EO Topo versus GeoScience NatMaps

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 17:24
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I'm about to buy a new laptop and tablet and will probably make the logical movement and buy EO Topo 200K, but before doing it have a few questions of anyone who has had both map systems.

1) After paying the reasonable price of $89 can the maps be loaded on multiple devices forever?

2) Will EO Topo load easily? With Natmaps it was a matter of slipping in the DVD, filling in a few boxes, and there it was.

3) Is the single purchase good for Android and Windows?

4) Does it show the GPS location when the pointer is placed on any section of the map. (I don't mean vehicle or device location.)

5) And, most importantly, are the tracks details as defined as NapMaps, and are they accurate. (I remember a local north of Leonora laughing at a NatMaps "main road" near Bandya homeless. She said it no longer existed.)

At my advanced age I just want some easy to install and use maps, nothing too serious.



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Reply By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 18:10

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 18:10
Hello

I am no expert but here goes....

1: Yes - they are not locked to sd card or device - they are just files that can be cut/copied/moved etc for ever and ever.

2: EO topo is just a series of georeferenced image files - you just copy them to your preferred location on device like any other file.

3: Yes - generally speaking. You may be up for more cash to purchase map viewing software for different devices - maps should be OK across devices but not always the case.

4: EO topo 200K is not a map viewing program ..it is just a set of map images that you must them open in a map viewing program (sold separately) e.g. OziExplorer, TrackRanger, Memory Map, TwoNav ect. What information you see on the screen will therefore be dependent on what map viewing program you choose to use...but EO Topo 200 is georeferenced image file so all the coordinate ("GPS") information will be displayed on all the above mentioned mapping programs and any other map viewing program worth its salt where ever you cursor happens to be (typically requires gps communication to be turned off).

5: Some (many?) areas will be the same as Natmap but significant number of updates/additions so over all better but depends what area you are looking at - some will be better (more up to date/accurate) than others. Its a big place. I dont actually have EO Topo so cant provided fully valid review in answer to this question.

Cheers
Greg



I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 18:28

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 18:28
Hi Mick

Unlike the Natmaps that we believe will no longer be updated, David is doing his very best to make his makes up to date and will apply updated versions when the need arrises.

For this very reason, I would ask all member to supply David with any track files recorded so David can compare what he has on offer to what is actually out there.

I am one such member that is doing this for David and if all Ozi users did the same, we will all benifit from it with the most up to date Australia Wide system.

For this reason, one very big player in the Remote area mapping, HEMA do on board vehicle field mapping to update their maps, and in return pass on the updates to users when they do updates.

Hope this helps you out.


Cheers


Stephen

ps

If you can reply with a particular area, I will reply with a screen shot of both Natmap and OZTopo so you can see for yourself.
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Follow Up By: Mick T3 - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 19:53

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 19:53
Ah, yes, the White Hills area west of Yagga Yagga.

Also, if you're familiar with it, once you buy the maps how much does the viewing software cost?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:29

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:29
Hi Mick

Not sure if this is the right area, but I searched under White Hills area in Western Australia.

This is the screen shot from Natmap



Now you can compare the area from the EOTopo both taken at 100%



As for viewing software, as far as I am aware, there are 2 types available, the that most use being OziEzploroer.


Cheers and I hope this is what you are after.



Stephen

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:46

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:46
Hi

More than two types of map viewing software available, not familiar with them all but at a guess there would be over 10 or 20 maybe more (all devices combined - many just for android/apple).

Yes - Most popular for "travellers" would appear to be Oziexplorer. Price - PC version $130, Android $25 USD, CE $40 USD. Possibly best choice for new punter.

Mobile Mapper appears also to be popular - all versions of this software are free but you must then purchase your maps from them direct as they use a special format (yes they sell EOTopo) or purchase special map conversion program ($50 USD) and then if you get a bit more serious professional-level license that enables a number of advanced features ($125 USD), many of these features are included in OziExplorer PC version so price in the end not much different.

Trackranger is only available for PCs - $99

Then there is TwoNav/CompeGPS - pretty cheap - versions for PC/Android/Apple.

I use Oziexplorer, TwoNav, GlobalMapper and Arcview to get by.

Cheers
Greg

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Follow Up By: Mick T3 - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:47

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 20:47
It isn't the area. I should have been more general. I meant the White Hills west of Yagga Yagga, which is itself south of Balgo/Wirrimanu, which is perhaps two hundred kilometres south-southwest of Halls Creek.

But the two map comparisons clarify one thing, Stephen, and that the old NatMap has more detail than the newer EO Topo.

While I'd trust the Natmap terrain markings I wouldn't trust its maps of the tracks, as many are blown over and overgrown.

Why would the newer EO Topo have less fine detail than the old NatMaps? I could guess, but am hoping someone with more knowledge could give a better answer.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 21:05

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2015 at 21:05
Hello again

Stephen was showing different map extents which may have made it seem there was more "detail" on one map than the other- you need to zoom further out on a 200K scale map (i.e. above 100%) to show the exact same area as on a 250K scale map (at 100% zoom).

Anyway - fact of the matter is that EOTopo was created using same base data as Natmap...so "detail" is at least as good in all areas (map colours/shading and labels maybe different which may make things look less complex). As previously mentioned in some areas MORE detail will be shown on EOTopo but not all areas...plus it has numerous POIs added (plus road distances).

