The new version is called Base Camp, has a lot more features that Mapsource but I still use the older version to extract the data needed to share with whoever asks. Tried a few others but stick to what you know best.
- If you use a GPS
- If you ever switch it on other than for finding out where you should be when you misread the map (guess who did that!)
I think sharing tracks is a great idea, but don’t expect any from me, I am sticking with the map and compass, find your own route approach to navigation! Friends of mine in the climbing club recently helped a group off a mountain - there was no visibility, their GPS had failed, they had no map and admitted that they didn’t know how to navigate by the traditional methods. Frankly, this is dangerous idleness, and I hope all SOTA activators who use GPS make sure that they can cope if the satnav fails.
That’s mostly what I use my Etrex10 for!
I have downloaded a couple of tracks, and followed them, but I didn’t particularly enjoy the experience, though I can appreciate the efficiency of it for getting from A to B. Maybe a more sophisticated device which supports maps would be a more interesting option.
Rather like a satnav for driving, I have completed many long journeys without incident, but on arrival at my destination, I couldn’t tell you which way I came, or which towns I passed through / bypassed.
Given the time, I prefer studying a map in advance, and then noticing my surroundings as I move along.
Having said that, I have recorded tracks in poor visibility, and used them to assist with finding the route out.
For me to upload such a track - including all the less than optimum decisions I took along the way - I’d want to be clear what others expect. Do they depend on the route, and assume that it is close to perfect, or just use it as an outline guide, making their own judgments as they go?
How accurate does it need to be for it to be useful and acceptable?
Thumbs up for SOTA Maps, though, a great resource, and thanks to all who do take the time to upload info.
Thanks Rod, I find that sort of info very useful, and have added a few myself.
Long may it remain so…
Well, at least until July 16, which is the new date at which Google plans to start billing their new rates for Google Maps (https://mapsplatform.googleblog.com/2018/06/new-plan-changes-going-into-effect-july.html)
Hi Phil, a good point. I confess I don’t use the routes very much (though I have used a couple). I find that the tips added to the summit page are invaluable and always consult them before a new activation. I have written one for a hill that hadn’t been covered before, so am trying to repay the efforts of others
I fully agree and support your idea.
See my recent track uploads. More to follow.
73, Hans PB2T
As I have already said, I don’t use SMP but don’t doubt its valuable source of info.
A question, I presume that it will store multiple routes for one summit?
Not every route is the best route. I have every GPS route for all the Munros, Corbetts, Grahams, Donalds, Others (whatever they are) and of course the Marilyns in Scotland but seldom look at them. But as they are not originally mine would it be right to share.
I will certainly have another look at SMP and see the process.
Yes, indeed. One can also view all uploaded tracks within a single region, giving an overview of possibilities in that region
Please do not do this. Only upload tracks if you yourself have recorded them (or use the drawing tools in the tracks page itself). The SMP database is not to be used as cloud storage!
There is a very simple solution to this problem, I’ve done it myself. I try to make sure that I start recording my track at the start of the walk to the summit when I leave my car. I try to stop the recording at the summit and save it. I then start another track on my way down if the walk warrants it, especially if I intend deviating to find a better route down as we often do! Sometimes the deviation is intended and sometimes not! Stop saving the track when you reach your car / public transport / bike etc and save it. Then you have two routes to choose from or both. The much improved SMP takes multiple tracks and they can be displayed singly or together. If I find my route in either direction has been poor or of no value, or possible risky I don’t upload it. I even upload very short routes - even though they are short they give a good indication of a parking place for my fellow activators who may be researching their future visit to mine. Additional brief comments are also added to aid the activator. There are several ways using software to split the track if you forget and drive away still saving it - Andy has suggested one, there are several.
