Decent GPS please

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:22
ThreadID: 131643 Views:2727 Replies:8 FollowUps:19
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I have been paper map reader since working in the bush. (MUD MAPS)..and usual servo map on my travels So with all this technology about whats best thing to buy .cheers p.s.can laptop be used as navigation or only for storing maps
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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:48

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:48
G'day Stephen

Go with your laptop loaded with Oziexplorer and your choice of maps. You won't look back.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:54

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:54
Thanks a bought laptop from USA 800 bucks so want to make use of it as has 10hrs battery life and brilliant screen for my old maps take up much gigs on laptop as mine is only 256gb
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:08

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:08
As well as a valid copy of OziExplorer (or similar) you will also need a set of digital maps.
Hema has a good range and OZTopo is also available for purchase from the ExplorOz shop.
You will also need a GPS mouse if no GPS capability is built into your laptop.

All this requires a certain amount of knowledge to set everything up for it to work properly.
Then you need a means of some cradle to support the laptop while traveling.

Or, you could invest in a Hema HN7 which comes with everything you require that works straight out of the box. Good size, good product, attaches to your windscreen or dash.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:20

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:20

Question was "Decent GPS please".

OziExplorer isn't a GPS it's a GPS mapping software program.

So..I am guessing the real question is "What do people recommend as a setup for GPS mobile mapping using a laptop".

Quickly - I would suggest a GPS "mouse", This one does the job GPS mouse

..and yes as far as GPS mapping programs go OziExplorer is a very popular option but also Memory Map, TwoNav and many others.

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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 09:54

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 09:54
And the first time you slam your brakes on the laptop will hit the dash break and you don't have a map.

Check out the possibility of getting one that installs in the dash. And isn't chinese rubbish that can't even have the radio on at the same time that maps are displayed. One son had one of these, It went to the rubbish bin and he got one a VMS one in the dash, the same as the rest of the family. Not something stuck to the windscreen and liable to become a projectile in a prang.

If you decide to get a mount, ir RAM Mount, for a laptop or tablet etc, be careful that it isn't something that would be a danger in a prang. My wife banned them because we have both been in cars that have rolled and have seen the consequences. Nah not bad driving, rallies etc.

Hema are not bad but I am yet to see a good unit installed in the dash.

Like the initial response we favour Oziexplorer for the actual map display program. Especially the WinCE version as the screen is uncluttered and easy to follow when driving. We had a laptop for a while but on your own the screen is too big and cluttered.

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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 13:52

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 13:52
Thanks Phil will look into the dash one and use my laptop for storing photos and internet when available ...
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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:52

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 21:52
What do you want the GPS to do for you?
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:03

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:03
Hi Sigmund good question.Suppose not to get lost in the bigger cities .But mainly find interesting places I have not been to all around Oz Camping rest stops etc my wife navigated me through Thailand just on her phone in the remote areas ,sometimes though the maps took long way round ..
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:34

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 22:34
A GPS enabled tablet or phone.

Co Pilot Aus/NZ for around cities and on-road nav outside cities.

OziExplorer and a suite of maps for off the beaten track.

Both available on Android. Ozi is Android and Win only, not IOS.



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Follow Up By: tuck - Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 23:09

Saturday, Feb 20, 2016 at 23:09
.I have an old Toshiba table but wanted to upgrade due to age and cracked screen
I purchased the latest Toshiba Dec last and whilst it had in built GPS it was ok for normal maps ,google etc it would not load with OziExplorer so had to return. Am looking for something in the $300 to $400 range so can usev for emails or skype when away
What brand of Android tablet (say 10 inch android) have persons purchased in the last few months
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 04:11

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 04:11
Ok Stephen.
The map installed in a cheap garden variety GPS will get you around cities and towns.
Browsing GPS maps for interesting places is a taller order. They're not the same as paper maps in that respect - the screen is too darn small to begin with. But perhaps take a squiz at Hema digital maps. They can be run on several platforms.
For campsites look at a phone or tablet app like Wikicamps.
Good luck.
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Follow Up By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 10:27

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 10:27
Look at getting a 10in tablet that is gps enabled, downpoad a mapping app and once you have loaded your map package and activated them, you can if you want remove the sim card, you can get a good android tablet, which will do everything you need, emails, internet etc for $300 -$400.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 10:39

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 10:39
Hi Stephen

To answer your first question, I have been using for decades Garmin GPS units. Over that time time they have gone from large mono screen units to now very compact and full colour screen.

Unlike many people, we also do many treks away from the car, and always like to record all my walking and kayaking ventures, both as a track file and also important waypoint points.

Being good quality and easy to use hand help units, I have the units set up to record my treks an very accurate detail and never as set out of the box for driving, and while on foot or water, even as high as it is possible.

Once my away vehicle venture is complete, I then comment the GPS to the laptop in my vehicle that uses a GPS mouse and then download the completed track and waypoints for future reference.

Once you get the hand of gps navigation, you will find it a very hand tool to use and one that will sit side by side with what ever in vehicle system you use.

As for incar navigation, I use both the Hema and a laptop computer using OziExplorer. For my Ozi is the best thing since sliced bead. As for your battery life on the computer that you have purchased, you will still need a means of keeping it fully charged in your vehicle when travelling, and that is another story by itself.



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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 10:59

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 10:59
If your not going to take paper maps once you have a GPS then you need a backup if it should fail.

I run an in dash GPS running oziexplorer which is normally used for the driving navigation.

I also have a small laptop running oziexplorer that is used for route planning and has a vast array of maps. I don't use the laptop driving as it is just to big, sitting on co drivers knee it is bulky and gets warm but does have a GPS mouse so can be used at a pinch if required.

I also carry a tablet running ozi which can be used easily while driving if required or if larger display is required.

Lastly, smart phone also has ozi installed.

What we we do without technology?

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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 14:12

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 14:12
Hi HKB I not sure still why we need all this technology I just used cheap maps from servo and RAA RACQ give free maps divided into many areas.Wondering what in dash setup you have.I have Hilux.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 14:20

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 14:20
HKB this is the answer to using a laptop or tablet while driving.

Works brilliantly.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 17:26

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 17:26
Having a moving map is an advantage to see exactly where you are, very handy if you have another vehicle heading your way etc so that you can quickly work out how far away you are from each other, also if there a few tracks within a few hundred metres of each other the GPS can give you a better of idea of which tracks are which.

In dash system is a Polaris.

Chris, thanks for the info, the floor stand looks good though I don't know how it would go in my Prado, knee already rest on the centre console and don't think co-pilot would be happy with
it on her side, will ponder it though.

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Reply By: Sigmund - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 11:23

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 11:23
Just a general comment about making GPS decisions - from hard-won experience ...

You need to start with the question 'which maps'? Not which GPS. That's just the hardware (though it often comes bundled with maps).

You can only answer 'which maps' by being clear about your needs. Getting around urban areas may be one, and that's pretty easy to satisfy. Navigating tracks though is quite different and the maps will be different. In my experience on foot or on skis, where you can't afford a significant mistake, the scale of maps needed is 1:50 K or larger, and they must be topographic. (A small scale map is designated by a larger number. So eg. the Hema Vic High Country paper map is 1:200 K. That packs a lot of ground into one sheet. But if you've got to do fine navigation bear in mind that one millimetre on the map equals 200 hundred metres on the ground - that will often make choice of turn where several tracks meet up difficult to visualise.)

Then there's other features that vary by map maker, typically man-made ones like huts or gates but also perhaps services, campgrounds and so on. In the Vic high country knowing where there are gates is important as in winter they're often closed so the tracks don't get torn up by hoons. For some folk it's not worth paying for these extra features since they won't figure in their planning.

Once you're clearer on what you need, it's a good idea to seek out sample maps of an area you know well to decide if it has the information needed for planning. Ask the supplier to send you a screen dump. Cos as with paper maps, some are informative and well drafted and others are not.

There are of course other considerations: cost, accuracy and extent of coverage.

GPSs also run software to interface between the hardware and the digital map. It handles waypoints, routes, tracks, user-defined points of interest, downloaded POIs like campsites and speed cameras and so on. In the era of tablets this software is (finally) becoming intuitive (ie. simple), not requiring hours with a manual and practice. For a GPS beginner, a tablet with 3rd party maps (if they meet your needs) can be a quick way into full use of digital mapping.

I recommended above that you look at Hema maps for the extra info. They're well drafted maps. I also find a good few errors in them and they're too small in scale to work for me. I don't like the way they handle zooming - at least in Explorer, where essentially there are two mapsets for different scales. Their new mapsets (? 140K) may be better.

I've gone a different route (cough) after using a Hema Navigator and Explorer on a tablet, with Oztopo maps that I can swap between the three Garmins that I use (car, motorbike, feet). These are topographic vector maps that handle zooming well. They cover the country at the equivalent of 25K but they do lack a lot of man-made features.

Hope this helps.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 11:59

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 11:59
I've found Hema maps on an iPad to be a useful tool, Stephen. Have used the iPad, on a windscreen suction mount, being good enough for bush tracks/roads, but probably attract some unwanted attention on highways & in towns.

You could also check out the mounts that Baz the Landy mentioned recently. Made by Industrial Evolution, and they aren't cheap.

This is a screen shot from our trip across the Rig Road last October.

Of course you'd need some other GPS unit for cities etc.


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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 13:58

Sunday, Feb 21, 2016 at 13:58
Good stuff worked out there in the 1980's .Never been back .it was easy as just drive company LCruiser if a problem mechanic would come out to get ya...Bit different for me today got wife and son and a vehicle I have not tried yet the Hilux.Always had Landcruiser and no probs apart from the petrol cost ..cheers
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 07:47

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 07:47
There's 2 types of gps. One is a map and pointer which simply shows where you are on the map. The other is a map and program that calculates a route and gives you directions while you drive. The Ozi Explorer or Memory Map type is the first type and works on laptops and android tablets and phones. The second type is either a dedicated gps unit or an android or apple tablet or phone. I've not seen many laptops with a gps program that will route you and give directions but I suppose Google maps will if you have a gps mouse and an internet connection to the laptop.
In my opinion, an android tablet with a sim slot is one of the best all in one devices you can go with. It has a workable screen and internet where ever there is phone service so you have web and email, will run both types of gps programs with inbuilt gps and can be used to play music and videos for entertainment. You just need to be able to keep the power up to it.
I use mine daily rather than turn the computer on so has the added benefit of being useful even if you aren't travelling.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 08:53

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 08:53
Thanks MH9 very well described.So basically a laptop is a map storer.Just replaces paper maps.And to use the laptop like gps need the mouse and internet so no good out bush,is that correct. ? Have 2 tablets but unfortunately they have no sim cards slots .Do you also need internet access with tablet? Techonology not my strong suit.. Traveling is and funny always used basic maps and did fine..but technology is great and no folding storing paper maps and stopping all the time to check them and now I have a map reader called a wife I knew I married her for some reason ha ha ha. In Thailand she used her phone we did 6000kms and many unnecessary kms as took us long way around no shortcuts ..but definitely needed even though she is Thai as signs in Thailand are not that accurate...thanks
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 10:35

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 10:35
It's all about the software that is installed on the laptop or tablet. Oziexplorer is a program that installs on a laptop or android tablet that will allow you to load maps that you buy from various suppliers like Hema or Explore Oz and copy to the device. The laptop then needs a gps usually in the form of a GPS "mouse" so called because it resembles a mouse and can connect with USB cable or bluetooth. The tablet will be the same, you buy the Oziexplorer for Android and the maps then away you go as the gps is built in. You don't need internet to use either of them.
The turn by turn navigation where you get guided directions, is a separate program again that comes standard on a lot of Samsung tablets and phones and doesn't need internet. Turn by turn guided navigation software is not common on laptops I think because Google Maps does it for free. While you can download and use Google Maps for use when internet is not available, the turn by turn as spoken by the funny sounding American lady isn't available if you are off line.
I prefer the tablet because it is all in the one package though I understand why many like the laptop method. The gps mouse is just another thing that needs to be charged up.
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 13:14

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 13:14
So MH9 so my notebook with the GPS mouse will work out bush.Is that correct? I not want to spend anymore money on new gadgets.My notebook has 10hr battery life and excellent screen and size of magazine light as and no plastic body.Only thing is not huge storage space .So wondering do maps use much space as this looks best way to go with the GPS mouse .thanks .
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 19:26

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 19:26
Yes, will work fine loaded with either Oziexplorer or Memory Map. Use either the free 250k Australia maps or buy something like Hema. The maps on average might take up 5gb? I'm not sure. You won't get turn by turn navigation for urban driving with your setup. If you have an android smart phone there's probably turn by turn gps on it already especially if it's a Samsung..
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Follow Up By: Stephen F2 - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 20:42

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 20:42
Thanks MH9 thats great.My wife got the Samsung Android phone she can use when we in civilisation..And will get the Oziexplorer.and Gps mouse for laptop too easy .You explained it well thanks
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 09:39

Monday, Feb 22, 2016 at 09:39
Hi Stephen,

I suggest that you would obtain benefit by looking in EO Articles -- Navigation where you will find sections on:..................

Digital Maps
GPS Units
Types of GPS Receivers
Laptops & Netbooks
Map Viewing Software
Regional & Off Road Navigation
EOTopo Navigation System
and more.

There is a wealth of information there which could answer most of your questions. So browse these articles to improve your understanding then ask for any specific advice on the Forum.

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