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Which topo apps and street apps for a laptop for off road?
herosunite93
Hello, I am new to this forum.

I am going to be getting a old IBM laptop from a friend for off road and I was wondering what I need to get GPS for my jeep and laptop. Also what apps like topo apps and street apps to find my way. I will be leaving next month for a trip to Sierra National Forest for my girl friend's first time camping. So if I can get a little help in this subject and enlighten this newbie much will be appreciated.

Sincerely, Herosunite93
Boyd
Of course you will need a GPS receiver. There are many choices, ranging for under $40 to over $100. You will find plenty of threads about the different devices on this site.

Then you will also need a way to mount the laptop, power it in your vehicle and conceal it when you park. I have gone through various options for this, but in the end decided that a dedicated GPS device was a lot less trouble. But that is probably a topic for another site.

As for software, you could look at Garmin nRoute. It is quite old and no longer supported or available from Garmin. However you can still download it here. I have run version 276 on a variety of laptops and tablets without issue.

http://gawisp.com/perry/nroute/

For topo maps, have a look at the free ones here:

http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/

Most of them will be compatible with nRoute, although a few of the newer maps (such as the ones I've uploaded) use Garmin's newer "gmap" format that nRoute won't recognize. If you run into one of these, you can convert it to the old Garmin format with this program:

http://www.javawa.nl/cne2009_multilang.html

For street navigation, have a look at OpenStreetMap:

http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl

Since nRoute is old, it is rather sluggish - apparently it doesn't make good use of modern graphics cards. You may find that topo maps don't work well unless you set the software for "North Up" mode. The user interface is also very "old school" and doesn't work well on a tablet, but for a laptop with a keyboard it's fine. Of course, one of the biggest attractions is that…. it's free.
herosunite93
Ok great thank you so much what kind of laptop should i be looking for?
herosunite93
Also i was looking at the Earthmate GPS would it be wroth it to get this to
Boyd
I thought you were already getting one from a friend? Since nRoute is old, it is well suited to older computers (doesn't need a lot of memory or speed).

Others here may disagree - since this site is called LaptopGPSWorld - but personally, I would not buy a laptop for use with GPS in today's world. There are very few options for software these days and although I do like the larger screen, mounting, powering, using and stashing it in a vehicle is awkward at best. I would try the free laptop for starters and install the things I posted above. Then you can see how you like the whole idea first. If you do, then you could think about upgrading.

I got an Earthmate GPS back around 1998 IIRC and thought it was about the coolest thing I've ever seen. It would be a real antique by today's standards. Does DeLorme still sell a version of the Earthmate? I am not familiar with it, sorry.

I have been happy with my Garmin GLO and wrote an extensive review of it over at GPSTrackLog.com. We also have a long thread on this site about it. I paid about $90 for it last year. That puts it towards the high end of the price scale, and it requires bluetooth, which might not be available on an old machine without adding a USB receiver.
tcassidy
If you do get a USB puck GPS consider the GlobalSat BU-353 S4. The Earthmate may have been great in its day but even Delorme has abandoned it and gone with the GlobalSat unit. I too like the GLO but as Boyd says, it is expensive, and requires Bluetooth. I think the BU-353 S4 is a more flexible choice.

Terry
herosunite93
Ok cool so try the free laptop. And so should I go with the the earthmate ? Or the bu-353 s4
tcassidy
Sorry, I confused the Earthmate with a GPS puck. Still, if you plan on using a laptop the GlobalSat would be less of a hassle.

Terry
tcassidy
One thing not mentioned is nRoute won't work directly with either of those GPS as it requires a Garmin specific data format. GPS Gate can find the GPS and output a signal to a COM port usable with nRoute.

Terry
Boyd
Exactly what is the "Earthmate" you are talking about. If I go to DeLorme's site, this is what I find:

https://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtpSctDspRte.jsp?section=10043&minisite=10020

Then I also found this:

http://www.cnet.com/products/delorme-earthmate-gps-ae006761201/

That is a 10 year old device that will probably not perform very well. GPS units from that era were not as fast at locking onto satellites or holding a signal under difficult conditions (like lots of trees, canyons or cities with tall buildings. I wouldn't pay very much for one of those.

As Terry mentioned, you will need to use GPSGate with either of those devices and nRoute though. Sorry, had forgotten about that. I purchased my version a number of years ago, but they now have a free version called GPSGate Client Express with limited features, but it should do all you need.

http://gpsgate.com/download/

If "money is no object", the GLO will work directly with nRoute and is also supported on other devices like the iPad and Android tablets. It also supports GLONASS, a new group of satellites that many other devices cannot access. Just make sure that your laptop has bluetooth.

http://gpstracklog.com/2013/04/garmin-glo-review.html
tcassidy
Are you sure the GLO will work directly with nRoute? I can see the blue light on the GLO showing the attempt but get a 'Attempting connection to GPS' message from nRoute regardless of which of the 2 COM ports I choose. The only difference from an NMEA GPS is the message never times out!

Terry
Boyd
You're right Terry - my bad - I was thinking of MobilePC. It's been a good 6 months since I even fired mine up.

Here's a link to our thread: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4860-garmin-glo-bluetooth-glonass-receiver
tcassidy
That's okay. I had to set it up because I wasn't sure I remembered either!

Terry
herosunite93
Ok so i am getting a little confused. so what kind of GPS system should i go and what laptop if i get a new one?
herosunite93
i like the garmin GLO but what laptop would that be compatible with
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