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APPROVAL:OR:REI Morningstar 65 pack:JOE

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  • graham blamey
    Hi Joe. You ve made a first-class job of this. Not only have you addressed all my edits but you ve expanded a little in one or two areas which I like. There is
    Message 1 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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      Hi Joe.
      You've made a first-class job of this. Not only have you addressed all my edits but you've expanded a little in one or two areas which I like. There is one further thing you should do which I missed. You should add a couple of sentences somewhere (Product description?) to the type of back/harness/frame system the pack has e.g.. Internal rigid ali. stays, rigid plastic framesheet or whatever is fitting.
      When you've done this you can upload your review to:
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Packs/Internal%20and%20External%20Framed%20Backpacks/REI%20Morningstar%2065/
      <<<<<<Please ensure you use all the link>>>>>

      When you upload the HTML copy of your Owner Review please click the radio
      button labelled, Owner Review. The file name is not relevant.

      I strongly recommend that you do a test upload to the test upload folder at
      Reviews > Test or <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test>. This
      allows you to check that all is well with your Owner Review before you
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      URL not being hot (clickable). Please verify that all links in your Owner
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      If you require assistance with your upload, please ask in our Yahoo!
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      BGTFileUploadHelp @ <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BGTFileUploadHelp/>.

      Many thanks for a fine review and I look forward to seeing your next,
      Graham
      BGT Edit Moderator





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    • Shane Steinkamp
      Gentlemen of the Edit Staff, I am pleased to present to you my MapSend Topo Mapping Software Owner Review. For your editing pleasure, I have uploaded it to
      Message 2 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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        Gentlemen of the Edit Staff,

        I am pleased to present to you my MapSend Topo Mapping Software Owner
        Review. For your editing pleasure, I have uploaded it to the Test folders.
        Please check the HTML version for formatting and images.

        http://tinyurl.com/5xc7w

        Thanks!

        Shane Steinkamp

        ***

        MAGELLAN MAPSEND TOPO
        FOR THE UNITED STATES
        v.4.20d


        MAPPING SOFTWARE FOR USE WITH MAGELLAN GPS RECIEVERS
        BY THALES NAVIGATION

        Owner Review - August 24, 2004

        This owner review was written as part of my Magellan SporTrak Topo reports.
        "A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar
        structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness." - The father
        of general semantics, Alford Korzybski.
        TESTER INFORMATION
        Name:
        Age:
        Gender:
        Height:
        Weight:
        Email Address:
        Location:
        Shane Steinkamp
        35
        Male
        5' 10" (1.8 m)
        240 lb (108 kg)
        shane@...
        New Orleans (Harahan), Louisiana

        Background:
        Bit by the vagabond disease at an early age, I enjoyed a promising career as
        a long distance hiker for several years. Now I don't care to count the
        miles, or to do so many of them, and prefer to walk until I don't want to
        walk anymore and then stop. I am more interested in the destination, rather
        than the journey. I have been hiking, backpacking, and camping since age
        seven or eight, which is about 26 years. I have experienced all extremes of
        weather and terrain, with the exception of Antarctic terrain. I don't fit
        any particular backpacking style, although I might be primarily described as
        a medium-weight backpacker leaning towards light. I will adjust my gear
        based on expected conditions, and on some trips I would be considered an
        ultra-lighter. I always carry too many toys, especially photography
        equipment, to ever actually make it to the ultralight stage on a permanent
        basis.
        SPECIFICATIONS
        The Magellan MapSend Topo Mapping Software is manufactured by: Thales
        Navigation.
        WEB: www.thalesnavigation.com or www.magellangps.com
        YEAR OF MANUFACTURE: Unknown. Copyright 2002.
        SOFTWARE: Provided on CD-ROM.
        MSRP: Provided as part of SporTrak Topo package.

        SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
        Minimum Requirements
        Recommended Requirements
        IBM PC, AT-486 or compatible
        IBM PC, AT-Pentium/300 or compatible
        64 MB RAM
        128 MB RAM
        VGA Video Card
        True Color Video with 800x600 resolution
        80 MB Hard Drive Space
        80 MB Hard Drive Space
        (700 MB Hard Drive Space for a full installation)
        CDROM Drive - 8x speedCDROM Drive - 32x speedMS Windows 95/98/ME, NT/2000/XP
        MS Windows 95/98/ME, NT/2000/XP
        I have run the software on both W2000, and XP Pro operating systems. In all
        cases, my systems meet or exceed the Recommended Requirements.
        OPENING NOTES
        This Owner Review was written as part of my Magellan SporTrak Topo reports,
        and those reports should be referred to for some understanding of the
        functionality of the GPS unit. I am an able navigator, and I have
        successfully gone out and back without the use of GPS technology or digital
        mapping software. This is my first foray into digital mapping software.
        In the process of testing the Magellan SporTrak Topo GPS unit, I've run at
        least 20 sets of batteries through it, and I have long since lost track of
        the amount of time I have run it on the car plug. I have carried it through
        eight states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
        South Carolina, and North Carolina) and collected over 7,000 miles (11,265
        km) of telemetry using the unit. I have used it for highway travel, trail
        walking, bushwhacking, mapmaking, boating, geocaching and to locate National
        Geodetic Survey Markers. In all of this the MapSend software has been used
        to plan trips, upload detail map data to the GPS; create, manage, upload,
        and download waypoints and routes; to download and examine tracks and their
        associated telemetry, to make maps, and to look for promising areas for
        exploration.
        INSTALLATION
        Installation of the software is exceedingly simple. Following a few
        onscreen prompts causes the software to install itself.
        TAKING A TEST DRIVE
        The first thing I did was to install and start the software and to
        familiarize myself with the controls. Both keyboard and mouse controls are
        provided for most features.
        I will avoid detailing the controls of the user interface. Magellan
        provides the manual on their website, and no useful purpose would be served
        by replicating that information in this report. The help section is very
        easy to understand, simple, and brief; and the user interface is intuitive
        and friendly. I never actually referred to the help section until I started
        writing this report. I will, instead focus on the usefulness of the
        software and its interface with the SporTrak Topo unit.
        I will say that the software interface isn't entirely 'clean'. As a
        software designer myself, I notice these little things. As none of this
        affects the functionality of the software itself, I will simply note that
        things could be a little neater and move on.
        DATA HARMONY
        A GPS unit is a servant that answers the question, "Where am I?" In
        addition, the SporTrak Topo unit has mapping and tracking features that
        interface with the MapSend Topo software. The Magellan SporTrak Topo
        provides a level of functionality above simply providing data wealth by
        translating that data into graphical outputs in the form of on screen maps,
        elevation profiles, track profiles, and terrain projections. The MapSend
        Topo software can be used to provide the GPS unit with a much more detailed
        map than is available from the basemap built into the unit. Additionally,
        the MapSend Topo software can be used to download and analyze the telemetry
        captured by the GPS unit.
        The father of general semantics, Alford Korzybski stated, "A map is not the
        territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the
        territory, which accounts for its usefulness". While Al was speaking
        metaphorically about something else, his words are applicable to our
        subject. If our map is sufficiently detailed, and our position accurately
        represented, our map will have significant usefulness. If our map is
        insufficient, and/or our position not accurately represented, then it may be
        useless. The more detailed and accurate it is, the more useful it will be.
        It will be necessary to examine each of these functions in turn, and see how
        detailed and accurate they are. In all honesty, I have not been entirely
        thrilled with the accuracy of the MapSend maps. I will also admit in all
        honesty and fairness that I might be nit-picking, but I will lay out my
        findings and let the reader decide.
        CONNECTING TO THE GPS UNIT
        The SporTrak Topo unit comes with a 9 pin serial cable for connecting the
        unit to a PC. My primary use was on an IBM laptop computer which does not
        have a 9 pin serial connector. In order to connect the unit, I purchased an
        IOGEAR USB 9 Pin Serial Adapter, which has worked flawlessly between the
        systems. Once connected to the PC, all upload and download functions are
        handled through the MapSend software.
        FUNCTIONS
        The primary functions of the MapSend software have to do with handling
        Waypoints, Routes, Tracks (and Trackpoints), and Regions.
        Trackpoints

        Trackpoints are saved by the SporTrack along the route of travel.
        Simplistically, track points allow you to do complex things like build trail
        maps and simple things like backtracking the way you just came.
        Essentially, Trackpoints are automatic temporary Waypoints. Once uploaded
        to the MapSend software, the track appears as a yellow line. (See above
        image.) The image is of my track along the Clear Springs (Talley) Trail.
        The track has 707 individual data points, covering 10.166 miles (16.360 km).
        The Control Center is visible in the right frame of the screen, and provides
        the user with several fun, interesting, and useful tools.
        Tracks can be loaded from saved files, saved to a file, uploaded and
        downloaded from the GPS unit, deleted, modified, and searched. The control
        panel shows the coordinates and elevation of each recorded trackpoint. The
        track can be played back in real time by using the VCR like controls to
        play, stop, rewind, and fast forward. While the playback is running, the
        heading, average speed, time, and trip distance covered are displayed. The
        playback can be played back in real time, or at advanced rates set by the
        user. You can actually watch yourself walk the trail in real time. When
        you stop for a break, the icon takes a break too. 'Cool' is probably the
        best way to describe this... The elevation profile is also shown in the
        grid. As you can see, there was a lot of up and down during this trip.
        I really liked this feature, especially for map making. Using the built in
        Print function, maps can be printed straight from the screen display.

