We've been struggling with Garmins. We can upload imagery and data using a phython script to create a KMZ file then drop it onto the GPS. It kind of works (much better on the newest units, barely on the older ones) although it is sluggish and rasterized. We also convert data to GPX files but need to simplify and use individual lines or single outlines. Anything more complex, multigeometry, holes, does not work correctly. Adding many individual simple tracks to the display (and setting different colour properties for each) on the unit one by one is a PAIN.

I've used Trimble a decade or so ago and remember that something like this was easily accomplished with additional expensive software (ArcPad).

Is there any GPS unit out there (i.e. the new Trimble Juno series) that enables users to easily upload geotiff and shapefiles without an additional software investment?


The Leica Zeno 20 with Zeno Mobile software is exactly what you are looking for. They have Hexagon Imagery Program (30cm resolution imagery) and Open Street Maps on each device as well as shapefile, ASCII and KML file export.


Avenza PDF maps is available for iOS and Android smartphones. As the name implies, it will display (geospatial)PDF maps in an app with GPS capabilities. You can convert shapefiles to PDF with GDAL tools. Raster layers can be included as well. It's not the easiest process in the world, but you once you've written a script to do what you want, you're home free. According to this post, the conversion can also be done in QGIS (I haven't tried). Last time I looked, the free version of Avenza PDF maps would allow you to have 4 geospatial PDFs on your phone at one time. (The limit of four applies to PDFs that don't come through the Avenza store).

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