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  • boilface
    started a topic GPS advice

    GPS advice

    Looks like I might have to give in and get myself a GPS device. Can you give me some recommendations? I'm looking for the lightest possible unit.

    I've been looking at simple logging devices like the Wintec WPL-2000, which is basically a GPS logger that records your route. Of course, such a device cannot hold my planned route nor help me when I'm lost.

    Having never used a GPS before, I'm a bit confused as to their operation. Do I define my route in Google Earth then export to a certain file format and import into the GPS?

    Do all GPS devices record your route? It's hard to tell if this is a feature of the Garmin devices.

    If your device has a rechargeable battery, what do you do if you're away for a few days without access to electricity?

    Oh, I'm not interested in color screens or maps. I'd just like to see a basic route on screen and follow that.

    Also, is the iPhone 4 suitable as a GPS? I wouldn't mind the extra weight of that because it serves a dual purpose.

  • Bryan
    replied
    Re: GPS advice

    While I too like to get away from technology, I do bring a camera and a GPS when I hike, and they provide me with lightweight and long-lasting souvenirs.

    The Dakota can hold and display 200 tracks. The limit is a total of 10,000 track points. You can set their colors but the choices are limited. And the names are displayed, not on the map, but on the track list where you turn them on and off and set their properties.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kim
    replied
    Re: GPS advice

    GPSBabel and EasyGPS is free software?
    Yes, both are free and easy to use.

    About getting the routes onto the device: Can I load the entire "Great Wall Beijing.kmz" file on it (after conversion obviously)? In Google Earth, there's red, blue and yellow lines, are they easy to tell apart when on the device? Also, are the names of the walls displayed on the device?
    As far as I know the Dakota can only display one path at the time, so it would not make much sense to upload the whole Beijing file. Just upload the paths you need.

    Leave a comment:


  • boilface
    replied
    Re: GPS advice

    Thanks for the info guys. I've read the manuals and the Dakota 10 seems fine for my use. I hate the idea of carrying these devices; I go hiking to get away from technology

    200 more grams on my base weight will cause me many sleepless nights

    GPSBabel and EasyGPS is free software? I guess I can also use Geosetter to tag my photos?

    About getting the routes onto the device: Can I load the entire "Great Wall Beijing.kmz" file on it (after conversion obviously)? In Google Earth, there's red, blue and yellow lines, are they easy to tell apart when on the device? Also, are the names of the walls displayed on the device?

    Leave a comment:


  • Kim
    replied
    Re: GPS advice

    Earlier I have had both a Garmin eTrex and GPSMAP. Now I use a Garmin Dakota 20 and with its small size and touch screen it is far more user-friendly than my two previous Garmin devices. The Dakota 10 might be a better choice depending on your requirements.

    I also use GPSBabel to convert Google Earth files and the export them to the device using EasyGPS.

    Regarding battery I use normal AA batteries. I don't want to pay extra money for special batteries and so far I have only good experience with the batteries you can buy in the small supermarkets in the villages along the wall, so I do not consider battery power to be a problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bryan
    replied
    Re: GPS advice

    To see what GPS I use, read:

    http://www.greatwallforum.com/forum/...kota-20-a.html.

    It does record tracks, it's small and light, and reasonably priced. They use standard AA batteries. I carry disposable lithium batteries, they are very weight-efficient.

    http://www.greatwallforum.com/forum/...batteries.html

    I always define my paths and waypoints in Google Earth, save as a KML file, use GPSBabel to convert the KML to a GPX, and copy the GPX file to the receiver. The Dakota and other Garmin receivers can also directly display image overlays that you create in Google Earth and save as KMZ files, with some limitations.

    The Garmin eTrex Vistas are also very good and less expensive units.

    Finding good China road maps is an issue, so investigate that before you select a GPS receiver if you need road maps.

    If I'm not mistaken, an iPhone won't work where there is no cell phone reception so it's not a good alternative on the Great Wall. Plus your battery recharge question would be an issue.

    Leave a comment:

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