What GPS software and maps do I need for my laptop for use on UK canals?
Hi, All.
New on here.
I have a narrow boat and would like to use GPS on a laptop.
What do I need and where is it available? ( including software)
Please keep it simple for a simple mind!
Thanks, Brian.
Have you checked Google Earth for the canals you want to travel? If they are there, you can use that for your software and a GlobalSat BU-353 receiver. I use Earth Bridge to get the receiver to interact with Google Earth. It's not hard to set up. If you can move files around on your computer, you can set up and run this. Earth Bridge is pretty much ready as soon as it's downloaded and installed. Any issues, just ask here. Someone will usually have a suggestion or solution. I haven't been able to get out on the water with this set up yet. I do know that I can't get lost with it. When I start, I'll just drop a place marker in Google Earth where I want to return to and then simply follow my progress track back. That's mainly what I will use my set up for on the water. I go out on lakes and rivers that aren't marked well. It's easy to get confused and turned around out there. Good thing with this set up is it can be used any where in the world that Google has aerial photos and street maps.

I have roughly $40US in my GPS set up. It's not as easy as opening a box, charging, and pushing a few buttons, but it's a lot less than $150 for a cheapo auto GPS, a heck of a lot less than a $800 marine GPS, and a lot less than a $600 hand held aircraft GPS. I eliminated three different systems with my set up. One day I will down grade from my modded power hungry laptop to a 10 inch netbook.

Links below.

Earth Bridge - Bridge the gap between Google Earth and your GPS receiver.

Google Earth
Hi, I use Navvygator which is free from, and I use a USB GPS dongle. About