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Re: [BackpackGearTest] Garmin GPS

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  • Michael Wheiler
    Thanks for the info. I ll try the lithium batteries out on my next outing. I have also turned it off except to mark way points but it takes so long some times
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 27, 2001
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      Thanks for the info. I'll try the lithium batteries out on my next outing.
      I have also turned it off except to mark way points but it takes so long
      some times to reconnect to the satellite system that I just end up leaving
      it on the whole trip.

      Mike
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "David Spellman" <david@...>
      To: <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, August 27, 2001 3:20 PM
      Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Garmin GPS


      > I think you'll find the "loss of satellite" happens with almost every
      > GPS. The eTrex series, like your Vista, has an internal antenna, which
      > doesn't do as good a job of maintaining satellite contact as those with
      > external antennae, but even then you're going to lose contact now and
      > again.
      > I noticed with mine that mileage is not necessarily what the Forest
      > Service says it is, but that's another problem likely connected to the
      > satellite acquisition problems rather than a glitch with the map
      > estimates. On a local hike, I've found variations of 10-20%, but I've
      > also noticed that in some canyon and forested areas, the GPS loses
      > satellites for a time (mine rides in a net pocket on the back of my
      > pack). Some of the twisting and turning on the trails during that period
      > simply gets ignored by the GPS, and a straight line (shorter) gets
      > "recorded" when it once again knows where it is.
      > Battery consumption seems to be higher on the newer, fancier versions
      > of the eTrex -- the ones with more RAM and functions. I think battery
      > power is listed at about 12 hours on most of these units, so using them
      > in a tracking mode on a long hike is going to chew up batteries no
      > matter what. Lithium batteries last longer and work better in the cold,
      > are lighter, and are available in places like Walmart, Target, etc.
      > I usually turn the GPS on only to mark waypoints or to check my
      > bearings to previously entered waypoints. That seems to make the battery
      > life stretch considerably.
      >
      > david
      >
      >
      >
      > Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001 19:50:14 -0600
      > > From: "Michael Wheiler" <jmwlaw@...>
      >
      > > I also got to spend the weekend with my Garmin Vista. I still love all
      the information it provides. But I now have a few more comments. First,
      even with the navigation option turned off, this unit uses a set of two AA
      batteries a day. So, if you're planning to purchase this unit, build a
      budget for batteries too. Second, I've notice that in addition to cloud
      cover and dense tree cover causing a loss of reception, when I allow the
      unit to hang around my neck for a period of time, it often loses contact
      with the satellite system. Finally, I'm not sure if this is a National
      Parks problem or a problem with the unit but the mileage reported by the
      unit did not match with the mileage reported on the trail signs and by the
      Park ranger. The Vista reported less miles logged over the marked trails.
      I haven't had an opportunity to check with the company on this issue but
      plan to and report back on Garmin's response.
      >
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > BackpackGearTest-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >
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      >
      >
    • Stuart Bilby
      The Garmin GPS (I have the GPS12) updates its location every few seconds and measures the track distance based on that when using the trip function, but it
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 29, 2001
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        The Garmin GPS (I have the GPS12) updates its location every few seconds and
        measures the track distance based on that when using the trip function, but
        it when it loses its satellite lock due to trees or cliffs etc it assumes a
        straight line to its last known point.

        The lithium batteries are lighter than alkalines (14.5 g compared to 24 g
        for AA Energizers)
        but they don't last that much longer in low drain applications. If you drain
        the batteries over 2 hours the lithiums last about twice as long.
        If you drain over say 20 hours in my GPS you only get a fraction more life
        (maybe 15%)
        At which point the extra cost of lithiums is not usually worthwhile in my
        opinion unless I am feeling rich and fanatical about weight.

        According to the Energizer website at very low drain (say in a Petzl Tikka)
        lithiums actually have less life than alkalines, 122 hours compared to 135
        hours (20 mA at 20°C drain to 0.9 V)
        Lithiums give much better life in the cold though. Lithiums have a slightly
        higher voltage when new than alkalines which makes them a little brighter
        (and faster draining) for lights. See Energizer website for some info.
        http://data.energizer.com/frames.htm
        go to Technical information - Application Data - Lithium L91. The L91
        battery is the AA lithium and E91 is AA Alkaline. The lithium application
        data page has lots of graphs comparing the E91 with the L91 if you can
        figure out how many hours your battery drains over and therefore the typical
        current.

