Forum: Magellan GPS
Topic: Meridian Users, I need your help! (Please)
started by: jfitzpat

Posted by jfitzpat on Dec. 07 2001,7:35 pm

Recently I posted info about a site that I've been working on with friends for our climbing and other outdoor activities - < >

I thought that you Geocaching enthusiasts might find it useful. Your response has been overwhelming. I thought you just had strong opinions about Garmin vs. Magellan  Boy was I wrong!  :)

OK, per your suggestions I made a lot of enhancements to the site. The Map Maker has a lot of new features, and you can even build links to it. Here are a few samples from Caches near my home (I've actually found the first one, so I guess I'm no longer a Geocaching virgin (so to speak)):

< >

"Catalina if it is clear"

< >

"Dunsmore Canyon Trail"

< >

"Mine Overlook"

And for fellow climbers (No Cache! (that I'm aware of)):

< >

"Suicide Rock" - Great Climbing, stiff hike...

For those trying to read the above links, %20 is just a space. The caches are listed in "dd mm.mmm" and my climb is entered in "dd.dddd" format (with a different color marker).

I really do hope you folks find this useful. Now, for the begging...

For my purposes (and hopefully yours) I'd really like to add Netscape plug-in support for the Waypoint Exchange (see the site), and I'd like to add a similiar tool that creates maps (ala the Map Maker) directly from the tracks in your GPS (as opposed to just directly from the Waypoints).

Before I do this, I'd really like to make sure the current stuff works with newer Magellan units (since I'd like to base the new stuff from a known, good, point). For better, or worse, most of my friends have eTrex models (assorted) from Garmin. The only Magellan's amoung us are a GPS320, a MAP330, and a dead GPS315 (400' drop).

Since I'm doing this for free, I can't convince my wife that buying a Merdian for testing is a good idea (I'm happy with my Vista, but I principally hike and trad. climb).

If someone (or someone's) could help me, I would really appreciate it. I just want to have you test a few things. I promise your unit won't be damaged and you won't lose any data (at least not permanently! ;> )

Thank you in advance for your help.

Thank you to all of you who have already sent me such good comments and suggestions.

And, again, enjoy the site.


Posted by Quinn on Dec. 07 2001,9:49 pm

I have been playing around with this program for about 2 hours now and have come to realize this is "Pretty cool" I like the way you can e-mail someone else your waypoints by uploading and downloading them straight from your GPSR. I have been testing several units within this program and all worked flawlessly. You mentioned you had concerns about the new Meridian lines working, well I tested both the Gold and the Green Meridians and had no problems at all. I was able to upload waypoints from your program and i was also able to download without a hitch. I then tested e-mailing the waypoints from my GPSR "Gold" to another account I have , this also worked as it generated a link for me to retrieve my waypoint coordinates. The picture above is of my Genesee river Geocache. this is another thing I like as it places a pin that can be seen in both Topo and sat views on your program.
you have done a very nice job laying this all out and once I fully check all the knobs and horns I will let you know if I as a user find it to be easy to operate. But as of now there is little I do not like about this. I am sure I will visit and use it often. :)

Posted by jfitzpat on Dec. 08 2001,3:26 am
Thank you so much!  You have already answered my most burning question ('Does it work at all!')

My other big concern is selected map datum.  I tried contacting Thales about a MAP330 firmware problem and wound up finally talking to someone.  The tech finally agreed that the behavior we were seeing is a bug, and that it would be added to the list.

My concern is something he said in passing.  He seemed to imply that NMEA waypoint messages would always be in standard datum (ie, WGS-84), but that, on the Meridians, the Magellan specific waypoint message would be in whatever datum the unit was configured for.  This didn't make any sense to me, but I saw no point in grilling the poor guy, especially since I didn't have a unit to look at.

I think the easiest way to determine this is just to try it.  Basically, fetch waypoints from the Meridian with the Waypoint Exchange, select one and press the USGS map button, then eyeball it for position.  Next, set the map datum on the unit to something like NAD27, Cont.US, and repeat the experiment with the same waypoint.  If the reported coordinate in the Waypoint Exchange changes, or the plotted point on the USGS image shifts (about 2 blocks in SoCal), I'll have to dig deeper (try to figure out how their own mapping software deals with it).  If no shift occurs, I guess I'll assume either I or the tech was delusional.

