GPS-Ready Satellite Images

July 31, 2010

Want to have your location pinpointed on a satellite image of your surroundings? You can now download and install satellite images to Garmin handheld GPS units for $29/year.

Garmin now offers worldwide satellite coverage with its BirdsEye Satellite Imagery. A one-year subscription allows you to download unlimited satellite and aerial images. You must download and install Garmin’s BaseCamp software—and create a MyGarmin account—to access your subscription. When the subscription expires, you get to keep any images you’ve got downloaded on your handheld.

The maps are compatible with any Garmin Oregon, Colorado, Dakota, or GPSMAP—but not the eTrex line apparently. You can view a list of compatible products here.

This isn’t exactly new technology—it’s already available through the GPS-enabled computer many of use already have in our pockets. (Is it really just a phone anymore?) At this point, the advantages you get with a Garmin (or any other backcountry GPS unit) are better satellite reception, battery life, and durability than your iPhone or equivalent.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.