I have sold my Garmin :-o

I have now sold my trustworthy and robust Garmin 620 (to the left) before this I had the legendary Garmin 246C, my plan is to move to some sort of tablet in my car (to the right).

FIRST – why I sold it: It’s heavy, it’s slow zooming in/out finding waypoints, it’s not that good on batteries – and the most important – it’s so proprietary you cannot share a waypoint :-(in 2013!!) I had to run an IBM server-room to hook this thing up just to transfer waypoints and maps – speaking of trasferring maps – it took ages and I was always uncertain if the device would even startup after the .img compilation and transfer.

Researching maps and usability on an iPad

Usage
I primarily want to use my new GPS setup in my car as a 4×4 navigation system, that means no GPRS, no WiFi, no datatransfer at all out in the field – the maps has to be preloaded onto the device. At this point I have not found any apps that easily import a set of waypoints as I could with the Garmin and the server room.

I know some use small windows based portables or tank-safe Panasonic Toughbooks with the obscure and geeky made mapsoftware, I do not want to use a little trackpad or pinball (or whatever they call it) with gloves or out in the mud. The device would need some waterproof protection and a car-kit that look nice – no suction on the window. Speaking of windows – I could not bring Windows on a laptop into the woods… it need constant updating.

Options
I’m a sworn Apple fan – but I think the iPad is a bit too large – I hope the iPad Mini is released later this month – they say the pressrelease is sent today – Last update on this – upgraded to iPad Mini 64Gb 4G – looking good

Google Nexus 7 – looks good, I’ve heard it’s fast
Samsung Galaxy – nice size
Acer – neat

But I have got feedback from Amund there is no good software, even the Android version of OZI Explorer does not work properly. Here is a list of Android apps and how they work.

iPhone Apps
There are hundreds of apps doing this in App Store – I have decided to go for these in the first place

Navigon – for the daily routing here and there… just to have a connection to Garmin :-)
MotionX GPS
GPS Kit
BitMap (I’m now betatesting a new version called Maps’n Trax :-)
Norge-serien has to be checked out if you drive in Norway

I have now bought an iPad2 64Gb with GPRS option (GPS antenna)

Navigation On Iceland

I took this on a roadtrip to Iceland and what I learned was that you need a charger that deliver more than 1000 mA, if I switched of the WiFi and BT it did not drain, but with everything ON the iPad was empty in about 5 hrs. So I bought this one for further use. Another thing I learned – we mostly used maps that where cached in the 1gb cache memory – not the ones I’ve downloaded…

Take Cover – yesterday I bought a Griffin Survivor iPad cover Military Spec on Clas Ohlson and I must say it’s a blast :-) it looks really robust and the tests I’ve seen it looks good enough for bringing the iPad wherever I want whatever the weather.

Untitled

Mount

There is only one mount… RAM Mount – and since I have a seasonally open car I do not like long fingers. Lock it to the car! There is a bunch crappy Chinese mounts for tablets, but it will definitely break apart when this is being used in a trophy far far away. Those who have been on a bumpy road before know what I mean.

My mount
Yesterday I mounted the new RAM mount – I ended up on this option  – it is quite neat when it’s empty as well

RAM mount!

Maps – offline maps!!!

Since I’m leaving for Iceland before the iPad Mini is even launched I have to start learning by using options on my iPhone, I have marked a area on the map in MotionX GPS and started download of the map. It takes some time, but it’s the only way if you don’t want to rely on data transfer – I’m not! i chose detail level from 7 to 14 and it’s calculated to take about 600Mb (it seems to fill up about 50Mb). Se screenshot from the area and how it looks while downloading.

MotionX GPS
Select download area and Zoom level / Start download / Manage maps

Selected area on map MotionX GPS  Selected area on map MotionX GPS  Download map MotionX GPS  Map collections MotionX GPS

What I find difficult in MotionX GPS
Importing way-points and routes… this may be a walk in tha park, have not tried it yet – will update as soon as I get my new device!

Importing Waypoints MotionX GPS

Other considerations
The Garmin had some sort of image-viewer that could show images, quite handy if you had some images that you sometimes wanted to show friends – the problem is that it crashed every time I tried to view my 10 images (which by the way was scaled to the correct screen-resolution so it would not take to much space on the memory card)

The iPad is also great as a music source, video source and image source… not to mention all the apps and documentation you can bring onto this thing.

What I wish for:
I want to add completely custom maps – homemade for a small area or downloaded like the ones we bought for our trip to Russia

Help and How-To’s:
TLC FAQ

Why is there even a market for Garmin devices??
PS! This is written in English because I can not seem to find any other articles on this specific topic so I hope some more than the 5 millions in Norway can get use of this information.

Related Articles found later:
Expedition Portal
http://expeditionportal.com/head-to-head-gps-vs-smartphone/