MicroNavigation Forum

Techniques => New Techniques & Learning => Topic started by: lancemassey on September 07, 2012, 10:09:25 PM

Title: starting from scratch
Post by: lancemassey on September 07, 2012, 10:09:25 PM
  Hi
Having never used a modern Satnav (had an old Decca/GPS on my boat 20 years ago) I am awaiting delivery of a Garmin GPSmap 62s with full UK 1:50,000 OS mapping. Shopped around and compared then saw this on a two day special offer . Maps and unit for £339. If my research has been accurate thats a price that couldn't be refused. As I am a complete virgin with digital maps and satnavs it might be useful to record my experiences from opening the box  to use in the field and everything in between.posted this in wrong place first time out. Got to learn to navigate site. ho ho ho
Lance
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Lost Soul on September 08, 2012, 07:16:01 AM
For walking would suggest you need to upgrade your unit with OS 25K maps. However the 50K will allow you to position fix and and very importantly generate situational awareness.  And as you say use it for just about every thing else.  Where 50k is concerned they are great for use in the car and the train.

Look forward to reading your reports.
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Hugh Westacott on September 08, 2012, 03:21:15 PM
Welcome, Lance!

Unlike some forums, nobody here will bite your head off if you fail to post on the most appropriate thread.

I would not go quite so far as Lost Soul. I believe it's more a question of horses for courses. I almost always use Ordnance Survey Explorer 1:25,000 mapping, and it is essential when walking in lowland (i.e. culltivated countryside) because, even when using Landranger (1:50,000) mapping in conjunction with a satnav, unless the path is obvious on the ground, the satnav probably won't be able to tell you on which side of the field boundary you should be walking. Landranger mapping does not show field boundaries; Explorer mapping does.

Landrangers are fine in upland (i.e. mountain and moorland beyond the limits of cultivation) countryside but, even so, I still prefer the extra detail of Explorers.

Hugh
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Skills4Survival on September 08, 2012, 03:50:05 PM
For walking would suggest you need to upgrade your unit with OS 25K maps. However the 50K will allow you to position fix and and very importantly generate situational awareness.  And as you say use it for just about every thing else.  Where 50k is concerned they are great for use in the car and the train.

Look forward to reading your reports.

More detail is always nice, but I really have to disagree on the amount of need LS puts 1:25000. In most cases, what you need to walk with, with a 1:50000, is on the map, it is only the really detailed pathways (specially close together) which might get lost on some occasion (and often the difference is small). I also would not use 1:50000 for a car perse, certainly not for train. 1:100000 will be perfectly fine in my opinion. 1:25000 will allow you to give you situational awareness (you can even debate what that means, when are you aware..and when not). I have used the maps (1:50000) for 25 years in (dense) forrests in Belgium and Netherlands which are in general much more dense on patchways and roads as the UK is. If you go for hiking you can even consider the fact that you need a lot more maps to take and pay a lot more money in total to get the same coverage.
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Lost Soul on September 09, 2012, 09:03:43 AM

 [/quote] - - - situational awareness (you can even debate what that means, when are you aware..and when not). [/quote]

Understanding the current environment and being able to accurately anticipate future problems to enable effective actions.

So if you have a map giving a bigger view of the landscape around you then you will know more of what is good and bad around you and hence make better decisions on the appropriate actions to take.  Now on a GPS,because of the very small screen size, you only have a very limited amount of surface coverage so anything that gives you a "bigger" picture is useful.  In terms of a Sat Nav screen you could think of 50K as the strategic picture and 25K as the tactical picture


[/quote]
I have used the maps (1:50000) for 25 years in (dense) forrests in Belgium and Netherlands which are in general much more dense on patchways and roads as the UK is. [/quote]

I have no experience with the continental 50K maps and the level of detail they produce but there is a vast difference with OS 25K and 50K map.  For instance in woodland 50K only show rights of way, whereas 25K show all tracks and paths irrespective of whether they are rights of way or not and fire breaks too.  All of which are invaluable for fixing your position with a high degree of precision.  Same when using contours for the same purpose. This just re-enforces what Hugh says.
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Skills4Survival on September 09, 2012, 09:38:43 AM


 
- - - situational awareness (you can even debate what that means, when are you aware..and when not). [/quote]

Understanding the current environment and being able to accurately anticipate future problems to enable effective actions.

