Monday, 23 March 2009

What GPS?

I had a question posted on the blog from Nicole asking the following:

I would like to get a gps device but don't know what is best to buy. Which do you have and is it good for planning routes to walk from the boat and also easy to use? Nicole

I know that there are any number of you out there with GPS devices, you might like to post a comment about what gizmo you chose and why it may suit Nicole's needs.

As for me Nicole, I wanted a GPS that was completely compatible with digital Ordnance Survey maps (Memory-Map). I wanted to see a map with all the details I would recognise from a paper version. I started by looking at what Memory -Map recommended and then looking on the web for the best prices. It was either going to be a PDA ( small hand held computer with GPS) or an
I-Phone with GPS. I didn't need another phone and the PDA' s tended to have larger screens so I settled on a Mitak Mio P360 as the 'weapon of choice'. Could I get one? Rocking Horse droppings were more common! The PDA formats were increasingly being replaced by I-Phones and Notebooks across the industry, neither of which hit the spot for me. I started looking on Ebay for second hand Mitaks but there were no P360's. The search continued and eventually I stumbled across Road Angel Adventurer 7000. This is a 'conventional' but small road gps device that is waterproof and recommended by Memory-Map. It comes preloaded with OS maps of the national parks and as I already had Memory -Map on my laptop I just transfer what map I need to the Adventurer and off I go walking. I am not a particularly technically competent person - the DVD defeats me - but I don't struggle to use this and it does what I wanted. An additional benefit is being able to find your way around a strange town by using the usual gps route finding software that is included - pop in the postcode and it will take you through the streets to your destination..
Best of luck in your search.


James said...

In my opinion the best current GPS using genuine OS maps is the Sat Map active 10 ( Its intuitive compact and the maps are stored on cards so you don't need to use memory maps. Its no good outside the UK though as maps are not available.

Of the 15 or so general hand-held (non mapping)GPS units I have used at work the best by far is the Garmin Vista HCX ( shop/ We have just upgraded all our GPS at work to the HCX and have used them for months of fieldwork in Libya, Russia and the Arctic with great success.

Downside: Both are expensive and the HCX is fairly complicated.

Roger NB Windsong said...

I bought a Garmin Oregon 300 at the Boat, Caravan & Outdoor show, and have been impressed with it so far. Good for geocaching.


JR said...

SatMap Active 10 - expensive but excellent - go for it!