        Waypoints
        A waypoint is a point along the way. Catchy, isn't it? A waypoint is a point
        on a map that you can name and save in a file or upload to the GPS's memory.
        Waypoints created by the GPS unit can likewise be downloaded to the
        software. Waypoints are primarily used for creating routes. A waypoint is
        entered into the receiver's memory by entering data, editing data,
        calculating data (projecting) or saving a current position. A waypoint is
        created in the MapSend software by calling the Place Waypoint function.
        Think of a waypoint as a point of interest such as a trailhead, a town,
        basecamp, or an interesting geological feature - but they can be anything,
        even just a point in the middle of nowhere.In the image above, I have loaded
        my waypoint set for the Clear Springs (Talley) Trail. I have bridges noted
        as 'B#'; Mile Markers, Water Sources, the parking lot, and even where I left
        the car are all noted. The next time I want to go to Clear Springs, I can
        just upload my waypoints and tell the unit to take me to any of them.
        Waypoints can be created with various symbols, and edited, deleted, renamed,
        and even moved. Waypoints will also print out, so that's another tool for
        mapping.

        Routes
        A route is often referred to as a GOTO route. It is simply a plot from one
        point to another. The simplest route has a starting point and a single
        destination point: I am here and I want to GO TO there. All that is required
        to create a GOTO route is having the destination waypoint. This waypoint can
        be one that you have saved earlier (which is stored in the User Waypoint
        List) or any of the landmarks that come with the SporTrak in its built-in
        database. Whether the route is a simple GOTO or a more complex multileg
        route, it needs stored waypoints to use as its starting and destination
        point. If it is a multileg route, then each leg must have terminating
        waypoints.
        There are actually three routes saved in the above image. They are all
        denoted by the blue lines. Routes are covered in some detail in my SporTrak
        Topo review. Routes are of no practical use inside the software, but will
        print out on the maps if desired.

        Regions
        Regions are selected areas of the detailed maps contained in the MapSend
        Topo software that can be uploaded to the GPS unit in order to increase the
        level of detail within the selected region. In the above image, I have
        created a region called La-Ms-Al (Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama). It is
        denoted by the green outline. Any number of regions can be created, but
        only four can be uploaded to the GPS unit, and the total size of the regions
        cannot exceed the GPS unit's memory space.
        THE MAPS
        The MapSend Topo roadmaps are very detailed, but slightly dated - and that
        is actually to be expected. I did find several roads, the vast majority
        being new construction, that were not noted on the maps. This is not
        troubling to me. Any map is actually outdated by the time it is printed,
        and digital maps are no exception. What is more troubling is that I found
        some instances of roads, railroads, and other features that do not exist in
        reality and have never existed. On top of that, the maps are not entirely
        accurate in terms of features and points of interest. This can cause
        significant errors in small scale navigation on the ground.
        I have provided some examples below.

        The maps are useful, but they are flawed. At low zoom levels no flaws are
        apparent. (B-1) However, at higher zoom levels the position indicator is
        rarely on the road as I drive along. In fact, at high zoom levels, several
        errors are apparent.
        Referencing the table above:
        A-1: Interstate 10 through Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The west bound lane
        obviously doesn't do that...
        A-2: Earhart Expressway off ramp in Jefferson Louisiana. The track is off -
        and hence the reported position on the map - by 422 ft (128.6 m) It should
        be noted that the unit is reporting a nearly perfect position when plotted
        on a USGS paper map, but the overlay with the maps in the unit and the maps
        in the Mapsend Topo product is obviously imperfect.
        A-3: Clear Springs Mississippi. While bushwhacking, I set a waypoint to the
        road using the map screen. And, as evidenced by the track, missed the road
        by 175 ft (53 m). Plotting the coordinates on a USGS paper map proves that
        the SporTrak Topo is reporting the coordinates correctly, but they are not
        being translated to the onboard map or being translated by the MapSend Topo
        software accurately.
        B-3: Interstate 10 across Mobile Bay in Alabama. The taken waypoint, and
        associated track, puts me 264 ft (80.45 m) off the bridge and into the bay.
        If I were navigating the bay in a boat in a heavy fog, 264 ft (80.45 m) is
        obviously a dangerous error. At the time, the unit was reporting 3 meter
        accuracy - and plotting the waypoint on a paper map proves that the
        coordinates are on the bridge, but they aren't plotted properly on the
        electronic map.
        I have a theory to explain this, and having collected and studied quite a
        lot of telemetry, I think I'm right. No large map is a single map. Large
        maps are made up of smaller maps, and the basemaps in the SporTrak are no
        exception. Where the maps 'stitch' together, inaccuracies occur. There is
        an almost predictable pattern at times.
        Here is one example that is typical. Santa Rosa Island in Florida. Observe
        Santa Rosa Blvd coming in from the left, and then stopping. The pickup
        point is 34 ft (10.4 m) due south, and the road continues. Obviously the
        road doesn't do that. The road is contiguous. If you examine the bottom of
        the image, you will see a shoreline shift that is identical to the road
        shift - 34 ft (10.4 m). This shift does not exist and is an artifact of (I'm
        pretty sure) two maps being 'stitched' together. Moving 22 mi (35.4 km) due
        west along the map reveals another similar shift. It's quite easy to find
        them by following roads. There are places where these errors seem to be
        cumulative, causing the error to be as great as 0.19 mi (0.31 km) in the
        worst case I experienced.
        Admittedly these errors are small, and when navigating over a distance of
        several miles, they have little impact. While backpacking, however, these
        small errors can be very important. It can mean the difference between
        finding a water source in the dark and not finding it, for instance. These
        small errors are legion, and must be allowed for when using the maps to
        navigate over relatively short distances. I missed a road by 422 ft (129 m)
        in easy terrain and this was no big deal. 422 ft (129 m) in bad terrain -
        and bad weather - could put me over a cliff. Bottom line: I do not trust
        the map at small scales, and sometimes it fails to be a useful reference.
        The topo map is similarly flawed, but again the differences are small. The
        topo maps are not very detailed, and I have included a side by side
        comparison of a USGS map (on the left) and the MapSend Topo map (on the
        right). I have found many inaccuracies in the contour lines, and to make
        matters worse, the contour scale seems to change - and the contour lines
        shift - when the zoom level is changed on the map screen of the GPS unit.
        As one example, the thin gray line that comes down the center of the MapSend
        Topo map and runs right through the middle of the lake is a 300 ft (90 m)
        contour line. There is obviously no such contour in the middle of a lake!
        In the Santa Rosa Island image above, the contour line visible as a faint
        gray line likewise does not exist. Santa Rosa Island is a 'desert island'
        and is mostly flat with a few dunes.
        To make matters worse, the overlay of the topo map over the roads map is
        usually off, causing points of interest and other landmark features to be
        shown on the map where they obviously are not. Travel across the
        southeastern United States proved to me that this is not a local problem. I
        have found the topo maps useful in only a basic way, and I do not entirely
        trust them. The image to the left shows Mount Ann in Massachusetts. The
        contour lines are easy to distinguish. The Summit icon is obviously NOT at
        the summit, and is in fact off by almost 200 feet (70 m).
        A more detailed descripton of this issue can be found in Rebecca
        Sowards-Emmerd's Magellan SporTrak Color Field Report.
        As I said above, it is very possible that I'm nit-picking, but I don't find
        the maps accurate for small scale navigation - anything less than about a
        mile (1.6 km). Of course the question arises, "Well, what WOULD be
        satisfactory?" I don't honestly know. I do appreciate that you can't
        squeeze cheese out of a rock, and that nothing - least of all a map - is
        perfect. The unit is capable of resolving a position down to an accuracy of
        three meters. In my opinion, it would be really nice if the map plotting
        was accurate to within that distance as well.
        I still like the MapSend Topo software, and I use it quite often, but I
        don't trust it, and I make allowances for that lack of trust. I wouldn't
        use it as my sole navigation map in heavy terrain to be certain, and it
        isn't good enough to navigate off road flawlessly in places I have never
        been before. The MapSend maps do not replace my paper maps at all, but do
        augment them considerably, and the mapping feature makes it easier to mark
        the paper maps because it will at least put me in the ballpark of where I
        need to make my marks. Someone more knowledgeable about all this than I is
        probably saying, "Well, of course, you idiot! That's what it's for!", and
        maybe it is. It isn't, however, what I expected when I got the unit based
        on Magellan's claims - but I will readily admit that my expectations were
        probably higher than the current state of technology can provide in a cost
        effective way. On pure heresy, I understand that some other Magellan
        mapping software products do not experience these shifts.
        Magellan's explanation for these problems is found in the Appendix of the
        manual: "Position on map is not exactly on the road. It could be caused by
        distance shifts to the map. Use map data for reference and do not rely
        completely on it." I don't know what 'distance shifts to the map' means
        exactly, but if it means that the maps simply aren't as good as they might
        be, then I'll accept that.
        Magellan's response to inquiries is:
        "Thank you for your inquiry. We are in the process of evaluating new
        resources for our mapping data. We do not have an update available at this
        time. We are currently evaluating different mapping data sources for near
        future updates. Unfortunately the problem you have described is not a simple
        update that can be downloaded from the Internet. The type of update you will
        need would be to the mapping database and not to the software application.
        This type of an update will need to be distributed on a CD-ROM. Our current
        plan is to provide map database updates in the future, please register your
        product online to receive information on any updates. Thank you for choosing
        Magellan Have a great day."
        Hector Flores Technical
        Support Engineer
        Thales Navigation
        960 Overland Court
        San Dimas, California 91773
        800-707-9971 (USA)
        These errors aside, I am pleased with the functionality of the MapSend Topo
        software, and I would not buy a GPS unit without some kind of software like
        this. Maybe maps are for suckers, but I'm one of the suckers...
        The software is particularly useful for trip planning. Two weeks after
        receiving it, my first trip with the SporTrak unit was from New Orleans,
        Louisiana, USA, to Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - a round trip distance
        of approximately 1,800 mi (2,900 km). I very carefully set waypoints
        along the Interstate and then detailed my route, including a turn by turn
        route to my destination once I reached Greensboro. I mounted the unit on my
        dashboard using the car mount and plugged it into the cigarette lighter
        using the external power cord. I left the paper maps at home in the spirit
        of experimentation.
        From the start, the small shifts in the maps was confusing. After some
        getting used to these small errors, my navigation was much more
        successful.
        The detail of some features in the map is impressive. We took a trip to
        Houston, Texas, USA, to visit family. Again I loaded the detail maps out of
        MapSend Topo and used it while driving. I noticed that even small stock
        ponds were shown on the map. I had no trouble with the route, and although
        I had never been to Granny's new house, the unit led us right to it with no
        problem.
        A week later I used the SporTrak to navigate my way in the dark through
        Homochitto National Forest in Mississippi to the Clear Springs Campground
        and the Talley Creek Trail trailhead. By this time I was very much used to
        the shifts and plotting errors in the map and was able to compensate for
        them perfectly. I arrived without incident and used the SporTrak to find an
        old campsite in the dark. It was on continuously in order to make a map of
        the Talley Trail, and that is where some of the above examples are pulled
        from. As you can see from the above maps, my little mapping project went
        quite well. I was able to mark brides, trail splits, campsites, mile
        markers, road crossings, and several other important features. I found the
        topo maps to be quite basic, but the road maps were fairly good. Even
        forest service roads were marked fairly well.
        Some features are not as detailed as they could be - especially water
        features. Many rivers and streams are noted by nothing more than a single
        line when in reality they can be many yards (many meters) wide.
        SUMMARY
        I am fairly happy with the Magellan MapSend Topo software, but I really wish
        that the maps were just a little better.
        THINGS I LIKE
        1. Very easy to use. User friendly.
        2. Adequate help section.
        3. Fun!

