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Getting Started

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 2 months ago


You have a Mac -- maybe it's a PowerBook or iBook, maybe it's an "Intel" MacBook Pro, or something that plugs into main power like an iMac. You like maps -- folding maps, atlases, the various mapping sites on the Web, Google Earth.


But, like the classic Reese's Peanut Butter Cups ad that hints of "two great tastes that taste great together," you see all that elegant computational power and all that information and you'd like to combine the two.


This is a place to start. Members of the MacMap group contribute their suggestions in this article for anyone who wants to apply mapping technology on their Macintosh. We hope this will help guide you toward making good decisions, avoiding some of the mistakes we've made, and navigating your way around the holes that exist in our superior technology/minority ownership computer of choice.


Macintosh alone


This section is for pure mapping applications. You might be able to use GPS data with these, but they are intended primarily for people who want to make maps on their desktop-based Macintosh.




Macintosh and GPS


This section is for applications that use Macintosh and a GPS receiver in tandem. If you want to bring your portable Mac out into the world and give it the capability of locating itself, updating an application such as a map in real time, and giving you a second-by-second result, this is what to use.


SimpleGPS : to display information about connected GPS on the Mac.

GPS Utility : displays GPS data including speed, bearing, position and satellite information.

GPSNavX : solution for the boater that wants to take the Mac aboard for real-time display of position on full color marine raster format BSB and Softcharts.

MacENC : professional solution for the mariner that wants to take the Mac aboard for real-time display of position on the vector format S-57/S-63 ENCs (Electronic Navigational Charts) and raster format BSB and Softcharts.

MacGPS Pro : display raster-based topo maps and BSB charts from many sources, real-time with your receiver. Import pre-calibrated maps (many projections supported) or import scanned images and calibrate yourself. Create waypoints, tracklogs and routes.



GPS alone


This section is for stand-alone GPS devices. If you are a runner, a geocache'r, or you want a device on your car's dashboard to show you a map, this is where to start. These devices are relevant because you would still use a Mac to update their maps, to capture information from them, or to set up routes -- but if your idea is to leave your Macintosh behind while you travel (hard to believe, but there's no safe way to operate a PowerBook on a bicycle, for instance!), then start here.


Magellan Waypoints Manager : lets you manage your Magellan GPSr's waypoints, tracks and routes.

GPS Connect

LoadMyTracks : download track, route, and waypoint information and turn them into GPX files or KML files.

TrailRunner : a route planning software.

Terrabrowser : is an internet browser for satellite photos and topographical maps.

GPSBabel : converts waypoints, tracks, and routes from one format to another.

FlightTrack : It can be used to download tracks and waypoints from a GPS and display them in 3D.

MacsimpleGPS : to manage waypoints, tracks and routes ; useful for geocaching : download .LOC (waypoint location) files from GeoCaching.com and transfer them to your GPSr.

GPSPhotoLinker : can be used to save location and GPS position data to a photo. The latitude and longitude recorded by your GPS unit while you were taking photos can be linked, and saved, to the photos. GPSPhotoLinker automatically enters the city, state, and country annotations into the metadata.

MacGPS Pro : Create waypoints, routes and tracklogs and transfer them to/from your GPS device. Graph Elevation Profiles. Import pre-calibrated maps (many projections supported) or import scanned images and calibrate yourself. Print maps overlaid with GPS data. Save maps as a PDF file.


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