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Software for mapping and on-road routing
Doc
Hello All.

Just registered on the site. I live in NJ, not a native. I travel a fair amount each day to work... average about 2 hours on the road total, though traffic can exponentially multiply that in a heartbeat, or in the rain, etc... I'm somewhat familiar with GPS, being prior military and a civilian non-commercial pilot.

I drive a Jeep as a daily driver and a "toy". (More info on the ride here: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2569618 )

My gps setup currently consists of an older Panasonic Toughbook with integrated GPS (That has never worked) and touchscreen that I picked up for $100 and fixed, along with a GlobalSat BU-353 USB GPS Receiver. I currently (only passively) Wardrive with that. I may be replacing the Toughbook with a Fujitsu Lifebook P1510D for "less dirty" trips or in a second more economical daily driver that I may yet purchase in the future.

I have not decided what software to run yet for mapping and on-road routing. Was looking at Garmin's Mobile PC, but decided against it after reading Ken's comparison post... since I can't add topographic maps for when I go wheeling. I'm also interested in adding POI databases that specify "velocity checkpoints" to whatever software I choose to go with... so I'm still trying to decide what to do there. I have an iPhone with GPS which is nice, but it is damn small and the laptops are so multi functional. Maybe I'll post my questions concerning software another time.

anyway... Hi!
- Doc
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Doc,

welcome to Laptop GPS World.

I love the pictures of your Jeep. Cool site!
Ken in Regina
Hi Doc,

I'm very sorry if I left the impression that you can't add topo maps to Mobile PC. You absolutely can. I currently have included map segments from Topo Canada and also from a set of free Canadian topos in the mapset that I'm using in Mobile PC. There should be a topic in the Garmin Mobile PC FAQs that describes how to add maps to Mobile PC.

The only restriction with maps on Mobile PC is that you can't add locked maps to the software-only version because there is no Garmin GPS device to unlock the maps to.

Garmin's process for creating an unlock code uses the Unit ID from the hardware device and a few characters from the Product ID of the maps that are being unlocked. That can't work with the software-only version of Mobile PC because there is no Garmin hardware device.

But the good news is that none of Garmin's topo products are locked and there are loads of free Garmin-compatible topo maps out there that other Garmin users have created.

If you want to use Mobile PC with topos for offroading in your Jeep, go for it. Your toughest decision will be to determine which topos to use.

By the way, could you point me at the topic that left you thinking you couldn't use topos in Mobile PC so I can fix it or delete it? It would be a huge service to anyone else who might read it. Thanks.

...ken...
Doc
Thanks for the warm welcome!

I guess I will have to figure the difference between a locked and unlocked map now

Ken,
I probably read your comparison post incorrectly then. The post that I read is located here.

http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/623-garmin-mobile-pc-versus-garmin-nroute-updated-view

I have a terrible habit of looking for summary sentences in order to dispense with what can SOMETIMES be petty details. So when I saw the big bold print saying that you can't add maps... I summarized that. As you stated... it was a make or brake point for some people. My wife has a Nuvi 350, and I am familiar with that interface which looks to be very similar to the Mobile PC interface... but I have taken the Nuvi off road and found it to be close to worthless. No Tracking, and no off road data. Knowing (now I know... THINKING) that I couldn't add topographic maps to the Mobile PC was a deal breaker.

Of course, I could have read the next full paragraph...

"
More specifically, and technically, you can't get unlock codes for the software-only version of Mobile PC. So if you need another region of the world than North America you will have to find Mapsource-compatible maps that do not require unlocking because you will not be able to use any of Garmin's locked map products."

I might have to pick it up now. I think I like the interface.

- Doc
Ken in Regina
Yes, if you like the Nuvi interface you'll like Mobile PC. Something else to know .. you can add topo maps to your wife's Nuvi.

I can understand the urge to scan when there is so much to take in on a board like this and especially when you encounter those lengthy soap operas of mine.

...ken...
Ken in Regina
Okay, I've done a little bit of editting. Doc, could you do me a favour and take a quick peek at that post again and see if that might help keep others from getting the same impression? Thanks.

...ken...
Doc
Well, yes... perhaps. But now I know that you aren't full of hot air. If you take the time to type something it isn't because you are "blogging". There IS Purpose!

Blogging.... never have so many, said so much, to so few that actually give a damn.

- D
Doc
Very clear sir! Didn't mean to cause you any extra editing work.

- D
Ken in Regina
The feedback is good. It's a reminder for me to think through what the casual reader might take from things I write, especially when I'm as emphatic as I was with that comment. Thanks for checking it. The editting is a pleasure if it means improving the information transfer.

...ken...
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