You are old school Brian and I respect that. I don’t do as those folk did that were rescued, serious errors made. I gave up using a GPS62s about 3 years ago. Started using GPS in 2005 with an Etrex 10 mon screen and no SD card. I now using a mapping app called Viewranger on two phones which are carried and I use a belt and braces approach, Both phones are on seperate networks. If the walk to the summit or anywhere else I may be walking is more than simple and short (I lead walks for a walking group not just SOTA) I pre-progamme the intended likely route and summit loc into the Viewranger app which uses OS Maps in the UK. (In mainland EU I use a different app called Locus). I also carry a printed 1:50000 OS map when in UK and a printed extract from the 1:25000 OS map laminated at twice scale - so in effect 1:12500. I rarely have to use the hard map and the compass to take bearings or route find. It’s so easy with the app once you master it, its great fun and requires less concentration and worry about knowing exactly where I am and where I am going. The other advantage is the track I save I can pass on to others or use again if I revisit. I wouldn’t go fellwalking now any other way, but each to their own. I can’t see aircraft or ships going back to map and compass anytime soon either…
The SMP is a brilliant resource Neil and not just the tracks feature. You have to assess any uploaded track yourself and decide if you wish to use it or part of it. You may decide not to.
For Adrian I wouldn’t expect a perfect track, they rarely are unless the route is simple - such as a worn track but you take what comes if you decide after studying the download on a computer screen if it suits your needs. Even if not perfect it is better than going into the dark with the map in your hand and no knowledge. it’s not as adventerous though I admit that and it could be said using GPS takes some of the excitement out of route finding.
In the SMP I find the OT (Open Terrain) Maps are the most appropriate for what I need. The contours show up in really good contrast to the rest of the background map.
That’s why assorted “defence agencies” spend so much on being able to jam and spoof GPS (or Glonass or Galilieo). So many of today’s snowflakes would be navigationally blind without GPS they would not know how to use a sextant or compass. Spoof GPS and you can deny your enemy access to crucial areas of sea. Just imagine degrading or spoofing GPS in the channel on the busy routes and think of how much havoc that would cause even though the ships have plenty of PPI RADAR.
I know you can use paper maps and compass Phil and you do have them as backup. In that case using a GPS as the primary navaid is not an issue for you. If you have GPS failure, you may be inconvenienced but you will be OK. It’s people who have zero compass / map skills that need to be shown how unwise it is to be totally reliant on a GPS.
Myself, I feel naked without a paper map (1:50k OS printed double scale or 1:2k OS printed double). I like to refer to the map a lot when out walking to try to ensure I know where I am to 100m all the time, even if on a Munro trench. If the visibility looks limited, I’ll have tried to find out enough terrain clues before hand that I can navigate by using them and only when I think I know my location do I check on the GPS. Unlike you, I much prefer my GPS to using a phone GPS. It has a tiny screen but I do have maps with accurate contours for the UK. It’s because you can easily operate it using the jog dial and a few buttons whilst wearing thick gloves unlike my phone. And I can always use the phone’s GPS if needs must, but most of the time the phone is in aircraft mode when walking so it is not trying to remain connected and waste the battery.
But the important point is to be able to navigate safely when the GPS fails.
Exactly my point! I’m not trying to denigrate GPS, I have a phone equipped with it - and I just replaced my tablet and see that if I understand it correctly it also has GPS - but I have used maps for so long that I have a sort of gestalt comprehension of them, my eyes see them as a 3D model of the countryside, why abandon that? I just warn about the perils of putting all your eggs into one basket - and if the wind blows my map away or I drop my compass down a crevasse, I have my phone in my pocket if I need it.
Most of hills I venture on whether it is for SOTA or just for hike are not usually straight forward unless the xyl Cat is with me. I tend to wander off in all directions to study rocks, plants, etc. I have found many interesting things along the way, including fossilised coral over 2000ft asl. Hence the reason I’m usually late getting to summit.
I do prefer having OS maps that show more detail and only use the GPS to record my routes and wanderings logging way points of interesting positions. Plus it records all my distance over time.
I have bulging drawer full of all the maps I’ve printed over the years. Long live the paper map!
Even the US Navy decided old navigation skills where essential after dropping them a while back.
I had a quick look at the SMP today.
Uploaded a route, entered all the stuff needed and then discovered that the “Paste” option is disabled in Track Notes text box.
I have descriptions for many of my routes that have been dissected from the raw GPS data.
So do I have to type ALL that back in again? The info contains 10 digit OS coordinates as well as exact distance to each point. I do type fast but why re-invent the wheel!
Can the “Paste” be enabled?
Great stuff Neil. I agree about copy and pasting comments, it would be very useful and a time saver for anyone uploading. Maybe it is something to do with intentional security settings within the software, only Rob can answer that.