How does it work?

GPS navigation has grown considerably in recent years and has now become essential to travel.

GPS or Global Positioning System that could result in "Geo-Positioning Satellite."

This system, currently the only one to be fully operational, has been designed by and for the army of the United States and under its control. In the proposed European system Galileo is a civilian system. In testing since 2004, will begin to be used in 2010 and will be operational in 2013.

GPS works by calculating the distance between a GPS receiver and several satellites. The GPS system includes at least 25 satellites to send signals to Earth on positions. GPS receivers collect data at up to 12 satellites available above the horizon and use the four strongest to calculate the current position.

The position can be transmitted with an accuracy of 5 to 15 meters. Some GPS systems designed for very specific uses can provide localization to a few millimeters (army).

We were interested in a Garmin GPSMAP 276C model. But Garmin does more markets.

Navigation Software

At Garmin MapSource software to help plan routes and allows the transfer maps, waypoints, routes and tracks from your computer to your Garmin  MapSource interface provides a base map which displays the maps you have installed and unlocked for your device.
The base map also shows all waypoints, routes or tracks that you have transferred or created. Thus, MapSource allows you to choose exactly the coverage map you need. This software is included with the purchase of a Garmin map product DVD-ROM or CD-Rom.
Navigation Software Garmin MapSource
Navigation Software OziExplorer

OziExplorer is GPS Mapping Software which runs on your PC or laptop and will work with Magellan, Garmin, Lowrance, Eagle, Silva/Brunton and MLR GPS receivers for the upload and download of waypoints, routes and tracks, and most makes of GPS receivers for on screen tracking of GPS position (moving map).

OziExplorer allows you to work, on your computer screen, with maps that you create from purchased digital maps or maps you have scanned. By using these maps OziExplorer allows you to plan your trip by creating waypoints, routes and tracks on screen and upload these to your GPS. Add special features/symbols and comments to your map.

Warning: The Touratech company no longer distributes the software or mapping associated TTQV. It is now Joachim Bungert via QuoVadis Software GmbH that sells directly in his website: (English) or (in German)
In Touractech navigation software is compatible with most GPS.  The Touractech company, Niedereschach (Germany), is the realm of motorcycle equipment

There are 4 versions and it is the Power User of interest. See the different types of document: Touratech. The Power User a real browser with a global database. It can read numbers of card formats such as maps and features a Russian editor roadbook. It can import formats Garmin Map Source and Fugawi.
Logiciel de navigation TTQV version Power User de Touractech  
This version has an interface with Google Earth: You can import images in JPEG format and supports transparency maps.

Very convenient with the new graphics tablet, it recognizes the touch screens. On the other hand, this software lets you know the altitude of any point on the globe.

The DEM (Digital Elevation Models) can be integrated with Touratech QV to display information of altitude at each position cursor on any map. This can be handy to know if a track up or down. Mais pas seulement ! But not only!

You can also create true three-dimensional views of terrain using the 3D option which offers the possibility to attach a value to rise to all the waypoints. (Pictured right)


There are 3 sources of funds Cartographic
- The mapping image-based scanner and calibrated. (IGN, Russian maps, etc ...)
- The mapping vector (Navtech, Tele Atlas, etc ...)
- The satellite photograph.

Russian military maps

The Russian military maps, scale 1 / 500000 or even 1 / 200000, have the advantage of covering all countries and are a good precision on the ground.

However, they are not reprinted. Check the bookstores on the trip. But they exist in electronic format which allows easy use with navigation software on the PC. They are sold on the Touratech site. With the scale 1 / 500000 the Russian military maps are amazingly detailed with excellent topography but a little dated (between 1960 and 1980).
Thus, in countries where the infrastructure (roads and regulations) has changed significantly, these cards suffer from a lack of precision. They are written in Cyrillic but large cities are transliterated into Latin alphabet.(Pictured above left)
In our case we will need the 3-CD kit which covers South America and Central Russian Army Southamerica seamless maps (photo below right). Touratech also sells CDs of maps of South America under the name CD-Reise Know-How - South America, but different countries have different scales.(Left photo)

Maps TPC U.S.

These maps TPC (Tactical Pilot Chart) are used by the U.S. aviation across 1/500000éme. Although readable and well squared, they are sometimes not accurate enough for land sailing conditions. They are available in print and electronic format.

GEOnet Names Server (GNS) GEOnet Names Server (GNS)

GEOnet gives access to the database of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names' (U.S. BGN). In this global database of waypoints is a complete listing by country of waypoints with their name and address. For the U.S. see United States Geological Survey (USGS).
These waypoints can be used with all browsers such as TTQV, OziExplorer, Fugawi ..... and all the GPS.
Google Earth

Google Earth is a free mapping software, 3D, which allows visualization of the Earth with a collection of aerial photographs or satellite. It allows any user to fly over the Earth and zoom in on a place of his choice. (Left photo)

Originally known as Earth Viewer, Google Earth was acquired in 2004 and was renamed Google Earth in 2005. It has been available for personal computers.

Several cities can be observed with a resolution high enough to distinguish each individual property, homes and even cars.

In some cities such as Paris, London, Washington and Seattle, it is even possible to distinguish people on the street. The resolution observation maximum geographical locations depends on their interest, however, the entire surface of the Earth has been photographed with a resolution of at least 15 meters.

There are Google Earth Pro, which offers a database of geospatial very complete offering including cityscapes continuous, high-resolution images, historical images, roads and points of interest. But it is a version aimed primarily at businesses. It pays off and very expensive for an individual, have 300 million (in 2009) and interest-free to prepare his trip.