Garmin GPS III+
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By, Mike Cohn "TXJEEPER"

Garmin GPSIII Plus

GPSIII Plus Vertical ModeOne of the greatest things about the GPSIII Plus is how easy it is to get around and make changes. All of the changes are done through menus. From any page, you can press the MENU button. Simply make selections from lists using the thumb button and the ENTER button. The QUIT button always takes you back out to the main screens.

When using the GPSIII Plus, it is extremely easy to set new waypoints. Simply press the ENTER key to mark a coordinate. You can then give the waypoint a short alphanumeric name and even give it an icon from a large on-board list. Later, when you want to find a waypoint, simply press the GOTO button and select the waypoint from the list.

Another very useful feature of the GPSIII Plus is spell 'n find. Say you are in Colorado somewhere and you want to go to Moab, Utah. Simple! Using spell 'n find, you can enter MOAB and tell the GPS to guide you there. Easy!

You can also ask the GPS to tell you the nearest 50 cities, 9 nearest waypoints, and the closest 50 exits. Like spell 'n find, you simply tell the Garmin to take you there and follow the clues.

Believe it or not, that's just the nutshell version of what the GPSIII Plus will do. Though the screen may be a bit small for some eyes, it helps make a very compact unit that fits very well on your dash or even on a bicycle. Please do not try to drive and operate the GPS at the same time. The GPSIII Plus usually runs a little under $400 on the street and is worth every penny.


But wait! There's more! MapSource CD's

Garmin MapSource TOPOIf you're really looking to beef up your GPSIII Plus beyond it's stock capabilites, consider buying into the MapSource CD collection. These CD's run on your PC and can be used on their own or in conjunction with the GPSIII Plus and several other Garmin GPS models. CD's include United States TOPO, United States Waterways & Lights, Roads & Recreation (includes county & residential roads for all of the US), and WorldMap (extends the basemap to include more countries). Our sample was sent to us with United States TOPO.

The MapSource TOPO maps are similar to US Geological Survey 1:100,000 scale paper maps. The software allows you to find and transfer waypoints, routes and tracks from your PC to your Garmin GPS. You can find highways, roads, snowmobile trails, backwoods trails, elevation contours, geographic names, churches, schools, waterways, boat ramps, and much more. The CD lists for about $150.

Installation is a snap. Simply insert the disc into your PC and follow the instructions. Your GPSIII Plus will plug into the serial port of the computer using an additional cable.

Though we found MapSource to be fun and very useful, we did find ourselves opting to not see all of the topo data when using our GPSIII Plus. The topo information seemed to just clutter up the already small screen, making it of very little use. However, for planning a trip, it could be a nice tool. The Roads & Recreation CD would have served us well, if we wanted the ability to add smaller-sized roads during long excursions.


MapSource Screenshots --->>>




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