Most outdoor navs, like the Magellan Triton, just go from point A to point B when navigating off road. Current and future Magellan Triton owners are is getting Primordial's Ground Guidance logic, which calculates routes around rivers, steep inclines and dense tree cover by analyzing aerial photography and elevation data (since no one could actually chart all the random routes over the wild.) The Primordial tech Looks pretty cool in action, too.
The methods aren't new, as Primordial's site is filled with news clippings from 2006, and I think an old Polaris outdoor GPS had this tech. But Magellan's press release says the tech is now exclusively theirs. It's smart, but its probably unwise to depend on such a system to navigate outdoors. Whereas road data goes out of date every few years, the seasonal swelling of rivers, altering of terrain and paths, falling trees, and other quickly changing outdoor conditions are best handled with common sense and local knowledge. Couldn't be too harmful to know where a deep forest starts and a sheer rock face drops, though. [Business Wire]