OziExplorer GPS Mapping Software

By Jeep Experts


During the spring of 1999, a ham-radio good friend launched me to a shareware program known as OziExplorer.  He is an avid 4-wheeler with a pleasant Jeep CJ-7.  When I requested him about his use of the GPS receiver in his Jeep, he instructed me about this software program.  I downloaded the software program from the Ozi website and began taking part in with it.  It took me solely an hour or two earlier than I used to be sure that this software program can be a great addition to my off-road “instrument field”.  I spent the $65 US (now $75) and registered the software program that very same night time.  In my opinion, it’s the finest piece of shareware I’ve ever purchased.  Excluding my e-mail and internet browser purposes, it is without doubt one of the 5 mostly used packages I personal and is essentially the most used software on my laptop, which now accompanies me on all of my off-road Jeep journeys.

The following graphic, Figure 1, reveals the primary display screen of OziExplorer.

Figure 1

The most important display screen is displaying a portion of a 7.5′ quadrangle (1:24,000 scale) map of Garfias Mountain, Arizona, which has been loaded from a USGS CD.  Each 1° x 1° USGS CD has 64 of those 7.5′ topo maps on them, which make up a grid of 8×8 maps.  There are a few 1:100,000 scale maps and a 1:250,000 scale map on every CD too.  What makes these CDs really easy to make use of is that every one of those topos include the required knowledge recordsdata that OziExplorer reads in order that it could possibly  auto-calibrate every map.  What does this imply to you?  You merely load the map from the CD and it is able to use…no muss, no fuss!  You may even scan a map on your house scanner, put it aside in .TIFF format, and cargo it into OziExplorer.  When you do that, you point out calibration factors (reference factors with recognized latitude and longitude) on the map in order that OziExplorer is aware of the place the map is and might calculate GPS associated knowledge.

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Figure 1 reveals two completely different trails (or tracks) on it, one in blue, the opposite in inexperienced. OziExplorer can show as much as 30 completely different tracks on a map.  These could be loaded and displayed after the map is loaded, or a observe could be made a part of the map in order that it seems each time the map is loaded.  These tracks could be simply obtained from two sources.  If your GPS receiver helps making a observe plot, you possibly can obtain the observe knowledge to OziExplorer after you come back from an off-road journey.  After you switch the observe plot knowledge to OziExplorer, it could possibly decide which map(s) is out there for show and give you a selection of which one to load.  The different technique by which you’ll receive a observe plot is to create one utilizing OziExplorer itself.  On Figure 1, each of those trails have been plotted by me.  I needed to verify the paths that have been obtainable between two areas that spanned three 7.5′ topo maps.  The subsequent time I’m on this space, I’ll add the observe plot to my Garmin III+ receiver and see if I can run the complete path.  Uploading and downloading is finished, for many GPS receivers, by merely connecting the suitable knowledge switch cable (normally a serial cable related to the PC’s comm port) to the GPS receiver.  OziExplorer can switch observe plots, waypoints, routes, and occasions to and from a GPS receiver on this method.

Figure 2

Figure 2 reveals the Track Control display screen that may be known as up from the OziExplorer most important display screen.  The Track Control is used to handle as much as 30 observe plots that may be displayed on a map.  OziExplorer means that you can manipulate the observe that’s loaded as Track #1.  Likewise, it’s this observe that’s used when importing or obtain with the GPS receiver.  A wide range of observe properties, comparable to shade, description, and plot width could be set by clicking on the Properties button.

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Figure 3


OziExplorer boasts an excellent consumer iinterface, making it fast to be taught and simple to make use of.  It will add and obtain knowledge with most main manufacturers of GPS receivers.   The configuration display screen, as proven above in Figure 3, reveals fairly quite a lot of GPS receivers to choose from.  Lowrance, Garmin, and Magellan are all  nicely represented.  OziExplorer’s assist recordsdata are very nicely performed.  Not solely do they clarify every button, discipline, and performance of the software program, however they do a reasonably good job of educating you the fundamentals regarding map projection, datum, and different such map associated phrases.  It even comes with a tutorial that can assist you get acquainted extra rapidly.

Figure 4

Figure 4 reveals the Load Map display screen.  After the USGS maps have been registered with OziExplorer (this takes about 30 seconds per CD), you merely choose the map from the obtainable recordsdata.  I desire to maintain all the maps from every CD in their very own subdirectory.  The graphic is displaying the 34112 subdirectory, which holds all the maps from the 34° latitude, 112° longitude USGS CD.  These coordinates are the SE nook of this 1° x 1° grid.  The map names and scales are all generated by OziExplorer, which obtains this data kind the CD throughout registration.

Figure 5

OziExplorer supplies fairly a couple of map printing choices.  I’ve a Lexmark Z51 inkjet printer.  With it’s 1200 x 1200 printer decision, I can print a whole 7.5′ topo map on an everyday sheet of typing paper (8.5″ x 11″).  The Lexmark printer’s excessive decision produces a really detailed hardcopy map.  Although not completely crucial, I take advantage of a small 3x loop magnifier to learn the “high quality print” on the map.  My previous printer did a poor job of reproducing the high quality print (it solely supported 600 x 600 decision).  Even for those who by no means plan on hooking this software program as much as a GPS receiver, you possibly can save a bundle by utilizing it to print topo maps.  One of the native map shops right here in Phoenix prices $6 for a 7.5′ quadrangle map.  At that value, a USGS CD would price $400.  Search round on the web to search out these CDs prepared for the downloading from numerous authorities and academic web pages.  You can copy and share these CDs with your mates.  Since the CDs have been produced with our federal tax {dollars}, they don’t seem to be copyrighted.  Don’t really feel dangerous about copying them and buying and selling with your mates.  The firms that promote them are doing this very factor besides it’s important to commerce them $$ earlier than you may get one.

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Figure 6


Since I’ve began utilizing OziExplorer, the developer has launched a major variety of upgrades to it (all free to registered customers).  Figure 6 reveals the observe editor.  These are the discreet factors that my GPS plotted whereas operating a path.  As you possibly can see, the factors have been taken at 30 second intervals (configured within the GPS setup) which makes for some very correct observe particulars until you might be touring at a excessive charge of pace.  Since that isn’t the case whereas wheelin’, we get very reproducible tracks that may be uploaded to the GPS once we resolve to run the path the following time.

Well, that’s about it for my feedback about OziExplorer.  It has loads of options and features that I didn’t point out.  I counsel that you simply obtain the software program and undergo the wonderful tutorial that’s included with the software program.   It introduces you to all the program’s options and offers you a hand’s on expertise in utilizing the software program.  I suppose I ought to say that I’ve no reference to the creator of OziExplorer, aside from I’m a really happy consumer.  If you utilize, or are pondering of utilizing a GPS receiver, to reinforce your off-road journeys, I strongly counsel you strive OziExplorer in your mapping software program wants.

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