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Free GPS Maps for southern Michigan

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Howdy folks,

Since I'm not selling anything with this release, I thought it would be OK to pass the word along.

I have one of my "commercial ventures" out in beta form. It's a free map base for Garmin GPS units. The coverage area is for basically everything south of US-10 in Michigan. If you have the CCC's Trail maps installed, this would provide coverage for the remainder of the State (if you don't know what the "CCC Trail Map" is, ignore this sentence).

If you don't have any maps, this would give you very detailed maps for the south half of Michigan's lower peninsula.

There are no plans to start charging for this particular product.

This map set is segmented by county, so you can load just the areas (by county) that you want. Road detail is current as of what was published by the State in 2006. Roads display based on their legal status (county/private/state/etc.). Towns and other various points of interest are included. Bonus item, that I was excited about (yeah, doesn't take much) was the inclusion of public land data for the coverage area. All of the State Parks, Recreation Areas, Game Areas and so on are included in the map base, even have the correct labels like "Allegan State Game Area". These areas show up in green when you are at the appropriate zoom level (2 miles or less on the computer and 1.2 mile or less on the GPS). Also have a number of non-motorized trails, like rail trails in addition to the North Country Trail.

The web pages have screen shots for both the computer and GPS so you can see what it's about. Different zoom levels, different features highlighted, that sort of thing.

The installer is 22MB, not very dial up friendly. Each county varies in size from a couple hundred K to several megabytes.

I can get you a CD for a couple bucks if you can't download. This map is free to distribute, so don't hesitate to bum a copy from your buddy.

This is for Garmin units only, support for other brands is in the works. You need to already have a copy of MapSource installed to use this version. I will have a version that does not need MapSource soon (will just load directly to the GPS instead).

I still consider this beta software as I'm sure there are things that need fixing (spent substantial time cleaning it up already). Your feedback and suggestions for improvement would be most appreciated.

Oh yeah, the installer can be found on my company site: http://www.vvmapping.com (follow link for free maps)

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Thanks Jerramy. Ill check it out... You said my favorite word...Free... Your sure doing an awsome job with all the maping. It is apreciated.

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I'd like a copy. I'll have to send for the CD version though. I'm on dial-up. Just let me know where to send and how much.

Thanks

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I'd like a copy. I'll have to send for the CD version though. I'm on dial-up. Just let me know where to send and how much.

Thanks

I can burn ya a copy and bring it to the trail mainanentce. I have dsl now ya know.

Update: Disk burned. Ill either mail it or bring it with me to caberfae. whichever I get to 1st

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OK. Thanks, maby some day I"ll climb out of the stone age. I was hopeing to get a ride in this weekend but after two days of the creepin crud and siting on the throne I won"t make it. Man I"m ichen. Looks like a Good Friday ride and then a shoot over your way on the 7th.

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I'll mail you one for $1 if you don't want to wait for Don. Shoot me your postal address if that's the case (jvalley@mac.com)

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I gotta git me one of thum there new fangled GPS thingys. Son and I are always getting lost or having to stop and get the sextant out.:bonk:

What should I be looking/baiting for? My birthdays coming up.

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Garmin brand.

Low end: eTrex Legend (blue)

Middle of the road: GPSMap 60

Most popular: GPSMap 60CX

High End: 276C

Alternate: Rhino 130/520C (they have 2 way radios in addition to the GPS).

Check TVNav.com or Amazon.com as a reference point on the prices before you shop around.

Get a RAM (brand) mount for the unit and put it on your handlebars. http://www.rammount.com

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Garmin brand.

Low end: eTrex Legend (blue)

Middle of the road: GPSMap 60

Most popular: GPSMap 60CX

High End: 276C

Alternate: Rhino 130/520C (they have 2 way radios in addition to the GPS).

Check TVNav.com or Amazon.com as a reference point on the prices before you shop around.

Get a RAM (brand) mount for the unit and put it on your handlebars. http://www.rammount.com

60cx is what I am looking at next. Nice unit :bonk:

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So if'in I gets one of these things I can just look at the little screen and not have to even look at the trail right, kind of like playing a video game.

No really, if I buy the trail maps is it just as easy as watching where your at on the screen?

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So if'in I gets one of these things I can just look at the little screen and not have to even look at the trail right, kind of like playing a video game.

No really, if I buy the trail maps is it just as easy as watching where your at on the screen?

It takes a little tinkering to get the hang of the gps but its pretty easy. Once you get all the maps uploaded then yes you see a little arrow where you are at and which way you are pointed. As you ride the trail the arrow follows along showing where you are at. Its really nice actually.

I have the older Garmin GPSV which was the favored unit for dirtbiking for a long time. But its a little dated now. But still works great for offroad. the only shortcomings with mine is the lack of autorouting to uploaded maps (mainly for driving in the truck), and lack of memory. The more internal memory the better. Mine has 19meg and works pretty good for michigan but it is about the minimum.

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I'm not real sure I did something wrong. But I have a Garmin 60cx and I tried to load the trail maps over my mid-west Topo SD card and I ended up deleting my Topo program. I called Garmin and explained my delema and they were nice enough to send my a new Topo SD card for the cost off shipping. ($6.00) They told me that you cannot load anything over the pre-programed cards they have for this unit. I did load the mapping program on my extra SD card that came with the unit and it works great. I just have to change cards for trail riding or the Topo feature. Only take a minute. :bonk:

Mike

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No really, if I buy the trail maps is it just as easy as watching where your at on the screen?

Yeah, it is as easy as just watching your position (looks like the dude from Defender as in 80s video game) and the map moves underneath him as you move.

Note on the screen shot below, if you were moving, the white arrow would be a black triangle and that would be your position.

gps2.jpg

Here's one of the newer color map showing a hiking trail.

800ft_SoMich.gif

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If you mount a RAM mount on the handlebars. Wont it damage your GPS if you fall.

I think you take that chance carrying it anywhere on you either way.

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If you mount a RAM mount on the handlebars. Wont it damage your GPS if you fall.

The Ram mount is a ball mounted setup and as such will give when you crash. So the chances of mashing your gps are greatly reduced. Not that it cant happen though.

Just dont crash and the problem goes away :bonk:

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Unless your get-offs are of the RC/JS/Metzger level, the GPS will normally come out fine, based on personal experiences. Have a friend that's destroyed two GPS units, both times the bike was "ghost-ridden" off the side of a mountain. Even in those cases, the GPS still worked, but like the bike (and rider) sustained some decent damage.

Guess I'd say if you bend the handlebars enough that they need replacing when you crash, then expect the GPS to have a few scrapes and bruises as well.

Again, that's on the far end of the spectrum. Normal crashes will, usually at most, bump the GPS out of position as like Don indicated, the mount is pretty flexible.

RAM has quite a bit of info and lots of pictures:

http://www.ram-mount.com/gps_mounts/model_garmin_gps_mount.htm

IMG_0170.jpg

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