UK off-road 4x4 mapping for laptop
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and this is my first post so I'll take this opportunity to say a big hello and to compliment you guys on some great stuff I've found just by searching this site.

So my question, I'm currently using paper maps here in the UK, what I'm doing is planning routes for 4x4ing using Google Maps satellite images to find out what sort of terrain I'm heading into and OS maps to find the legal trails to use.

I am intending to set up my laptop in the vehicle with a GPS receiver mounted on the roof and use this as my sole navigation - hence why I'm at this site I guess! My friend found a good site that is pretty much ideal for what I want, here's a link:

Is there anything on the market or anyway to do this on my laptop but with live GPS as I would like to track my position and use it to navigate? Is there any map software that I can use where I get sat images and an OS map but available without an internet connection?

Any advice is much welcomed as I'm new to all this tech melarchy!
It sounds like you want to use raster images as maps - these can be scans of paper maps (like the OS maps), satellite photos (like google) or any other kind of images. OziExplorer is a great program for this purpose: Official OziExplorer Web Site - GPS Mapping Software for Tracking and Navigation. Supports Garmin, Magellan, Lowrance and GPS

You would need to make your own maps probably, although there might be sources to download them - have never looked myself, try some google searches to see what's available.

There are some programs that can help you download imagery and create Oziexplorer maps, such as Mobile Atlas Creator: Mobile Atlas Creator (MOBAC)

Google's imagery is copyrighted and only licensed for use on your computer over the internet in the form that they provide it. Nevertheless, programs like Mobile Atlas Creator and others have provided a way to "rip" the Google imagery for offline use. Recently Google has gotten more proactive at shutting down access to these kinds of programs that violate their license agreement.
Thanks for the reply Boyd, this is helpful but seems very long winded... is there anything else you can suggest instead of doing my idea?
Does it have to be a laptop? If you want convenience there are a variety of dedicated PND's (personal navigation devices) the can use OS maps and aerial imagery. I just got a new Garmin Montana and the 4" screen is spectacular. They offer OS maps as well as satellite photos and topo maps via a subscription download service. All of this can get expensive though. Unfortunately they have abandoned their PC navigation products which were never compatible with these newer forms of mapping anyway.

I know that the Satmap active 10 is also a popular handheld unit in the UK, and they offer all forms of mapping. Again, you will pay a premium for this kind of product though.

Maybe others will have some better ideas for you. The "real" OS maps would have to be scans of paper maps however, and that limits the kinds of software that can be used to display them. There are the "talkytoaster" Garmin compatible maps available for the UK and I have read good things about them but never tried them myself. I think they are free as well. Home (talkytoaster)

These would be Garmin's vector type maps however and not "real" OS maps. However I believe they would be compatible with Garmin's old nRoute program that you can download for free. Do a search for nRoute on this site, it has been discussed extensively. This old software cannot display satellite or any form of raster imagery though.
Ken in Regina
You can use Google Earth for realtime navigation, if that helps. There are many threads on here about using it. Some deal with the "helper" programs like Earthbridge and GooPS that make it easier to coerce GE into listening to the GPS receiver. Some are about loading the 2GB disk cache so you can access the imagery offline without the need for an internet connection.

...ken... About