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Gpsmap62S Map question

#1 User is offline   pa.hunter 

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:06 PM

I have a Garmin 62S with the Garmin base map that came with the unit and I also downloaded a free Topo Map from Gpsfiledepot. I am somewhat happy with the result's but I am not sure of what I am actually seeing. I have both maps enabled on the GPS and my question is, does the Topo map overlay over the basemap and am I actually seeing both maps? My other question is, how much better is the 24K Topo map that Garmin is selling for close to $100.00? Has anyone compared the Gpsfiledepot free map to Garmin's 24K map that they have for sale? I sure would like to see a picture of that 24K Topo map on a 62S if anyone has one available.

#2 User is offline   snowfleurys 

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:35 PM

With both maps enable you should be seeing the Garmin base map when zoomed-out and the topo maps when zoomed-in.
There are various topo maps by various map authors creating their mapsets to address various purposes. Being specific on which topo mapset would help.

Disable the Garmin mapset and you will see what the topo map displays at various zoom display levels.
The topo mapsets will display from the 20' zoom display level out to a certain level (depends on what the map author has it set to), then if the Garmin base map is enabled, it will display from that level out to the maximum 'world' level. They usually will not display at the same time; however, there are some overlay/transparent mapsets which are intended and will display at the same time as a base map (topo or other).

Depends on how you define better and what 'features' are important to you. The format for Garmin's 3D views has not been reverse engineered. Only Garmin has people type POIs (eat places, etc.) - that data is simply not publically available for map authors to include in their mapsets. Desert Southwest is routable, other topo mapsets downloadable from GPSfiledepot are not; nor do any? have address searching.

You can view areas of you choice for Garmin's CityNavigator and 24k topo on Garmin's website.

#3 User is offline   JBnW 

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 03:07 PM

Here's two screen shots from the gpsfiledepot topo for our area, north and east of Manahattan, KS. Note the zoom levels, and both are set at Most Detail. IMHO, the free topos are pretty good, generally as accurate as the Garmin versions, but they don't look as "clean". But, what do you want, accuracy or appearance? The price can't be beat! The free versions certainly work well-enough for me as Topos. I also have City Nav, and can display both so I have topos and a routable map. I think, and may be wrong, but the Garmin map is routable (??)(check that on Garmin).

Posted Image
Posted Image

#4 User is offline   seldom_sn 

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

 pa.hunter, on 17 September 2012 - 01:06 PM, said:

My other question is, how much better is the 24K Topo map that Garmin is selling for close to $100.00? Has anyone compared the Gpsfiledepot free map to Garmin's 24K map that they have for sale?

Which map are you having a problem with? It might help if you posted a screenshot. It might help even more if you asked your question on the GPSfiledepot forum.

#5 User is offline   pa.hunter 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:01 AM

The Topo map I am dealing with is the Pennsylvania Topo from Gpsfiledepot and I am not actually having a problem with it. I guess I just expected to see more detail after I enabled both maps, that is why I also asked the question about Garmins 24 k topo.

#6 User is offline   snowfleurys 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 05:58 AM

You should see the full detail of the PA topo at around the 800ft display zoom level with the display detail set to normal. Within the limits of available source data, it has as much detail as is on the printed USGS 24k topo maps.

Does it have as much detail as the screen shots on gpsfiledepot? If not, you may be another victum of the profile issue. Some profiles do not display all the feature types in a mapset.

Is not the PA topo displaying more detail than the Garmin base map?
Did you try displaying the mapsets with only one enabled?
Exactly what does 'more detail' mean to you?

#7 User is offline   snowfleurys 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 06:14 AM

JBnW - Explain '... they don't look as "clean".

This might be because some users what more features and including them can make portions of a map 'cluttered'.
It is also inappropriate to display most mapsets with 'Most Detail'. Do so is like taking a printed 24k topo and reducing it to 100k and not reducing the number of contour lines nor the number of features of feature types.
It may work OK in areas where little info is available and/or where a feature type of interest is wanted to display at a more general zoom display level.

#8 User is offline   Team Periwinkle 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:27 AM

I went through the same process when I got my Garmin GPSMap 78sc (which is the marine version of the 62 - same software and screen appearance).

I tried every free topo map I could find - most of them were from gpsfiledepot, but I found some others. I played with profiles, detail levels, and lots of different settings. I did the trials of BirdsEye - both the satellite imagery and the topo maps. I eventually purchased the Garmin 24K topo maps (DVD version) and I'm very pleased with my decision.

A lot of this depends on where you are - there appears to be superior / fantastic / beautiful topo maps on gpsfiledepot for some of the western states. Here in New England, there are some great free topo maps available on gpsfiledepot, and kudos to the contributors who created them, but I was not satisfied with them. If you aren't willing to spend the $$ on teh Garmin 24K, they would be great and very workable solutions. As I recall, and I could be wrong, the Garmin 24K topo offered more / tighter contour spacing than anything I was able to find for free (in my area).

