Garmin Birdseye

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jyetara
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Garmin Birdseye

Post by jyetara » 10 April 10 9:29 am

Has anyone used it yet?

I find it to be quite tedious, and takes forever to download tiles. So much so, that it's hard to "play" around with.

Other thoughts?

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by CraigRat » 10 April 10 9:54 am

Can you give us an idea fo the quality of the images?

Are they google earth good or better/worse?

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by jyetara » 10 April 10 10:22 am

From what I've looked at they're around Google earth quality. Not super great and a bit outdated, but I'm hoping they vastly improve this each year, before I keep shelling out another $40.

I'm a little "underwhelmed" by the quality but not really dissapointed.
But it took several hours to download a 50mb block of tiles. I've got about 1gb in queue and I'm not even sure how exactly to transfer more than one Selected Area to the Oregon just yet, only because of the damn time it takes to download a section.

The time it takes to download is a joke.

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by Map Monkey » 10 April 10 10:44 am

Do you have an aussie focused image of the result on your GPSr JY? [-o<

mm

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by jyetara » 10 April 10 6:53 pm

Have posted some screenshots and comparisons to Google Earth & Nearmap. Gives you an idea.


http://swimnspa.com.au/birdseye.html

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by CraigRat » 10 April 10 6:59 pm

Excellent, thanks for posting this. I have been looking at the product and have been to afraid to purchase it without seeing how it actually looked.

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by jyetara » 10 April 10 7:16 pm

I think for the quality it's probably worth the $40, but the frustration of downloading the imagery is horrendous. I can't begin to explain the frustration of it.

I have some sections downloading in a queue, and currently it's about 1/3 the way through one, but Garmin BaseCamp is using between 250mb-600mb memory & 25% cpu so it slows the whole computer down. They have a long long way to go on that front.

And as of yet, I am STILL unsure how to put more than one mapset on. Hopefully shouldn't bee too much of a problem.

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by rbirtles » 10 April 10 7:48 pm

Hi all,
I too decided to purchase this product to see what it was like. The easiest part of the process was paying Garmin the necessary money.

I had a terrible and hair pulling time just to get Basecamp to allow BirdsEye to even start downloading maps. After trolling various forums I eventually found out that I had to upgrade my Dakota 20 with the latest software upgrade that part reason was specifically written for this purpose. You also need to have version 3.0+ of Basecamp as well.

When that issue was resolved the process of choosing and downloading the necessary areas was quite simple APART from the terribly long download times. I had to leave my pc on overnight just for the download...

From my understanding also you must have your GPS connected to the computer to allow such downloads to work/continue. In other words - PLAN in advance.

Image quality - cannot make judgement yet as the area I downloaded is bushland west of Canberra where I will be caching tomorrow. Highest zoom on my garmin was so so in qulaity but then again this area would not have had high level imagery anyhow in comparison to urban land areas.

Am currently downloading a 310mb file for north Canberra so I will be interested in seeing what it is like when I finally get the download complete.

Also went out and bought a 16GB micro SD card today for my GPS so I can handle all the maps I'll eventually download although at the moment Basecamp only seem to allow me to send BirdsEye maps to the GPR itself - not the current micro SD card I currently have for it. Maybe have to try a cut and past into it to see whether this works...

Is it worth it?... Too early for me to say.

Cheers!
Rob.

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by jyetara » 10 April 10 8:10 pm

Also had issues with needing to upgrade the Firmware.
And also had an issue with the lack of a userdata.gpx file which Basecamp didn't like.

It's a very "beta" or even "alpha" program in my opinion.

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by rbirtles » 10 April 10 8:24 pm

Yes - Agreed!

There is virtually no manuals or help guides on this product. I am still holding out high hopes for it though.

Have to admit that I am trying to avoid Garmin firmware upgrades for my Dakota as the one I did before Xmas killed my GPS to the point that they gave me a brand new replacement. Good service on this one though!

Cheers!
Rob.

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by Indaweeds » 10 April 10 8:59 pm

You can download the high res images to Basecamp without a subscription to see the quality available, but it will only send a low quality "demo" image to the unit itself.

Also, you can send the images to the memory card by right clicking on the "Birdseye Imagery" link in the left pane of Basecamp, and selecting "Send to memory card".

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by rediguana » 21 April 10 3:40 pm

I did a little demo test in NZ last night, and it seemed to work reasonably well. Of course, I had just installed the latest version of BaseCamp (3.0.1) and the latest unit software (3.4) for my Oregon 550. Will probably shell out for a subscription tonight - having not had any significant UI issues so far. Also nice is that an imagery you download for your unit (and it is tied to the unit) will still be usable after your subscription expires.

Put a few sample images up in the NZ forums.

http://forums.gps.org.nz/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5535

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by mtrax » 21 April 10 4:44 pm

gee sounds like an opportunity to hack , I wonder if you can automate the downloading of OEM images like the custom maps..

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by rediguana » 21 April 10 5:12 pm

It looks like you can download as much as you want - the bigger issue is that all downloaded images are likely to be encrypted so that they can only be used on the unit with the serial number that purchased the subscription. The bigger hack would be breaking that encryption. Note - BirdsEye is only providing raster imagery - no vector data. The test I did here in NZ happily overlaid the NZ Open GPS Maps project vector data over the BirdsEye imagery.

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Re: Garmin Birdseye

Post by rbirtles » 21 April 10 5:30 pm

I've tried overlaying a number of maps over the Birdseye maps and have had no problems. I am very happy with the maps on my Dakota albeit download times and Basecamp quirkiness are a major issues that Garmin will have to remedy IMO.

My 16GB microcard is going to be used to its full potential I dare say...

Edit, another aspect I have noticed is my batteries drain much faster lately. Don't know whether it is because of the extra processing required for the maps to be displayed or maybe my rechargeables are loosing their charge faster. I find general Alkaline batteries are only useful for emergencies these days.

Cheers!
Rob.

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