        THINGS I DON'T LIKE
        1. Map errors.
        ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
        I have prepared a list of additional resources for those wishing to learn
        more about Global Positioning Technology (GPS) and other fun stuff to do
        with GPS units that is beyond the scope of this report. This is hosted on
        my own hiking website and are not a part of this report.
        ***
        Thank you for your time.
        Shane Steinkamp
        shane@...
        www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking
      • rebecca@backpackgeartest.org
        I just want to say that your experiences with the software are identical to mine. Thanks for the report!
        Message 3 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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          I just want to say that your experiences with the software are identical to
          mine. Thanks for the report!

          Quoting Shane Steinkamp <shane@...>:

          > Gentlemen of the Edit Staff,
          >
          > I am pleased to present to you my MapSend Topo Mapping Software Owner
          > Review. For your editing pleasure, I have uploaded it to the Test folders.
          > Please check the HTML version for formatting and images.
          >
          > http://tinyurl.com/5xc7w
          >
          > Thanks!
          >
          > Shane Steinkamp
          >
          > ***
        • Graham Blamey
          Hi Shane, Thanks for your Owner Review. Do not worry if nothing happens with it for a few days. All our Editors are volunteers and your review will be subject
          Message 4 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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            Hi Shane,
            Thanks for your Owner Review. Do not worry if nothing happens with it
            for a few days. All our Editors are volunteers and your review will
            be subject to an official edit within fourteen days. If you have not
            had a response from an Edit Moderator via the list within this
            timeframe, please let us know directly at apriest@...

            You may receive edits or comments from other members of the group.
            These edits and comments, while not official, should be considered
            carefully, and if you find them substantial, revise and re-post your
            review.
            Incorporating member edits and re-posting to the list will usually
            result in a better review, as well as making things easier for the
            official editor. Please put REVISED at the start of your re-post, if
            you take this route.

            If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask via
            the list,
            Regards,
            Graham Blamey,
            BGT Edit Moderator
          • Shane Steinkamp
            ... Welcome. I actually reference your Field report in the OR because you detail the same issues. If the maps were accurate, I might be tempted to abandon my
            Message 5 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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              > I just want to say that your experiences with the
              > software are identical to mine. Thanks for the report!

              Welcome. I actually reference your Field report in the OR because you
              detail the same issues. If the maps were accurate, I might be tempted to
              abandon my paper maps entirely...

              Shane
            • Shane Steinkamp
              ... Fourteen days!? My god, man! Can t you see that I m twitching with anticipation!? Um... Oh... I mean... Ah... Thanks. Shane
              Message 6 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                >> All our Editors are volunteers and your review will
                >> be subject to an official edit within fourteen days.

                Fourteen days!? My god, man! Can't you see that I'm twitching with
                anticipation!?

                Um...

                Oh...

                I mean...

                Ah...

                Thanks.

                Shane
              • Daniel Holth
                ... Have you checked whether the inaccuracies have anything to do with county boundaries or whether they correspond to borders between the USGS paper
                Message 7 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                  On Wed, 2004-08-18 at 15:23, Shane Steinkamp wrote:
                  > exception. Where the maps 'stitch' together, inaccuracies occur.

                  Have you checked whether the inaccuracies have anything to do with
                  county boundaries or whether they correspond to borders between the USGS
                  paper topographic map?

                  Two public sources for US roads:

                  TIGER data comes from the US census and includes roads and points of
                  interest. It comes one county at a time.

                  USGS DLGs (digital line graph) electronic maps also show roads and I
                  think are derived from the 1:24k paper maps.

                  - Daniel Holth
                • Jodi Cornelius
                  Shane - i before e except after c receivers Jodi ... MAPPING SOFTWARE FOR USE WITH MAGELLAN GPS RECIEVERS BY THALES NAVIGATION [Non-text portions of this
                  Message 8 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                    Shane - 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'

                    receivers

                    Jodi

                    -------Original Message-------

                    MAPPING SOFTWARE FOR USE WITH MAGELLAN GPS RECIEVERS
                    BY THALES NAVIGATION

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Shane Steinkamp
                    ... Hmmm... What about Steinkamp? ;) Thanks for the catch. Shane
                    Message 9 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                      > Shane - 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'
                      >
                      > receivers

                      Hmmm... What about Steinkamp? ;)

                      Thanks for the catch.

                      Shane
                    • Jodi Cornelius
                      German names/words don t count ;-) You re welcome (nice to know someone else is reading your report, eh?) Jodi ... Hmmm... What about Steinkamp? ;) Thanks
                      Message 10 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                        German names/words don't count ;-)

                        You're welcome (nice to know someone else is reading your report, eh?)

                        Jodi

                        -------Original Message-------

                        > Shane - 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'
                        >
                        > receivers

                        Hmmm... What about Steinkamp? ;)

                        Thanks for the catch.

                        Shane


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Shane Steinkamp
                        ... Oh... ... People read this stuff? ;) Shane
                        Message 11 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                          > German names/words don't count ;-)

                          Oh...

                          > You're welcome (nice to know someone else is reading your
                          > report, eh?)

                          People read this stuff? ;)

                          Shane
                        • Jodi Cornelius
                          Well, I usually just look at the pictures Jodi who is wondering just what the hell she is doing still up - oh wait - insomnia - forgot about that ... Oh... ...
                          Message 12 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                            Well, I usually just look at the pictures

                            Jodi who is wondering just what the hell she is doing still up - oh wait -
                            insomnia - forgot about that

                            -------Original Message-------

                            > German names/words don't count ;-)

                            Oh...

                            > You're welcome (nice to know someone else is reading your
                            > report, eh?)

                            People read this stuff? ;)

                            Shane


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Shane Steinkamp
                            ... Been there... ;) ... It s still early... Shane
                            Message 13 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                              > Well, I usually just look at the pictures

                              Been there... ;)

                              > Jodi who is wondering just what the hell she is doing
                              > still up - oh wait - insomnia - forgot about that

                              It's still early...

