Thursday, 1 May 2008
Are you prepared for adventure?
In these days of GPS, knowing where you are is easy but knowing where you're going is something else all together. Experienced bush goers, seeking adventure off the beaten track know that a successful trip is dependent on planning and preparation. Memory-Map's latest Topo series does this in spades.
Memory-Map showed off its latest PC based mapping products at the Sota outdoor trade show at the beginning of May with new versions of the popular AusTour and Topo CD packs.
"It's so easy to use" said Richard Tisdale, an experienced bush walker and mountaineer who is also a director of the distribution company Ampro Sales Ltd. "You just load it on to your PC and within minutes you can start exploring the topography in 3D and planning a route" added Tisdale as he demonstrated the new Tasmania Topo product.
Digital topographic mapping has been around for a while with various map publishers producing versions of their paper maps on CD. This was only so good as some of it was expensive and all of it depended on the software used to display it which varied considerably from one publication to another. Then to get the different maps and bits and pieces to all work in one software package required a degree of computer skill and some understanding of Geospatial jargon. What Memory-Map have done is taken all that hassle away by assembling a collection of maps and data from various sources and bundled it all together with their Navigator program in a single pack. Like any good bundle the packages are all excellent value, costing considerably less than the sum of their components.
One of the main features of Memory-Map is that it can be used to track you progress with your position displayed on a high quality moving map. Of course this requires a GPS to be connected to your laptop which is OK in a vehicle but Memory-Map also works on a PDA or SmartPhone with maps cropped and sent from your PC to an SD card. Many of these devices are becoming available with a built in GPS and so make good portable solutions.
For those travelling on foot, without modern gadgetry in a pocket, Memory-Map is principally a tool for planning and preparation. "Having planned your route" Tisdale explains, "checked out the terrain in 3D, measured the topographic distance and estimated time to complete, you simply send the route to an ordinary handheld GPS and print off the maps you need on our waterproof paper. The printed output has all your notes and markings you made on screen, prints at a defined fixed scale and includes a grid with coordinates in the margins, it's a proper map that you can print off again and again."
The new product line up includes:
AusTour - a country wide publication featuring all the commonwealth 250k scale topographic maps, all the Hema 4WD and touring maps and all the UBD street maps for 600 towns and cities with a RRP of $269.95
Topo - state wide publications for Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Each one contains full country coverage of the commonwealth 250k scale topographic maps, all the state governments' topographic raster mapping down to 25k scale and all the UBD street maps for all cities and towns in the state. Available as full state for $299.95 with Victoria and NSW available as half state options for $159.95
Wherever appropriate, all mapping is in a seamless format and can be projected in 3D. More detail and information is available from their web site www.memory-map.com.au including a free download with demo software and sample maps for you to try before you buy