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Maptech Terrain Navigator - Final Report

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  • simmonscarl98
    Maptech Terrain Navigator 2001 Region 619 - IN, OH, KY and WV Version: 5.03 Link to Manufacturers Website: www.maptech.com Report #3 Tester: 49 year old male,
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30, 2002
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      Maptech Terrain Navigator 2001
      Region 619 - IN, OH, KY and WV
      Version: 5.03
      Link to Manufacturers Website: www.maptech.com

      Report #3
      Tester: 49 year old male, 5'10", 210 lbs
      Profession: Software Engineer
      Hobbies and Interests: Hiking, Canoeing, Backpacking, Camping,
      Biking, Skiing, Flying and Nature Photography.

      Computer used:
      HP Pavilion 7850 933Mhz, Pentium 3, Windows ME, 40gigHD, 256MB SDRAM,
      CD 48x, CD-RW 24x

      The Maptech Terrain Navigator The CD's grouped as follows: 1 -
      installation, 1- Great Lakes Enhanced Digital Elevation Data, 5-
      Kentucky, 3- Indiana, 3-West Virginia, 4-Ohio and 1 National Parks
      (Hot Springs/Mammoth Cave).

      Since my third report I have used the Maptech Terrain Navigator (TN)
      on numerous occasions from day hikes in southern Indiana to a week
      long hike on the Appalachain Trail. For the AT trip I had purchased
      the AT companion set of maps but since this report only encompasses
      the TN delivered I will only comment on that software and uses.

      I used the TN to map out a trail in the Harrison Crawford State
      Forest. This State Forest lies about 27 miles west of Louisville, KY
      just north of the Ohio River. The trip is to follow the 24 mile
      Adventure Hiking Trail (part of the Discovery Trail) that winds
      through the Harrison Crawford State Park. The trail is marked with
      Green and White blazes and travels in a loop near Indian Creek on the
      east side, then runs along a ridge above the Ohio River south,
      looping up along the Blue River on the west side of the trial.

      One problem I had is the TN doesn't show the existing trails in this
      area and I had to re-create them from other maps. This is a very
      tedious process and will un-doubly lead to many errors. In most cases
      I would follow the contours of the terrain which the TN made very
      easy to do but in some cases It wasn't obvious the route and I could
      only guess.

      I created the route roughly following the map using the track tool
      and then added waypoints automatically that best followed the
      terrain. I then "fine tuned" the trail buy adding/moving waypoints to
      best match the terrain contours and landmarks as noted on the
      original map. The original length of the track I had created was
      about 19miles but didn't follow the contour very well and didn't have
      any switch backs. After adding waypoints and matching the contour the
      length jumped to 23 miles 349 feet fairly close to the length of
      24miles indicated on the original map. I could also use the profile
      of the trail I created to determine what areas of my created trail
      still needed work because of the sudden changes in elevation. I found
      the profile feature to be invaluable in this exercise.

      One thing I noticed that was very annoying is the speed in which the
      cursor changes modes of operation. For example, when using the track
      tool if you place your cursor on the route then left click the mouse
      you will add a new waypoint but if you are on a waypoint then you
      will be moving the existing waypoint. This is normally very handy and
      quite useful but if you get a little ahead of the software you can
      click on a waypoint before the TN has caught up to where the cursor
      is located. This means you can be creating a new waypoint rather then
      moving an existing one. I found myself forced to move slower and
      hesitate before clicking the mouse to make sure the correct mode was
      invoked.

      In general , I found the TN software very easy to use even though it
      had several annoyances. My biggest complaint and one that may be
      unique to my computer is that I would lock up the TN software if I
      scrolled between maps too quickly. In some but not all cases, If I
      moved slower the TN tended to not lock up. When it did lock up I
      could usually shutdown the TN task and restart the software where I
      left off but occasionally the computer would totally crash. When the
      TN locked up it appeared to be accessing the CD-ROM. I tried a number
      of things to isolate the problem but never could. I tried using a
      different CD-ROM drive, shutting down my 3-D accelerator option in
      the 3-D preference menu and several others without any conclusive
      results. I'm assuming this problem is unique to my computer since I
      have not seen it reported by other gear-testers but the TN software
      is the only graphics intensive software that seems to have trouble.

      I will continue to use the TN software for planning my trips
      especially in southern Indiana and on the AT (additional Maptech
      software I purchased). I hope my testing has been a benefit to the
      manufacturer and appreciate the opportunity to be included in the
      test group.

      Carlton Simmons
      simmonscarl@...
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