                              Shane
                            • Jodi Cornelius
                              Not for me - I m usually to bed by 9:30 at the LATEST Jodi ... It s still early... Shane [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              Message 14 of 26 , Aug 18, 2004
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                                Not for me - I'm usually to bed by 9:30 at the LATEST

                                Jodi

                                -------Original Message-------
                                > Jodi who is wondering just what the hell she is doing
                                > still up - oh wait - insomnia - forgot about that

                                It's still early...

                                Shane

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Joe Martinez
                                ... Graham, I don t know much about the different types of internal frames, so I do not know how to determine the type. All the REI web site says is that the
                                Message 15 of 26 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                  >There is one further thing you should do which I missed. You should add a
                                  >couple of sentences somewhere (Product description?) to the type of
                                  >back/harness/frame system the pack has e.g.. Internal rigid ali. stays,
                                  >rigid plastic framesheet or whatever is fitting.
                                  >When you've done this you can upload your review to:

                                  Graham,

                                  I don't know much about the different types of internal frames, so I do not
                                  know how to determine the type. All the REI web site says is that the
                                  frame is made of "HPDE/aluminum". Do you know of a way to elaborate on that?

                                  -Joe

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Jason Boyle
                                  Joe, As a fellow tester I thought I might help you out - from the rei website: Load lifter, hipbelt and sternum straps help balance your pack while dual
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                    Joe,
                                    As a fellow tester I thought I might help you out - from the rei
                                    website:

                                    "Load lifter, hipbelt and sternum straps help balance your pack while
                                    dual aluminum stays distribute the weight evenly "

                                    You can see that there are aluminum stays. Take a look at the back
                                    of your pack. There should be a tunnel of sorts in the back material
                                    where these aluminum stays are at. They are probably removable, and
                                    should if your pack is adjusted properly be curved similar to the
                                    curvature of your back.

                                    I think you just happened to glance over the description when you
                                    were looking at the specs that tell you what they stays are made of.
                                    In the specs section it also tells you the number of stays is 2.

                                    Hope that helps you out some Joe

                                    Jason B

                                    --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, Joe Martinez <joe@j...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >There is one further thing you should do which I missed. You
                                    should add a
                                    > >couple of sentences somewhere (Product description?) to the type
                                    of
                                    > >back/harness/frame system the pack has e.g.. Internal rigid ali.
                                    stays,
                                    > >rigid plastic framesheet or whatever is fitting.
                                    > >When you've done this you can upload your review to:
                                    >
                                    > Graham,
                                    >
                                    > I don't know much about the different types of internal frames, so
                                    I do not
                                    > know how to determine the type. All the REI web site says is that
                                    the
                                    > frame is made of "HPDE/aluminum". Do you know of a way to
                                    elaborate on that?
                                    >
                                    > -Joe
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Graham Blamey
                                    Top man Jason, thanks :) I prefer the idea of members helping each other than editors appearing to write the review for them :) Graham
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                      Top man Jason, thanks :)
                                      I prefer the idea of members helping each other than editors
                                      appearing to write the review for them :)
                                      Graham

                                      --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Boyle" <c4jc88@y...>
                                      wrote:
                                      > Joe,
                                      > As a fellow tester I thought I might help you out - from the rei
                                      > website:
                                    • Graham Blamey
                                      OOps pressed send too early. Joe, has Jason answered your question? If you examine and feel the part of the pack that rests against your back, you should find
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                        OOps pressed send too early.
                                        Joe, has Jason answered your question? If you examine and feel the
                                        part of the pack that rests against your back, you should find
                                        evidence of the stays (usually running top to bottom and sometimes
                                        buried under a layer of material). These are usually of flat
                                        aluminium or sometimes carbon-fibre, and can often be bent to conform
                                        more to a wearers back shape,
                                        Any further questions, just ask
                                        Graham

                                        > Top man Jason, thanks :)
                                        > I prefer the idea of members helping each other than editors
                                        > appearing to write the review for them :)
                                        > Graham
                                        >
                                        > --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Boyle"
                                        <c4jc88@y...>
                                        > wrote:
                                        > > Joe,
                                        > > As a fellow tester I thought I might help you out - from the
                                        rei
                                        > > website:
                                      • Joe Martinez
                                        Yes, Jason s reply helped. Thanks. -Joe ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                          Yes, Jason's reply helped. Thanks.

                                          -Joe


                                          At 11:27 AM 8/19/2004, you wrote:

                                          >OOps pressed send too early.
                                          >Joe, has Jason answered your question? If you examine and feel the
                                          >part of the pack that rests against your back, you should find
                                          >evidence of the stays (usually running top to bottom and sometimes
                                          >buried under a layer of material). These are usually of flat
                                          >aluminium or sometimes carbon-fibre, and can often be bent to conform
                                          >more to a wearers back shape,
                                          >Any further questions, just ask
                                          >Graham
                                          >
                                          > > Top man Jason, thanks :)
                                          > > I prefer the idea of members helping each other than editors
                                          > > appearing to write the review for them :)
                                          > > Graham
                                          > >
                                          > > --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Boyle"
                                          ><c4jc88@y...>
                                          > > wrote:
                                          > > > Joe,
                                          > > > As a fellow tester I thought I might help you out - from the
                                          >rei
                                          > > > website:
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >To read our reviews, please visit
                                          ><http://www.backpackgeartest.org/>http://www.backpackgeartest.org/
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                                          >ADVERTISEMENT
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                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Jason Boyle
                                          Graham, my intent wasn t to write his report or paragraph for him, but to point out what type of internal frame he had and where he can find the information
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                            Graham,
                                            my intent wasn't to write his report or paragraph for him, but to
                                            point out what type of internal frame he had and where he can find
                                            the information next time he needs to know.

                                            Joe - if you have any more questions I am more than glad to help
                                            out!!

                                            --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Graham Blamey" <gg@h...>
                                            wrote:
                                            > OOps pressed send too early.
                                            > Joe, has Jason answered your question? If you examine and feel the
                                            > part of the pack that rests against your back, you should find
                                            > evidence of the stays (usually running top to bottom and sometimes
                                            > buried under a layer of material). These are usually of flat
                                            > aluminium or sometimes carbon-fibre, and can often be bent to
                                            conform
                                            > more to a wearers back shape,
                                            > Any further questions, just ask
                                            > Graham
                                            >
                                            > > Top man Jason, thanks :)
                                            > > I prefer the idea of members helping each other than editors
                                            > > appearing to write the review for them :)
                                            > > Graham
                                            > >
                                            > > --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Jason Boyle"
                                            > <c4jc88@y...>
                                            > > wrote:
                                            > > > Joe,
                                            > > > As a fellow tester I thought I might help you out - from the
                                            > rei
                                            > > > website:
                                          • Joe Martinez
                                            ... Thanks for the help folks. I m packing for a camping trip right now, and I m leaving very early in the morning, so I don t have time to do the final edit
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Aug 19, 2004
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                                              At 11:53 AM 8/19/2004, you wrote:

                                              >Graham,
                                              > my intent wasn't to write his report or paragraph for him, but to
                                              >point out what type of internal frame he had and where he can find
                                              >the information next time he needs to know.
                                              >
                                              >Joe - if you have any more questions I am more than glad to help
                                              >out!!


                                              Thanks for the help folks. I'm packing for a camping trip right now, and
                                              I'm leaving very early in the morning, so I don't have time to do the final
                                              edit and upload right now. I'll get it all finished and uploaded probably
                                              Monday.

                                              Thanks again.

                                              -Joe

                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • colonelcorn76
                                              Shane, Very nice review. I ve made some edit comments and posed a couple of questions below. Once you ve made the changes, please repost it to the group with
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Aug 31, 2004
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                                                Shane,
                                                Very nice review. I've made some edit comments and posed a couple of
                                                questions below. Once you've made the changes, please repost it to the
                                                group with REPOST in the subject line and I'll take another look
                                                before setting you up with an upload directory and instructions.

                                                Thanks again,
                                                Jim
                                                Edit Moderator


                                                --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Shane Steinkamp"
                                                <shane@t...> wrote:
                                                > Gentlemen of the Edit Staff,

                                                ### Watch it, there be ladies here.

                                                > MSRP: Provided as part of SporTrak Topo package.

                                                ### It is available separately
                                                (http://www.magellangps.com/en/products/product.asp?PRODID=113) with
                                                an MSRP of $149.99 US. (I got to this page by following the Thales
                                                link which suggests that Thales is just a front...which raises some
                                                questions relative to the response you quote below about Magellans's
                                                search for new map vendors.)

                                                > I have run the software on both W2000, and XP Pro operating systems.
                                                In all

                                                ### "Windows 2000" is preferred over non-standard abbreviations like
                                                "W2000". Are there any recommended (or officially supported) GPS units
                                                that work in concert with MapSend?

                                                > In the process of testing the Magellan SporTrak Topo GPS unit, I've
                                                run at
                                                > least 20 sets of batteries through it, and I have long since lost
                                                track of

                                                ### Since you brought that up, could you include an estimate of how
                                                many hours that 20 sets of batteries equates to?

                                                > The track has 707 individual data points, covering 10.166 miles
                                                (16.360 km).

