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Discussion Starter #1
The only thing that has kept me from buying one is the level of detail, or rather the lack of detail.
I usually ride back roads, side roads and country roads that are not on the sample maps I have been looking at.

My questions are:
how detailed are the real maps?
do they contain these types of roads or is it just main roads?
and how up to date are the maps?

thanks
 

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Garmin has a map viewer on the website for ther various mapping products. It'll let you zoom in and see details.
 

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gps detail

I do a lot of backroad riding myself. I agree that the GPS maps miss a lot of these kinds of road. I normally use Delorme Topo maps to pick my route and mark the maps with some waypoints (especially the turns). I then load the waypoints into my GPS and use them for navigation (as opposed to using the routing feature).
 

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Garmin's software has some backroads on it but I don't know how many they have. Here is an example:



Agua Caliente Road is nothing but a track through the desert outside Phoenix (I've never been on it but Stromette was last weekend). Mapsource shows it as a dashed road. I don't know how complete their coverage is but if you have a particular area you are interested in I'll be glad to look and see if anything is there for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I do a lot of backroad riding myself. I agree that the GPS maps miss a lot of these kinds of road. I normally use Delorme Topo maps to pick my route and mark the maps with some waypoints (especially the turns). I then load the waypoints into my GPS and use them for navigation (as opposed to using the routing feature).
thanks, I was wondering if that would work.

How about.. being lost in one of those areas that are not covered, and hitting the - get me home button.. will the GPS be able to find a road out or will you end up staring at a bunch of cows?
 

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How about.. being lost in one of those areas that are not covered, and hitting the - get me home button.. will the GPS be able to find a road out or will you end up staring at a bunch of cows?
I have two Garmin GPS's; one of them a ETrex Legend C handheld and the other a larger one (2820). The large one has enough memory to hold all of North America but the handheld is very limited. I got into an area once with the handheld where I didn't have maps loaded and the GPS had very limited knowledge of where it should route me. I had told it to take me to my office and about all it could tell me to do was "Go South". It will eventually get you where you want to go, but in areas like that all it knows how to route you is basically in a straight line from where you are to where you want to go. They will automatically "Recalculate" when you pick up a road and start going "Off Route" but the information they can provide is sometimes limited.
 

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We did a vacation in a little cabin the Wyoming woods a couple of years back. It had no address and was reached by a little twin rut sand trail with prairie grass in between the sand strips for a few hundred yards off a gravel road. The gravel road had to be traveled slowly as the Bison were as likely to be on it as off it. I did a GPS fix the first time I found the place and the gravel road as well as the little twin rut trail was on the Garmin map. I was quite surprised.
 

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You might want to check GPS Trackmaker
Its a free program that lets you scan a topo, roadmap,aerial photo etc and make a gps map out of it. I mostly use it to make maps on my computer and then print them but it is pretty easy to use.
I got a really detailed forest firefighting map and scanned the portion of my local area. It comes in handy for this area since except for a couple of highways, pretty much all of around here is missing from the Garmin base map.
 

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Mapsource Topo for Garmin shows just about every road. In fact, I don't think I've ever been on a road it doesn't show, and some of the roads I've found aren't on any other maps.
 
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