So if you have a map giving a bigger view of the landscape around you then you will know more of what is good and bad around you and hence make better decisions on the appropriate actions to take.  Now on a GPS you only have a very limited amount of surface coverage so anything that gives you a bigger picture is useful.  In terms of a Sat Nav screen you could think of 50K as the strategic picture and 25K as the tactical picture


[/quote]
I have used the maps (1:50000) for 25 years in (dense) forrests in Belgium and Netherlands which are in general much more dense on patchways and roads as the UK is. [/quote]

I have no experience with the continental 50K maps and the level of detail they produce but there is a vast difference with OS 25K and 50K map.  For instance in woodland 50K only show rights of way, whereas 25K show all tracks and paths irrespective of whether they are rights of way or not and fire breaks too.  All of which are invaluable for fixing your position with a high degree of precision.  Same when using contours for the same purpose. This just re-enforces what Hugh says.
[/quote]

That explains it.  For Belgium and Netherlands all what you mention is on 1:50000 (in your case I would probably use the 1:25000 as well). Actually the legenda is almost the same (minor difference). What do you mean with continental maps? Every country has its own topographical service hence way of making maps, no real "continental thought" behind is as far as I know.
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Lost Soul on September 09, 2012, 10:56:02 AM
What do you mean by continental maps?     

Ah the subtleties of one’s native language.  "Continental" is nothing other than an age old British generic expression for everything and anything on mainland Europe that is not the UK and hence by definition different.  In this instance I use it to indicate that each mapping service has its own way of doing things (which is different from ours) and therefore there will be a lot of differences in content, style, coverage and dare I say quality and accuracy.

If it helps re-phrase the statement to read “maps produced in other countries.”
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Skills4Survival on September 09, 2012, 11:29:12 AM
:-) we are on the same page.
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Callum on September 12, 2012, 04:29:12 PM
I agree with Hugh, 1:25k gives the detail for lowland and I also believe for upland/mountains. Then only times I have run into problems with 1:25k is when in mountainous areas there are boulder fields or lots of scree, and then they can look messy. But, for every day, it's 1:25k
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: captain paranoia on September 12, 2012, 06:10:13 PM
> Then only times I have run into problems with 1:25k is when in mountainous areas there are boulder fields or lots of scree, and then they can look messy.

That's why I really hope that digital mapping will eventually move from raster to vector format, so we have the underlying data used to create a map, rather than the pretty pictures (e.g. OS 1:25k map tiles).  Then we could choose to turn off the confusing detail, and just see the contours.  Or turn on solar shading to accentuate the relief, or...
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: lancemassey on September 25, 2012, 05:15:18 PM
Hello
Well the 62s finally arrived,went for the free delivery. The box contained what it should and the unit was what you should expect for a modern piece of electronic gear. If you are familiar with phones,tablets, PC's etc it is easy to operate and understand at the basic level of buttons and menus. The quick start guide did its job and I'm up and running with the map on the screen.
The set up tips and guidelines in UNM were a real time saving help in configuring the unit for use. The book is worth it just for that.
I'm ready to go, ahh let's download the free Basecamp software and try and plan a route. Download complete,no hassle, icon pinned to task bar, unit and PC are talking to each other through supplied USB, we're cooking on gas.
Four hours later and I'm considering taking up smoking again and opening another bottle of gin. Four days later and i'm back on 20 a day and well into the second case. This is not the most intuitive piece of software I have ever used.
Could be me, probably is me, but I have never struggled to use a piece of software like this.
Am I right in thinking that with this program the route tool is for roads and the track tool is for tracks,paths and open country? I hope so because it seems to work for me.
Lots to learn. Comments and help warmly welcomed.
Lance
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Lyle Brotherton on September 25, 2012, 05:28:40 PM
My frustration with reputable manufacturers, from Garmin to Rockwell, is that they vast sums of money in R&D, over considerable periods of time, then bring these innovations to market without spending some time, money and effort in making their user guides meaningful, accessible and instructive.

This was recently brought startlingly home to me whilst instructing a group of very bright and experienced soldiers. For months they had struggled with converting local grid references to the MGRS (Military Grid reference System), not knowing that the particular unit they were operating daily actually did this automatically. When I demonstrated this feature to them within minutes they had mastered it. That evening I trawled thru the 178 page instruction manual, a feat in itself, to find no mention whatsoever of this menu function.

My advice would be throw away the manufacturers handbook and instructions, as these are poor translations of an ancient Tibetan dialect, long since disused, and ask away on this forum.

Something that I have been contemplating for some time now is filming a series of short videos (not dissimilar to the series I did for trail Magazine regarding the eTrex H), product specific, demonstrating how to set up and get the most out of your individual handheld satnav. You positing Lance, has prompted me to do this, and the 62s will be the first I do it for :)
 
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Callum on September 26, 2012, 09:31:13 AM
One of those ideas that makes you wonder why nobody has done it before – I am back to my Cats Eyes again ;)

It is puzzling that all of these manufacturers are high-tech companies, and probably use buzz words like embracing multimedia platforms, yet they continue to send out instruction manuals that originated from the Jurassic era.

Whereas the video idea is akin to having somebody personally walk you through the process, really simple and very effective.

Lance, have you thought about getting to grips with a really basic unit first? Such as the etrex, which you could buy for around £40, use for a few months until you are happy them sell, probably for the same amount you bought it for.
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Speedbird on September 26, 2012, 01:42:04 PM
Lance,

I also use a Garmin with the OS LR 1:50000 UK complete. I plan my hikes using Basecamp and the Landranger map which loads into Basecamp when the unit is plugged in. I always cross refer the planning in Basecamp to a paper Explorer map plus the OSM map which you can load into Basecamp ( available here http://talkytoaster.info/ ) and finally for a complete overview of the plan Basecamp will link directly in to Google Earth.

For my hikes now it is the Garmin and LR map leading the way but with the paper Explorer map and compass always in the rucksack as a backup. Rarely ever do I need to cross refer to the paper map when out as I am quite meticulous in my original planning. It works extremely well and allows me to spend more time hiking and less time looking at maps and operating a compass. Of course you need those skills and should always practice them from time to time but the technology has most definitely freed me up whilst out there. So essentially the setup gives me confidence of where I am and where I am going, enough information for my own level of "situational awareness " and should the technology fail or I find I do need more then the paper map is available if need be.

Basecamp is without a doubt a work in progress piece of software. It does have a tricky learning curve but do persevere with it as it does work although often in a convoluted way. It has just been given a recent update that fixed quite a few things but introduced a few other bugs as well. There is a lot of help in the Garmin Forum here https://forums.garmin.com/forum.php  under Windows or Mac there is a Basecamp forum which is full of information tricks and tips, and some very knowledgeable people who will help.

As mentioned already the instruction manuals from Garmin are rubbish. I have learnt more about my sat nav from this site ( see Lyles excellent satnav set up list http://micronavigation.com/the-resource-centre/  ) or watch his videos and you will gain a lot of knowledge about your sat nav you never knew existed! The set up is very important and makes a real difference. I don't know if you have Lyles book, but in there you will find a comprehensive sat nav guide which is a great source of reference.

