GPS for off-roaders

Discussion in 'GPS Use, Tracks & Maps Discussion' started by PICO-PICO, Mar 2, 2007.


    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    From todays Intern. Harald Tribune


    Off-road, where there are no pre-mapped tracks, most hand-held GPS systems show your current coordinates, along with major landmarks like streams and mountains, and keep track of the paths you have followed. They don't tell you what the terrain is like, or what is beyond the next hill or bend.

    But the DeLorme Earthmate GPS PN-20 knows, displaying topographical maps — with elevation profiles, campgrounds and trails as well as streets and highways — as realistic 3-D flyover simulations, or as bird's-eye aerial or satellite views showing landmarks.

    The DeLorme Topo USA 6.0 DVD software, with topological and road maps of the United States and major-highway maps of the world, is included in the $370 price of the PN-20. Roads can be superimposed on topological maps and aerial imagery downloaded from the Web and stored in a 75-megabyte user memory or optional SD cards up to 2 gigabytes.

    Who knows the day may not be far, when topologica input data will be available for SEA too
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  3. Azoulay

    Azoulay Ol'Timer

    Dear Pico-Pico,

    I don't know if I reply correctly to your expectation, but please note that for Thailand it exists a very good GPS software called MAP KING. Just get the latest release, I think you can get it at Fortune Tower mall in BKK, install it on a PDA smartphone with a 1 or 2 giga memory card such as these O2 phones or QTEK (either with an integrated GPS receiver, either with an external additional bluetooth GPS receiver -eg a BT 338-0 qnd it works perfectly you' ll find your way in Thailand easily, even in Bangkok.

    It works very good.

    Hope it helps
  4. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

    I am sure David will step in here but relying too heavily on GPS outside well surveyed areas will get you LOST.
    Note the term "well surveyed". In "the west" software companies have full time survey crews just driving around refining data mapping and getting all the details correct. The term "even in Bangkok" is misleading because that is probably the best surveyed, Map Magic, etc..and even that is not 100%

    Even finding a good old fashioned printed map of some parts of Thailand is difficult. Isn't that the whole reason for exploring??
  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    with the topo that sounds like an excellent map for the us.
    i doubt they have anything that good for thailand yet.
    the best thai gps map is the esri one that costs 12-15,000 baht, i think, depending on where you go.
    the esri city & main road maps are excellent, but i think that the smaller rural back roads / off road stuff is not that great or accurate, & they are particulary weak in border areas & village names.
    but if there is nothing else you can still say that's the best you can get.
    there is no perfect solution & if if there was, there might not be much adventure left exploring off the map. it would all be too easy.
    overall you still need a hard copy map, & a gps if you insist not getting lost or "exploring".
    im of the opinion that much of the esri up-country map has not been surveyed on the ground, but is digitized info taken from sat photos & 1: 50 topo maps.

    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    Actually I enjoy the hard copy map still most. I used my Garmin GPS basically to find back to places, such as H.U. meeting place in Chiang Mai. And to mark important places I have been to. It would be also fun to superimpose my recorded tracks e.g. along the Burmese border, the endless twist and turns on a map, but that would be too much detail.
    THE BEST REALLY DETAILED GENERAL MAP I found is DELUX ATLAS OF THAILAND 2005 / 2006 published by thinknet . When asking for the way it helps a lot if you show a Thai map to a Thai. ( Its Thai/ Engl)
  7. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    I've begun to use a GPS and find them a great addition to tools that help you from getting too lost.

    I use the ESRI map David talks about and for pavement in Thailand there is nothing better. I second everything David has to say about the ESRI map. You have to understand its limitations. Off-road there are hardly any tracks mapped on the ESRI so not much use as a overall map in that regard. Unlike Mikerusts view I think GPS's are great off road though if you can plot village way points, and meander around the forest tracks all the while leaving a breadcrumb trail. The GPS is helpful because it allows you to backtrack your breadcrumb trail out of the forest if need be. This is a great benefit since once inside the jungle canopy, basic landmarks for reference disappear. Keep in mind nothing replaces a good topo and sadly they are difficult to find in Thailand, let alone downloadable GPS topos[:(].

    Off-road exploration in Thailand is aided by the fact that small villages are everywhere within the confines of the jungle so you are really never that far (relative to my experience exploring the deserts of Mexico)from gasoline, or guidance. Thailand ain't that big.

    I find the GPS's are a valuable tool when combined with a decent hardmap, compass and a few brain cells in the noggin. Like others have said though, exploring and adventure is about sorting things out for yourself[:)].

    Hell I'm lost half the time even with a GPS and map.

    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    ........and a few brain cells in the noggin

    could use some new ones, what is the going price for that? Where to find, at Tesco ??
  9. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    B&G pretty well explains my view also. The other advantage we have found is the ability to easily share our rides and discoveries. Instead of trying to give hard to comprehend directions "Turn at the big rock past the fallen tree", we simply save to cd, or email our tracks and waypoints to each other and off we go.

    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    perfect remainder,Dave that I wanted to share the waypoints to some recommendable accomodations.

  11. mikerust

    mikerust Ol'Timer

    I was in my friends Camry cage on the weekend. It has factory GPS. Not sure what mapping software Toyota uses but it seems quite good. Even had the dirt roads around Kao Kaew and the hills near Sri Racha. I entered come coordinates I captured on my Magellan (actually not easy to do but I don't think Toyota actually expects people to do this) which was a wat and selected "Route Finder" and a very nice lady suggested how to go there. We knew roughly how to get there , went the opposite way around a cirlce, and was also following the "Go To" arrow on the Magellan. Very close to the wat the nice NL told us to turn left in 200m but we turned left following the Go To. We wre wrong, the NL was RIGHT.

    One funny part was driving down a brand new Hwy at 160 kph with the GPS showing nothing but a blank screen!! Oh well I'm sure updates will be available.
  12. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

    Mike you think blank screen interesting, I have a printed map showing the new Samui/Krabi freeway ending in the completely wrong place near Surat Thani

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