All of my custom KMZ map pages show a sample screenshot of the KMZ by itself and the KMZ with the 24K topo turned on. So they aren't screenshots of just the 24K topo, but you can get a flavor of what the topo contours on a Garmin 24K topo look like:
http://www.gpsfilede...s/byuser/13384/

This one has an example at two different zoom levels:
http://www.gpsfilede.../maps/view/569/

I have not used the routable feature of the 24K topo, but it is routable.

Dave

#9 User is offline   JBnW 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:45 AM

Yes, cluttered. There's many ways to put together a map and what displays from them, and how that display appears. I don't have the locked version of Topo 24K, but an older unlocked TopoUSA...which is 24k. My above screen shots were from the gpsfiledepot map, here are a couple from the TopoUSA, hopefully close enough to be a real comparison. If someone has the locked 24K, please add in:

Posted Image Posted Image
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IMHO, it would seem at first blush that the gpsfiledepot displays more clearly at the 2.0 mile zoom level as some of the contour lines are not drawn...providing the clarity that snowfleurys mentions. At 2.0 miles the TopoUSA image above is one solid contour line. However, if I were in a spot where topography mattered, I wouldn't have the GPS zoomed out to 2 miles, I'd be looking a bit more closely. When comparing the 0.8 mile images, the TopoUSA version appears much cleaner, at least to my eyes. Notice below how the County names are drawn over the river and obscuring the river? See how the gpsfiledepot map doesn't color in the lake, but does for the coves? And a couple of other similar examples that seem minor, but just don't look as "clean" or "polished" With that said, I've not noticed any factual differences between the two products, they both have hills, rivers, lakes, etc. in the right places and all, and that would be the most important part to me.


edit:add in pics. TopoUSA on left, gpsfiledepot on right

This post has been edited by JBnW: 18 September 2012 - 07:53 AM


#10 User is offline   snowfleurys 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 12:39 PM

'I'd be looking a bit more closely. When comparing the 0.8 mile images, the TopoUSA version appears much cleaner, at least to my eyes.' Of course it does; TopoUSA is a 100k scale product displayed at/near its maximum data content; with the 24k topo you are forcing the full 24k detail (which is designed to be displayed at around the 800 ft zoom display) to be displayed at 0.8 miles by having the GPSr set to maximum detail.

Looks like TopoUSA has a 10 meter contour interval in that area, while the KS? topo is using 20ft - that is over 1-1/2 times more contour lines being displayed. Set the display detail to normal, the way the mapsets were intended to be view, and make the comparisons.

'Notice below how the County names are drawn over the river and obscuring the river?' How and where names are displayed is determined in the Garmin GPSr. AFAIK, no 3rd party map author has determined how Garmin determines name display position nor how to modify it. And even if it was known, how practical would it be to individually tweek the position of millions of names per mapset? Plus which name gets displayed and where varries with display zoom level. Try turning display labels to off.

'See how the gpsfiledepot map doesn't color in the lake, but does for the coves?' There are thousands of coding errors in the source data which is publically available for third party authors to use. Notice how few people have come foreward to author a state topo mapset; even once, let alone upkeep and improve their initial creation.

Look at the transportation. The 3 'top levels' used in the source files from Census are: interstate, highway, and residential. Besides the mis-codings; for their purposes of head and house counts any roadway with a house is considered residential irregardless of its highway status (local, county, state, or national).

This post has been edited by snowfleurys: 18 September 2012 - 12:41 PM


#11 User is offline   JBnW 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:27 PM

I've provided screenshots as the OP requested. Maybe someone has some 24K Topo screenshots they wish to share to help the OP make a decision, rather than see who can type the most words.

edit:rant deleted.

#12 User is offline   pa.hunter 

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 04:08 PM

Thank you JBnW the pictures are great and helpfull. The screen on my 62s look nothing like yours, especially the screen shotsfrom the GpsFiledepot topo map. How do you manage to get the colors you display, especially the bright vivid yellows, reds and blues? Are those colors a product of the maps or are you selecting them on your unit? I will admit that I because I new to the 62s I may be missing something.

#13 User is offline   JBnW 

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:51 AM

 pa.hunter, on 18 September 2012 - 04:08 PM, said:

Thank you JBnW the pictures are great and helpfull. The screen on my 62s look nothing like yours, especially the screen shotsfrom the GpsFiledepot topo map. How do you manage to get the colors you display, especially the bright vivid yellows, reds and blues? Are those colors a product of the maps or are you selecting them on your unit? I will admit that I because I new to the 62s I may be missing something.

YW. :) I believe that's going to be a result of how the 62s captures a screen shot, or maybe the difference between a computer screen and a GPS, as my display doesn't look exactly like the pics color-wise either, and much as you mention. I fiddled around with the GPS color profiles, and it didn't change anything on the maps, and what I see on my GPS is like you describe; a white-light grey background rather than the light yellow, a paler blue for the surface waters, topo lines that are more brown, the red-hashed Intermittent Streams are more brick red and hardly display at all... And that's equally true for both the Garmin and gpsfiledepot maps.

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