NG Posts Updated Triton FAQs and How-Tos

National Geographic posted on their Triton support page today a new set of how-tos, tips, and a few troubleshooting steps for the integration between the Triton series and National Geographic TOPO!.

Additionally they have posted a revised edition of their 4.4.2 upgrade which addresses a minor issue with Vista. Anyone running Vista that has downloaded the 4.4.2 upgrade prior to 12.20.07 should download it again and reinstall.

For users with the 400,500,1500, or 2000 model Tritons, we've tested 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB SD Cards and found them all to work just fine. With a 4GB card you can load most TOPO! states completely. Amazon has 2GB SD Cards as low as $10 right now, so ordering a few for photos, and maps is a good investment.

Happy Holidays to All!



Nat Geo Product Support News

A recent comment to TOPO! Hacker spawned this post. (Thanks PK).

For those new to TOPO! products or seeking assistance with your current application, National Geographic Maps website is filled with information. A quick browse reveals FAQs, a downloads section with the latest applications, and even a few tips worthy of posts here on the 'Hack.

After communicating with a senior staff member at Nat Geo - I've come to learn that an entirely new website will be launched in mid-January. The new "publisher" site will contain detailed product information for all National Geographic titles including TOPO! and Trails Illustrated plus an improved support section for TOPO! users. Additionally, Nat Geo recently launched a corporate blog which will be featured on the new site, "offering us a better way to communicate directly with our customers."

The new site will share the same natgeomaps.com URL - so bookmark your browser today.



More Triton News and Tips

We've heard rumors from a few people that Triton 200 series units are coming with PC connection cables! (Even though the packaging states otherwise). No clue as to how many are like this - but if you are weighing the purchase between a 200 and 300, take a peek inside the box first and perhaps save yourself some money for a new TOPO! product instead.

Amazon.com now has Triton 300s in stock for those that aren't close to one of the retailers listed in the previous post.

Here at the Hacker Lab we've been testing both the 200 and 300 and been pleased so far with functionality. You can load a pretty significant area of detailed National Geographic TOPO! maps on to the unit's built in memory - at least a (4) USGS quad area - approximately 200 square miles. The higher end units with the SD cards therefore, should be able to store a massive area.



Looking for a Triton? Check these retailers ...

From our exclusive sources in the field - a partial list of retailers that should have Triton's in stock or at least on their way to stores. This of course is not a guarantee that your particular location will have the unit still in stock, so call ahead, but the source is highly reliable. If this information helps you locate a GPS or if you find another retailer, please post a comment to help others! Happy Holidays!

EMS - New Hampshire based retailer, with stores thoughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic - should have Triton 200 and 300 series models.

REI - Washington based retailer with stores nationwide, should have Triton 300s.

Sportsman's Warehouse - Utah based retailer with stores nationwide, should have Triton 300s.

Joes Sports - Oregon based retailer with stores in the Pacific Northwest, should have Triton 300s.

Sport Chalet - Southern California based retailer with stores throughout the region, should have Triton 300s.

Academy Sports - Texas based retailer, should have Triton 300s.

Once again this list is certainly not complete but should help those seeking Tritons for the holidays. If you find additional sources, feel free to post!



Magellan Triton 300 Works with Macintosh!

Using a Mac G5 running "Parallels" an emulation software package, with the Vista operating system loaded, I have been able to successfully transfer maps, routes, and waypoints from National Geographic TOPO! to my Magellan Triton 300! While this is not the ideal solution for Magellan users that run TOPO! on mac, this is promising.

I'd expect Boot Camp (Mac OS X 10.5 / Leopard) or the new VMWare product will work as well.

I will post some video of the transaction shortly.


BREAKING NEWS: Confirmed Reports of Magellan Tritons Shipping to Retail

In from our very own "agent x" ... Triton 300's have shipped and are on the way to retailers! That's right you heard it here first, the long awaited Magellan Triton, the first GPS receiver in the market which can load the maps from National Geographic TOPO!, is starting to head towards stores... Get yours while you can! Stay tuned to TOPO! Hacker for further developments. 

Happy Holidays


View Maps from TOPO! on Your IPhone or IPod Touch

This work around will enable you to view clipped maps from TOPO! on your IPhone or IPod Touch utilizing the built in Safari web browser. It’s a very simple process – yet does have some limitations, namely that you must be online to view the map as both the IPhone and the ITouch have “spotty” web caching when trying to view a webpage off network. In the near future I’ll be posting a more complex solution that will require you to “jailbreak” your device giving you read/write access to the file structure, but in turn will allow you to load TOPO! created maps on to the hard drive. Should this sound a bit sketchy – you can always wait until early 2008 when Apple will release the installer application to third-party developers to add new applications.

The Work Around:

Step One: Create an account with a web based file service. There are a variety of free sites now promoting the feature to post PDFs and other files and images for you to later access from your mobile device – the least of which is Google. My personal favorite due to its simplicity is Readdle.com. Readdle provides you up to 100mb of free online file storage and supports a variety of formats including PDF. Plus if you’re into books – they have a free library of public domain classics like Shakespeare and Conan Doyle.

Step Two: Launch TOPO! and navigate to the map you wish to view on your IPhone/Itouch. In my example I clipped all of Rocky Mountain National Park in the most detailed TOPO! layer.

Step Three: Should you wish to clip a large map – as in my example all of Rocky Mountain National Park, navigate to the TOPO Preferences and change your print preferences to the page size you desire. I created a custom page size of 20” by 20” for my map, which is the largest custom size you can clip for PDF. Note – the larger the map the bigger the file. I haven’t crashed Safari with a large map yet – but it takes a while to load if the WiFi network you’re on is slow.

Step Four: Use the print/ selection tool and define your selection area. With a large map, you might find it beneficial to zoom out to level 3 or 4 to start. By defining the boundaries here and then zooming in to level 5 to clip you gain better perspective then trying to scroll around at the detail level . If you follow this tip be sure to zoom into the final level you wish to clip from – for if you save the map while on Level 3 for example you will end up with that map image, not the detail from level 5.

(The images below show defining the map area on level 3 and then exporting on level 5)

Step Five: Save the map to disk. Using the Macintosh you can save the map directly as a PDF which is my preferred image. On a PC save the map as a high resolution JPEG or GIFF. If you have a PDF file converter I’d recommend the extra step of converting the graphic file to PDF, but you can post JPEGs and GIFs to Readdle too.

Step Six: Login in to your newly created Readdle account and upload your clipped map image.

Step Seven: Start your IPhone/ ITouch, obtain WiFi access, and launch Safari. Then simply navigate to Readdle.com and you’ll find a very simple, optimized browser window. Here you should be able to find your uploaded map. Simply open and enjoy!

Parting Thoughts:

· I’ve had periods of time when Safari has cached my uploaded TOPO! map, allowing me to access it while not on a WiFi network. I’m not certain what the parameters are yet – or how to force it to cache – but I’d recommend experimenting with map size. Obviously keeping the map visible when not online is preferred.

· I’ll be posting a more detailed workaround that will allow you to load maps on to your IPhone or IPod Touch in the next week. This will require you to “Jailbreak” your device.

· Experiment with loading different types of maps. Remember that TOPO! covers metro areas too! I created a file in TOPO! highlighting my favorite watering holes, then uploaded that to my ITouch. As more and more coffee shops and bars have free WiFi it came in handy to quickly check the location of the next stop in an evening’s pub crawl.