GPS for Laptops and PDAs Feedback

Submitted: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at 22:04
ThreadID: 86081 Views:3519 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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Hi all, i am hoping something can give me some guidance.
I am looking at purchasing a new gps, and mapping software to run on a laptop ( We are doing a months trip to Kimberleys from Melb, in July). I want to view topo maps on gps & laptop, track our route, attach photos etc, as well use the gps for normal street directions
What gps , software do you recommend
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Reply By: Member - nick b - Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at 23:09

Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at 23:09
Gooday lynchmc : I have garmin , but my gps dozent have maps ,I use pc . heaps of gps with maps .

I use garmin topo aus & nz maps on dvd $229. loaded on laptop - not card - dvd not restricted to one machine .I also have shonky maps - all most free - I got a dvd from GPSAustralia heaps of stuff on it + nroute live tracking.
Its handy having garmin topo + shonky that gives a better cover of tracks in the out back . garmin topo also use hema + other stuff . their is also street maps but not street numbers . If you go this way read up on it 1st .
garmin topo use basecamp & shonky use mapsource . they take a bit of time to work them out - long nights - but good fun , log your tracks to look at later.

I have dean told that two nav aventura is good but don't know if it can be used with a laptop

You might find that GPS Australia forum is good for this stuff aswell .

good luck & dont forget the paper maps ,compass ,etc
Cheers Nick b

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Reply By: mikehzz - Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at 23:11

Wednesday, May 04, 2011 at 23:11
For a laptop you can buy a little bluetooth "mouse" gps on ebay for under $100. You pair it with the laptop and sit it on the dash usually and it transmits gps data to the computer. The battery will last 18-20 hours and can be charged from the cigarette lighter.
After that you need a gps mapping program like ozi explorer and digital maps. There are maps for free download on some of the government sites or you can buy dvd's from map shops or online.
The Chinese 7" gps on ebay for a few hundred dollars are good value and have street maps included. You can buy ozi ce and topo maps to run on them and not need the laptop. If you really want to spend cash then an ipad works well too :-)
If you are new to it then there is a bit of a learning curve. Mike
AnswerID: 453317

Follow Up By: River Swaggie - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 00:47

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 00:47
"The Chinese 7" gps on ebay for a few hundred dollars are good value and have street maps included. You can buy ozi ce and topo maps to run on them and not need the laptop."

Just enquired about a unit for my Hilux,This site i got off another Forum where someone had used them...This is what they said about pricing on a couple of there units..Although you can buy cheaper but this model had more stuff with it... ....

For Car PC:
VT-PC700 7'' double din Car PC with GPS
Ex-Work: Sample: 385USD/pc
3G: add 40USD/pc
Wifi: add 45USD/pc

For Model: VT-DI719G
Ex-Work: Sample: 200USD
DVB-T MPEG2: add 35USD

Here is there site: 7" Chinese
FollowupID: 726105

Reply By: sweetnam - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 07:47

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 07:47
I run a Garmin with Topo Maps.

I also have a netbook with Ozi and Topo maps, with a Bluetooth GPS receiver.

While i am on the track i find that the garmin is excellent, but for trip and route planning, Ozi is the best. Garmin do offer Basecamp with their topo dvd which is ok.

Basecamp has a photo feature built it and Ozi it is a plugin where you can import photos and based on their timestamp, will add it to the track log.

Also, another point, if you are looking at a laptop, consider one with a solid state hdd (hard drive). If you are running it live in the car while driving - especially with corrugations. Corrugations will kill a Hdd very quickly.


AnswerID: 453321

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 07:59

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 07:59
Yes solid state hard drive is an excellent suggestion. Pricey though :-) Mike
FollowupID: 726107

Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 09:56

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 09:56
Not that expensive ($300+/-), I've run and EePC on my dash for a couple of years now and no real problems. Key boards getting worn out and had a problem last trip with a really badly corrugated section but I put this down to the fact the PC is getting a bit long in th etooth and it's copped a mass of abuse over the past few years.

Bought a new one with the next screen size up to replace it. Tip if you are going to go down the PC line try and get your power source hard wired into your auxillary battery circuit as wiring it to the start up battery or through an auxillary power plug can cause power spikes. Also check their transformer output as some have weird Ampage and require that you get a car kit online to suit.

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FollowupID: 726127

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 09:00

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 09:00
Go with the 4.3" or 7" Chinese GPs using Igo for the turn by turn nav and Oziexplorer for the topo mapping. Buy a Hema 4wd Map DVD to get most of the maps and Oziexplorer.
We started out years ago with a laptop and Garmin GPS, then the GPS and Pocket Pc then the Chinese GPS which wins hands down for ease of use, no cords trailing everywhere and much more reliable.
Another big plus is that when you stop you don't spend 10 minutes packing everything away out of sight of the light fingered brigade, just unclip it out of the screen mount and shove it in the glovebox, or if going fora walk/hike take it with you.
AnswerID: 453327

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 10:28

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 10:28
I have a PC in the car that has both Oziexplorer and Memory Map installed.

While Oziexplorer is at least 2 times more flexible, it is also at least 5 times more complex to run and use, especially when you are driving. Memory map can do everything you have asked for and 98% of what you might need for traveling. It also has some neat features which make it more useful on the road, notably it can concurrently show 2 GPS maps at different scales or views. Ie you easily get an overview map and a detailed map of where you are. You can use it in 10 minutes as opposed to almost needing a training course for Ozi.

You can get Hema maps or other detailed maps for both.

If you have a PC / laptop, you MUST have a Solid State Drive. This will set you back about $150 - 200 for about 80Gig. Before I had a SSD I went through about 1 disk drive a year and the heartache in backing up and reinstalling. ( if you go this way get xxclone on the internet for free, it makes an exact copy of your boot disk on a back up drive ready for replacement, however after a few bumps this will end up being more expensive than SSD)

Having said all that, I would now reccomend waiting a few months if you can, and getting an Android tablet, (or if you must do it now, with an Ipad with memory map's Ipad version). They already have the gps built in. Both Memory map and Oziexploreer are expected to come out for Android in the next month or two and it will be a great solution. They both work without a phone connection.

You can use it for email, web, mapping , photos, watching movies, listening to internet radio back home etc etc, and it already has solid state memory.

I just saw the 10' Acer Android tablet running 3.0 ( honeycomb) and it is brilliant, it will take a 64GB Micro card so you have tons of capability for movies, photos, maps etc. That is the ideal traveling solution. Viewsonic even make one that boots up as a windoes 7 tablet PC, or an Android 2.2 tablet.

AnswerID: 453334

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 10:30

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 10:30
I forgot to mention that if you get the Android tablet, as well as being able to store photos, it can take them and geo reference them with the gps co-ordinates.
FollowupID: 726132

Reply By: Member - lynchmc - Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 18:10

Thursday, May 05, 2011 at 18:10
Thanks for the info
AnswerID: 453361

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