Cheers
Greg
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 22:05

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 at 22:05
Hi Mick

Sorry I have not been back to you any sooner, but as you can see, I have been tied us with another post about a bush track from Cook in South Australia.

Not sure if you have heard of Cook, as it sounds like you live in Western Australia, am I correct in thinking this....lol

To be honest, I have never been up your way and would realy love to. Can you please give me more details on what your area is like, and what permits would I need.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 13:25

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 13:25
Hi Mick

I should have also said if you know tha latitude and longitude of the exact area, you would like to look at, I am only too happy to give you another screen shot of the area. I will also zoom in like Greg has suggested to give you a better picture.




Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 15:46

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 15:46
Stephen,

What Names Database are you using - using ExplorOz Places and WHITE HILLS search I get this list:


Also I note the brown coloured sections on NatMap - This is research process in the making and I will work out what it is and where it has gone.

David

Mick T3,
We have applied thousands of updates to both road alignments and naming across the country - this process is currently about 75% done and will continue to be updated. We have also updated a great number of updated or new base layer data such as camps, caravan parks, places data types, native title and shaded relief via elevation services. The data is much more updated that 2008 NatMap and continues to evolve you are also able to get reduced price updates for the life of the product as they come out.

The choice of course is yours but I would recommend you look at a better series of screen shots to compare, there are a number in the shop & eotopo page which show more of the actual detail and as mentioned by Greg the view Stephen produced at 100% was showing only about 75% of the NatMap screen so the displays looked different.

David

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 15:58

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 15:58
Guys I found the brown polys on the data and they are Deformation Areas - I had decided that these were covered by the shaded refeif detail I had created however in areas such as this the shaded relief does not fulfil the full requirement of the Deformation Area. So I will no be added this additional data layer to the product. It will fall into 2015.1 or another release. I will add it today and build a tif tile set over the weekend and see what it looks like. It is not enough to force a whole release but will see what I think after adding it.

David
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Follow Up By: Mick T3 - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 19:12

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 19:12
Hi Stephen

Here are the locations details for White Hills, east of Yagga Yagga.

21° 05’ 35” S
127° 33’ 03” E

or 349 347 E
7 666 702 N

As to information on Cook I've never been there and tend to avoid anywhere that requires permits, instead relying on local Aboriginals who can get me in with verbal permission although this has proved problematic in certain areas.
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:19

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:19
Hi David

Now you have me thinking, as I am not real sure. I just opened the place names in Ozi, so not quite sure.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:26

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:26
Hi David,

Deformation areas?, they look like outcrops to me.
Maybe same thing?

Mick - those White Cliffs are not east of Yagga Yagga but about 50km southwest.

Regards
Alan

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:36

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:36
Hi Mick

Yes getting permits can be a hassle for sure, but is you know the locals, well that is almost a key to the front door.

Now as I said I would do the screen shots, here they are, sorry for the delay.

The first is 100% from EPTopo



This is 100 % from Natmap



Next is 200% from EOTopo



Now 200% from Natmap



I personally only ever use 100% when out in the bush, prefering to see the wider area, but I know that a number of people use high zooms to give them a better look at what might be coming up.

Is it easy to get permission to get into that area, with the locals blessings?



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:40

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:40
White Hills sorry, not White Cliffs!!

Looking for adventure.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:58

Friday, Jan 16, 2015 at 21:58
Easiest way to get the idea is to use EOTopo Online and zoom in all the way when you are in the right area.
David.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Jan 17, 2015 at 08:47

Saturday, Jan 17, 2015 at 08:47
I have often wondered about a comparison between EOTopo and the natmaps. Thanks all for this string of replies. Excellent.

And yes, we are always be ready for track changes when you come around a corner and see a big open space and no track in front of you. Maybe that was it just back there? etc etc etc can be heard. We gave up getting cheesed off and just chuckle away and "try again". Another one for the camp fire!!!

Haven't been on for a while so all the best for 2015. Yeah I know OFF TOPIC. Ahhhh well
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Follow Up By: Mick T3 - Saturday, Jan 17, 2015 at 11:37

Saturday, Jan 17, 2015 at 11:37
Judging by your screen shots, Stephen, NatMaps are just as good as EO Topo, and a fraction of the price.

Though the full story would be that EO Topo will be updated while NatMaps will become a relic, and no doubt EO Topo has other features.

EO online would be excellent, David and Michelle, when there is a mobile phone tower. There is one at Balgo, which doesn't reach as far as Yagga Yagga, let alone White Hills.

And stupid me, saying White Hills was east of Yagga Yagga when it is southwest.

I got a verbal permit from an elder in Balgo to visit the White Hills area, for a purpose he agreed on, and he and a friend came with me, but we seemed to have a nasty argument for some secret reason, but he still calls me "friend".

The key to getting permits is to have a reason to visit the area that reflects the interests of the indigenous crowd. They are incredibly pragmatic.

As for formal permits, Willem Kempen, who lives northwest of Clare, has had lots of experience in that part of the Great Sandy Desert.

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I figure getting lost is often the best part of the journey, providing it isn't somewhere like southwest of Yagga Yagga.
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