Meridian Magellan VS Garmin Emap

Submitted: Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 07:07
ThreadID: 8928 Views:1988 Replies:5 FollowUps:4
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Probably opening a can of Baked Beans but could I have views of the advantages and disadvantages of both GPS models.
I currently have the E-Map and know they're roughly similar in price.
I'm seriously trying to compare because I can't find any comparisons on the post searches.
I feel E-Map is underestimated but doesn't ever seem to be mentioned. Understandibly the managers of this site may be sponsored by Magellan, maybe not.
ChrisNice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
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Reply By: Discovery - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 09:23

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 09:23

I have Magellan Meridian Platinum running a 256mb SD card, DiscoverAus and Great Desert Tracks software. I purchased from the US direct (saving many $, even after customs duty) and have updated to the latest operating firmware (V.512) available from the web. I find the Magellan excellent, and once you know a few tips re drawing map regions within certain size dimensions, you should have few problems.

The Yahoo Magellan user's site is outstanding for information and tips as to how to get the best from the Meridians.

I have used it in different parts of Australia, including night navigation whilst visiting metropolitan Brisbane to find unknown street addresses (I don't live in QLD) and it performed great. In fact my 13 year old daughter was using the GPS and just giving me directions from the back seat. It's not a cheap unit to set up in terms of mapping software and should of course always be used in conjunction with a hard copy map.

My reason for going with the Meridian was specifically for 4WD use: I wanted a handheld GPS (have previously owned a Garmin 38 and 12), I wanted moving map capability,the SD card memory expansion is great, and I didn't want to have to muck around with a laptop/cables/angry wife etc in front of my 4WD.

Re map accuracy, the original basemap for Australia, and its subsequent update do contain some errors (reasons unknown), but nothing that you can't live with. I have also heard that the lower level, detailed map info of the DiscoverAus software also has a few innacuracies, however, I have not encountered this (obviously I haven't been in the area with the errors!). In the vast majority of instances (95%+), I have been amazed at the overall accuracy of DiscoverAus, including its off road detail. I also understand that the source info for DiscoverAus comes from Government, as would I suspect that for Garmin, so any accuracy problems with base data are probably common to both.

I'd also be interested to hear comments from anyone else on this issue. I hope this helps.

AnswerID: 39259

Follow Up By: Member - Bob - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 11:16

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 11:16

I've just bought a Meridian Color for US $329. It hasn't arrived yet so I don't know how much I'll be slugged by customs. You refer to the Australian basemap - does this replace the US basemap that these come with? If so, from whence do I obtain one?
Thus far I have used a 315 with OziExplorer running on the laptop. I have found this to be an excellent arrangement. Sadly, when I ran the firmware update on the 315 the flash ram was destroyed, rendering the unit irreparable. I then got the Map 330, but the resolution and colour of a friend's SportTrak meant an update wasn't long in the offing.Bob
FollowupID: 238484

Reply By: Discovery - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 11:58

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 11:58

Mine naturally came with a US basemap, being a US purchase. As I undestand it, there is an Australian Land basemap Version 1.01 and Version 1.02. The second version corrects a few major errors in the first version like having Adelaide around 40km out, and Cairns somewhere inland in QLD. However, the basemap is really only a 'big hands/big picture' map (although saying that, it in itself drills down to some minor road level details and you could certainly navigate by it). Magellan Australia can provide a swap over of basemaps for around $299 as the Meridian basemaps and detailed (SD card loaded) maps are changeable. Alternaively, I believe you can still use DiscoverAus with a US basemap, but you have no Australian basemap data at the coarse scale. I think you have to drill down to around the 700m mark (which would still have the screen showing approximately 3-4 km worth of info at that scale) before the DiscoverAus details kick in. They may kick in at around a 1km scale (therefore around 5-6km of viewable map detail on the screen), but whatever the case, I'm sure you will get the general idea.


AnswerID: 39279

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 18:37

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 18:37
Benefon ESC is better than either! :-)~~
AnswerID: 39316

Reply By: BurnieM - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 19:40

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 19:40
It depends how you plan to use it and what your budget is.

The Magellan is more water resistant and robust.
Both have removeable data cards but the Garmin cards are more expensive.

Both Magellans DiscoverAus and Garmins Metroguide are excellent mapping products.
DiscoverAus requires a 256MB data card and Metroguide a 64MB data card for all of Australia, detail is similar.
AnswerID: 39321

Follow Up By: BurnieM - Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 19:48

Wednesday, Dec 03, 2003 at 19:48
Personally, I prefer the Garmin user interface.

The screen resolution on both these units is okay but not good.

The thing that puts many people off Garmins is that the medium priced units have fixed memory and the higher priced units use more expensive removeable memory.

Note that there is a 'feature' with Magellan mapping; segments can not be more than 64MB and you must manually change the map segment to a new one. All of Australia is 234MB.

Mapping in Garmins is transparent.

Garmin is releasing a new GPSR called the GPSmap 60C in Feb/March.
This unit is robust and appears designed to compete with the Meridans.
It has a colour screen. It also has fixed internal memory but this is 56MB which will hold all of Australia. Expect a price of around $900

Mapping is extra with Metroguide being $235 (Magellans DiscoverAus is simlar).
FollowupID: 257051

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 01:17

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 01:17
So it's correct that I can get a 'streetmap' guide now on a card?

I've noticed under my options that there's a provision for restaurants, roadhouses etc etc although can't access.
I just didn't think you'd get this card in oz yet.
RegardsNice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
FollowupID: 257082

Follow Up By: BurnieM - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 07:19

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 07:19
The Magellan DiscoverAus mapping CD is the streetmaps.
It includes POI (Points of Interest; restaurants, petrol stations, post offices etc).

You also need a data card for the GPSR and a data cable from your PC to the GPSR.
The mapping CD is loaded on the PC.
Then you select the map areas that you want and load them to the GPSR.

The Garmin Metroguide mapping CD is similar.
FollowupID: 257084

Reply By: awill4x4 - Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 23:33

Thursday, Dec 04, 2003 at 23:33
I'm also using a Magellan Meridian Platinum bought in the USA. I have changed the basemap to the Australian version 1.01 and I am still using Mapsend until I eventually change over to DiscoverAus.
Map detail is excellent and covers most 4x4 tracks in my area, in fact it even shows some of the farm driveways as I drive past them on my way to work.
I am also using the new firmware update 5.12 and seeing as "autorouting" has just been released in the USA it is only a matter of time till we get it here in Aus.
Effectively, it is the only handheld with autorouting facilities priced so the average person can purchase it.
The constant downloads available from Magellan/Thales and the technical info available from the Yahoo Magellan site makes it number 1 in my book.
Regards Andrew.
ps: If I was going to buy another GPS tomorrow, I'd buy the colour version.
AnswerID: 39485

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