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Creating Map Features to Extend the Usefulness of your GPS

"User map features" can be created for use in even non-mapping GPS units through the use of mapping programs such as OziExplorer used in conjunction with digital maps. The creation of user "map features" in this way is a handy method of enhancing available map detail in areas of interest.

• Get a digital copy of map data for the area you are interested in (scan your own or buy digital maps on CD e.g. Spectrum Digital Imaging maps, Etopo maps, or those from FUGAWI).

• Use a program such as OziExplorer to load and calibrate the map image.

• Use your mapping program to mark waypoints and create tracks on your map image, by using the mouse to trace and mark the map features you wish to display on your GPS -- trails, streams, bush roads etc. Geocache coordinates can be entered directly into the mapping program too! Annotations and user-specified waypoint names will be useful for reference.

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• Download the waypoints, routes & tracks to your GPS; your new "map features" will be seen on the GPS screen as enhancements to the exisiting display, even on non-mapping units. [NOTE: The only maps that can be downloaded to GARMIN GPS units are those from MapSource CDROMs, and the only maps that can be downloaded to Magellan GPS units are those from Magellan CDROMs]

• If you wish, print a copy of the annotated digital map to take with you.

• When you return, any additional trip information you have recorded can be displayed on the digital map.


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