After months of vacillation, I bought a Garmin 60CS and had no idea it only came with the base map. The Mapsource City Select is recommended for it, but I'm really interested in lesser known dirt roads and out of the way places. Would the US Topo map be a better choice? Can someone compare the two of them for dual sport use?
09-21-2005, 10:21 PM
You can get Topo or Metroguide USA. The advantage of these over City Select is there are no unlock codes, you have full access to everything all the time for as many GPS's as you have.
Metroguide USA has just as much detail as either of the other two.
I have found some instances when USA needs to be zoomed in one more level to get the same detail as Topo but it is all there.
DO NOT buy Metroguide North America. I purchased it because it was a "newer release" than Metroguide USA.
It does not have near the detail as MetroGuide USA and in my opinion is a waste of money.
09-22-2005, 07:39 AM
On the Garmin site is a tool and you can see the coverage for the various programs. Basically it allows you to zoom in and see the coverage and detail level. I have the Topo USA (different than the one that only shows National Parks) and it works fine. The downside is that it is pretty old data so you can't expect it to work in newer subdivisions. But the roads further out are good. You can actually load mapsets from multiple products. You might find metroguide is the thing to load for big city coverage and then load maps from Topo for outside.
Definitely play with the viewer online though. Switch to large and more detail. The U.S. Topo East, West, Alaska, and Hawaiii are one product, they just ship on seperate CD's. http://www.garmin.com/cartography
09-22-2005, 10:37 AM
Ive got a 60C and use the discontinued Road & Rec maps. They have some inaccuracy & omissions, but cover the lesser know roads pretty well.
I've never used it but I suspect Topo may clutter up your screen with a lot of extraneous information that would make it tougher to use for road navigation. The City Select name is a bit misleading because it doesn't just have city street detail, but also rural coverage. It might be just what you need.
My only gripe with City Select, and my reason for getting R&R is that City Select subdivides the maps into big chunks and limits your ability to choose what to download. For instance, if you want maps of Bryan/College Station, you may have to download info for Houston and Beaumont as well in order to get it.
With R&R you select, county by county, exactly what you want so you can truly be selective. I've heard you can find copies on eBay pretty cheap.
09-27-2005, 12:36 AM
:tab I have, but seldom use, Roads & Rec. It is very outdated and inaccurate in the areas of East Texas where I explore. I also find the visual style of the map hard to decipher at a glance. I have to really sit and study the map as there is little contrast between road types (Think black and white). However, it is easy to come by and will work with any of the Garmin GPS's. Also, as Chris mentions, you can be very selective about what areas you load, an important consideration for GPS's with little memory like the older Etrex series.
:tab The Topo maps are great. They do have insane detail but the amount displayed can be controlled in the map setup menu on the GPS. What I like is that it will show stuff down to hiking trails and cow paths. However, you cannot count on a road being where it claims a road should be. Much of the data is old. It is nice though because it lets you see good detail at a larger scale without having to zoom in far enough to see the fire ant mounds :roll: For paved roads, it is pretty accurate, although some road numbers may be off due to renaming or redesignation, but that is seldom a problem. This is what I use the most when out exploring.
:tab I have City Select 6.0 as well. I like it. It shows fantastic detail; however, you have to zoom down pretty far before it will show the good stuff which makes seeing the big picture more difficult. I switch back and forth between it and Topo a lot when planning routes, and while riding. The nice feature about City select is the auto-routing capability when planning routes on your computer that are later transferred to your unit. For the 60CS, routes are limited in that they can only have 50 points on the route before it forces you to do straight line dot-to-dot navigating (called off-road navigating), the 276 unit allows 250 points!!. The autorouting follows the actual road path. Having used it extensively in Colorado and on the recent Smoky Mountains Rally, I have found the mileages and time estimates to be very good. For both trips, I had the Topo and City Select maps loaded for the areas where we were riding and had no problem with running out of memory. It is nice to be able to switch back and forth between the map sets on the fly.
:tab My biggest gripe with the City select is that Garmin seems to be going nuts with the whole piracy/protection issues. When you buy City Select, you get TWO unlock codes. Before you can transfer any map data to your GPS, you have to unlock the software. THIS IS GPS SPECFIC. You obtain the unlock codes from Garmin after giving them the serial number of your unit. If you have more than two GPS's, you have to purchase additional unlock codes. The kicker is that additional codes cost about the same as a new copy of the software package!! They have effectively ensured that you will buy future versions of the software as you upgrade to newer GPS's units.
:tab On our recent trip to NC, we had some route sharing issues. I made all the routes in CS 6.0. Those routes only worked on units loaded with CS 6.0 maps. Wasabi had CS 7.0 maps on his unit and he could not use the routes I made. I had two other GPS's with me and they were loaded with CS 5.0 and could not use the routes properly either. ALL of the GPS's were loaded with legal and legit copies of the software! This is incredibly annoying as the odds of everyone have the same version of the software is practically zero. I plan to contact Garmin to find out if I am just missing something or if this in an intentional design feature.
:tab With the 60CS, you can do autorouting with either the CS or Topo software. This is not the same as using a loaded route you made in Mapsource. This is putting the arrow on a destination and asking the GPS to tell you how to get there. Even with the Topo, you can do "Follow Road" and it will show a route that follows the road contours. But in Mapsource, if you are in the Topo, it won't do this. You have to put down points in a manner similar to bread crumbs that follow the general path you want to take and the curves of the road. Obviously, for a large route, you will need a lot of points if you want your straight line dot-to-dot approximation of the route to be even remotely accurate in terms of distances and times. When you load a route made on the computer and try to navigate it, the GPS will ask how to calculate the route. If the CS maps are showing, you can do Follow Road, but if the Topo maps are showing, it will only do the straight line Off Road method.
:tab There is a bit of a learning curve to get to the point where you can use the GPS effectively. Garmin is still stuck in an old mode of thinking. They are coming from the aviation/marine background and still think in terms of direct point to point navigation from A to B and not in terms of wandering routes just for the purpose of wandering ;-)
I ended up buying the the City select and the Topo map. The topo hasn't arrived yet, but I have played with the CS for a few days now and like it overall. It seems to be somewhat outdated for a "new" release not showing 2-3 year old roads right down the street from my house (Georgetown's Inner Loop as one example). The Waypoint Manager that came with it is garbage.
09-27-2005, 12:32 PM
:tab Very few map programs will have new roads. New, being stuff only 4-5 years old or so. It's really a problem in areas that are growing fast like North Austin. This is why I use so many different mapping sources: online maps like yahoo, mapblast, etc,... and then software like Map'n'Go, Streets & Trips, Mapsource stuff...