        My GPS is usually great but has failed to get a satellite lock several times
        at critical moments in heavy forests or steep sides gorges. The newer Etrex
        has a better user interface but in using the two together it seems to
        perform about the same in speed and accuracy of picking up satellites in
        difficult conditions.
        Stu B


        >I'll try the lithium batteries out on my next outing.
        >I have also turned it off except to mark way points but it takes so long
        >some times to reconnect to the satellite system that I just end up leaving
        >it on the whole trip.

        >Thanks for the input. I think I'm tracking with you here. Unless I mark
        >waypoints at each curve or jog in the trail, the unit will draw a straight
        >line between way points and cut out all the curves. That would account for
        >less total mileage. This means it isn't quite accurate when it comes to
        >keeping track of miles logged, right?
        >Mike
      • nazdarovye
        PS - I thought this was interesting: just found a preview of Garmin GPS coming out in early 2004 with comparable features to the Magellan SporTrak Color,
        Message 3 of 18 , Nov 19, 2003
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          PS - I thought this was interesting: just found a preview of Garmin
          GPS coming out in early 2004 with comparable features to the Magellan
          SporTrak Color, though with more memory, slightly lower weight, more
          than double the battery time, USB interface, geocaching and game
          features, and a slightly higher price:

          http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60cs/

          Nice to see both Garmin and Magellan developing more sophisticated
          mapping GPS units.

          - Steve
        • Chief Moderator
          So far, Garmin expects something for nothing. They d like for us to review their products and put the reports on our website....they just want us to give it to
          Message 4 of 18 , Nov 19, 2003
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            So far, Garmin expects something for nothing. They'd like for us to
            review their products and put the reports on our website....they just
            want us to give it to them free.
            Jerry


            <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> http://www.BackpackGearTest.org :
            the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: nazdarovye [mailto:nazdarovye@...]
            Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 12:18 AM
            To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Garmin GPS


            PS - I thought this was interesting: just found a preview of Garmin
            GPS coming out in early 2004 with comparable features to the Magellan
            SporTrak Color, though with more memory, slightly lower weight, more
            than double the battery time, USB interface, geocaching and game
            features, and a slightly higher price:

            http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60cs/

            Nice to see both Garmin and Magellan developing more sophisticated
            mapping GPS units.

            - Steve



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          • nazdarovye
            In other words, to purchase the units ourselves and do owner reviews? In any case, I m really glad to see Magellan providing some great new units for testing -
            Message 5 of 18 , Nov 20, 2003
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              In other words, to purchase the units ourselves and do owner reviews?

              In any case, I'm really glad to see Magellan providing some great new
              units for testing - congratulations on lining this up.

              - Steve

              --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Chief Moderator"
              <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
              > So far, Garmin expects something for nothing. They'd like for us to
              > review their products and put the reports on our website....they just
              > want us to give it to them free.
              > Jerry
            • Andy Mytys
              ... Here s to hoping things like following the Jones , oneupsmanship , corporate pride and status , marketing reach , and fear of customer perception
              Message 6 of 18 , Nov 20, 2003
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                --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Chief Moderator"
                <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
                > So far, Garmin expects something for nothing. They'd like for us to
                > review their products and put the reports on our website....they
                > just want us to give it to them free.
                > Jerry
                >

                Here's to hoping things like "following the
                Jones'", "oneupsmanship", "corporate pride and status", "marketing
                reach", and "fear of customer perception" all lead Garmin into our
                hands, thanks to Magellan for getting the ball rolling.

                I'll tell ya... these marketing folks are competitive people, at the
                level of a five year old. Phrases like, "I guess Garmin just isn't
                in a position to participate with BGT like Magellan" may actually
                work.
              • Chief Moderator
                Sometimes, the truth works....... ;o) Jerry http://www.BackpackGearTest.org : the most comprehensive interactive gear
                Message 7 of 18 , Nov 20, 2003
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                  Sometimes, the truth works....... ;o)
                  Jerry


                  <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> http://www.BackpackGearTest.org :
                  the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Andy Mytys [mailto:amytys@...]
                  Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2003 9:02 AM
                  To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Garmin GPS


                  Phrases like, "I guess Garmin just isn't
                  in a position to participate with BGT like Magellan" may actually
                  work.




