[Novalug] OT (sadly) GPS Receivers for Hiking
gruntly at gmail.com
Mon Jan 12 14:13:51 EST 2009
Boy, did I state my question badly! What I meant to say was this:
Assuming there are list members who use GPS receivers for hiking, I'd
like to discuss the availability and desirability of various features.
My comment about the lack of Free (or Free-compatible) supporting
software was just grumbling, not a request for information; I'm pretty
much resigned to running a special quarantined box to update/program
my GPS receiver, just as I now must do for my TomTom highway GPS.
That said, I'm nonetheless grateful for the numerous replies, which
taught me things I hadn't known. And of course they revealed the
presence of handheld GPS users on the list! So here are some
* Some units can display topographic maps; while this sounds great,
is it actually useful in practice, compared to, say, carrying a topo
map with me? Bear in mind I'll need to get out my reading glasses to
make sense of either.
* May I assume that, even without topo maps, the GPS display is a
map-like view, similar to that on a highway GPS? A friend of mine
proposed a unit that displays only an indication whether I'm "getting
warmer" or "getting colder" but I doubt that would be a big seller.
* If it is handy to have topo maps displayed in the GPS, how
expensive a proposition is this? I get the impression from some vendor
sites that the GPS receiver, expensive as it is to begin with, is just
a device for them to sell expensive mapping products and services to
the endlessly-paying customer.
* I've grown accustomed to the convenience of the Military Grid
Reference System (MGRS), aka Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM), aka
(for US) US National Grid (USNG). It seems very difficult to determine
(from vendor sites) which units can display MGRS coordinates, and even
more difficult to tell whether they can display MGRS and Lat/Lon
simultaneously. Come to think of it, since I don't foresee any hikes
where I'll be calling in close air support, I guess I care more about
seeing the MGRS grid itself than having the numeric coordinates always
displayed. There's nothing like squares that are always exactly 1km on
a side to maintain a clear feeling of scale.
* Can someone point me to a good forum to ask questions like these?
Googling finds me lots of places to buy GPS receivers but very little
in the way of feature discussions/comparisons. What I have found is
generally several years old.
Thanks, and sorry for the ambiguous original post.
More information about the Novalug