Friday, September 18, 2009

GPS - which one do you recommend?

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I am pondering for some time now to get my own GPS device. For the upcoming field work (starting Sept. 29th) I will definitly need one, and no one seems to be able to lend me one. Our 10 or so university GPS are all broken. What GPS would you recommend for geological field work and mapping? I figure I need one that is quite accurate even under light tree cover, and also one that is able to display different projections, like UTM, Gauss-Kr├╝ger and other widely used methods. Do they still use Lambert in France? Most of my work I do in Europe - Germany, France and Switzerland and other central European states.

What do you think about the Garmin Colorado 300, the GPS 60 or the GPSmap 60 series? Price is really an issue for me.

6 comments :

Kim said...

I've got a Garmin GPSMap 60csx. I haven't added the extra card or uploaded local topo maps, but my other half has the same model and uses it regularly for Search & Rescue and mountain biking. I've been happy with it - good sensitivity & resolution, including in the woods. The electronic compass is useful for going back to waypoints - my students will be using it in combination with the GPS next week to do a sort of geocaching/measuring bedding lab. It's helpful for geologists, because sometimes we don't walk fast enough for the GPS to tell which way we're walking.

I've used both lat/long and UTM on it. There are a lot of other map datums available that I've never worked with - I've only used it in North America.

hypocentre said...

I've also got a Garmin GPSMap 60CSx. It is very good under tree canopy. I have inserted a card and uploaded the GB topo maps and I find it invaluable for hiking in the UK - works with British National Grid - can't speak for elsewhere in Europe.
Was thinking of upgrading to a Colorado but UK base maps are hideously expensive.

Rich said...

The 60CSx is an excellent choice. The 60Cx won't give as accurate of altitude readings and lacks the electronic compass but is cheaper.

Rich Owings
http://gpstracklog.com

Anonymous said...

I have a Garmin Vista (older, serial port version), and like it. If you do the Garmin website model comparison with the 60csx, you'll see it has most of the same features, but is less than half the price (which you said was a factor). Main differences:

60csx: colour, Vista: greyscale
60csx: data card, Vista: no data card.

The Vista is also smaller and lighter, which may be factors in its favour. It has a slightly smaller screen, but more pixels.

Only things that bug me (slightly) about the Vista after several years of use: the "click stick" navigation button is slightly annoying to use. Some of the onscreen text is small and hard to read: I sometimes have to squint to read the UTM coordinates, but your eyes may be better than mine.

--Howard (Calgary, AB, Canada)

Lost Geologist said...

Kim, Hypocentre, Rich and Howard, thanks for your shared opinions. I've been leaning towards thhe GPSmap 60 CSx, dispite the high price. Now I have better guideline though and will be able to do some detailed asking in the outdoor shop.

Gilson said...

I've also got a Garmin Vista but it is HCX, and like it. If you do the Garmin website model comparison with the 60csx, you'll see it has most of the same features.
The Vista is also smaller and lighter, which may be factors in its favour.
Only things that bug me (slightly) about the Vista after several years of use: the "click stick" navigation button is slightly annoying to use so the rubber around fall.
I order today a garmin oregon 550, the best same features no button cam built in so you can take a pic georref...

Geologist Bongiolo
from south Brasil
P.S Sorry about use
--Howard's comment but my english isn't so rich... best regards