Travelmate software

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 16:49
ThreadID: 121880 Views:2883 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Hi everyone have just been reading an article in 4wd mag about a software product called travelmate. Website www.advantechdesign.com.au My understanding of it is that in combination with a gps it stops you from getting lost and allows you to keep a diary including pics of your trip. Does anyone use or know of anyone who uses this software, thanks I would appreciate any info as we are planning our escape (hopefully only 3 months to wait)
Cheers Colin & Gayle
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Reply By: MattandLana - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 17:21

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 17:21
Hi Colin & Gayle,

I'll read the answers with interest on the software you mention.

We do our bush work using Oziexplorer, which works with a GPS and raster images (ie. bitmaps) of any map you like, but in particular the Auslig (now Geoscience Australia, formerly NatMap!!) 1:250,000 topographic maps. It gives you moving map charactaristics on a true topo map, rather than the "made roads only" databases of normal in-car satnav systems. Because the maps are raster images, the program can't do street directions like a satnav system, but having a moving map which also shows topo features, lets you record your realtime track, load waypoints, annotate, etc, is very cool. Plus it's Oz-made.

The cool thing about Oziexplorer is that if you have time and a scanner you can can in any paper map you like (eg. a 1:50,000 high-detail forestry map of your favourite areas), and get a moving map display on it as well, so you are not limited to one map database or only to maps available electronically.

See:

http://www.oziexplorer.com/ for the software; and
http://www.ga.gov.au/ for Geoscience Australia (navigate to 1:250,000 raster maps)

Cheers,

Matt and Lana
AnswerID: 566101

Reply By: The Hob - Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 18:55

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005 at 18:55
Hi! I think the product you talk about is TrackRanger.

I have used trackranger for several years now and find it very user freindly and works very well. I generally use the Natmap Raster Mosiac 1:250000 but i have scaned maps and put these in and they worked fine.

Trackranger is capable of holding notes, pictures etc and very good at tracking. I used the tracking capability a lot on one trip as the roads/tracks I was on were not shown on the map. They are now on the map as the track can be called up at any time in the future.

It comes with all the bells and whistles (no optional extras needed) and I have found the people at Advantech very easy to deal with.

The bigest problem you will find is that to really take advantage of good moving map displays you need a computer. I find PDAs etc a bit small. Mounting the computer and using it with sunlight on the screen is a problem.

I have partly researched the idea of the having the computer running in the back somewhere and having a second touch screen attched (say 10") and someof these are now available designed to be read in full sunlight. Needless to say you need a GPS that interface with your computer.

Moving map is a nice optional extra. For navigation purposes on the back rodas I mainly use just the GPS and the Natmap map on the computer (computer not attached to GPS) I put waypoints in before the trip and out in the field if I want to know where I am, I taking the GPS lat & Long and plug them into the map which then tells shows me where I am. The reverse is to be near but can't find a feature - then I point to the feature on the map, get the lat&long and make a waypoint in the GPS and use goto to find directing and distance. This technique gets me out of most problems and you don't need the moving map software.

I always carry paper maps in case the GPS should fail enroute.

In summary, moving map is great to have and it does give you warnings of turnoffs coming up and when towing it is great not to overshoot turnoffs and be forced to do U turns.

Trackranger is an Australian product with similar attributes to Oziexplorer.

Cheers
Hob and Barb
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AnswerID: 566102

Reply By: Whereuwheeliebin - Thursday, Mar 31, 2005 at 16:44

Thursday, Mar 31, 2005 at 16:44
Thanks Matt and Lana and Hob and Barb for the information it never ceases to amaze me that people keep inventing new technology. You have given me a lot of food for thought. We have a lap top comp and will purchase a Garmin E Trek gps shortly and then will think about either of the software packages as they both sound fairly similar.
Thanks again for your help

Cheers
Colin & Gayle
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AnswerID: 566103

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Apr 01, 2005 at 05:50

Friday, Apr 01, 2005 at 05:50
I have got the Trackranger setup on my laptop and find that it is useful for off the beaten track loactions where most of the tracks are marked, along with many windmills, streams etc.

If you want the mapping system to show you roads in built up areas, then the topographic maps that it uses are useless, and most roads are not named, and in built up areas it only shows the major roads.

If you want a mapping system that covers all the major roads, and every road in the major towns throughout the country then I would recommend the Garmin Street Pilot. It gives you voice guidance and can direct you to places in all the capital cities in Australia.

I have 2 GPS's in my vehicle, the Street Pilot and a Garmin XL12 for the TrackRanger maps. The Street Pilot uses a BAWD rate of 11,500 (Transfer of information rate) and the TrackRanger uses 4800, and it is much easier to run the 2 GPS's than go into the programming to reset the BAWD rates.

If you go down the TrackRanger path, then MAKE SURE that the GPS that you are using to run it, has an auxiliary power supply from the vehicle. In mine I have fitted a multiple cigarette lighter plug to the auxiliary battery that is always live, so that the Laptop and GPS remain on vehicle power when the ignition is turned off.
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Reply By: The Hob - Friday, Apr 01, 2005 at 17:15

Friday, Apr 01, 2005 at 17:15
Brian & Margaret

What arrangement do you have for your laptop to use it as moving map. Is it just in the passengers lap or do you have a solid mount? Do you have any arrangement for sunlight on the screen?

Cheers

Alan and Barb
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 07:21

Saturday, Apr 02, 2005 at 07:21
Having an F250 makes it easy as the cab is so large that they provide a good sized centre consol. I have put velcro on top of that and velcro under the laptop so it just sits there and can be positioned to face either driver or passenger. Having it facing towards the back makes it hard for either person to see on the angle. Because of this position we don't have to worry about sunlight on the screen.
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