GPS Navigation and Maps

GPS Navigation has taken off in recent times and the further afield I travel the more inclined I am to have paper maps as a backup to my GPS navigator. I’ve concluded that there is NO single source of information I can trust in exclusion of all others. They can each contribute to the final solution on route choices. I’ll leave the pre-running exercise to the professional support/ride companies – they have to afford that. I have to decide where to go from my desktop – before I leave.

Paper Maps

I have HEMA maps of each state and a couple of smaller areas e.g. Flinders Rangers as well as South Australia. I also have the HEMA Australian Road & 4WD Easy Read Atlas. The atlas would be impossible for me to take along on a ride – it’s too big and heavy. But these maps do a good job of indicating the extent of differing road surfaces.

OpenStreetMaps (OSM)

mapsMy navigation software uses OpenStreetMaps as its source even though updates are only done about 3-4 times a year. But I can maintain a more up-to-date mapping environment in Basecamp with my own version of OSM maps.

GPS Navigation

I used to use a Garmin GPS device on the bike. It unfortunately proved unreliable (random re-boots) and my model did not support tracks and was not water proof. It only accepted routes. Typically, routes end up constantly re-calculating which is not what you want. A track is locked down and fixed. You are either on it or not which is what you want.

So I found 2 things which made using my already waterproof phone a sensible idea.

The choice of navigation software is a personal thing. We discover and invest time in a solution and get happy with it. We don’t have time to go through this process with every alternative on the market. But I can highly recommend Locus. There’s a lot of good features and it’s never let me down and there’s a lot of good support.

Locus Maps is all offline (it even uses BRouter offline router for re-routing), it can show track gradients, it syncs really easily with Basecamp via a dropbox account or similar, it records your tracks, and much more.

SP Connect has RAM mounts and I use a long arm to get the phone nice and high just under the top of the windscreen.

QuadLock (Australian Company) now also have RAM mounts – they didn’t when I chose SP Connect.

One day there will be a good and affordable heads-up display for our helmets but for now they’re pretty expensive and pretty clunky.

Download the HDS AUS Maps and install them into Basecamp

Refer also to Planning and Mapping Tools.

One Reply to “GPS Navigation and Maps”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *