why cant just get nat maps on card and put in GPS chartplotter?

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 12:03
ThreadID: 67293 Views:2511 Replies:5 FollowUps:6
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Hi all
I was just wondering, why do we need a lap top to run nat maps?
When running a GPS chart plotter on the sea and you put in a card with the charts for that section of the coast, no pc, just card and GPS.
So why cant just run like that on land too?

Regards
GN
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Reply By: The Explorer - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 12:49

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 12:49
Hello - Maps generally come in two formats – vector or raster . A vector map is created on the fly by the device from a database of points that are used to create lines, polygons and points of interest. A raster map is a picture made up of coloured pixels. To complicate the issue there is also different proprietary formats of vector and raster maps i.e. Garmin vector maps are in a different format to Magellan vector maps. Raster maps can be jpg, bmp, tiff. ozf, ecw etc . Whether or not they will run on a particular device will depend on what programs are installed and the format they will accept. The average chartplotter will only accept vector maps in the format created by the manufacturer.

There are a range of small screen devices (eg Hema Navigator etc) that are the basically the same size as a chartplotter and have become popular because they are much less hassle than a laptop. The Hema Navigator for example has programs that run both vector (route 66) and raster (OziExplorer) maps. A lot of similar devices (e.g. Mio series) run a Windows CE based operating system on which, once "unlocked" allow a range of programs to be be used such as OziExplorerCe (for raster maps/airphotos/sat images) and vector based mapping programs such as Garmin XT, Destinator, Tom Tom etc etc.

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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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 12:56

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 12:56
PS: Natmaps are in raster format so will not work on vector mapping programs. Someone has however taken the same data used to make Natmaps and created a garmin vector format mapset - called Shonkymaps. This mapset will work on a Garmin chartplotter eg. Garmin 276C.

There are also some GPS mapping programs that use both vector and raster images e.g GIS programs such as Arcview/Mapinfo.

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Member - G N (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 13:58

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 13:58
Hi Greg
Thanks for info.
My level of knowledge is not very great on this topic unfortunatly.
We have the nat map raster maps on our pc, and were looking at posibly putting a solid state hard drive in lap top to run nat maps while traveling, but then we have a garmin 176c chart plotter for fishing which we have a card with the admiralty charts on it.

So if we down load the shonkymaps, then how do i run on the gps?



regards
GN
AnswerID: 356856

Reply By: Member - G N (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 14:14

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 14:14
Hi again Greg

I have just been looking at TOPO Australia map product on the Garmin site, does not give a great idea what it like but it doesnt look like it is as good as the nat maps??????


Regards GN
AnswerID: 356859

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 15:07

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 15:07
Hello
I dont have Garmin Topo so cant comment from experience but I am sure it has far more detail that Natmap overall e.g. Garmin Topo has streets and roads of every town/city - Natmap doesnt have this detail. Also keep in mind Natmap is a 250K map. Garmin Topo is apparently equivalent to a 25K scale map so the depiction of features will be far more accurate (in theory). I have heard that some areas are actually better depicted on Natmap eg Fraser Island..but suspect this is not the norm. There should be many more tracks and roads shown on the Garmin Topo (overall).

The Shonkymaps are free so give them a bash - if they suit your needs then fine..if not consider one of the commercial products.

I know for a fact that the Shonkymaps will work on a 276C ...so assume they will work with the 176.

You can get Shonky maps here - bit of a huge download (~340mb)

shonkymaps

I am no sure if you could load them onto the same data card you already have....you may have to buy a new one

Garmin data cards

Maybe contact gpsoz guys and ask - they will know. Maybe someone on this forum knows?

To load the maps onto the card you will need Mapsource ..though think there are some free programs that will also compile the maps into correct format (from PC to GPS/Data card). GPSOz will possibly do this for you if you purchase card from them. Again maybe someone else on the forum can help.

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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Follow Up By: Member - res.q.guy (Vic.) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 08:14

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 08:14
Hi G N
If you are after Shonky maps, and don't want the big download, you can get it along with "Tracks4Australia" and "Contours" (which work with both), and a heap of other data on a DVD for $5, from here:
$5 DVD
Regards
Neil
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Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 11:21

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 11:21
Hi
Many thanks for the shonky map link

regards
GN

I have a few more questions and might start a new thread i think.
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Reply By: Member - G N (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 15:33

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 15:33
Many thanks for your good help Greg

GN
AnswerID: 356874

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 16:33

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 16:33
Oh Greg is good value in all things mapping. Just don't mention dogs or climate changfe in any subject heading and it should be sweet....hahahahahaha
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 18:33

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 18:33
Good work Willem.

I am currently researching how dogs are thought to be the main cause of climate change especially when let to roam un-tethered in national parks - will report back to the forum on my findings in near future:)

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: BT- Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 17:16

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 17:16
Gidday GN,
understand your grief re map downloading. I recently bought a Hema Navigator as part of an insurance payout. Why, cause it comes preloaded with Oz street directory, Hema maps and Natmap series (don't know what format). After downloading maps in the past and having lots of brain snaps I've found this one to be a no brainer - but, it's over priced at >$900.
You might be happier with some cheaper software (look at previous threads), a far cheaper GPS and then download your maps etc. You can then upload your next days trip and leave the lap top tied down on the back seat.
Cheers
BT
I have no affiliation with Hema - no free trips to China, no Chinese girlfriend, no nothing
AnswerID: 356886

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