Category: Mapping

November 11, 2005

Magellan MapSend Topography for Great Britain

Having bought a Magellan Meridian Colour GPS which I blogged on here, I decided to go ahead and buy the Magellan Mapsend Topographical Maps of Great Britain. The GPS already came with base maps for the UK and Europe. However, the Topographical maps simply provide you with more detail and allow you to see contour lines, roads, rivers and walking routes.

At 200 Euros, it’s a fair bit to pay on top of what I’ve already outlaid for the GPS. Despite this I consider it be a worthwhile investment as I quite enjoy the world of mapping and navigation and we’re getting into the whole walking and climbing scene now anyway.

The Magellan GPS site states:

Maximize the navigation capabilities of your Magellan handheld GPS by adding detailed topographic maps for all of Great Britain to your Magellan Meridian series, SporTrak Map, SporTrak Pro, SporTrak Color, SporTrak Pro Marine, eXploristâ„¢ 400, 500 or 600. With outdoor adventure mapping from Ordinance Survey, MapSend Topo in Great Britain includes detailed mapping for all of England, Scotland and Wales.

CD for Magellan Mapsend Topography of Great Britain

View maps on your PC, plan trips, create waypoints, routes and customized regions then easily download them to the built-in memory or Secure Digital (SD) memory card of your GPS. Save thousands of routes on your PC and keep a record of your every adventure.

Use the default WGS84 coordinate system, or switch to OSGB (on the handheld only) for matching your location to your Ordinance Survey maps.

Map detail at 1:50,000 resolution include elevations, woodlands, parks, nature reserves, lakes, rivers, roads, motorways, landmarks, historic locations and more. Additional map features such as waterways paths and tracks appear at 1:10,000 resolution for fun and easy navigation in the outdoors.

So how does this software work? Basically you complete the install on your PC and you will then have detailed maps for the whole of the UK. You can then transfer waypoints, routes and trackpoints between the GPS and MapSend. To download the detailed maps onto your GPS all you do is mark a section of the map that you would like to see in more detail and then upload it to the GPS using the serial connection cable shipped with your GPS. Since the Magellan GPS has a limited amount of onboard memory (16MB) you will probably need to buy an SD card if you are intending to download a large number of maps on to your GPS. In my case I bought a 512MB card which will enable me to download most of the maps for the UK on to the card.

A nice feature of the MapSend software is that when you select a section of the map to download to your GPS, it tells you how much memory will be required for that section. Initially I thought that I would be able to download the entire UK Mapsend map to my GPS, however, I discovered that Mapsend will only allow you to download a section that is 56MB in size. This means that if you want to download all the Mapsend maps for the UK on to your GPS you have to do it in sections and then switch to whatever section you are using at a particular time using Card Utilities.

What I particularly like about the software is that it gives the GPS two new views:

1. Horizontal Profile

This displays an information box which graphically depicts the horizon in front of you.

2. Terrain Projection

This displays an information box which graphically depicts the terrain in front of you.

In upcoming blog posts I will be showing you screen shots of the maps produced by MapSend with the various walking routes we are using for our Kilimanjaro training.

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October 25, 2005

Magellan Meridian Color GPS

I recently purchased a Magellan Meridian Color GPS and have to say I’ve very impressed with this device. I bought it on e-bay as a buy it now purchase for GBP 250. Pretty pricy, but money well spent I thought. Although, it’s a bit chunky, it’s perfect for the type of conditions I want it for i.e. mountaineering, walking and climbing. Only downside at the moment is it seems to chew battery power. You’ll also find a comprehensive PC Magazine review here.

According to the Magellan GPS site:

Magellan Meridian Color is the ultimate, top-of-the-line, GPS receiver and the first handheld to present all your positioning and navigational information in Full Color!

Magellan Meridian Color GPS

The clear choice for the serious navigator, Meridian Color offers superior tracking and 3-meter accuracy, with an extensive, 16 MB, built-in mapping database that provides an easy way to view your location, heading and route on a large, high contrast, high color 120 x 160 pixel display. In attractive Champagne metallic, Meridian Color is rugged enough to go with you on any adventure, or just across town, designed to make getting where you’re going a fun, easy and safe trip.

The Meridian Color gives you all the great advantages of GPS in a full set of features:

Full Color
See where you are and where you’re going in vivid color on the industry’s first full-color 120 x 160 pixel display. Color enables you to easily see your location and route, differentiating between roads, interstates, parks, waterways, airports and other points of interest.

Meridian Color finds your location by tracking up to 12 GPS satellites simultaneously. Assisted by the U.S. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), the Meridian Color is accurate to within 3 meters or better.

