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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if there is much GPS use in the wheeling community? For mapping out good trails, camping sites, drinkable water location, etc. Or is this information readily available, or just best obtained through experience?

Chris
 

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Hi Chris

The more guys I wheel with the more i notice that some are packing GPS for such reasons as you mentioned ( mostly for trails and camp sites) I've also noticed a couple of guys running laptops with mapping programs tapped into their GPS, very interesting stuff.


Jason

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been starting to play with handheld GPS's and Pen Tablet computers. The reason I got into this is because of flying. (I'm working on my private pilots license). But I figured the technology could be very handy in this area as well. (Besides also being a toy...)
 

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I've had a GPS for a few years now (on my 3rd Garmin) and don't use it much for fourwheeling. Probably because most of the trails I find are easy enough to navigate. In the past, when I was learning the new-to-me trails around Sooke, a GPS would have been handy but at the time, I only had my GPS 45 multiplex unit which didn't hold a good lock under tree cover. Also, SA was still in effect and the + or - 100M error was too great when you have turn-offs close to one another.

Thankfully, SA is now a thing of the past.

The most recent use I got from my GPS (besides playing with it) was when locating some mine shafts on Nickel Plate Mtn. I had gotten some coordinates from someone who knew the area a few years ago and this spring, we were able to find those shafts using the Garmin.

It also came in handy while driving around Los Angeles a couple of years ago because the built-in Americas base maps had good detail for that area. I'm now using the Canadian Enhanced Base Maps and Vancouver Metroguide and when that's loaded into my GPS, I can actually see individual city blocks on the screen. Accuracy is much improved over the built-in maps, too. I don't use my GPS in conjunction with a laptop because the combination is too bulky although it might not be that bad if I had a full-size truck.

The key to greater adoption of the GPS for fourwheeling around here is that everyone needs to start logging interesting things and exchanging the information.


...lars


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally posted by lars:
The key to greater adoption of the GPS for fourwheeling around here is that everyone needs to start logging interesting things and exchanging the information.
An excellent point. I was already thinking about the usefulness of an online DB where locations/routes can be entered. Perhaps I should write up a webapp that would do that. User submittable, with categories (for searching for things to see) or by area. (List of sites within an area you are planning on visiting).

Chris
 

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Hey Larry

do you mind if I ask why you are on your third GPS. did they break or it just couldn't handle the jarring ride or was it due to theft, loss etc etc etc. Just wondering cause I was looking into getting into the GPS scene as I'm fairly new to BC.
Thanks
Jason

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Originally posted by Chris Epp:
An excellent point. I was already thinking about the usefulness of an online DB where locations/routes can be entered. Perhaps I should write up a webapp that would do that. User submittable, with categories (for searching for things to see) or by area. (List of sites within an area you are planning on visiting).

Chris
One caveat:

You'll want to control access to such information. If you have a GPS data free-for-all then you're also going to be "sharing" with folks who you may not necessarily want to share with. Much like a favourite fishing/camping spot, certain roads and trails are better left to be shared "within the community" rather than exposed to the anonymous world via the internet.

In my experience, there's nothing that'll ruin a cherished get-away location faster than publishing GPS coordinates on the net....I acknowledge that there will be many people who would benefit from the info, and who would use it in a responsible manner, but it doesn't take very many irresponsible people to turn a site/trail into a place to be avoided.


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Originally posted by IBJeepin2:
do you mind if I ask why you are on your third GPS. did they break or it just couldn't handle the jarring ride or was it due to theft, loss etc etc etc. Just wondering cause I was looking into getting into the GPS scene as I'm fairly new to BC.
First unit was a used Garmin 45...8-channel multiplex receiver. Not very good reception under the trees plus it took a long time to lock on a signal. I gave it away and bought a used Garmin III a few years later. Excellent 12-channel parallel receiver with beautiful in-the-trees performance and built-in base maps for all of the Americas (ie: North, Central and South). Then the III+ was announced which came with uploadable maps. They were offering an upgrade to anyone to sent in their Garmin III and US$150 so I did the upgrade.

So, as you can see, the only reason I've been changing GPS's is to get more features. If I were to buy one now and could afford it, it'd be the Garmin V which finally has an audible alarm in that III-series body, plus support for newer signal formats and route-planning.

I've been very happy with Garmin's performance and the amount of software that can "speak Garmin."


