as a confirmation of where I'm at (or think I'm at) especially when traveling the Sierra Quemada where washes don't always show up on the maps. Plus having the ability to track speed and projected arrival is nice to have as well as some of the other features.

Quite frankly a GPS is just faster when it comes to navigation. I love looking at maps and figuring out the routes but I like the simplicity of using the GPS.

What I really like about the 60CSx is that it is cross functional and can serve as a route navigator. I do some cycling and this feature will really come in handy when out in the country on unfamiliar roads. Mounted on the handlebars it will be easier to reference that a small map that you have to stop to look at. While on vacation, it as the ability to pull up business locations to find a place to eat!


Making the maps is not quick, but they turn out very well. Let me know if you have any trouble or need any data. I have done most of the park in great detail. My map is still a work in progress as I collect more tracks to add to my map. If you can get .gpx files and convert them to polylines they are extremely accurate. Most of the USGS 24k quad data for trails are off in many places. This is the data that Garmin uses for the National Pak Topo so you do the math.


Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline cjacob

  • Diamondback
  • *
  • 306
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2007, 09:14:41 PM »
I just made the plunge and purchased a 60CSx. I bought the North American road maps but balked at the $100+ price for the National Parks Central when all I need is Big Bend. So am trying the link that Badnees posted to create my own topos. While I still take the topo paper maps along I like having the GPS as a confirmation of where I'm at (or think I'm at) especially when traveling the Sierra Quemada where washes don't always show up on the maps. Plus having the ability to track speed and projected arrival is nice to have as well as some of the other features.

Quite frankly a GPS is just faster when it comes to navigation. I love looking at maps and figuring out the routes but I like the simplicity of using the GPS.

What I really like about the 60CSx is that it is cross functional and can serve as a route navigator. I do some cycling and this feature will really come in handy when out in the country on unfamiliar roads. Mounted on the handlebars it will be easier to reference that a small map that you have to stop to look at. While on vacation, it as the ability to pull up business locations to find a place to eat!

Are you in Austin? 

*

Offline Robert

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 999
  • He who limps is still walking. - Stanislaw J. Lec
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2007, 08:42:10 AM »
Thanks Badknees. I just finished making a small test map and loaded successfully to the unit. I have an older version of the Trails Illustrated so I believe I can create .gpx files with that but I don't know for sure. I'm not too concerned about having the trails since I've hiked most of them already. I'm looking forward to starting on the park.

One question- when you create your maps, how much of an area do you do at one time?

Cjacob- I'm in San Antonio.

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4394
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2007, 09:57:21 AM »
Thanks Badknees. I just finished making a small test map and loaded successfully to the unit. I have an older version of the Trails Illustrated so I believe I can create .gpx files with that but I don't know for sure. I'm not too concerned about having the trails since I've hiked most of them already. I'm looking forward to starting on the park.

One question- when you create your maps, how much of an area do you do at one time?

Cjacob- I'm in San Antonio.

When I download from the USGS Seamless site, I use the 7.5 minute template. I have 40 individual Geottifs...Polish Format and then .img files generated for the park at this time.

If you grab too big an area, the compiling time for the image file gets long ( on my 2.4 GHz + 2 GB Ram). On a multicore machine it may be faster but by using a fixed 7.5 minute quad you can easily keep track of what you have already downloaded.


If you download the data for all of the water features for the whole park by sub basin, you can import that into your map (.shp file), and then trim before compiling the image file. This way you only have to do one download of water features. You can follow the same strategy for other shape files, like roads, trails etc.


Question... Do you intend to run these in Mapsource as well as yr GPS unit?
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline Robert

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 999
  • He who limps is still walking. - Stanislaw J. Lec
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2007, 10:27:42 AM »
Quote
Question... Do you intend to run these in Mapsource as well as yr GPS unit?

That's what I used to upload the map to the GPS.

I did not notice the 7.5 minute template on the USGS Seamless site but I'll take a look at it. 40 files, isn't that pretty much the whole park?

I also have not downloaded any of the water feature data, or trail/roads but plan on it.

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4394
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2007, 10:41:47 AM »
Quote
Question... Do you intend to run these in Mapsource as well as yr GPS unit?

That's what I used to upload the map to the GPS.

I did not notice the 7.5 minute template on the USGS Seamless site but I'll take a look at it. 40 files, isn't that pretty much the whole park?

I also have not downloaded any of the water feature data, or trail/roads but plan on it.

40 files covers most of it, except some stuff in the NNW corner.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

I actually working on another custom map of BBRSP.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline Robert

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 999
  • He who limps is still walking. - Stanislaw J. Lec
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2007, 06:03:56 PM »
Badknees, I have some additional questions. First off, what are the values you use to create the minor, intermediate, and major contours in Dem2Topo? I'm playing around with it am interested in what you feel works best.

Also, where did you get the trails and campsites that were in the snapshot you posted of the South Rim? Was this from the data on the Geocom website.

Thanks! Robert

*

Offline badknees

  • Actually, I was there once
  • Mountain Lion
  • *
  • 4394
  • I think I know that place
    • Through the Mirror
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2007, 06:28:49 PM »
Badknees, I have some additional questions. First off, what are the values you use to create the minor, intermediate, and major contours in Dem2Topo? I'm playing around with it am interested in what you feel works best.

Also, where did you get the trails and campsites that were in the snapshot you posted of the South Rim? Was this from the data on the Geocom website.

Thanks! Robert

Robert,

I use 500, 200 and 20 for major, intermediate, and minor.

Some of the trails and campsites are from GPS tracks I have recorded. Some trails are from the NPS GIS data bank under Big Bend. Some are plotted from existing USGS topos using GPS Visualizer web tools.

Each time I record a GPS position or can get recorded coordinates, I adjust as necessary and recompile the .mp file affected.

Let me know if you need any data.


Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

*

Offline Robert

  • Golden Eagle
  • Black Bear
  • *
  • 999
  • He who limps is still walking. - Stanislaw J. Lec
Re: Anyone use the little GPS gizmos?
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2007, 09:07:08 AM »
Thanks, is there a way to get the minor contours to be solid rather than dotted line?

 


©COPYRIGHT NOTICE

All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.

+-Calendar For Sale

 2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!

Powered by EzPortal

Facebook Comments