Easy to use
An intuitive interface and large keyboard provides direct access to key features, putting the power of GPS at your fingertips.

Built-in mapping of North America and unlimited expandability
Start navigating right away with the extensive, 16 MB, built-in mapping database of North America, including highways, major roads, parks, waterways, airports, cities and marine navigation aids, such as buoys, obstructions, wrecks, lighthouses and more. Increase your mapping detail by downloading street-level maps on an optional Magellan SD memory card.

Full Featured Navigation
Nine customizable graphic navigation displays show a map, compass, speedometer, and text readouts of heading, bearing, speed, direction, ETA, and more. Choose from 12 built-in coordinate systems and 76 datums including Latitude/Longitude, Universal Transverse Mercator, and Military Grid Reference System.

Store routes and track-points
Store up to 20 routes, 500 waypoints and 2,000 track-points to easily find your way back again.

Save Track-to-Route The unique, Save Track-to-Route feature allows you to convert complicated track files into easy to follow routes. Save hundreds of routes by transferring them to a PC with Magellan MapSend software. NorthFinderTM NorthFinder technology shows your direction even when standing still. Sun/Moon positions Meridian Color shows you when the sun will rise and set, as well as the phase of the moon, for any date and location in the world. Fish and game calculator Want to know when the fish are likely to be biting in your little corner of the world? The Magellan Meridian Color can tell you. Satellite status Monitor the GPS satellites in view and get information about their status.

Built to perform on the most challenging and rigorous adventure

Large backlit full-color display
Easily view all the GPS information you need in full color to make your adventure fun and safe, even at night.

Advanced power management
2 AA batteries provide up to 13 hours of continuous use.

Rugged construction
Rubber armored, impact resistant plastic allows you to confidently take Meridian Color on that next great adventure.

Meridian Color is sealed to IEC-529 IPX7 specifications – and it floats!

Built-in help database
The Meridian Color is intuitive, easy to use, and all the major functions are described in step-by-step instructions.

Multiple language support
If you speak English, French, German, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese or Dutch, so does the Magellan Meridian Color.

1-year warranty
We pride ourselves on building rugged and reliable navigation products that you can depend on, backed by a full one-year warranty.

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September 20, 2005

Google Earth Satellite Imagery Update includes Harare, Zimbabwe

The BBS Keyhole site which is the home of the Google Earth community just announced a major update to the Google Earth Satellite imagery as well as the addition of a National Geographic layer that indexes content from National Geographic Magazine about the continent of Africa. I’m pleased to see that Harare in Zimbabwe (via Google Earth KMZ bookmark), where I lived for 30 years before moving to Botswana and then the UK, is on the the list.

Key components of the update are as follows:

National Geographic Content

  • Feature stories and images
  • 500 Megaflyover scenes
  • Sights & Sounds multimedia content
  • Live WildCam in Botswana

Global Imagery Updates

Very High Resolution Areas
Jacksonville, FL 2004; Los Angeles, CA 2003; Oxnard, CA 2004; Tampa/St.Petersburg 2002

New High-Resolution Areas
Wilmington, NC; Myrtle Beach, SC; Quito, Ecuador; Caracas, Venezuela; La Paz, Bolivia; Canary Islands; Brussels, Belgium; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Belgrade, Serbia; Vilnius, Lithuania; Riga, Latvia; Kiev, Ukraine; Mumbai, India; Bangalore, India; Hyderabad, India; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Hiroshima, Japan; Kobe, Japan; Osaka, Japan; Kyoto, Japan; Nagoya, Japan; Sapporo, Japan; Shanghai, China; Saertu, China; Havana, Cuba; Harare, Zimbabwe; Liverpool, UK; Portsmouth, UK; Middlesborough/Hartlepool, UK; Darwin, Australia

Updated or Additional Coverage Areas
Nashville, TN; Quebec, Canada; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Venice, Italy; Milan, Italy; Birmingham, UK; Plymouth, UK; Dublin, Ireland; Frankfurt, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Warsaw, Poland; Ankara, Turkey; New Delhi, India; Taipei, Taiwan; Seoul, South Korea; Pyongyang, North Korea; Stockholm, Sweden; Cape Town, South Africa;

Google Earth Community

A new forum, National Geographic Content, has been created for placemarks and discussions about the content in the National Geographic layers.

I wonder if the Zimbabwean Government will be as upset as the Koreans were about Google making satellite photos of their country publicly available? Then again, I don’t think they have any Nuclear Facilities or Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to speak of. More on countries that have Google Earth Privacy and Security Concerns.

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