                                                ### This level of precision suggests that you can zoom the map to a 5
                                                foot scale (1/1000 of a mile). Is that correct? If you can't zoom it
                                                that closely, how do you know you were able to put your cursor (or
                                                otherwise indicate a position on the track/trail) to this precision?

                                                > user. You can actually watch yourself walk the trail in real time.
                                                When
                                                > you stop for a break, the icon takes a break too. 'Cool' is
                                                probably the

                                                ### It's unlikely that I can watch myself walk the trail in real
                                                time...I haven't the patience to watch the line creep along to scale.
                                                I especially wouldn't stop for a break whilst doing so. Please
                                                re-phrase without the "you".

                                                > best way to describe this... The elevation profile is also shown in the
                                                > grid. As you can see, there was a lot of up and down during this
                                                trip.

                                                ### Actually I can't see that. I'm being read the review by my PC
                                                (Motion Computing Tablet PC). Please rephrase.

                                                > I really liked this feature, especially for map making. Using the
                                                built in

                                                ### "built-in"

                                                > A waypoint is a point along the way. Catchy, isn't it? A waypoint is
                                                a point
                                                > on a map that you can name and save in a file or upload to the GPS's
                                                memory.

                                                ### How about "that can be named and saved"? Drat that pesky "you".
                                                Because, honestly, I just can't get the things uploaded to my
                                                GPS...might have something to do with the fact I haven't got an
                                                interface cable.

                                                > to create a GOTO route is having the destination waypoint. This
                                                waypoint can
                                                > be one that you have saved earlier (which is stored in the User Waypoint

                                                ### "one that has been saved"

                                                > database. Whether the route is a simple GOTO or a more complex multileg

                                                ### "multi-leg"

                                                > point. If it is a multileg route, then each leg must have terminating

                                                ### "multi-leg"

                                                > Topo review. Routes are of no practical use inside the software,
                                                but will

                                                ### Why not? Can the be downloaded to the GPS? Can they not coincide
                                                with a route or track?

                                                > and digital maps are no exception. What is more troubling is that I
                                                found
                                                > some instances of roads, railroads, and other features that do not
                                                exist in
                                                > reality and have never existed. On top of that, the maps are not

                                                ### This is not uncommon with maps. Mapmakers often include things
                                                that don't really exist so if the map is copied, they can prove the
                                                theft as a map drawn by another mapmaker ought not have the same false
                                                data. Was any of it material?

                                                > A-1: Interstate 10 through Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The west
                                                bound lane
                                                > obviously doesn't do that...

                                                ### I don't know...I seem to recall a Smokey & the Bandit movie where
                                                it did... ;-)

                                                > A-2: <snip> electronic map.

                                                ### You might want to take a look at your HTML version in different
                                                browsers & resolutions. I see 3 rows -- A, B, unlabeled; 3 pictures in
                                                row A, 2 pictures in row B and either 1 or 2 (they're two radically
                                                different zoom levels) in the 3rd row. I'm running 1920x1200
                                                resolution and am looking at it in Mozilla at 75% of my screen. I
                                                believe that 3rd row is the picture set you refer to several
                                                paragraphs below (and after the Santa Rosa Blvd picture).

                                                > road doesn't do that. The road is contiguous. If you examine the
                                                bottom of
                                                > the image, you will see a shoreline shift that is identical to the road

                                                ### "In examinig the bottom...a shoreline shift is apparent that..."
                                                or words to that effect that don't include "you".

                                                > satisfactory?" I don't honestly know. I do appreciate that you can't
                                                > squeeze cheese out of a rock, and that nothing - least of all a map - is

                                                ### Maybe *you* can't....(I'm actually willing to let this go as
                                                creative license)

                                                > on Magellan's claims - but I will readily admit that my expectations
                                                were
                                                > probably higher than the current state of technology can provide in
                                                a cost
                                                > effective way. On pure heresy, I understand that some other

                                                ### I'm not sure that's the case. Aviation mapping doesn't suffer this
                                                and many are certified for precision approaches where a few meters can
                                                be more than a little bit of a problem. Also, it's "hearsay".

                                                > from. As you can see from the above maps, my little mapping project
                                                went

                                                ### "As is shown in the above"

                                                > quite well. I was able to mark brides, trail splits, campsites, mile

                                                ### You southerners...we tend not to mark our women...but we will mark
                                                bridges on our maps.

                                                > line when in reality they can be many yards (many meters) wide.

                                                ### "(meters)" -- the "many" is redundant
                                              • Shane Steinkamp
                                                ... Thank you. ... Doh! I didn t even do well enough not to repost. How embarassing. I need to get with the program... Thank you for your service. Time has
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Sep 1, 2004
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                                                  > Very nice review.

                                                  Thank you.

                                                  > I've made some edit comments and posed a couple of
                                                  > questions below. Once you've made the changes, please repost it to
                                                  > the group with REPOST in the subject line and I'll take another look
                                                  > before setting you up with an upload directory and instructions.

                                                  Doh! I didn't even do well enough not to repost. How embarassing.
                                                  I need to get with the program...

                                                  Thank you for your service. Time has sort of caught up with me, so I
                                                  will edit and repost on Tuesday. I will be OOP this weekend, likely
                                                  with no internet access.

                                                  Shane
                                                • colonelcorn76
                                                  ... You probably complained about something and the edit gods are getting back at you or something... ;-) ... No sweat. I m holding down the edit fort so I ve
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Sep 1, 2004
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Shane Steinkamp"
                                                    <shane@t...> wrote:
                                                    > Doh! I didn't even do well enough not to repost. How embarassing.
                                                    > I need to get with the program...

                                                    You probably complained about something and the edit gods are getting
                                                    back at you or something... ;-)

                                                    >
                                                    > Thank you for your service. Time has sort of caught up with me, so I
                                                    > will edit and repost on Tuesday. I will be OOP this weekend, likely
                                                    > with no internet access.

                                                    No sweat. I'm holding down the edit fort so I've got some reposts to
                                                    get to and then some more ORs to keep from getting stale.

                                                    Jimn
                                                  • Shane Steinkamp
                                                    Jim, Many apologies for the long delay in this repost. I have taken your edits, and made some notes on your comments below. I am very willing to take any
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Sep 25, 2004
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                                                      Jim,

                                                      Many apologies for the long delay in this repost. I have taken your edits,
                                                      and made some notes on your comments below. I am very willing to take any
                                                      advice on these points that you give me. I appreciate your service.

                                                      Thanks!

                                                      Shane (not Mirage)

                                                      > ### Since you brought that up, could you include an estimate
                                                      > of how many hours that 20 sets of batteries equates to?

                                                      Not in any meaningful way. Because battery consumption is governed by
                                                      various things - like use of the backlight - such an estimate is neither
                                                      possible nor useful, IMO. I will attempt such if you require it.

                                                      > > The track has 707 individual data points, covering 10.166
                                                      > > miles (16.360 km).
                                                      >
                                                      > ### This level of precision suggests that you can zoom the
                                                      > map to a 5 foot scale (1/1000 of a mile). Is that correct?
                                                      > If you can't zoom it that closely, how do you know you were
                                                      > able to put your cursor (or otherwise indicate a position on
                                                      > the track/trail) to this precision?

                                                      Theoretically, yes, the software is capable of that resolution. Can you SEE
                                                      that resolution? Not exactly. Knowing what I'm looking at, though, I can
                                                      infer that resolution by observing the cursor and noting the coordinate
                                                      table. I'm unsure of how much of that I should try to explain. The
                                                      pictures sort of say it all.

                                                      > > Topo review. Routes are of no practical use inside the
                                                      > > software, but will
                                                      >
                                                      > ### Why not? Can the be downloaded to the GPS? Can they not
                                                      > coincide with a route or track?

                                                      Routes just connect the dots between waypoints. They have a value inside
                                                      the GPS unit, because you follow one to another in real space. Unless you
                                                      (or I or one) carries a laptop on the trail, there is no value in a route
                                                      inside the software. In my opinion.

                                                      >> What is more troubling is that I found some instances of
                                                      >> roads, railroads, and other features that do not exist in
                                                      >> reality and have never existed.
                                                      >
                                                      > ### This is not uncommon with maps. Mapmakers often include
                                                      > things that don't really exist so if the map is copied, they
                                                      > can prove the theft as a map drawn by another mapmaker ought
                                                      > not have the same false data. Was any of it material?

                                                      No water sources, which would have been material to backpackers. There are
                                                      roads and railroads, however, that do not exist in reality. If I'm in the
                                                      middle of nowhere looking for a road that doesn't exist because I'm hoping
                                                      for a rescue from a passing vehicle, then I'm going to be pretty pissed off.

