Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin BirdsEye TOPO US screenshots

BirdsEye Topo US GSMNPA couple of weeks ago I posted that a new product, Garmin BirdsEye Topo US and Canada, had shown up on the Garmin website. Unfortunately they weren’t quite ready to deliver the goods then, but as of this morning those of us who coughed up $29.99 are able to download imagery.

UPDATE: Here it is… Garmin BirdsEye Topo US and Canada
The product still isn’t back live on the site, this is about as close as I can get you (it should show up there when live), but I can give you a peek at what it looks like on a 62s at various zoom levels. Hopefully, you’ll all have access within the next few days.

As you can see in the images below, the scale switches from 1:100K scale USGS maps to 1:24K at the 0.5 mile zoom level. The 24K imagery appears quite clear at the 0.2 mile, 800’, 500’ and 300’ zoom levels. It looks like Garmin has done a pretty good job on this raster imagery.

Thanks to Sam for the heads up. Oh, and for you geogeeks, Charlies Bunion is a feature on the western side of the Sawteeth in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I tried and failed to find a photo showing the thousand foot vertical drop, but scroll down for a nice shot near the top from  Whootbeer. BirdsEye Topo US scales

Charlies Bunion

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. These look pretty nice to me. But I think I’ll wait since I’m not sure how long I’ll keep my 3 year old Oregon.

    BTW, would you like a 10% discount on a subscription? Not sure if this still works, but it’s worth a try. Do you have any kind of Garmin product that you haven’t registered? If so, register on their site and you will get a code for a 10% discount in your e-mail. This worked last year when I bought Birdseye and registered my Oregon, which I hadn’t done before. But I think any Garmin product will also do, no matter how old.

    I think can even un-register, then re-register a product to get this. You may even be able to register something you don’t own. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the screen shots and explanation.
    Here is a link for the specific product, but it is now allowing you to purchase it online yet.

  3. I’m still curious how Garmin compares to Delorme. Delorme has had this feature for years, and Delorme’s software seems more feature oriented (though still clunky).

  4. Hi Rich:
    Your URL for buying is incorrect. This is the correct one:

    Amir K9CHP

  5. Sorry, my last one is a mistake or wishful thinking…

    • The link you posted above now appears to work. There’s a purchase button and when I click it tests the speed of my internet connection and tells me it’s optimal. I resisted the temptation to complete the transaction though. 🙂

  6. The link seems to be working for me. At least it’s taking me to the right page.

    • The link does take me to the right page, but there is no button to purchase –

      Doesn’t seem like they intend that link for public consumption yet. There is no way to navigate to it from Garmin’s website (as far as I can see). Here’s their main Birdseye page:

      The Satellite imagery button doesn’t show the topo maps. If you click on BirdsEye Select, it takes you to a page that just lists the regular 24k vector topo maps. In the sidebar, North America is checked as the Region and Series is shown as Topo US 24k.

  7. Sigh. I was hopeful about these — the multiple zoom levels in particular look nice to me — but at least on a computer screen, the scans seem very pixelated (which was exactly my problem with DeLorme’s USGS topos back when I used them). More annoyingly, it seems that the contour lines on the samples I’ve looked at are not-quite-perfectly registered with the vector contour lines (this in California’s Sierra Nevada) so looking at the maps at the default draw level is a bad case of double vision.

    Right now I think I’ll stick with the Custom Maps I can get out of TopoFusion, which is generally sufficient for the 2-5 day hiking trips that I do.

    • You may be getting a degraded image if you’re just doing the BaseCamp trial, but I’m not sure about that.

      Vector lines don’t line up. I just disable the vector maps, though I think you can change the draw order to just hide them.

  8. Elevation contours are never gonna line up between the old USGS maps and any digital map product. They are created using completely different methods. 🙂

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