If you're into serious navigation, you'll want to check out the Magellan Meridian
Platinum GPS receiver. It adds an electronic compass for continual direction
guidance and a barometer to keep you abreast of weather changes. Combine these
features with an easy-to-use interface and you have a very versatile tool.
As long as you're moving, GPS can indicate your direction, but when you stop,
it can't tell you what way you're facing. A mechanical compass can always show
your direction and is worth having. But the electronic compass built into the
Magellan Meridian Platinum is more convenient. Since it's electronic, it's
insensitive to movement or vibrations and unlike its mechanical brother, you
can hold it at any angle and still get an accurate reading.
Knowing the direction you're heading isn't the only information you need when navigating.
And the Meridian Platinum provides further help with a 16 MB North American basemap. The
map data is sufficient to get you from town to town or out of town to a park or recreation
area. For driving around town, you'll need to get street-level maps which can be loaded on an
optional Magellan Secure Digital (SD) memory card. You can store up to 128 MB
of data with these cards and because they're replaceable, it gives you
access to unlimited number of maps.
Using the Magellan Meridian Platinum is made easy with its simple layout.
The two keys closest to the display control the zoom function so you can
see more or less map detail. The next key, going clockwise, is the Enter key which confirms data
entry or menu selection. The Menu key accesses menus and route functions.
Next is the power switch which also controls the display backlight. The GOTO
key is used to create a direct route to any waypoint and to mark a position.
The Nav key is used to select the navigation screens. The last small key is
used to cancel an operation. Controlling the cursor for selecting menu items and marking the map, is
the large key in the center.
To ensure maximum position accuracy, the Meridian Platinum is Wide Area
Augmentation System (WAAS) enabled and Differential GPS (DGPS) ready. Use of
DGPS requires a separate beacon receiver, but WAAS is ready to go. When
WAAS is used, the position error is less than three meters for at least 95% of
the time. Even without using WAAS, the 12-parallel channel receiver is accurate
to within seven meters.
You have a choice of customizable navigation screens with the Magellan Meridian
Platinum. The most often used, is the Map Screen. This displays your position
on the map and a dotted line showing your path since the track history was last cleared.
This screen, like others, has two data fields that can show your choice of 13 kinds of
trip data. In addition to the Map Screen, there are screens for
directional readings, screens showing your speed, odometer and position information, a
screen with a road ahead view, and a GPS satellite signal status screen. You also have a
choice of 12 map coordinate systems, 76 datums, and even which of 9 languages
the text is displayed in.
Not only can the Magellan Meridian Platinum guide you anywhere, you won't
have to worry about it surviving the trip. The case is made of an impact resistant
plastic with rubber cushioning. Even if you drop it in the water, there's no
problem, since it floats. The 1.75" W x 2.2" H display is a high-contrast
grayscale LCD with backlighting for optimum viewing at all times. Power for
the receiver comes from two AA batteries which have a life of up to 14 hours.