Garmin has announced a new desktop application -- BaseCamp -- designed for backcountry GPS enthusiasts. It basically does the same thing MapSource does, adding 3D rendering, photo geotagging, and the ability to rotate to non-north up viewpoints. It will also bring improved printing capabilities, geocaching information display and data management functionality.
BaseCamp will be both PC and Mac compatible and will ship with all new TOPO DVD map sets. It will also be available for current TOPO users as a free download at the end of the first quarter 2009. No word about how it might work with micro-SD products.
Why not just add these features to MapSource? I’m betting this will become a portal for downloading and transferring raster imagery such as USGS topo maps and aerial photos to the next generation Oregon handhelds, as forecasted in my 2009 predictions.
Here's the full news release:
Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, announced today the introduction of Garmin BaseCamp – a utility that allows users to plan and manage trips, routes, tracks, and waypoints and transfer them between the computer and applicable Garmin outdoor handheld device.
“BaseCamp brings a whole new set of features to hikers, hunters, geocachers, and anyone else who wants to maximize their experience with their Garmin GPS,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “This new utility lets users view, organize, and transfer their data more quickly and efficiently – allowing them to make the most of their time exploring the great outdoors.”
BaseCamp lets users view both 24K and 100K topo maps in 2D or 3D renderings. Users no longer are confined with a “north up” map – it can be rotated to any orientation. Another convenient window depicts the elevation profile currently displayed. And with Track Draw, users can trace a fluid track and get an immediate elevation profile to determine the difficulty of their hike.
Because a picture is worth a thousand words, BaseCamp supports geotagging of user-generated photos, to know exactly what the scenery is like at any given location – simply click on a map icon to view an enlarged version of a photo. Users can even view their data in Google Earth. The growing legions of Geocachers will also find utility in BaseCamp – the utility fully supports all of the information presented on geocaching.com.
Whether you’re planning an adventure or returning home from one, BaseCamp allows the complete transfer of maps, waypoints, routes, and geotagged photos back and forth between the utility and the applicable Garmin outdoor handheld device. Users can compile their information into easily-identifiable folders as well, for later retrieval. As a backup, BaseCamp can print out configurable, full-page, color maps for viewing at any time.
BaseCamp is compatible on both PC and Mac computers. Beginning in the first quarter of 2009, the utility will ship with all new TOPO U.S. 24K DVD and TOPO U.S. 100K DVD products. For those who currently own TOPO U.S. 2008, BaseCamp will be available for a free download at www.garmin.com at the end of the first quarter 2009. For unit compatibility and more information, visit www.garmin.com