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hwingo
12-31-2011, 04:43 PM
I own a Garmin GPSMAP-76. It’s the Black & White model (no color screen). I purchased this unit around 2002. To the best of my knowledge this unit was designed to be a marine unit because it is water-tight and it floats. At the time of purchase, I lived on an island in Southeast Alaska. I spent much time on the ocean and coupled with the fact that we received approximately 220 inches of yearly precipitation, the GPSMAP-76 was my unit of choice.

I bought the Garmin Blue Charts which worked simply great. I also bought Garmin’s MapSource Alaska & Hawwii Topo maps for my area as well as Garmin’s MapSource Road & Recreation maps. I needed these maps for land-navigation (hunting, camping, and wilderness travel). The Topo map and Road maps were grossly inaccurate for my area. The Topo map was often off by one half mile where as the street map frequently had the user somewhere in the ocean or high on the side of a mountain but never where you obviously were. I reported this to Garmin and they agreed that I was correct. I did not follow up to see if they corrected their problem as I would have to buy new maps to correct “my problem” that was created by Garmin.:rolleyes:

There is/was NOTHING wrong with function of this unit. “Bread crumb trails” were/are repeatable and reliable. The “go-to” functions were/are on-the-money. It was Garmin’s MapSource land-based maps that proved to be problematic for seemingly all of Alaska. It’s worth repeating that Garmin’s Blue Charts were “spot on” and I trusted ocean navigation using these charts.

Approximately a year later (2003) I bought a series of CDs from iGage comprised of USGS topo maps for all of Alaska. Using iGage’s map-to-GPS computer interface program, I could repeatedly and reliably transfer “bread crumbs” from my GPS to their topo sheets and this transfer proved to be “spot on” which further confirmed that my receiver was working properly. Still, this in no way “cured” my *real time* problem of inaccurate maps and terribly wrong position reporting when using Garmin’s MapSource maps. Such an issue could prove deadly in Alaska because Alaska is unforgiving and She will kill you.

I have now reside in the Mat-Su/Anchorage area but I still have reason to frequent S.E. Alaska and need of accurate topo maps of the S.E area as well as all of Alaska.

The aforementioned brings me to the following:
1. I may be in the market for a newer model GPSMAP, e.g. MAP 78s.

2. I do not wish to waste money on a newer model GPS if Garmin’s maps and map-accuracy for Alaska have not improved Alaska.

3. Garmin is allegedly coming out with an “enhanced v.2” map of Alaska. Can this map program be used with the GPSMAP 76 model? My MAP-76 is WAAS-enabled. Is this enhanced version a Garmin product or a MapSource product?

4. Addendum: Whether this is accurate or not I have no idea but, I have just been informed that MapSource is a company unto itself and not a Garmin product. Apparently Garmin endorses MapSource products for use in their units. In the same breath, I was told that Garmin actually produces Garmin maps and I should try to purchase topo maps of Alaska that are produced by Garmin. Anyone with knowledge of this? Perhaps more questions to follow.
Harold

mygrizzly1022
12-31-2011, 04:50 PM
Hi

Something you may want to verify is that your gps datum and topo map datum are matched. If they are not matched you will have the kind of issues you are describing. You may have to match your unit to your map.

Begards ....Bert

Jaakko Fagerlund
12-31-2011, 05:43 PM
Yep, check the datum issue first. If the problem really is in the maps, then just get your money back as the product is not what it should be.

tenfingers
12-31-2011, 06:08 PM
I've had good luck with topo maps from here:
http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/

and routable street maps from here:
http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/

Best thing is that they are free. I believe some are more accurate than the maps preloaded in my Garmin Oregon 450T. Unfortunately, I've never checked them in Alaska.

MetalMunger
12-31-2011, 06:12 PM
2. I do not wish to waste money on a newer model GPS if Garmin’s maps and map-accuracy for Alaska have not improved Alaska.


Now this is a tough question:rolleyes:
Your location says Wassilla, so maybe you are a 15 minute drive from Sportsman's Warehouse they have a counter with all the latest and greatest in the GPS world for sale. The nice person at the counter will be more than happy to demonstrate them for you, yup they have maps loaded.:eek:

BMW Rider
12-31-2011, 06:23 PM
I suspect that most likely what you describe is the limitation of the GPS receiver not the maps. I've used a number of GPS devices over the past nine or so years and the newer ones are far more accurate in the positioniong than the older ones were even using the same map sets. I have an older eTrex that is rather vague in its accuracy and often has a hard time picking up signals to get any reading at all. My main GPS, a Zumo 550, is accurate enough I can tell which lane I'm in on a highway.

The biggest problem I find with the maps is that they are excellent for cities and highways, but many of the backroads are not current. I've found roads that do not exist on the maps and roads shown on the maps that have long been abandoned and grown over. I have the same US Roads and Rec maps from way back and find the data to be accurate enough as far as positioning goes but is far from current. I haven't picked up the newer US Topo maps, but I do have the latest Canada topo maps and they are pretty good overall.

There are two newer versions of the US Topo maps available through Garmin, the 24K and 100K resolution sets. The 24K maps are the most accurate, and are the ones I'll purchase when I find the need.

chipmaker4130
12-31-2011, 10:33 PM
Garmin maps are awful with regard to currency. Even the latest version is missing major roads and highways that have been in use for 10 years out here in the West. If all you use is topo stuff it might be different.

hwingo
01-01-2012, 12:46 AM
Now this is a tough question:rolleyes:
Your location says Wassilla, so maybe you are a 15 minute drive from Sportsman's Warehouse they have a counter with all the latest and greatest in the GPS world for sale. The nice person at the counter will be more than happy to demonstrate them for you, yup they have maps loaded.:eek:

Sportsman's Warehouse is only 8 miles from me and have already been there ...... twice in the last three days. They do not have the GPSMAP78s nor sc. Wish they did because I would like to see what the maps look like. They were the ones telling me that others (in the region) were having the same issues with their MapSource maps. Also, The GPS Store in Anchorage have experienced customers having the same issues as I.

Thanks to all for your replies.

Harold

Your Old Dog
01-01-2012, 08:37 AM
Just a thought. Are you able to bounce this off some bush pilots? They may have better information on the neighborhood maps as it's more important to them.

smalltime
01-01-2012, 09:49 AM
Just a thought. Are you able to bounce this off some bush pilots? They may have better information on the neighborhood maps as it's more important to them.

Exactly what I was gonna say.

My best buddy works for Garmin. He heads up the personal aircraft avionics unit.I will forward this info on to him. But I know for a fact that if you are not satisfied, there will be a full and complete refund.