                                                      > > A-1: Interstate 10 through Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.
                                                      > > The west bound lane obviously doesn't do that...
                                                      >
                                                      > ### I don't know...I seem to recall a Smokey & the Bandit
                                                      > movie where it did... ;-)

                                                      I should hope that the mapmakers would use better sources than Smokey & the
                                                      Bandit movies... ;)

                                                      > > A-2: <snip> electronic map.
                                                      >
                                                      > ### You might want to take a look at your HTML version in
                                                      > different browsers & resolutions. I see 3 rows -- A, B,
                                                      > unlabeled; 3 pictures in row A, 2 pictures in row B and
                                                      > either 1 or 2 (they're two radically different zoom levels)
                                                      > in the 3rd row. I'm running 1920x1200 resolution and am
                                                      > looking at it in Mozilla at 75% of my screen. I believe that
                                                      > 3rd row is the picture set you refer to several paragraphs
                                                      > below (and after the Santa Rosa Blvd picture).

                                                      Your view is correct. I use the designations (B-3) not as grid
                                                      rows/columns, but as indicators on a map grid. I.E. If I say B-3, and you
                                                      find the imaginary intersection, then you're looking at the right thing.

                                                      The two maps in the third row are the SAME zoom level. As noted in the
                                                      text, one is an actual topo map, the other is the software. A picture is
                                                      worth a million words in this case...

                                                      >> I will readily admit that my expectations were
                                                      >> probably higher than the current state of technology can
                                                      >> provide in a cost effective way. On pure heresy, I
                                                      >> understand that some other
                                                      >
                                                      > ### I'm not sure that's the case. Aviation mapping doesn't
                                                      > suffer this and many are certified for precision approaches
                                                      > where a few meters can be more than a little bit of a
                                                      > problem.

                                                      Aviation mapping is also expensive... I have changed it to "I will readily
                                                      admit that my expectations were probably higher than the current state of
                                                      technology can provide at the current cost of the MapSend software." That's
                                                      a nice way to say that it's cheap.

                                                      > > quite well. I was able to mark brides, trail splits,
                                                      > > campsites, mile
                                                      >
                                                      > ### You southerners...we tend not to mark our women...but we
                                                      > will mark bridges on our maps.

                                                      That's astonishing! How do you Yankees know where you left your wives!?

                                                      > > line when in reality they can be many yards (many meters)
                                                      > > wide.
                                                      >
                                                      > ### "(meters)" -- the "many" is redundant

                                                      I had wondered.

                                                      Edited version follows. Uploaded to Test folder.

                                                      Shane

                                                      ***

                                                      MAGELLAN MAPSEND TOPO
                                                      FOR THE UNITED STATES
                                                      v.4.20d


                                                      MAPPING SOFTWARE FOR USE WITH MAGELLAN GPS RECIEVERS
                                                      BY THALES NAVIGATION
                                                      magellan sportrak topo gps report review mapsend software
                                                      Owner Review - August 24, 2004
                                                      This owner review was written as part of my Magellan SporTrak Topo reports.
                                                      "A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar
                                                      structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness." - The father
                                                      of general semantics, Alford Korzybski.
                                                      TESTER INFORMATION
                                                      Name:
                                                      Age:
                                                      Gender:
                                                      Height:
                                                      Weight:
                                                      Email Address:
                                                      Location:
                                                      Shane Steinkamp
                                                      35
                                                      Male
                                                      5' 10" (1.8 m)
                                                      240 lb (108 kg)
                                                      shane@...
                                                      New Orleans (Harahan), Louisiana

                                                      Background:
                                                      Bit by the vagabond disease at an early age, I enjoyed a promising career as
                                                      a long distance hiker for several years. Now I don't care to count the
                                                      miles, or to do so many of them, and prefer to walk until I don't want to
                                                      walk anymore and then stop. I am more interested in the destination, rather
                                                      than the journey. I have been hiking, backpacking, and camping since age
                                                      seven or eight, which is about 26 years. I have experienced all extremes of
                                                      weather and terrain, with the exception of Antarctic terrain. I don't fit
                                                      any particular backpacking style, although I might be primarily described as
                                                      a medium-weight backpacker leaning towards light. I will adjust my gear
                                                      based on expected conditions, and on some trips I would be considered an
                                                      ultra-lighter. I always carry too many toys, especially photography
                                                      equipment, to ever actually make it to the ultralight stage on a permanent
                                                      basis.
                                                      SPECIFICATIONS
                                                      The Magellan MapSend Topo Mapping Software is manufactured by: Thales
                                                      Navigation.
                                                      WEB: www.thalesnavigation.com or www.magellangps.com
                                                      YEAR OF MANUFACTURE: Unknown. Copyright 2002.
                                                      SOFTWARE: Provided on CD-ROM.
                                                      MSRP: Provided as part of SporTrak Topo package, but also available for
                                                      purchase at US $ 149.99.

                                                      SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
                                                      Minimum Requirements
                                                      Recommended Requirements
                                                      IBM PC, AT-486 or compatible
                                                      IBM PC, AT-Pentium/300 or compatible
                                                      64 MB RAM
                                                      128 MB RAM
                                                      VGA Video Card
                                                      True Color Video with 800x600 resolution
                                                      80 MB Hard Drive Space
                                                      80 MB Hard Drive Space
                                                      (700 MB Hard Drive Space for a full installation)
                                                      CDROM Drive – 8x speedCDROM Drive – 32x speedMS Windows 95/98/ME, NT/2000/XP
                                                      MS Windows 95/98/ME, NT/2000/XP
                                                      I have run the software on both Windows 2000, and Windows XP Pro operating
                                                      systems. In all cases, my systems meet or exceed the Recommended
                                                      Requirements.
                                                      The MapSend Topo Software will work with any Magellan GPS unit capable of
                                                      accepting detail map uploads.
                                                      OPENING NOTES
                                                      This Owner Review was written as part of my Magellan SporTrak Topo reports,
                                                      and those reports should be referred to for some understanding of the
                                                      functionality of the GPS unit. I am an able navigator, and I have
                                                      successfully gone out and back without the use of GPS technology or digital
                                                      mapping software. This is my first foray into digital mapping software.
                                                      In the process of testing the Magellan SporTrak Topo GPS unit, I've run at
                                                      least 20 sets of batteries through it, and I have long since lost track of
                                                      the amount of time I have run it on the car plug. I have carried it through
                                                      eight states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia,
                                                      South Carolina, and North Carolina) and collected over 7,000 miles (11,265
                                                      km) of telemetry using the unit. I have used it for highway travel, trail
                                                      walking, bushwhacking, mapmaking, boating, geocaching and to locate National
                                                      Geodetic Survey Markers. In all of this the MapSend software has been used
                                                      to plan trips, upload detail map data to the GPS; create, manage, upload,
                                                      and download waypoints and routes; to download and examine tracks and their
                                                      associated telemetry, to make maps, and to look for promising areas for
                                                      exploration.
                                                      INSTALLATION
                                                      Installation of the software is exceedingly simple. Following a few
                                                      onscreen prompts causes the software to install itself.
                                                      TAKING A TEST DRIVE
                                                      The first thing I did was to install and start the software and to
                                                      familiarize myself with the controls. Both keyboard and mouse controls are
                                                      provided for most features.
                                                      I will avoid detailing the controls of the user interface. Magellan
                                                      provides the manual on their website, and no useful purpose would be served
                                                      by replicating that information in this report. The help section is very
                                                      easy to understand, simple, and brief; and the user interface is intuitive
                                                      and friendly. I never actually referred to the help section until I started
                                                      writing this report. I will, instead focus on the usefulness of the
                                                      software and its interface with the SporTrak Topo unit.
                                                      I will say that the software interface isn't entirely 'clean'. As a
                                                      software designer myself, I notice these little things. As none of this
                                                      affects the functionality of the software itself, I will simply note that
                                                      things could be a little neater and move on.
                                                      DATA HARMONY
                                                      A GPS unit is a servant that answers the question, "Where am I?" In
                                                      addition, the SporTrak Topo unit has mapping and tracking features that
                                                      interface with the MapSend Topo software. The Magellan SporTrak Topo
                                                      provides a level of functionality above simply providing data wealth by
                                                      translating that data into graphical outputs in the form of on screen maps,
                                                      elevation profiles, track profiles, and terrain projections. The MapSend
                                                      Topo software can be used to provide the GPS unit with a much more detailed
                                                      map than is available from the basemap built into the unit. Additionally,
                                                      the MapSend Topo software can be used to download and analyze the telemetry
                                                      captured by the GPS unit.  
                                                      The father of general semantics, Alford Korzybski stated, "A map is not the
                                                      territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the
                                                      territory, which accounts for its usefulness". While Al was speaking
                                                      metaphorically about something else, his words are applicable to our
                                                      subject. If our map is sufficiently detailed, and our position accurately
                                                      represented, our map will have significant usefulness. If our map is
                                                      insufficient, and/or our position not accurately represented, then it may be
                                                      useless. The more detailed and accurate it is, the more useful it will be. 
                                                      It will be necessary to examine each of these functions in turn, and see how
                                                      detailed and accurate they are. In all honesty, I have not been entirely
                                                      thrilled with the accuracy of the MapSend maps. I will also admit in all
                                                      honesty and fairness that I might be nit-picking, but I will lay out my
                                                      findings and let the reader decide. 
                                                      CONNECTING TO THE GPS UNIT
                                                      The SporTrak Topo unit comes with a 9 pin serial cable for connecting the
                                                      unit to a PC. My primary use was on an IBM laptop computer which does not
                                                      have a 9 pin serial connector. In order to connect the unit, I purchased an
                                                      IOGEAR USB 9 Pin Serial Adapter, which has worked flawlessly between the
                                                      systems. Once connected to the PC, all upload and download functions are
                                                      handled through the MapSend software.
                                                      FUNCTIONS
                                                      The primary functions of the MapSend software have to do with handling
                                                      Waypoints, Routes, Tracks (and Trackpoints), and Regions.  
                                                      Trackpoints

