GPS Software Online
GPS software is the thread that brings the elements of GPS technology together to form a clear picture. Combining the positional accuracy of a GPS receiver with advanced navigational software can significantly improve the functioning of a GPS system. High quality software will enable a GPS user to plot and upload Waypoints, download and store Waypoints on a specific map and upload Track Log information for use in Track navigation.
The main hitch to GPS software is its compatibility level. The majority of manufacturers encode their mapping software so that it can only be used with specific hardware. This type of software, termed proprietary software, substantially limits the mapping potential of GPS systems. Mapsource software, for example, is only compatible with Garmin GPS systems, while Mapcreate mapping software can only be used in conjunction with hardware units produced by Lowrance. Mapsend mapping software is only compatible with Magellan hardware - and so the list goes on.
Certain GPS manufacturers specialize in producing hardware only. These companies combine their receivers with the software produced by independent software companies. The problem with independent software is that it is designed with specific hardware products in mind. If you purchase a new model of GPS receiver that has just hit the market, you may have to wait some time before compatible independent software becomes available. It is up to software companies to constantly update their software in order to make it compatible with new hardware models. In some cases this process only occurs weeks after a new model has hit the market which can be a particularly frustrating experience.
As a solution to the incompatibility factor, certain independent software companies have begun to produce software that can be used across the board. These types of software programs are termed Share-Ware products and can be used with a wide range of GPS receivers and hardware. Two well known producers of Share-Ware GPS software programs are GPSU and Fugawi.
GPSU Utility is a simple-to-use software application that manipulates GPS data and converts coordinates and maps into the desired format. The application can be used worldwide to manipulate data so as to make it compatible with specific models of GPS receivers. Similarly, Fugawi software is also compatible with most brands of GPS receivers. Fugawi software allows users to scan in any map and create their own digital map that can then be uploaded onto a GPS receiver. Alternatively, the software also enables users to create personal digital maps by altering maps from an existing map database.