...lars



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Lars, the alarm is not all that great. It gets REALLY REALLY REALLY annoying after a while when you gain and lose signal alot du to mountain conditions (after the first few times it goes off you know what it happening and it gets old fast) But the GPS works great in my Jeep hard top, soft top or no top. Though it is not my GPS, just try taking Pat anywhere without it.

try www.geocaching.com for something to play with. It is lots of fun and makes the GPS more servicable. We recently put one out there that you can "hike" to or 4wheel to. More to come of course.

With the GPS and out wheeling, we find we know exactly where we are when we get lost. Unfortunately I still do not have a clue where that is


Wes

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Originally posted by Wes Rempel:
Lars, the alarm is not all that great. It gets REALLY REALLY REALLY annoying after a while when you gain and lose signal alot du to mountain conditions (after the first few times it goes off you know what it happening and it gets old fast
Well, at least you have the option of turning it off. There were times with my Garmin 45 when it was nice to have the audible alarm.


...lars



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Originally posted by lars:
Well, at least you have the option of turning it off. There were times with my Garmin 45 when it was nice to have the audible alarm.
I wonder if Pat knows it can be turned off?


Wes

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Originally posted by DMMcG:
One caveat:

You'll want to control access to such information. If you have a GPS data free-for-all then you're also going to be "sharing" with folks who you may not necessarily want to share with. Much like a favourite fishing/camping spot, certain roads and trails are better left to be shared "within the community" rather than exposed to the anonymous world via the internet.

In my experience, there's nothing that'll ruin a cherished get-away location faster than publishing GPS coordinates on the net....I acknowledge that there will be many people who would benefit from the info, and who would use it in a responsible manner, but it doesn't take very many irresponsible people to turn a site/trail into a place to be avoided.
Which is exactly what my next question was going to be asking about. So in your opinion, is it best left alone? Information to be traded privately, or is it worth doing with some 'community only' restricted access?
 

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Chris, you're giving me a bad case of deja vu! This topic has been covered in the past and we have been unable to come up with a satisfactory resolution. I suppose I could write an app to gather that kind of info on BC4x4 and then keep all the coords for myself! ;-) Or I could moderate the information and publish only those trails that I see fit to make public? Not exactly the most democratic method but then again, the Internet is all about anarchy, not democracy. Info on getting to Whipsaw, I wouldn't have a problem disseminating. Info on getting to the Camel Trophy Trail? You bet I'd sit on that. Hold on...let me adjust the squelch knob so I can drown out the accusations of elitism. Basically, some trails are too sensitive (physically or politically, or both) to be published on the Internet.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I should have suspected the topic has been covered in the past. (Much like the topic of building a bridge for easy access to my clubs R/C Flying Field comes up *every* year at our AGM)

I can see your point on the matter. I guess the info is already there if you are active in the community but also inherently has the needed seclusion.

Sorry bout the deja vu...
nothing like dredging up an old issue hey...

If your going to build an app to keep the co-ords for yourself, at least have it publish randomly modified co-ords for the data you collect to give the _appearance_ of sharing.



[This message has been edited by Chris Epp (edited August 01, 2001).]
 

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cool thing about GPS is you get co-ordinates then you look at the handy dandy topographical map of the area that you purchase from your local forrestry management guys(I know theres a name for it but cant remember where it is you actually purchase them) so that you can chart your possition and figure out where to go next. much easier than using a sextant(old tool used by deep sea marriners to get co-ordinates)


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by crazyguy:
cool thing about GPS is you get co-ordinates then you look at the handy dandy topographical map of the area that you purchase from your local forrestry management guys(I know theres a name for it but cant remember where it is you actually purchase them) so that you can chart your possition and figure out where to go next. much easier than using a sextant(old tool used by deep sea marriners to get co-ordinates)


That should'nt be to hard for me, (getting the maps that is) as my wife is in forestry. She is in a career change, and is halfway to being a registered forester. Her stepfather is an independant forester that owns a lot of property on the sunshine coast, so I can get maps through him/her.

That's a great idea, to use the topographical maps. (Ever looked at the stereo ones? Looking down in 3D on terrain)
 

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I think your all elitists!!!!

I don't even have a working 12v power source to run one of those damned contraptions!!!!

Mike(I still use the breadcrum method)Petterson.

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"I don't even have a working 12v power source to run one of those damned contraptions!!!!"

LOL. Mine kinda works. You have to wiggle what ever is plugged into it. Hope I never need a steady power supply from my outlet.


Just one question mike. What do you do when the birds eat the breadcrumbs you leave.


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No breadcrumbs= Mike's Screwed!!!!



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Most GPS systems run on batteries. Mine is about the same size of my cell phone. I don't know where you boys have been? Stocking up on breadcrumbs I suspect! lol
 
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