                                                      Trackpoints are saved by the SporTrack along the route of travel.
                                                      Simplistically, track points allow you to do complex things like build trail
                                                      maps and simple things like backtracking the way you just came.
                                                      Essentially, Trackpoints are automatic temporary Waypoints. Once uploaded
                                                      to the MapSend software, the track appears as a yellow line. (See above
                                                      image.) The image is of my track along the Clear Springs (Talley) Trail.
                                                      The track has 707 individual data points, covering 10.166 miles (16.360 km).
                                                      The Control Center is visible in the right frame of the screen, and provides
                                                      the user with several fun, interesting, and useful tools.  
                                                      Tracks can be loaded from saved files, saved to a file, uploaded and
                                                      downloaded from the GPS unit, deleted, modified, and searched. The control
                                                      panel shows the coordinates and elevation of each recorded trackpoint. The
                                                      track can be played back in real time by using the VCR like controls to
                                                      play, stop, rewind, and fast forward. While the playback is running, the
                                                      heading, average speed, time, and trip distance covered are displayed. The
                                                      playback can be played back in real time, or at advanced rates set by the
                                                      user. I can actually watch my virtual self walk the virtual trail in real
                                                      time. Where I stopped for a break, the icon stops and takes a break for as
                                                      long as I took my break. 'Cool' is probably the best way to describe
                                                      this... The elevation profile is also shown in the grid. If you can see
                                                      the image above, you can observe the elevation grid in the lower right
                                                      corner of the screen view and see that there was a lot of up and down during
                                                      this trip.  
                                                      I really liked this feature, especially for map making. Using the built-in
                                                      Print function, maps can be printed straight from the screen display.  

                                                      Waypoints
                                                      A waypoint is a point along the way. Catchy, isn't it? A waypoint is a point
                                                      on a map that can be named and saved in a file or upload to the GPS's
                                                      memory. Waypoints created by the GPS unit can likewise be downloaded to the
                                                      software. Waypoints are primarily used for creating routes. A waypoint is
                                                      entered into the receiver’s memory by entering data, editing data,
                                                      calculating data (projecting) or saving a current position. A waypoint is
                                                      created in the MapSend software by calling the Place Waypoint function.
                                                      Think of a waypoint as a point of interest such as a trailhead, a town,
                                                      basecamp, or an interesting geological feature - but they can be anything,
                                                      even just a point in the middle of nowhere.In the image above, I have loaded
                                                      my waypoint set for the Clear Springs (Talley) Trail. I have bridges noted
                                                      as 'B#'; Mile Markers, Water Sources, the parking lot, and even where I left
                                                      the car are all noted. The next time I want to go to Clear Springs, I can
                                                      just upload my waypoints and tell the unit to take me to any of them.
                                                      Waypoints can be created with various symbols, and edited, deleted, renamed,
                                                      and even moved. Waypoints will also print out, so that's another tool for
                                                      mapping.

                                                      Routes
                                                      A route is often referred to as a GOTO route. It is simply a plot from one
                                                      point to another. The simplest route has a starting point and a single
                                                      destination point: I am here and I want to GO TO there. All that is required
                                                      to create a GOTO route is having the destination waypoint. This waypoint can
                                                      be one that has been saved earlier (which is stored in the User Waypoint
                                                      List) or any of the landmarks that come with the SporTrak in its built-in
                                                      database. Whether the route is a simple GOTO or a more complex multi-leg
                                                      route, it needs stored waypoints to use as its starting and destination
                                                      point. If it is a multi-leg route, then each leg must have terminating
                                                      waypoints.
                                                      There are actually three routes saved in the above image. They are all
                                                      denoted by the blue lines. Routes are covered in some detail in my SporTrak
                                                      Topo review. Routes are of no practical use inside the software, but will
                                                      print out on the maps if desired.

                                                      Regions
                                                      Regions are selected areas of the detailed maps contained in the MapSend
                                                      Topo software that can be uploaded to the GPS unit in order to increase the
                                                      level of detail within the selected region. In the above image, I have
                                                      created a region called La-Ms-Al (Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama). It is
                                                      denoted by the green outline. Any number of regions can be created, but
                                                      only four can be uploaded to the GPS unit, and the total size of the regions
                                                      cannot exceed the GPS unit's memory space.
                                                      THE MAPS
                                                      The MapSend Topo roadmaps are very detailed, but slightly dated - and that
                                                      is actually to be expected. I did find several roads, the vast majority
                                                      being new construction, that were not noted on the maps. This is not
                                                      troubling to me. Any map is actually outdated by the time it is printed,
                                                      and digital maps are no exception. What is more troubling is that I found
                                                      some instances of roads, railroads, and other features that do not exist in
                                                      reality and have never existed. On top of that, the maps are not entirely
                                                      accurate in terms of features and points of interest. This can cause
                                                      significant errors in small scale navigation on the ground.
                                                      I have provided some examples below.

