Garmin GPSmap 60CSx review | GPS functions
Garmin GPSmap 60CSx Base map
Base map page
A base map is already installed when you buy the Garmin 60CSx. This map shows cities, highways, rivers and lakes all over the world. It's not a detailed map though. Garmin offers the possibility of purchasing additional detailed maps. With the aid of the MapSource City Navigator, the map is enhanced with streets and many 'Point of Interests' are available. The so-called MapSourceBlueChart is suitable for marine purposes and the MapSource TOPO 24K offers topographic information about national parks and forests among other things. You can purchase these maps for any region but the maps have a considerable price tag dangling from them. Prices vary from a 100 to 300 EUROS per map. It is also possible to purchase various kits, meaning; a Garmin GPSMap 60CXs together with one of the aforementioned maps. This is relatively cheaper than purchasing a separate map. Unfortunately I was unable to try out a detailed map for this review but I can imagine that it is worth purchasing one of them, certainly when you plan on making frequent use of the GPS receiver, because the base map is extremely standard.
Garmin GPS Compass
Before you're able to use the compass it has to be calibrated. The instructions will appear on the monitor; turn the device twice, very slowly. As long as you keep the GPS device well balanced horizontally, calibration is a piece of cake. The compass page then shows navigation data and the direction. The GPS direction is reproduced as a compass ring. It allows you to set two types of pointers; geocaching and heading. The geocaching pointer is a fat arrow pointing at the destination. The heading pointer is an arrow consisting of three parts. The top and bottom part work the same way as the geocaching pointer. The middle part shows heading errors. When the arrow is 'broken', that is to say if the middle part finds itself to the left or right in relation to the top and bottom part, you have to go in the direction of the arrow in order to get on the right track again. As for me; I preferred working with the heading pointer because it shows deviation of direction and heading errors quite fast. Besides the compass ring, the compass page also offers a number of digital data fields that inform you about the current speed, the distance to the next mark on the route, the expected arrival time and the heading error in meters.
T he Garmin 60CXs GPS receiver has a barometric altimeter at its disposal. An altimeter calculates the altitude by means of atmospheric pressure differences; when atmospheric pressure decreases, altitude increases. Internationally altitude is defined in feet compared to sea level. The Altitude page shows you what altitude you are at and what altitudes you have met during your route. Besides that it shows if you are heading for higher or lower grounds. Furthermore, the maximum and minimum altitude is rendered. Everything is visualized by means of a graph and two data fields. These data fields can be set to your own wishes; there are fifteen options to choose from. The information comes in handy especially when you find yourself in the mountains or other areas with altitude differences. I must say that even in the Netherlands, where the Garmin GPS was tested, there were vast differences in altitude and we all know the Netherlands as an extremely flat country.