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                • Brian
                  That thing is way cool. The problem with GPS Maps, and printed maps, at least from what I found hunting, is they are always at least three years old.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Nov 21, 2003
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                    That thing is way cool. The problem with GPS Maps, and printed maps,
                    at least from what I found hunting, is they are always at least
                    three years old. Especially TOPO stuff, private land, BLM stuff. It
                    was always a guessing game as to whose land I could hunt.

                    There has got to be some way to get the new roads, terrain features
                    in the maps faster than what they are doing.

                    Brian

                    --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "nazdarovye"
                    <nazdarovye@y...> wrote:
                    > PS - I thought this was interesting: just found a preview of Garmin
                    > GPS coming out in early 2004 with comparable features to the
                    Magellan
                    > SporTrak Color, though with more memory, slightly lower weight,
                    more
                    > than double the battery time, USB interface, geocaching and game
                    > features, and a slightly higher price:
                    >
                    > http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60cs/
                    >
                    > Nice to see both Garmin and Magellan developing more sophisticated
                    > mapping GPS units.
                    >
                    > - Steve
                  • Shane Steinkamp
                    ... I have noticed that Magellan has software updates available as a download. I don t know how old that data is, however. Shane
                    Message 9 of 18 , Nov 22, 2003
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                      > That thing is way cool. The problem with GPS Maps, and printed maps,
                      > at least from what I found hunting, is they are always at least
                      > three years old. Especially TOPO stuff, private land, BLM stuff. It
                      > was always a guessing game as to whose land I could hunt.
                      >
                      > There has got to be some way to get the new roads, terrain features
                      > in the maps faster than what they are doing.

                      I have noticed that Magellan has software updates available as a download.
                      I don't know how old that data is, however.

                      Shane
                    • colonelcorn76
                      ... maps, ... It ... features ... download. ... Almost everyone uses the same source of maps -- the USGS. Which means they re never going to be spot on. The
                      Message 10 of 18 , Nov 22, 2003
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                        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Shane Steinkamp"
                        <shane@t...> wrote:
                        > > That thing is way cool. The problem with GPS Maps, and printed
                        maps,
                        > > at least from what I found hunting, is they are always at least
                        > > three years old. Especially TOPO stuff, private land, BLM stuff.
                        It
                        > > was always a guessing game as to whose land I could hunt.
                        > >
                        > > There has got to be some way to get the new roads, terrain
                        features
                        > > in the maps faster than what they are doing.
                        >
                        > I have noticed that Magellan has software updates available as a
                        download.
                        > I don't know how old that data is, however.
                        >
                        > Shane

                        Almost everyone uses the same source of maps -- the USGS. Which
                        means they're never going to be spot on. The agency doesn't have the
                        manpower, satellite time, computer power (or time) or the mandate to
                        pick up every new trail, road, or structure.

                        I'm a private pilot and the maps we use are updated every 8 weeks
                        (by a private company) and new stuff (towers, etc.) are always
                        cropping up in between editions. And that's for something as
                        critical as making sure people don't crash into a tower they didn't
                        know was there. Whether you stumble across a road that's not on the
                        map is much less critical, you can always continue on the trail or
                        road you planned and get where you planned to go.

                        Jim
                      • Andy Mytys
                        ... On the plus side, the international versions of GPS mapping data is being updated fairly quickly, particularly the Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq editions
                        Message 11 of 18 , Nov 22, 2003
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                          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "colonelcorn76"
                          <colonelcorn76@y...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Almost everyone uses the same source of maps -- the USGS. Which
                          > means they're never going to be spot on. The agency doesn't have
                          > the manpower, satellite time, computer power (or time) or the
                          > mandate to pick up every new trail, road, or structure.
                          >

                          On the plus side, the international versions of GPS mapping data is
                          being updated fairly quickly, particularly the Afghanistan,
                          Pakistan, and Iraq editions :-0
                        • Brian
                          They should Outsource to a private company to do this. Every other dang Govt job is contracting out... ... the ... to ... didn t ... the
                          Message 12 of 18 , Nov 22, 2003
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                            They should Outsource to a private company to do this. Every other
                            dang Govt job is contracting out...