Thank you again for your generous assistance!


Posted by Quinn on Dec. 08 2001,1:42 pm
Using my Meridian Gold I did the above mentioned test that you asked for. I first uploaded my waypoints to your site via WGS 84 DD MM.MMM and checked the map of a known waypoint that was included. I made a mark to remember the pi location and then cleared the system and exited the website. I then changed my GPS Datum and format to Nad 27. Once this was done I re-entered your website and re-uploaded the same waypoints in a different datum. The maps generated the pin location in the same spot as the datum and format used before, thus no changes were seen or errors made due to the format change.
Posted by Quinn on Dec. 09 2001,6:26 pm

I went to the Buffalo Bills game today with a few friends of mine and decided to bring my GPSR with me because there was a nearby Geocache placed by yardboy that I wanted to check out while waiting for the game to start. I was within feet of the cache area but due to so many people around I decided not to look any farther until I go back to buffalo mid week when there is no game. Anyways...I took my Magellan Gold out of my pocket while sitting watching the game and took a reading of where we were at. I had great sats and also was reading two waas sats that I still dont understand why. The picture you see above is where I was sitted. This is pretty cool stuff! Very nice program indeed. I am the red dot by the way :p
Posted by Gimpy on Dec. 09 2001,8:25 pm
I agree. I plugged in the numbers for a few of my caches & checked out the map results & they were very good. I really like this program. Thanks, jfitzpat.  :D

Posted by Road Kill on Dec. 11 2001,7:45 pm
I like it too. I plugged in the cords for "West meets East", looked at the image and yelled "Huckle-Buckle-Beanstalk!"
Grinn :D   Can we zoom in further so I can open the cache?  
Posted by mikechim on Dec. 13 2001,6:05 am
pretty impressive, faster then similiar programs.
Posted by jfitzpat on Dec. 14 2001,11:25 am
Greetings all, sorry I haven't replied, the forum was down and I got busy at work after my trip.

I finished a Netscape plug-in, for Microsoft Haters :)

Since it downloads to the client, I'm having QA God Dave at our office test it before I post it.

I did also add a simple USGS Geographical Name Information System database search to the Mapmaker.  Currently only the 5 western states are up, but I'll post 5-10 more each day or so.  The open data stinks, so I'm running each state's data through a 'reality tester' that I wrote (Basically, checks that the coordinates are at least within the reported USGS quad).

This is the same data in Garmin's MapSource, Magellan's Mapthingy, and ExpertGPS.  You can search for a name, show a map, then download the marker as a waypoint.  However, I leave the name intact.  If you search for "Devils Punchbowl", you'll find it (near Palmdale, nice hike, OK sandstone climbing), but the waypoint will be "DEVILS PUN" in an eTrex Vista and just "DEVILS" in a basic eTrex.

Sorry, I just couldn't think up a good name maker the night I did it.


P.S.  Oh, I forgot, for people who don't want to download activeX controls, plug-ins, or just don't run a compatible browser, you can now view emailed waypoints as a list - hyperlinked to the Map Maker.

Also, the Adventure Database went on line, but has only a single entry (my hike from the weekend it went online)!  Craig and Grand Master B are supposed to enter a bunch of our trips, but the @#$%@#$ went climbing in Joshua Tree instead!  When I was out of town!
Posted by Quinn on Jan. 17 2002,8:31 am
Using the program I tested it over and over with my new Garmin V GPSR. Not sure if anyone has used this unit to put the program through it's phase, but it works flawlessly with not a single problem uploading or downloading. I guess there shouldn't be anyways seeing as how it's the same unit as the IIIPlus. I still use this program to get a general idea of what the area should lookmlike when I get there. The only downside is that most of the sat view maps are way out dated. :(
Posted by Choberiba on Jan. 17 2002,11:38 am
Did anyone else think it was a little spooky to see where Quinn sat in the stadium? Really puts things into perspective as to how accurate these things are.
Posted by jfitzpat on Jan. 18 2002,8:31 pm
Did anyone else think it was a little spooky to see where Quinn sat in the stadium? Really puts things into perspective as to how accurate these things are.

I think it is spooky how Quinn seems to have every GPSr known to man... ;)
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