To answer your other question planning a walk in Basecamp use tracks to do this. Once your track is planned you can create a route with waypoints if you wish by simply selecting "create route from track " option . Of course once you have walked the walk you will have an accurate track ( sat nav set up again ! ) to load back into Basecamp for accurate fine tuning and editing, after which you can now send back to the Garmin as your final polished track for future use. This workflow works rather well for me. Also in Basecamp latest version there is Garmin Adventures where you can download other peoples hikes / tracks complete with waypoints, descriptions and photo references. This gives you a good overview of how the planning works and if you are near any of these you can navigate them. I have uploaded two in the south east of England so wont be too hard to find  :) Time permitting I will upload some more.

Finally I recommend you copy the map files to a spare memory stick. This means you can plug the memory stick into any computer with Basecamp loaded and view the map if the unit is not with you or available. Can be very useful when travelling.

If you need a bit more help with Basecamp settings, or want to know what mine are give me a shout.

So this means you will have a fair bit of gin left over. I will PM you my address for delivery details  ;D




Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: captain paranoia on September 26, 2012, 05:21:04 PM
I've also found the Garmin manuals to be pretty poor as 'user manuals'; in my experience, they are no such thing, and are merely a listing of the various pages of the control menus.  This is not a user manual...

My suspicion has always been that they get their programmers to write the 'user manual', and, of course, these people (ought to) know intimately how the thing works, and so find it very hard to remember what a new user doesn't know.  So they never tell the user how to use the thing...

It's a common problem for technical stuff and best addressed by employing an independent technical author (i.e. one with no previous experience of the device) to take the device and figure out how to use it, with help from the developers, noting all the little tricks and foibles that are 'obvious' to the developers.  And an instruction manual that is functionally-based (e.g. 'setting coordinate systems, entering waypoints, navigating to a point, following a route', etc.) is better for a beginner than simply listing all the features and how to turn them on and off.

The last time I looked at a Garmin manual, it was to try to find the setting for the 'waypoint proximity tolerance' for Hugh Westacott; the setting that tells the receiver how close to a waypoint it must get before it considers that we have arrived at/gone past the waypoint.  I couldn't find it anywhere in the manual.
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Pete McK on September 27, 2012, 09:01:55 AM
Everything posted about the satnav manufacturers users manuals we too have also experienced – THEY ARE RUBBISH!

The first eTrex H, which we bought through Ebay, came from a person who had been given it as a present in 2010, it was as new. Since we were completely new to this technology, we both decided to study in detail the supplied Garmin User Manual. Captain Paranoia succinctly sums them up ‘they are no such thing. ‘

It is appalling that Garmin should have such poor customer service, and downright arrogance, as to sell satnavs, often costing many hundreds of pounds, with no useable guide on how to use them.

We ended up writing our own user manual, based upon Lyle's satnav set up list, which John referenced, combined with his Trail Magazine article, and then combined this with our field experience. Being teachers (sciences) we both like to think that we can assimilate technical information, and then communicate it in a clear and easily understandable way. If anyone is interested in our humble Users Guide we are very happy to publish it here and make it available for other forum members.
 
Title: Re: starting from scratch
Post by: Archie2 on September 05, 2016, 08:07:16 PM
Everything posted about the satnav manufacturers users manuals we too have also experienced – THEY ARE RUBBISH!

The first eTrex H, which we bought through Ebay, came from a person who had been given it as a present in 2010, it was as new. Since we were completely new to this technology, we both decided to study in detail the supplied Garmin User Manual. Captain Paranoia succinctly sums them up ‘they are no such thing. ‘

It is appalling that Garmin should have such poor customer service, and downright arrogance, as to sell satnavs, often costing many hundreds of pounds, with no useable guide on how to use them.

We ended up writing our own user manual, based upon Lyle's satnav set up list, which John referenced, combined with his Trail Magazine article, and then combined this with our field experience. Being teachers (sciences) we both like to think that we can assimilate technical information, and then communicate it in a clear and easily understandable way. If anyone is interested in our humble Users Guide we are very happy to publish it here and make it available for other forum members.

Hi,
 I'd be really interested in having a copy of your user guide. I find the Gamin one about as much use as a chocolate fireguard!
You could even email me it if you want.

Thanks in Advance

Archie