                            > Almost everyone uses the same source of maps -- the USGS. Which
                            > means they're never going to be spot on. The agency doesn't have
                            the
                            > manpower, satellite time, computer power (or time) or the mandate
                            to
                            > pick up every new trail, road, or structure.
                            >
                            > I'm a private pilot and the maps we use are updated every 8 weeks
                            > (by a private company) and new stuff (towers, etc.) are always
                            > cropping up in between editions. And that's for something as
                            > critical as making sure people don't crash into a tower they
                            didn't
                            > know was there. Whether you stumble across a road that's not on
                            the
                            > map is much less critical, you can always continue on the trail or
                            > road you planned and get where you planned to go.
                            >
                            > Jim
                          • Chief Moderator
                            That is why they are starving USGS....just so that can happen. Unfortunately, I m not tight with Georgie or Dickie so it won t be me doing it..... ;o) Jerry
                            Message 13 of 18 , Nov 23, 2003
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                              That is why they are starving USGS....just so that can happen.
                              Unfortunately, I'm not tight with Georgie or Dickie so it won't be me
                              doing it..... ;o)
                              Jerry


                              <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> http://www.BackpackGearTest.org :
                              the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: Brian [mailto:bj@...]
                              Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 10:29 PM
                              To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Garmin GPS


                              They should Outsource to a private company to do this. Every other
                              dang Govt job is contracting out...


                              > Almost everyone uses the same source of maps -- the USGS. Which
                              > means they're never going to be spot on. The agency doesn't have
                              the
                              > manpower, satellite time, computer power (or time) or the mandate
                              to
                              > pick up every new trail, road, or structure.
                              >
                              > I'm a private pilot and the maps we use are updated every 8 weeks
                              > (by a private company) and new stuff (towers, etc.) are always
                              > cropping up in between editions. And that's for something as
                              > critical as making sure people don't crash into a tower they
                              didn't
                              > know was there. Whether you stumble across a road that's not on
                              the
                              > map is much less critical, you can always continue on the trail or
                              > road you planned and get where you planned to go.
                              >
                              > Jim



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                            • Shane Steinkamp
                              The Magellan GPS selections have been made, and the testers notified. Those not selected were also notified. The selection process was very rigorous, and the
                              Message 14 of 18 , Nov 23, 2003
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                                The Magellan GPS selections have been made, and the testers notified. Those
                                not selected were also notified.

                                The selection process was very rigorous, and the competition was stiff.
                                Everyone is encouraged to keep up the good work. The harder you make the
                                selection process by posting excellent applications, the better it will be
                                in the end.

                                Shane
                              • Tom Jones
                                My understanding is you can get all the updated detailed map information you want - from a commercial service, for a substantial price. Works for me. Citizens
                                Message 15 of 18 , Nov 23, 2003
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                                  My understanding is you can get all the updated detailed map
                                  information you want - from a commercial service, for a substantial
                                  price.

                                  Works for me. Citizens don't need to up to date maps, so they don't
                                  get them. Commercial outfits do, so they buy them. If the Gov't
                                  bought the updates and put them in the public domain, then the
                                  services would be much less profitable, or out of business. From a
                                  capitalistic point of view, the situation is fine.

