Disappointment with Magellan MapSend Lite

I was recently at an autosport event under the aegis of FIA, where I leased my Magellan eXplorist 600 Europe unit to be used in the off-road race/baja (or “rally raid”) as a helper navigation device (the primary navigation for pilots is their roadmap in a hard paper version). Immediately before the rally the organizer was loading the track into pilot’s GPS and for the Magellan GPS owner it has always been an additional headache. First of all, most GPS units are Windows Mobile based or Garmins. Magellan is a rare bird and it was not the first time when they were just unable to load a track into it. I don’t even mention USB cable, which is buggy enough that only the device owner (who is also an advanced PC user) can make it work from time to time. Loading to SD card is also a problem.

However it would be the only problem if Magellan would provide satisfactory software. I used to make a few tools myself for frequent tasks and track log conversion is among them. But I am also using MapSend Lite to visualise tracklogs on map, correct, modify tracks etc. Earlier and this time again I had a problem loading a track into MapSend Lite for ridiculous reason. Once loaded most of the track points disappear.

Disappointment was the feeling to say the least. I am making software myself: codecs, performance, sophisticated format conversions, bugfixes and workarounds, maintaning version compatibility, third party components and stuff – all this myself. And from this point of view I don’t see any rocket science in getting damn track log loaded into map management software. Still the reality is that track log points disappear just because… they have the same timestamp. I had to manually add .01 to each timestamp in text editor to make the track log file valid for Magellan software! Maybe it is not quite correct that points don’t have valid time, I can understand this, but still this is the track and longitude and lattitude differ from point to point so why the hell software from leading vendor would drop points that have duplicate time – I could not accept any justification for this. With a $600 worth GPS device I would expect this be handled more adequately in software.

I would also wish eXplorist could follow track while recording a new one but frankly after disappearing points thing I can see that it is too much to ask from Magellan, basically it is the impossible. I am afraid there is no way I am going to have another piece of hardware from Magellan ever soon.

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