Getting maps for my GPS (how I did it)

Discussion in 'Power it up with Electronics' started by firecat1981, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Well as some of you know by my recent topic I bought a garmin etrex hcx. I wanted a basic, low cost, mapping unit and I'm ultimately happy with my purchase. While I haven't used it on the water yet I have used it on the trails and it works flawlessly and accurately usually within 10ft.

    Anyway the only major disappointment with the unit is the horrible basemap! I was told by several people I could buy a chip with maps, but at a cost of $100-150! :eek:
    Sorry but that seems nuts to me considering the unit cost less then $200. All the other units I looked into had much more reasonablly priced, or free maps. I did a google search and it took me all of 5 minutes to find what I was looking for.
    Heres some screen shots from my laptop, the same maps download to the unit:

    Garmin's base map of Ft D
    [​IMG]

    Here's the free one I found to download
    [​IMG]

    Another shot of garmin's from egmont key
    [​IMG]

    Free map
    [​IMG]

    The free maps use garmin's own management program, MapSource, and automatically download and install themselves once you click on them. Once the DL is done just open the program and use the drop box in the left corner to switch between the maps. You can also adjust the level of detail to get rid of some of the clutter (I just really wanted better land masses and waterways).

    Heres the link to the free maps.
    http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/
     
  2. luckovertme

    luckovertme I Love microskiff.com!

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    If this works for my 76CSX....forget Brett... You will be my new internet hero!!!! ;)
     

  3. jeross

    jeross Fresh AND Salt ... it ain't my fault!

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    Your post title reminded me of the movie Young Frankenstein where they find the baron's book titled "How I Did It".

    Those maps are a great step up from the base map for sure. I'm not so certain about the location of the Atlantic Ocean though! (Yes, I know the gulf is part of the Atlantic)

    ;D
     
  4. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    And the student becomes the teacher....... ;D

    They will work for your 76. I downloaded several maps from them and the one that I took the screen shots of, and the one I'll be using is the Florida Topo. If you need help post up.
     
  5. luckovertme

    luckovertme I Love microskiff.com!

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    Alright just got my 8g micro sd card downloaded maps and got all of FL on the card. WOW!!! ;D I owe you a beer Firecat!!! you just saved me from buying $150 chip from garmin.
     
  6. luckovertme

    luckovertme I Love microskiff.com!

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    your sample pic doesnt do the maps justice either. my basic map would not show any islands, or creeks in ML. now my old tracks are already showing me on the deeper sides of all the creeks and not 5miles offshore.
     
  7. HaMm3r

    HaMm3r Well-Known Member

    So which map did you end up downloading? The Florida Topo or another?

    Oh and nice find, thanks for sharing! :cool:
     
  8. paint it black

    paint it black Paddling away...

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    would this work on a Garmin 440?

    It comes with great mapping for saltwater.
    But absolutely nothing for freshwater lakes and canals.

    Is there a map for freshwater, and will it work on my Garmin 440?

    Thanks,
    Eric
     
  9. luckovertme

    luckovertme I Love microskiff.com!

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    go to the link firecat listed. i believe it will work for any garmin. i downloaded the FL topo and the trails map. the FL topo is way better and i believe the trails is not worth downloading.
     
  10. pole_position

    pole_position I Love microskiff.com!

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    when I loaded the maps to my handheld 76csx it slowed the refresh rate way WAY down
     
  11. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Tech sites recommend loading only the few maps you need for the area you are going to travel.
    The more information on the chip, the more the processor has to work through
    each time it updates the display. Keep all your data on your computer at home.
    Load only the minimum you need for a trip, in order to speed the refresh rate.
     
  12. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    As long as it uses the mapsource software that most of them use then it should work.

    I downloaded several maps and the Florida Topo map is the best. It does have some decent detail of inland lakes and such.

    Like Brett said I would only download the areas you will be fishing and keep your memory clear as you can. But even if you load it up fully when you are zoomed in and actually running a track the refresh rate shouldn't be an issue. Also you can scale down the detail and declutter it which will speed up the refresh rate a bunch.

    As far as the detail goes for other areas, you all will have to let me know how accurate it is since it will take me a while before I really get to use mine.
     
  13. swaddict

    swaddict Thread Killer

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    good stuff firecat
     
  14. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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