                                  Tom

                                  --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Chief Moderator"
                                  <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
                                  > That is why they are starving USGS....just so that can happen.
                                  > Unfortunately, I'm not tight with Georgie or Dickie so it won't be
                                  me
                                  > doing it..... ;o)
                                  > Jerry
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/>
                                  http://www.BackpackGearTest.org :
                                  > the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the
                                  planet.
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: Brian [mailto:bj@t...]
                                  > Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 10:29 PM
                                  > To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Garmin GPS
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > They should Outsource to a private company to do this. Every other
                                  > dang Govt job is contracting out...
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > Almost everyone uses the same source of maps -- the USGS. Which
                                  > > means they're never going to be spot on. The agency doesn't have
                                  > the
                                  > > manpower, satellite time, computer power (or time) or the mandate
                                  > to
                                  > > pick up every new trail, road, or structure.
                                  > >
                                  > > I'm a private pilot and the maps we use are updated every 8 weeks
                                  > > (by a private company) and new stuff (towers, etc.) are always
                                  > > cropping up in between editions. And that's for something as
                                  > > critical as making sure people don't crash into a tower they
                                  > didn't
                                  > > know was there. Whether you stumble across a road that's not on
                                  > the
                                  > > map is much less critical, you can always continue on the trail
                                  or
                                  > > road you planned and get where you planned to go.
                                  > >
                                  > > Jim
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
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                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Chief Moderator
                                  Yup... I just wish they d open war back up to private enterprise. I m up for being either a privateer or organizing a merc army. Damned government wants to
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Nov 23, 2003
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                                    Yup... I just wish they'd open war back up to private enterprise. I'm up
                                    for being either a privateer or organizing a merc army. Damned
                                    government wants to stick it's nose in everything....... ;o)
                                    Jerry


                                    <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> http://www.BackpackGearTest.org :
                                    the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Tom Jones [mailto:tom@...]
                                    Sent: Sunday, November 23, 2003 1:57 PM
                                    To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Garmin GPS


                                    My understanding is you can get all the updated detailed map
                                    information you want - from a commercial service, for a substantial
                                    price.

                                    Works for me. Citizens don't need to up to date maps, so they don't
                                    get them. Commercial outfits do, so they buy them. If the Gov't
                                    bought the updates and put them in the public domain, then the
                                    services would be much less profitable, or out of business. From a
                                    capitalistic point of view, the situation is fine.

                                    Tom

                                    --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Chief Moderator"
                                    <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
                                    > That is why they are starving USGS....just so that can happen.
                                    > Unfortunately, I'm not tight with Georgie or Dickie so it won't be
                                    me
                                    > doing it..... ;o)
                                    > Jerry
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/>
                                    http://www.BackpackGearTest.org :
                                    > the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the
                                    planet.
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: Brian [mailto:bj@t...]
                                    > Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2003 10:29 PM
                                    > To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Re: Garmin GPS
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > They should Outsource to a private company to do this. Every other
                                    > dang Govt job is contracting out...
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > > Almost everyone uses the same source of maps -- the USGS. Which
                                    > > means they're never going to be spot on. The agency doesn't have
                                    > the
                                    > > manpower, satellite time, computer power (or time) or the mandate
                                    > to
                                    > > pick up every new trail, road, or structure.
                                    > >
                                    > > I'm a private pilot and the maps we use are updated every 8 weeks
                                    > > (by a private company) and new stuff (towers, etc.) are always
                                    > > cropping up in between editions. And that's for something as
                                    > > critical as making sure people don't crash into a tower they
                                    > didn't
                                    > > know was there. Whether you stumble across a road that's not on
                                    > the
                                    > > map is much less critical, you can always continue on the trail
                                    or
                                    > > road you planned and get where you planned to go.
                                    > >
                                    > > Jim
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
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                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Brian
                                    Your right, I dont need a perfect map, but they could at least keep up with it. 3 years is pushing it, but 5 years is way to long. Mapquest can keep up with
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Nov 23, 2003
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Your right, I dont need a perfect map, but they could at least keep
                                      up with it. 3 years is pushing it, but 5 years is way to long.
                                      Mapquest can keep up with roads, why cant others?

                                      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Tom Jones" <tom@j...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > My understanding is you can get all the updated detailed map
                                      > information you want - from a commercial service, for a
                                      substantial
                                      > price.
                                      >
                                      > Works for me. Citizens don't need to up to date maps, so they
                                      don't
                                      > get them. Commercial outfits do, so they buy them. If the Gov't
                                      > bought the updates and put them in the public domain, then the
                                      > services would be much less profitable, or out of business. From
                                      a
                                      > capitalistic point of view, the situation is fine.
                                      >
                                      > Tom
                                      >
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