Getting to grips with GPS

Review by Review
Monday 14th August 2006

Getting to grips with GPS

Authors: Peter Judd, Simon Brown
Publisher: cordee
Price: £14.99

Most outdoor minded people will by now either have a GPS (or the use of one) or have made a decision to stick with a map and compass. If you are yet to buy a GPS handset or are unsure how to get the best from your handset then Getting to Grips with GPS is aimed at you.

It must be stressed that this handbook is primarily for hill walkers. Those looking for guidance in using a GPS at sea, in the air, for skiing or for driving will be disappointed. Mapping software is covered in some detail but dedicated GPS units such as the Garmin Forerunner series, and sport specific NavMan units are omitted.

The core chapters may surprise the casual reader in that they concentrate exclusively on Garmin and Magellan mapping handsets to the extent that he or she may wonder if this handbook was written for those who had lost the manual to their GPS handset. It is true that these two manufacturers have the largest market share and probably produce the best GPS handsets for the target audience, but to explain how to access the menus to change the coordinate system on a Magellan GPS is very specific for a book that tries to be an all encompassing handbook for the recreational GPS user.

The book reveals its true colours in the detail. It is a handbook written by who provide training courses around England primarily for ramblers and hill walkers. It is punctuated with short quizzes and tasks for the reader some of which require the use of a GPS handset.

Getting to Grips with GPS is a very easily readable guide which uses photographs, diagrams and screenshots to the best effect. It is also peppered with expert tips. But this is a handbook for walkers who have or are about to buy a modern Magellan or Garmin GPS mapping handset and need more than a purely factual instruction manual to make the most of their GPS and, hence, the great outdoors.

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