4WD North Island: 102 Off Road Adventures

Read Me

Welcome to the 4WD North Island Companion CD.

This CD is included to offer additional route material and support. However, no warranty implied or otherwise is offered as to its suitability, operability or reliability.

This web document is best viewed using a minimum screen size of 1024 x 768. Even better, if it doesn't happen automatically, enlarge the browser window to full screen. Your browser should support frames and version 1.2 of the Java scripting language.

I have tested this using Internet Explorer versions 4.01, 5, 5.5 and 6, and Netscape 4.79 (which had some Java limitations). I have no idea how this will perform on non-Windows platforms or other browsers.

On a Windows 95 (or higher) Win32 machine, the web document should launch automatically. If it does not, or you have disabled the AutoLaunch feature, simply run the file 4WDNI.htm from either Explorer or a command window.

Directory Structure

  - HTML
 |   |   
 |    - Image Directory 1
 |    - Image Directory 2
 |    - Image Directory 3
 |    -  '  '  '  '  '  '
 |    - Image Directory 102
  - Software
 |   |
 |    - WTides
 |    - G7ToWin
 |    - TopoMapPro
 |    - Macintosh
  - Plots
      - Routes
      - Short Routes
      - Snail Trails

The HTML directory contains the web document and the web-based photo albums. If your browser won't work with my HTML, you might still be able to access the photos manually by working through the image directories. All photo images have a file name of the form TRrrrnn.JPG, where rrr is the route number (as per the book), and nn is a sequential number from 1 to 99.

Under Software, I have included some shareware I found on the Internet. The software is included here for your convenience, but you are solely responsible for complying with all the various licensing agreements. You should also, if possible, visit the websites to make sure you have the latest version.

WTides is an easy-to-use tide predictor for Windows 32-bit operating systems. It includes tide times for many places around New Zealand's coast and appears from my use to be pretty accurate. Pretty cool stuff when you want to visit beaches or tidal estuaries.

G7ToWin is another shareware product that I have used most successfully to manage the upload and download of tracks, waypoints and routes to/from my Garmin GPS. It will supposedly work with other NMEA-compliant hardware from other GPS manufacturers, but I have only used it in conjunction with my Garmin GPS 12. I have therefore no information as to how well it will work with other Garmin GPS units, nor indeed any other company's products.

TopoMapPro is not freeware or shareware. But I was so impressed with this product that I have included some references and specifications here. At the time of writing, TopoMapPro will not upload routes or tracks into a GPS, but I remain confident that this will be added as a later feature. What you can do, however, is download your GPS plots for the day and see them overlaid on either the NZ Topomap 260 series images, or, where available, Aerial Photos (produced by Land Information New Zealand as OrthoPhotos). Some examples of actual plots from this book are included.

In the Macintosh folder I have included a Joliet system extension that should enable Macintosh users with Mac OS 7 through OS 9 to read this CD correctly. Mac OS X users should be able to access the CD without. If needed, expand the .sit file and follow the instructions contained in it. If you still have difficulty accessing information about the routes, open the folder named HTML, view as a list and open individual route folders. In each one you will see a file named 'Default.HTM'. This will take you to the illustrated route descriptions.

The PLOTS are available in three formats: as snail-trails, as routes (Garmin Only), or as TopoMapPro tracks.

The snail-trails are as downloaded from my Garmin GPS, and are in G7ToWin format. You can open these files, upload them into your GPS and then follow them. This is not easy and is perhaps the second least desirable method of following the tracks using your GPS. (The least desirable is manually keying in the data!)

The routes consist of a series of up to 20 waypoints (any GPS) taken at roughly equal intervals along the track. These are compounded into a route (Garmin only) that can be used in a Garmin GPS to provide detailed point-to-point navigation. These routes and waypoints are in G7ToWin format and can be uploaded directly into your GPS. If your unit supports routes, so much the better, but even so, the waypoints should be usable in most GPS units.

The short routes are simply as printed in the book itself, and are available as text, G7ToWin or TopoMapPro format.

The TopoMapPro tracks are basically the snail trails converted to TopoMapPro format. These can be opened from within TopoMapPro and overlaid against the maps or photos. If you really want to, you can run TopoMapPro interactively in the bush by taking your laptop and GPS with you. The software is quite capable of showing your current position on a moving map as you drive along. If you have the snail trail already loaded, you can then measure your progress against mine! Very clever, very techy, and amazing fun to boot.

One final point. I have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information, plots and software included in this CD, but ultimately, you are responsible for ensuring the suitability of these offerings. I can offer no warranty for the shareware, and although I have used these versions successfully myself, that doesn't mean they will work on your computer with your operating system.

I hope most sincerely that you enjoy not only the book, but this additional material I have compiled.


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© 2002 Andy Cockroft