Marine GPS Mapping Software is the heart and soul of your GPS or GPS/Fishfinder Combo. Many gps and combination units come preloaded with simple maps of major lakes and bodies of water. While preloaded maps are getting better all the time, many people opt to buy additional mapping software and "upload" it to their GPS. Not only can you mark waypoints and track your course, some of these more expensive map versions offer detailed information on water depth, contour and even fishing hot spots. |
The first thing to be aware of is the design of your gps or fishfinder. While some come with preloaded maps as mentioned above, some of the cheaper models do not offer a way to add additional maps; this means you cannot upgrade the maps that came with the unit.
The second, and probably the most important caveat, when it comes to purchasing a map to install on your gps or fishfinder combo unit is to be sure to obtain the correct "file format". There are many manufacturers of gps units; Garmin, Raymarine, Furuno, and Lowrance - just to name a few. Add to this the fact that there are just about as many "file formats" for the gps mapping software such as SD card, c-card, FURUNO FP, Microsoft, MMC, CF and others. Now this is very critical. You must purchase the correct type of software that matches your particular gps.
Some examples of this are as follows (these are just some general examples - always be sure to check with the manufacturer or retailer). Many Eagle brand gps units use the SD chip type, while some models of Hummingbird use SD while others use MMC. Raymarine on the other hand uses CF for many of its models. To complicate things more; some formats vary depending on not just the brand but by specific model type of the unit.
The point is; it can get confusing. Just be sure to read all documentation and know for sure you are buying the correct file format, especially online. Many retailers will not accept returns on gps mapping software.
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