Map Icon and Viewing Options on the Astro 320The Map Screen gives you a number of Icon Options. The Astro 220 Map would show an image of the dog that would indicate the dog's status. If the dog were running it would be a running dog. If "on point" the image would show a pointing dog. If "treed" then the image was of a hound on a tree. If sitting, we had a picture of a dog sitting. You would also have the name of the dog.
The new 320 Map gives us some choices on what we see and when we see it. From the Map Screen, press the MENU key. This opens up several Map options. The ones that control Map icons allow you to pick between Dog Status, Dog Distance, Dog Names and Offscreen Dogs.
Show / Hide Dog Status -- Using this feature, you can remove the dog status Icon and replace it with a triangle that is pointed in the direction that the dog is moving. Replacing the Dog Status image with the colored triangle does not eliminate the point or treed alarm and it does not change the icon image on the Compass screen.
Show / Hide Dog Distance -- One of the things I hated the most about the 220 Map screen was the issue that you could not easily tell the distance of the dog from you while looking at the map. With this new option, you can include the dog's actual distance from you on the screen. You can see him, his trail and his distance all at once.
Show / Hide Dog Names -- This next space saving option is the choice of showing the dogs name on the Map screen. With the 220 it was always there, but with the new software, you can remove it with one click. This also really cleans things up and makes it easier to see the color coded dogs. Names will still appear on the Compass screen.
Show / Hide Offscreen Dogs -- This might be my favorite of the bunch. The biggest problem with the 220 map was that once a dog got a long way out, he would go off the screen. To find him on the map, you would have to use the page out button and you would have to press it over and over again until you found him. The new Map has the option of showing "off screen" dogs. When you activate this option, once a dog leaves the map screen you are on, a small tab appears that shows where the dog is in relation to your MAP screen. As you move the MAP around or as the dog changes locations, the tab moves with him. This tab will also show the same information setup that you have for the dogs on the screen. If you have name and distance turned on then they will show on the tab. If you have them turned off, then the tab will be blank, but will show the dog's color so you can tell which one it is.
Another map view option is the Zoom Map to Dogs feature. When turned on, the unit periodically checks to see if any dogs are off screen on the map. If so, the map will zoom out to a level where all the dogs are visible. You remain centered on the map. This feature will only result in a zoom out. If 'IN' or 'OUT' is pressed, there will be no checks for off-screen dogs for the next minute. If any of the arrow keys is pressed, panning mode is entered and off-screen dog checks are disabled.
What's really cool about all these new settings is that you can change them on the fly in the field. All of these settings can be changed from the Map Menu. If you want them, show them. If your screen is getting a little crowded, hide all the options. It's up to you how the screen is set up. If you want dog names, great, activate dog names. If you want distances, activate it. If you want to clear them off, clear them off. You can toggle back and forth between them all. It's flexible, it's easy and very intuitive. I'm pretty excited about that. It really makes the map much more versatile than what we have on the Astro 220.