                                                      The maps are useful, but they are flawed. At low zoom levels no flaws are
                                                      apparent. (B-1) However, at higher zoom levels the position indicator is
                                                      rarely on the road as I drive along. In fact, at high zoom levels, several
                                                      errors are apparent.
                                                      Referencing the table above:
                                                      A-1: Interstate 10 through Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The west bound lane
                                                      obviously doesn't do that...
                                                      A-2: Earhart Expressway off ramp in Jefferson Louisiana. The track is off -
                                                      and hence the reported position on the map - by 422 ft (128.6 m) It should
                                                      be noted that the unit is reporting a nearly perfect position when plotted
                                                      on a USGS paper map, but the overlay with the maps in the unit and the maps
                                                      in the Mapsend Topo product is obviously imperfect.
                                                      A-3: Clear Springs Mississippi. While bushwhacking, I set a waypoint to the
                                                      road using the map screen. And, as evidenced by the track, missed the road
                                                      by 175 ft (53 m). Plotting the coordinates on a USGS paper map proves that
                                                      the SporTrak Topo is reporting the coordinates correctly, but they are not
                                                      being translated to the onboard map or being translated by the MapSend Topo
                                                      software accurately.
                                                      B-3: Interstate 10 across Mobile Bay in Alabama. The taken waypoint, and
                                                      associated track, puts me 264 ft (80.45 m) off the bridge and into the bay.
                                                      If I were navigating the bay in a boat in a heavy fog, 264 ft (80.45 m) is
                                                      obviously a dangerous error. At the time, the unit was reporting 3 meter
                                                      accuracy - and plotting the waypoint on a paper map proves that the
                                                      coordinates are on the bridge, but they aren't plotted properly on the
                                                      electronic map.
                                                      I have a theory to explain this, and having collected and studied quite a
                                                      lot of telemetry, I think I'm right. No large map is a single map. Large
                                                      maps are made up of smaller maps, and the basemaps in the SporTrak are no
                                                      exception. Where the maps 'stitch' together, inaccuracies occur. There is
                                                      an almost predictable pattern at times.
                                                      Here is one example that is typical. Santa Rosa Island in Florida. Observe
                                                      Santa Rosa Blvd coming in from the left, and then stopping. The pickup
                                                      point is 34 ft (10.4 m) due south, and the road continues. Obviously the
                                                      road doesn't do that. The road is contiguous. If the bottom of the island
                                                      in the image is examined, there is a shoreline shift that is identical to
                                                      the road shift - 34 ft (10.4 m). This shift does not exist and is an
                                                      artifact of (I'm pretty sure) two maps being 'stitched' together. Moving 22
                                                      mi (35.4 km) due west along the map reveals another similar shift. It's
                                                      quite easy to find them by following roads. There are places where these
                                                      errors seem to be cumulative, causing the error to be as great as 0.19 mi
                                                      (0.31 km) in the worst case I experienced.
                                                      Admittedly these errors are small, and when navigating over a distance of
                                                      several miles, they have little impact. While backpacking, however, these
                                                      small errors can be very important. It can mean the difference between
                                                      finding a water source in the dark and not finding it, for instance. These
                                                      small errors are legion, and must be allowed for when using the maps to
                                                      navigate over relatively short distances. I missed a road by 422 ft (129 m)
                                                      in easy terrain and this was no big deal. 422 ft (129 m) in bad terrain -
                                                      and bad weather - could put me over a cliff. Bottom line: I do not trust
                                                      the map at small scales, and sometimes it fails to be a useful reference.
                                                      The topo map is similarly flawed, but again the differences are small. The
                                                      topo maps are not very detailed, and I have included a side by side
                                                      comparison of a USGS map (on the left) and the MapSend Topo map (on the
                                                      right). I have found many inaccuracies in the contour lines, and to make
                                                      matters worse, the contour scale seems to change - and the contour lines
                                                      shift - when the zoom level is changed on the map screen of the GPS unit.
                                                      As one example, the thin gray line that comes down the center of the MapSend
                                                      Topo map and runs right through the middle of the lake is a 300 ft (90 m)
                                                      contour line. There is obviously no such contour in the middle of a lake!
                                                      In the Santa Rosa Island image above, the contour line visible as a faint
                                                      gray line likewise does not exist. Santa Rosa Island is a 'desert island'
                                                      and is mostly flat with a few dunes.  
                                                      To make matters worse, the overlay of the topo map over the roads map is
                                                      usually off, causing points of interest and other landmark features to be
                                                      shown on the map where they obviously are not. Travel across the
                                                      southeastern United States proved to me that this is not a local problem. I
                                                      have found the topo maps useful in only a basic way, and I do not entirely
                                                      trust them. The image to the left shows Mount Ann in Massachusetts. The
                                                      contour lines are easy to distinguish. The Summit icon is obviously NOT at
                                                      the summit, and is in fact off by almost 200 feet (70 m).
                                                      A more detailed descripton of this issue can be found in Rebecca
                                                      Sowards-Emmerd's Magellan SporTrak Color Field Report.
                                                      As I said above, it is very possible that I'm nit-picking, but I don't find
                                                      the maps accurate for small scale navigation - anything less than about a
                                                      mile (1.6 km). Of course the question arises, "Well, what WOULD be
                                                      satisfactory?" I don't honestly know. I do appreciate that you can't
                                                      squeeze cheese out of a rock, and that nothing - least of all a map - is
                                                      perfect. The unit is capable of resolving a position down to an accuracy of
                                                      three meters. In my opinion, it would be really nice if the map plotting
                                                      was accurate to within that distance as well.
                                                      I still like the MapSend Topo software, and I use it quite often, but I
                                                      don't trust it, and I make allowances for that lack of trust. I wouldn't
                                                      use it as my sole navigation map in heavy terrain to be certain, and it
                                                      isn't good enough to navigate off road flawlessly in places I have never
                                                      been before. The MapSend maps do not replace my paper maps at all, but do
                                                      augment them considerably, and the mapping feature makes it easier to mark
                                                      the paper maps because it will at least put me in the ballpark of where I
                                                      need to make my marks. Someone more knowledgeable about all this than I is
                                                      probably saying, "Well, of course, you idiot! That's what it's for!", and
                                                      maybe it is. It isn't, however, what I expected when I got the unit based
                                                      on Magellan's claims - but I will readily admit that my expectations were
                                                      probably higher than the current state of technology can provide at the
                                                      current cost of the MapSend software. On pure hearsay, I understand that
                                                      some other Magellan mapping software products do not experience these
                                                      shifts.
                                                      Magellan's explanation for these problems is found in the Appendix of the
                                                      manual: "Position on map is not exactly on the road. It could be caused by
                                                      distance shifts to the map. Use map data for reference and do not rely
                                                      completely on it." I don't know what 'distance shifts to the map' means
                                                      exactly, but if it means that the maps simply aren't as good as they might
                                                      be, then I'll accept that.
                                                      Magellan's response to inquiries is:  
                                                      "Thank you for your inquiry. We are in the process of evaluating new
                                                      resources for our mapping data. We do not have an update available at this
                                                      time. We are currently evaluating different mapping data sources for near
                                                      future updates. Unfortunately the problem you have described is not a simple
                                                      update that can be downloaded from the Internet. The type of update you will
                                                      need would be to the mapping database and not to the software application.
                                                      This type of an update will need to be distributed on a CD-ROM. Our current
                                                      plan is to provide map database updates in the future, please register your
                                                      product online to receive information on any updates. Thank you for choosing
                                                      Magellan Have a great day."
                                                      Hector Flores Technical 
                                                      Support Engineer 
                                                      Thales Navigation 
                                                      960 Overland Court 
                                                      San Dimas, California 91773
                                                      800-707-9971 (USA)
                                                      These errors aside, I am pleased with the functionality of the MapSend Topo
                                                      software, and I would not buy a GPS unit without some kind of software like
                                                      this. Maybe maps are for suckers, but I'm one of the suckers...
                                                      The software is particularly useful for trip planning. Two weeks after
                                                      receiving it, my first trip with the SporTrak unit was from New Orleans,
                                                      Louisiana, USA, to Greensboro, North Carolina, USA - a round trip distance
                                                      of approximately 1,800 mi (2,900 km). I very carefully set waypoints
                                                      along the Interstate and then detailed my route, including a turn by turn
                                                      route to my destination once I reached Greensboro. I mounted the unit on my
                                                      dashboard using the car mount and plugged it into the cigarette lighter
                                                      using the external power cord. I left the paper maps at home in the spirit
                                                      of experimentation.
                                                      From the start, the small shifts in the maps was confusing. After some
                                                      getting used to these small errors, my navigation was much more
                                                      successful.  
                                                      The detail of some features in the map is impressive. We took a trip to
                                                      Houston, Texas, USA, to visit family. Again I loaded the detail maps out of
                                                      MapSend Topo and used it while driving. I noticed that even small stock
                                                      ponds were shown on the map. I had no trouble with the route, and although
                                                      I had never been to Granny's new house, the unit led us right to it with no
                                                      problem.  
                                                      A week later I used the SporTrak to navigate my way in the dark through
                                                      Homochitto National Forest in Mississippi to the Clear Springs Campground
                                                      and the Talley Creek Trail trailhead. By this time I was very much used to
                                                      the shifts and plotting errors in the map and was able to compensate for
                                                      them perfectly. I arrived without incident and used the SporTrak to find an
                                                      old campsite in the dark. It was on continuously in order to make a map of
                                                      the Talley Trail, and that is where some of the above examples are pulled
                                                      from. As can be seen from the above maps, my little mapping project went
                                                      quite well. I was able to mark bridges, trail splits, campsites, mile
                                                      markers, road crossings, and several other important features. I found the
                                                      topo maps to be quite basic, but the road maps were fairly good. Even
                                                      forest service roads were marked fairly well.  
                                                      Some features are not as detailed as they could be - especially water
                                                      features. Many rivers and streams are noted by nothing more than a single
                                                      line when in reality they can be many yards (many meters) wide.    
                                                      SUMMARY
                                                      I am fairly happy with the Magellan MapSend Topo software, but I really wish
                                                      that the maps were just a little better.
                                                      THINGS I LIKE
                                                      1. Very easy to use. User friendly.
                                                      2. Adequate help section.
                                                      3. Fun!

                                                      THINGS I DON'T LIKE
                                                      1. Map errors.
                                                      ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
                                                      I have prepared a list of additional resources for those wishing to learn
                                                      more about Global Positioning Technology (GPS) and other fun stuff to do
                                                      with GPS units that is beyond the scope of this report. This is hosted on
                                                      my own hiking website and are not a part of this report.
                                                      ***
                                                      Thank you for your time.
                                                      Shane Steinkamp
                                                      shane@...  
                                                      www.theplacewithnoname.com/hiking
                                                    • colonelcorn76
                                                      Shane, Nice job. A couple of very minor things to fix and then you can upload it to BGT at this url:
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Oct 2, 2004
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Shane,
                                                        Nice job. A couple of very minor things to fix and then you can
                                                        upload it to BGT at this url:
                                                        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Software/Topographic%20Mapping/Magellan%20MapSend%20Topo%20Mapping%20Software/
                                                        or
                                                        http://tinyurl.com/3lslj
                                                        <<<<<Use either link>>>>>

                                                        When uploading your Owner Review, please ensure you select the button
                                                        marked Owner Review.

                                                        Thanks again for the good work.
                                                        Jim
                                                        Edit Moderator


                                                        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Shane Steinkamp"
                                                        <shane@t...> wrote:

                                                        > > > quite well. I was able to mark brides, trail splits,
                                                        > > > campsites, mile
                                                        > >
                                                        > > ### You southerners...we tend not to mark our women...but we
                                                        > > will mark bridges on our maps.
                                                        >
                                                        > That's astonishing! How do you Yankees know where you left your wives!?
                                                        >

                                                        ### Radio tracking transmitters embedded under the skin while they
                                                        sleep. Another of those mfg & technical advantages that northerners
                                                        enjoy...part of why we were able to put down that pesky little
                                                        insurrection of yours 150 years ago ;-)





                                                        > this... The elevation profile is also shown in the grid. If you
                                                        can see
                                                        > the image above, you can observe the elevation grid in the lower right
                                                        > corner of the screen view and see that there was a lot of up and
                                                        down during
                                                        > this trip.

                                                        ### "In the image above, the elevation grid in the lower right corner
                                                        of the screen shows there were a lot of up and downs during this
                                                        trip." -- eliminates the "you" that you just won't give up :-)


                                                        > on a map that can be named and saved in a file or upload to the GPS's

                                                        ### "uploaded"

                                                        > line when in reality they can be many yards (many meters) wide.

                                                        ### "(meters)" --- still many redundancies
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