What Map Program AKA Geospatial Information System (GIS) do you use for overland planning?

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What is your go-to Geospatial Information System (GIS)?


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TRT87

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So there are many Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) on the market for the outdoor enthusiast. They all have varying degrees of usability, ease of use, and features. I was curious which ones were most popular among Overlanders.

Personally, I love Google Earth. I’ve used it for years in the military and it’s my go-to. However, Google Earth doesn’t do everything. Foremost, it doesn’t link directly to my GPS receivers and it doesn’t do topographic maps, unless you can link it to a server or have georectified topo images to upload as .kmls.

Because of this, I have to use Garmin’s BaseCamp to upload and download GPS data. To map out topos, I have been playing around with Q-GIS.

In work, school, and life I have also played with ArcGlobe, ArcGIS, Falconview, and of course GoogleMaps & Bing Maps.

So what systems are you guys using and why? And for the advanced users, what files are you using? Shapefiles, GeoTiffs, etc.?

- Tyler


Links to Systems:

1. Google Earth: https://www.google.com/earth/

2. BaseCamp: https://www.garmin.com/en-US/shop/downloads/basecamp

3. QGIS: https://qgis.org/en/site/

4. ArcGlobe: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/extensions/3d-analyst/3d-analyst-and-arcglobe.htm

5. ArcGIS: http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/

Falconview: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FalconView
 
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TRT87

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**Update**

Also,

Where is everyone pulling their data? From looking around, many people are using Gaia (new to me). The Forest Service also offers detailed libraries of GIS data, like this one < here > which offers both .kmls and shapefiles for Region 3 in New Mexico.

Do you guys know of any other large GIS datasets?

Thanks!

- Tyler
 
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nickburt

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Mixture of Google Earth, Google Maps for initial planning and export data - POIs, routes etc... to other mapping such as Memory Map, Maps.me etc... etc... for use on an Ipad.
Garmin Basecamp to plot and transfer POIs to Garmin GPS.
 
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TerryD

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I've been using Google Maps to build my route and add POIs. Then I'll export that and load it in my tablet running oruxmaps. Its free, but takes a little playing with to get the hang of it. The user manuals are really good and I keep a copy on each device with the program installed.

Downloading the base maps is the hardest part of it.
 
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TRT87

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Mixture of Google Earth, Google Maps for initial planning and export data - POIs, routes etc... to other mapping such as Memory Map, Maps.me etc... etc... for use on an Ipad.
Garmin Basecamp to plot and transfer POIs to Garmin GPS.
I've been using Google Maps to build my route and add POIs. Then I'll export that and load it in my tablet running oruxmaps. Its free, but takes a little playing with to get the hang of it. The user manuals are really good and I keep a copy on each device with the program installed.

Downloading the base maps is the hardest part of it.
@nickburt & @TerryD,

Thank you for the info. I'll have to check out Memory Map and Oruxmaps. I've played around with using my phone & ipad as a GPS but I've always gone back to my Garmin. Are these the correct programs?

Memory Map: < https://memory-map.com/ >

Oruxmaps: < http://www.oruxmaps.com/cs/en/ >

Thanks again!

- Tyler
 

TerryD

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@nickburt & @TerryD,

Thank you for the info. I'll have to check out Memory Map and Oruxmaps. I've played around with using my phone & ipad as a GPS but I've always gone back to my Garmin. Are these the correct programs?

Memory Map: < https://memory-map.com/ >

Oruxmaps: < http://www.oruxmaps.com/cs/en/ >

Thanks again!

- Tyler
Yep, that is the ORUXMAPS I use. I've been using it on and off for a few years now and it's pretty neat.

Like I said, learning to load the base maps and figuring out some of the functionality is a little confusing at first, but it works well!
 
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4xFar Adventures

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I plot everything out in Google Earth. The Directions function works well. It'll give you different folders with turn by turn directions for each alternate route. GE saves out a .kmz file and I use GPSvisualizer.com to convert to a standard .gpx file. That gets uploaded to my Gaia account and then the iPhone and iPad Mini will sync to that. On that device, I usually cache both USGS Topo maps and satellite imagery assuming there enough storage space.

For a weekend trip, or short-ish track, organizing the track data isn't too bad. But for a long haul trip, some housecleaning needs to happen so everything sorts correctly. Sometimes it's better to have a gpx file for each day. I organized a 3.5 week trip for Team Hunt last year and the entire thing was one file. Everything was in a list view in Gaia, so all of the turns were grouped together and finding a particular Safeway POI was difficult, even though they were all named appropriately. This was something I didn't consider at first, but for this year's trip, I'm taking this into consideration when making everything. I wish the organized folder structure in GE carried over to the gpx format.
 
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TRT87

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@Disco2Guy,

I agree, doing the initial planning in GoogleEarth is easy. It's extremely user friendly compared to other programs. I'm not using Gaia, but it seems popular around here. I'll have to dig around @1Louder 's Thread for more info.

Thanks for the feedback!

- Tyler
 
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nickburt

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T-One

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My setup from a previous thread:

i run a Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 convertible with touch screen and a marine grade GPS chip for all things NAV in the car.
It's a ArchLinux based setup with marble Desktop for navigation, satellite images and OpenStreetMaps, it's a bit like Google Earth.

I prerender all the OSM data on my workstation and copy it to the toughbook so i have full offline maps.
Offline POI and address routing is handled by MoNav which integrates with marble completly.
For offline turn by turn navigation on roads i installed navit, but because i have a navigator with me all the time and she likes the sattelite map view within marble so much we don't use it often.
One of the killer features of this setup is the ability to fetch huge areas of satellite images and store them on an external HDD, with an OSM overlay merged into it it's like google earth/maps hybrid view but completely offline.

We are used to 3 renderings now and we prerender them for every area or country we go.
Thunderforests Mobile Atlas layout for high contrast street navigation.
Thunderforests Outdoor layout for all things away from streets.
And a hybrid rendering of satellite images with OSM Streets overlay.

It's also possible to add multiple online OSM providers in marble, free and commercial ones with all kind of different layouts and satellite image sources and just download a defined area for offline use within the application, but that's not a good approach if you have to handle huge areas for multiple week long trips.
 
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