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20th Jan 2010
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TrackLogs Digital MappingTrackLogs Digital Mapping

Can I download the maps into my GPS?

eTrex Base Map
eTrex Base Map

No, you can't download the TrackLogs Ordnance Survey mapping into your GPS. Tracks, routes and waypoints planned within the TrackLogs software can be transferred, the maps stay on the PC.

So what is a GPS base map?

A base map is a map which lives inside your GPS and can be displayed on its screen. These are either pre-loaded at the factory or can be uploaded to your GPS using additional software, almost always sold by the manufacturer of the device.

Why can't I load the OS maps as base maps?

There are two reasons. The first is a technical incompatibility. Whilst the majority of the world uses vector[1] maps, the Ordnance Survey maps use bitmaps[2]. It's this use of bitmaps that makes the Ordnance Survey maps look so good but we pay for this quality with an incompatibility between the OS maps and GPS mapping.[3]

The second reason is one of licensing. To use Ordnance Survey maps outside of the TrackLogs application would require additional licensing, increasing the price of the software.

Which GPS devices include base maps?

Not all GPS units include or can show base maps. Older or lower end models may omit or limit this feature. Newer, application specific models such as the Garmin training units (Edge, Forerunner) may also limit the mapping capabilities as these models move focus from navigation onto fitness training. To be absolutely sure of a GPS device's capabitilites we recommend you check the manufacturer's website.

[1] Vector maps define the world as a set of co-ordinates linked by straight lines. These scale well but fine detail is difficult to reproduce. Google road maps are an example of vector mapping.

[2] Bitmaps are digital pictures stitched together to draw a map. These do not scale well but can be visually complex with very fine detail. Ordnance Survey digital maps and aerial photography are both examples of bitmap mapping.

[3] Some GPS devices are now adding the ability to display bitmap maps. These devices are locked to the manufacturer's own products.

Written by TrackLogs Digital Mapping. Copyright TrackLogs Digital Mapping 2002-2017. All rights reserved. Please send any comments, questions or feedback to support@tracklogs.co.uk


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