The Windows PC shareware program for Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers
By Heinrich Pfeifer

German Language Page / Deutsche Seite...

What kind of GPS receivers are supported by Gartrip?

There are mainly three classes of GPS receivers on the market:
  • Dedicated handheld receivers with one-hand operation,
  • Mobile phones or tablets with internal GPS receiver,
  • Dedicated GPS navigators for cars, boats, and airplanes.
Gartrip supports all handheld and fixed-mount receivers made by Garmin and Magellan, provided they have a suitable connection (serial or USB).

How do handheld receivers compare to mobile phones?

At present, mobile phones
become more and more popular for GPS use. These small computers have the benefit that the display is larger and more brilliant than the display of handhelds, and they can be used for other purposes as well. There is a big variety of GPS software available for this kind of GPS application, including auto-routing applications.

But despite this popularity, phones are not the optimum solution for outdoor applications. Please understand that nearly all GPS applications are outdoor applications; what would you do with your GPS within your house? Handheld receivers are much better suited for outdoor use. Why? There are a lot of reasons:
  1. Handheld receivers are water protected; most phones are not. This is true at least for the majority of models. Water protection is important for hikers, bikers, and some boat drivers.
  2. Handheld receivers work up to 30 hours with one battery set. This is important if you want to record your track all the time while on the way - an essential feature of GPS receivers. It is recommended to keep the receiver on all the time, even if you want to check your position only occasionally, because a new receiver start may take very long under difficult conditions.
  3. Handheld receivers use standard battery cells (AA size in most cases), phones use special batteries which cannot be changed on the way. For long trips, and for safety reasons, it is important to have spare batteries with you.
For these reasons, I recommend to use a handheld receiver for hiking, biking, boating, windsurfing, and other outdoor activities. I recommend to use a phone or car navigator for car drivers who want to be routed automatically.

What kind of GPS applications are addressed by Gartrip?

Gartrip is the best choice to manage collections of own waypoints, to plan map-based routes manually, and to analyze all information gathered by the track log - displayed numerically, and in diagrams (altitude, gradient, speed...).

These features are much more versatile than offered elsewhere, including extensive support of data exchange with other programs.

You are invited to test the free Gartrip version. You will like it, even if you already own Mapsource or the
Trip & Waypoint Manager from Garmin.

Why shall I use my own scanned maps, while Mapsource already has built-in maps for the whole world?

Most Mapsource versions have street maps suitable for auto-routing
(City select), but not dedicated to biking and hiking. Other Mapsource versions (Topo) have topographical maps but this kind of vector maps are very poor when preparing a hiking trip. I am speaking about the German Topo maps available; maybe there are better ones for other countries. They do not show any differences between classes of paths, nor do they show all landscape properties as used by normal paper maps for this purpose.  Gartrip works with all maps available as picture files (format bmp, gif, or jpg). These picture files are obtained as export from any map CD, or by scanning your own paper maps.

Scanning a paper map is not convenient, I admit. But it is free of licence fees, and paper maps are available in a much bigger variety than maps on CDs.

Note: Gartrip cannot transfer maps to mapping GPS receivers. For this purpose you need Mapsource with its vector maps.

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