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View Garmin BirdsEye Satellite Imagery

In addition to topo maps, Garmin has added the option for loading highly detailed Birds Eye Satellite Imagery into the Astro 320. By now, most everyone has seen Google Earth, and the Bird's Eye maps are very similar. For $29.99 a year, you can download these aerial images into your Astro 320.

From Garmin's website:

Quickly transfer high-resolution satellite imagery to your Garmin handheld device to get a true representation of your surroundings with a 1 year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery.

Use your BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription with BaseCamp software to quickly transfer an unlimited amount of satellite images to your Garmin device and seamlessly integrate those images into your handheld's maps whenever you need them. Transfer an unlimited number of satellite and aerial image segments to your device with this subscription and free software BaseCamp. High-resolution sub-meter color satellite imagery captures the world in brilliant clarity and detail.

Allows you to layer the Garmin vector maps on your handheld (such as TOPO 100K, TOPO 24K or City Navigator) with BirdsEye Satellite Imagery for a real-life view of roads, buildings and terrain. Makes it easy for hunters to perform preseason scouting, determine placement of stands and locate game pinchpoints. Helps hikers and campers find trails/trailheads and clearings for camping areas. Lets geocachers determine the terrain type around a cache and identify parking areas close to the caches. Allows travelers to view tourist hot spots and landmarks from an aerial view to make excursions memorable without getting lost.

Now that is an interesting idea. I've been experimenting for awhile using my iPhone and Google Maps for satellite images while hunting in places that have roads that are not marked on a map. You can see them from the sky, you just don't have a map.

On my iPhone I can see myself and I can see the Google image, but I can't see my dogs.

Now, if I want to, I can get the Bird's Eye subscription. This feature is really going to come in useful for folks in large hunting clubs. You will be able to see roads, tree cover, power lines and waterways. You'll also be able to track you dogs on the exact same map.

The cool thing is that it's going to show roads that appear from the sky that are not actual roads. It's going to show power lines, tree cover, buildings.

The thought of seeing my dogs on a BirdsEye Satellite image is really, really interesting. I have not had a chance to experiment with this yet, but I think Garmin has got a lot of cool things going on here.

In addition, many state wildlife agencies have started offering free downloadable maps of public hunting areas, so you always know if you’re on legal ground. There are also some excellent third party maps that Garmin sells that work on the Astro.

With the Astro 320, you can even create your own Custom Maps. Basically, it's a matter of scanning a paper map, georeferencing it, and then loading it into your Astro 320. It's the best of both worlds -– putting a trusted paper map inside a GPS unit.

Best of all, each map is a different "layer" on the Astro, so you can view each map individually on the display, or together.