Hello, can you help me?
A volunteer trails organization I work for has given me a new task: find a new multi-purpose GPS unit. The one I used before went kaput, so it's no longer available.
I've mentioned the old GPS unit before, but now the move to find a new unit has kicked into high gear.
I'm looking at a couple of different manufacturers, and in a couple different price ranges and feature sets...
The unit must be hand-held, weather-resistant, and capable of being used for both hiking use and automotive (highway driving/direction finding) use. Common uses will be recording waypoints to transfer to a computer so that coordinates for problem areas on a trail can be recorded and repaired, or coordinates can be taken to establish new trails or re-routed trails. The recorded waypoints will be taken back to a computer and transferred to Google Earth for aerial visual analysis and planning activities.
USB connection is must for the unit. Unit will likely work with a Macintosh computer.
The unit should use AA batteries. I use rechargeable Sanyo Eneloops.
The unit will be either a Garmin or a DeLorme.
Here are the categories I'll be looking at...
1: CHEAP - Probably a Garmin. (The new eTrex 10?) Unit must have a USB port for transferring waypoints into a computer. Unit must be able to help locate coordinates (like you do in geocaching, only this would be for points-of-interest in remote areas). The "cheap" category is to find the best handheld basic GPS with computer connectivity that can do the work we need of it.
2: EXPENSIVE - Probably a DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 or other similar device. The unit should have all the functionality of the "cheap" unit, plus it should be able to superimpose topo maps on the unit's LCD screen so that user can orient himself on a map in remote areas.
Any suggestions on the "cheap" or "expensive" options would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time and attention,
-- The Mountain Man
NOTE: Smartphone GPS units are not reliable in the back-country where the bulk of the work I'm discussing would be done. So, unfortunately, smartphones like the Apple iPhone are not applicable here.