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Old 05-05-2007, 11:01 PM   #1
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GPS and laptop computers

I have a laptop computer and was wondering if there was any software and hardware out there that would allow me to use my laptop like one of those navigation systems. My friend has the Garmin Street Pilot and it works really well.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:15 AM   #2
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I know you can, but I don't know what software and hardware you need. We used to use a serial port GPS receiver to do GPS on PalmPilots, I think the laptop antenna will be a similar product - just an antenna, no "brains", no screen.

I've actually traveled with a friend who ran a setup like this (laptop+software+receiver). I never saw it, but I heard the lady-voice of the navigation software a few times over the CB.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:27 AM   #3
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jage: Your friends setup sounds exactly like what I am looking for. I can probably find something on the internet. But I bet someone out there has already run into this problem.
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Old 05-06-2007, 09:32 AM   #4
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Try Delorme, they have the software and GPS to hook to your laptop all in one package if you like. The nice thing about using the laptop is that you can do your planning in comfort. Also Microsoft has Microsoft Streets that comes packaged with a GPS.


http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeC ... tion=10091

I have used both, both have worked well.

Greg
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Old 05-06-2007, 10:31 AM   #5
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Do both cover streets as well as backcountry trails? Do they have Topo maps that cover rivers and lakes? Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:49 PM   #6
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My GPS/computer setup

Shockingly enough, the standard street navigation software, such as Delorme's Street Atlas USA and Microsoft's Streets & Trips, all contain most of the very smallest logging and mining trails out there in the boonies! You won't see topo or 3D information indicating terrain, but the trails are in there.

Here's a link to my computer/GPS setup in my Sportsmobile.

I use the tiniest laptop computer I can find, and an externally mounted (magnetic mount on the roof) USB GPS. I fabricated a dashboard computer cradle/mount.
For software, I usually end up using:
  • Delorme's Street Atlas USA (when in the USA)
    Microsoft's Streets & Trips (when in Canada)
    OziExplorer with scanned maps (when in Mexico)
I have various topographic moving-map software that works with GPS, but I don't end up bothering to use it. It's actually more difficult to see where you are while driving when glancing at a tiny screen in bright sunlight if the computer is showing too much information.

-- Geoff
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:51 PM   #7
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Delorme provides both street and topo maps, with separate software. Microsoft stays mostly with just streets, or I should say that is all it covered a couple of years ago. For all around use I would go with Delorme.
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Old 05-06-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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We use DeLorme Topo USA. The street data is identical to their Streets Atlas package, but it also contains topographic, land-cover, hiking trail, 4x4 track, and public lands ownership data, which we find very useful.

We found the Microsoft Streets & Trips to be good for major roads, but often missing Forest service and BLM roads that were in the DeLorme products. On major paved roads the Microsoft data is less error prone than the DeLorme (road changes, out of place, non-existant, etc)

DeLorme Topo 6.0 only covers the 50 states, so somewhat useless outside of there.

We use it with a Holux USB GPS "mouse" that cost about 35$ on eBay. This is plugged into an ultra portable laptop (12" screen) sitting on a mount between the seats.

-Erik
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Old 05-06-2007, 11:47 PM   #9
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The "mouse" that is on the roof of the vehicle, it that wirless or wired directly into the laptop. Also will the sofware give turn by turn directions and also include fuel, food and services like typical navagation setups.
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:16 AM   #10
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mouse GPS

The "mouse" GPS I have magnetically attached to the roof is a wired one.

I have added 6-foot USB extension cable to give me about 12-feet total to get from the roof, down the outside edge of the windshield (tucked into the rubber moulding), and then into the hood and back into the cab behind the driver's door, and finally to my laptop computer.

I currently use this GPS, which I bought for $54 from buygpsnow.com:
I previously used a Rayming TN-200 USB GPS which I bought for $90, but it didn't work very well and died after only two years of use.

-- Geoff
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