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Thread: Maps with GPS?

  1. #1
    143439 bobr9's Avatar
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    Maps with GPS?

    For extended trips, wondering if most folks with a GPS will still have paper maps for backup/supplement? If so, what paper maps are most popular when it comes to size (i.e.- fold up, spiral bound, etc.), and supplier (AAA, Michelin, Rand McNally)? I will be going cross country, so interested in others opinions on this. shying away from buying a spiral bound type due to it's bulk. Thanks...

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Maps are way better than a GPS for planning, or even deciding on spur of the moment back roads. GPSes are great for getting you through a city or to an address at the end of the day.

    The AAA maps tend to have too little detail for my tastes, but a big spiral bound atlas is too large for a tankbag and takes up a lot of room in a saddlebag. It's a conundrum. I've generally brought along a handful of the AAA maps. In Europe I've used the Michelin maps, which are excellent (and there are other producers there that I like even more; Falk comes to mind), but I haven't tried them here.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
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  3. #3
    Registered User Woodbutcher's Avatar
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    I hit each State's website. Usually on the tourism or Dept of Transportation site they have a PDF version of the state map. I save that on my laptop or ipad for looking at stops on the road. I also will print out sections of the maps that I'll be traveling for putting in my tank bag. The nice thing about PDF files is that you can zoom in and still have a sharp printout, ie it doesn't pixelate like a jpg image file. Example: http://www.txdot.gov/driver/travel/maps.html

    I've not found a large country wide map that works as it comes. In Texas I use the Roads of Texas atlas and just photocopy the pages I'll need so I have a set that I don't mind writing on. Plus it packs smaller.
    Rusty
    Austin, TX
    Two Wheeled Texans
    2009 R1200GSA

  4. #4
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    GPS, better have backup

    I had my GPS die on the road. I usually have a laptop with Street and Trips for planning. I try and carry maps for area I venture into.
    I use the GPS but not the roads and keep them in the tank bag window just in case.
    Tom
    '84 R100RT '04 CLC(gone) Honda NT700V
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  5. #5
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    On trips I ride with the GPS zoomed in fairly close (usually about 500 metre scale) for detail at turns and with a map in the tank bag for the "big picture".

    That way you can ride for half a day without having to make any adjustments.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  6. #6
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    I'm a huge fan of Delorme map books, very easy to use, at least for me.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  7. #7
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    Paper maps for me. I 'laminate' one side of them with heavy duty 'Duck' brand ultra clear tape. Then they can be folded at any place, not just on the manufacturers creases.

    I use paper maps because I will look at where I am, and where I want to go, and then decide the roads to take. In my head, Im normally planning my route 50 miles in front of me, and GPS just doesn't give me that option. I do keep a cheapo GPS though for those rural intersections that need a bit more detail. The kind that on the map show the roads intersecting at a single point, but in real life might be several hundred yards or even 1/2 mile apart. The detail on the GPS lets me 'scroll down the road' a bit and see which way to turn! We use the girlfriends I Phone GPS when we are in major cities...she is scrolling and scouting and giving me directions on the intercom. Her voice is much better than the Garmin Lady!

    I use the free maps that the states will give you.
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  8. #8
    TravelsWithBarley.com
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    I buy one of the Michelin spiral-bound atlases. I read ride reports on various fora and when I find an interesting one I highlight it on the appropriate page in the atlas. I do this in the winter when several feet of snow outside drive me bonkers with PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome). By the time I'm ready for my annual Big Ride in the summer I have the atlas pretty well marked up. I rip out the pages that correspond to my route and put them in the map pocket of my tank bag.

    A general route is uploaded into the GPS, mostly so I can avoid big cities by navigating around them by listening to the voices in my head (Bluetooth). As I ride, I follow my progress on the paper map on top of the tank bag. If I notice one of the highlighted routes nearby, I generally take it.

    For me, plotting routes in the atlas keeps me relatively sane in winter, and during my rides gives me the opportunity to experience roads or points of interest I probably would never have found on my own.
    '07 R1200GS for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Barley

  9. #9
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    I carry maps, but use them less and less. They do give a big picture view better than the GPS, but the GPS with the detail at max, lets me find the fun little roads that are not even on a map.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  10. #10
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    but the GPS with the detail at max, lets me find the fun little roads that are not even on a map.
    That's why you need the Delorme maps.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  11. #11
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    That's why you need the Delorme maps.
    I have most of the East coast, but too bulky to carry and not convenient while moving. For exploring at night, the small laptop with Mapsource and Google maps still takes less room, and is lighter. I will mark several promising roads in an area and load them into the GPS, so when I am riding, the flag will come up to tell me to take a look. Also I have found dozens of great roads, by just following the little squiggly road that intersected my intended path.

    There is a lot out there if you take the time to look.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
    Tuscany and Central Italy 2010

  12. #12
    BruceRT
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    Butler Maps

    If you are going through an area covered by them, Butler Maps are great because they show the good riding roads. They mark the beginning and end of the good parts with GPS coordinates so you can plan GPS routes better. I have a big Michelin map of the mid-atlantic (where I live) for planning purposes. The problem with free state maps is that they show nothing on the other side of the border, reducing their usefulness for planning.
    Bruce
    2005 R1200RT (It's new to me!)
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If you are not continuously learning, you are slowly getting bored.

  13. #13
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    I plan my trips in detail with the latest MapSource, use MS Streets and Trips, DeLorme Topo 7, Google Earth and ESRI Data Sets composed of DOT maps from individual states to confirm critical areas. All digital. Then I pick a couple paper maps and stuff them in my kit. Like someone previously said, can't beat paper for planning. (I run a county GIS and those MapQuest, Google, etc guys get their data from guys like me. There is a good reason why 9-1-1 doesn't run on Google).
    Old But Not Dead
    Semper Fi

  14. #14
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    I plan my trips in detail with the latest MapSource, use MS Streets and Trips, DeLorme Topo 7, Google Earth and ESRI Data Sets composed of DOT maps from individual states to confirm critical areas. All digital. Then I pick a couple paper maps and stuff them in my kit. Like someone previously said, can't beat paper for planning. (I run a county GIS and those MapQuest, Google, etc guys get their data from guys like me. There is a good reason why 9-1-1 doesn't run on Google).
    Mapsource, while my preference, was discontinued in 2010. Converted to the replacement, Basecamp, this year. After some trial and error, I can now use Basecamp just as we'll.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  15. #15
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    For states I intend to spend some time in I like the state DOT map. Good detail, the most (but not totally) reliable and up to date. I also travel with a Rand McNally Atlas. I tear out pages for states as I go, and put them in the viewing pocket on my tank bag.

    For the bigger picture I like AAA regional maps.

    I also run two GPSs on my bike. They show me different things without fiddling.

    So one day running one of those double letter roads in Missouri on a road that ran generally east-west the road turned in town headed north and I missed the left turn to continue west. About a mile or so out of town I noticed we were headed northeastish instead of westish. (This was in the south central Ozarks.) I signaled Voni and we made U turns. Back in the little town I stopped to see where I missed my turn.

    She turned to me and said with a big smile, "Two GPSs and a map and you still get lost"! Yep.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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