Best mapping programs to buy and where to buy? also track ranger vs oziexplorer?

Submitted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 11:50
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Hi all

I have nat maps for australia and was wondering what other maps we should consider and the best place to order / buy from?

I think i would like to give oz topo a go, but are there others too worth having?

Then is oziexplorer vs trackranger (or is it trackmaster?) the bettter option, or do you run both for different uses?

Regards
GN
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:07

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:07
Hi GN,
I am not sure what you want to achieve, and what you want to run these maps on... but...

I personally prefer Oziexplorer and really like it now that I have taken the time to learn some of it's features. It runs on both windows and windows CE, which is handy if you want to run Oziexplorer on some of the cheaper GPS's available on ebay.

For maps such as City Navigator, OzToppo, Shonkymaps (free), Tracks4australia (free), you need Garmin Mapsource to run them and install on your Garmin GPS.

You can buy data cards, CD's or paper maps to suit specific areas from the shop on this site.

Do a thread search and you will lots of info about this subject on this site. Its one subject which is discussed on a regular basis. Hope this helps.
Fred B
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Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:43

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:43
Hi Fred B

Thanks for help

Cant wait to get it ste up.

cheers
GN
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:08

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:08
The nat maps 1:250,000 are fine to get you started. We have been using Oziexplorer for over 4 years and 4 big trips and, although we have accumulated many other maps, still use the 250k map as first preference.

You can down load a trial version of Ozi , just Google Oziexplorer or go to the forum shop. Havent used Trackmaster so cant comment on it. Oziexplorer has a bit of a learning curve, but there is an Ozi forum to turn to for help if you get stuck.

Once you get the hang of Ozi its magic - wouldn't do a trip without it. We run ours on an old HP-epc that sits behind the passenger seat and hasn't missed a beat, a mouse type GPS receiver and a touch screen purchsed off eBay.

But you do still need paper maps both as a backup if it all goes pear shaped, and to give you a "big picture" view.

Cheers,
J and V
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Follow Up By: Member - G N (VIC) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:44

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 12:44
Thanks John and Val

Good info

regards
GN
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Reply By: Member - Bentaxle - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:18

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:18
I prefer OziExplorer to Trackranger simply because Trackranger license is for one computer only and as I run a laptop (in car) and a desktop at home for trip planning and backup. If I was to do the same with Trackranger I would be up for two licenses.
Mike
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Follow Up By: Member - ian R1 (NSW) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:58

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:58
I have a licensed version of TrackRanger on my ASUS UMPC (which has an in-built GPS and is used for in car navigation) and an unlicensed version on my laptop (which is used for planning, etc).
Only need licensed version to gain GPS connection - all other funstions work!
I decided on TrackRanger as it seemed to be much simpler to use whilst still providing the necessary functions!
Last trip was 16 weeks and 20000 km - didn't miss a beat
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Follow Up By: Member - ian R1 (NSW) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 14:04

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 14:04
Forgot to mention that I use the following maps within TrackRanger: Natmap, Hemma, UBD Regional Cities & Towns, UBD Australian City Streets.

As a result can seamlessly follow any bush track and then find facilities etc within regional towns or capital cities
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 14:49

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 14:49
Mike


With most software you can put it on more than one computer with only one licence.

The general rule is that you cannot run it on both at the same time. If you run it on the home computer and then run it on the laptop when away from home you should not be breaching the licence.

I use oziexplorer on my Home PC, Laptop and PDA. Use it with Natmap Premium, Hema DVD and westprint maps.



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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:41

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 13:41
Hi GN
Like all of the above, once you have used it, you will never leave home for that next trip again with it. Like mentioned above, to get Moving Maps to work, it has to have some form of GPS Receiver to talk with OziExplorer, so it knows where it is on this great country of ours and it will let you know exactly where you are. Depending on where you intend to travel, the Natmap Raster 1:250,000 is a good all round base to work with.
We have used it many times off road and it is very reassuring to know where you are in the desert when you are many hundreds of kilometres from any form of road or tracks.

All the best with your new toy.

Cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 19:08

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 19:08
Another thing worth consideration is the collection of plot files available from the ExplorOz site and which are suitable for OziExplorer.

Not familiar with Trackranger at all as I have been more than happy with OziExplorer.

I have OziExplorer running on my Laptop and OziCE running on a PDA.

Bill.
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Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 19:31

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 19:31
GN,

I have both although I have only bothered to use TrackRanger. It is a much easier system to learn but then does not have alll the functions of Ozi. Ozi is a very comprehensive navigation tool and aid, hence it is a bit more difficult to master. I'm hoping to learn about more about it this trip.

Version 7 (the latest) of TrackRanger can import Ozi explorer files which is a new function. Also allows you to save your plots and waypoints in GPX format for use on Google earth. It is almost a plug and play system.

Cheers Mick
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 20:43

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 20:43
"Version 7 (the latest) of TrackRanger can import Ozi explorer files which is a new function"

Available since version 6.7....though only waypoint files. Everyone sharing data should use GPX IMHO. Most programs have facility to import and export this (OE and TR included).

Main obvious draw back of TrackRanger (apart from higher price compared to OE) is there is no option to try before you buy. OE has free download versions and there are free updates also. Not sure of TRs policy on updates/upgrades. OE CE and 3D versions also kick butt.

Cheers
Greg
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 20:53

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 20:53
I have used Ozi quite a bit.

MacGPS Pro I have played with, successfully with maps downloaded from Google Earth. It says :

What Map and Chart Image File Formats can be Imported?

Most map images in the following raster formats can be imported (from the File menu, choose “Import Raster Map or Chart…”): TIFF (TIF), JPEG (JPG), GIF, PNG, PICT, BMP, Photoshop (PSD), SGI, TGA, PDF, and for Nautical Charts - BSB versions 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5, and NOS/GEO. These maps may be obtained by downloading them from the Internet, purchasing them on CDROM, or scanning them yourself. Maps in GIS vector formats will not work.

What Kinds of Georeferencing Files are Supported?

MacGPS Pro understands the following calibration file formats: GeoTIFF, KAP(BSB), GEO, JPR, MAP(OziExplorer), and world files (TFW, JGW, GFW, PGW) . World files have incomplete georeferencing data, so one of the other calibration file formats is usually preferable if it is available.

I'd love to experiment with TrackRanger but at $200 its just a bit much to satisfy my curiosity. If it were the same as Ozi I'd buy it just to have a look.

Bob
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 21:37

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 21:37
You may have noted that MacGPS Pro will not read ECW files :-(

There is a an ECW converter available so will give it a run.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 21:52

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 21:52
If you have a Garmin then take a look at Garmin Topo Aus. c. $200

You can d/l Mapsource for route planning.
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Reply By: Zebra400 - Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 05:08

Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 05:08
GN

You are talking about to different mapping systems. Ozi & Track Ranger use raster maps, while OzTopo is a vector based map. Therefore you need to decide this format you prefer. If you prefer raster mas, then you can follow some of the comments above about the differences the SW programs.

Laurie


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