Use Garmin MapSource with non-Garmin GPS?
I recently purchased a non-Garmin GPS data logger. I had hoped to hook it up to Garmin Topo maps using Garmin's MapSource software.

However, from the looks of things, MapSource only accepts input from Garmin GPS devices. What I'm trying to accomplish is this: I'm already using Earth Bridge and Google Earth for real time positioning, and I'd like to do the same using topo maps, and the Garmin topos are very good for my needs.

So, can I somehow get a "you are here" topo map display? Will GpsGate help me get there? Is Garmin MapSource going to even do this, or would I be stuck downloading my tracks every time I want a new plot, that is if I can get MapSource to play nice with non-Garmin GPS device.

Pretty new to the field, be kind.
Ken in Regina
Garmin's Mapsource lost the ability to do realtime navigation a few years back. You can no longer connect a GPS to it.

Garmin's nRoute program will do what you want if you have the Topo maps loaded in Mapsource but you will need GPSGate to convert the generic NMEA data sentences from your GPS into the proprietary Garmin data sentences. Many folks in this forum are using, or have used, nRoute in this way. There are lots of posts if you do a forum search for "nroute".

Thank you Ken, that was the help I needed.

I've now got a copy of nRoute running complete with Gpsgate sending in data from my Bluetooth GPS data logger. Pretty cool. It's nice that now I can cache Google Earth data for use with earth link and use topo maps on my netbook (8 hour battery life) in the field.

Small problem, nRoute is extremely clunky....nice interface Garmin...geez. Anyhow, thanks Ken, till now I had never heard of nRoute, just the other clunky Garmin stuff, Mapsource and Basecamp....and now it's already retired. I must be getting old.

Ken in Regina
Actually, nRoute is the only one of those programs that is retired. Garmin split the realtime navigation off from Mapsource because it was getting too complex to keep them together and, as you note, the interface is a little dated. So nRoute was discontinued a few years back and is no longer supported. But it's still really useful for some of us.

nRoute was replaced, as a realtime navigation program, by Mobile PC. It's got a completely modern interface. It's pretty much like sticking a Nuvi or TomTom into your PC.

Mapsource continues to get new features and functions and the map display is updated. The user interface is a little dated but that's not necessarily a bad thing in this case. It's one of the more powerful and easiest to use of the trip planning programs.

Basecamp is very new and the user interface is pretty much the latest. It's a completely different paradigm than Mapsource/nRoute. For some things I like it a lot. For other things .... well, I'm still using Mapsource more than I use Basecamp.

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