Author Topic: Another GPS Neophyte....  (Read 1377 times)

Another GPS Neophyte....
« on: August 29, 2009, 11:37:15 pm »
OK,  I'm about to drop the hammer on a GPS. The Etrex Legend Hcx at ¬£134 http://www.handtec.co.uk/product.php?xProd=705 seems the current favourite.

A few questions to get things straight in my head....

Andy's customised OSM files seem to be incredibly popular with folks on here so I'll give them a try.

Can I plot a route on bikehike and use it with these maps ?
Am I likely to have any problems using this combination with a Mac ? 
Can I upload other POI files such as the CAMRA database http://www.camra.org.uk/page.aspx?o=280240 ? or a list of the Camping & Caravanning Club Certificated sites (if I can find one) ?

Are there any other useful bits of software for an itinerant touring cyclist ?
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2009, 07:32:14 am »
Although I've been lusting after one of these since I read Charlotte's glowing recommendation, I am desperately holding off as my phone has GPS... but a CAMRA POI file... Can someone please tell me how I can get that info onto google maps somehow?

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
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Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2009, 10:20:38 am »
Can I upload other POI files such as the CAMRA database http://www.camra.org.uk/page.aspx?o=280240 ? or a list of the Camping & Caravanning Club Certificated sites (if I can find one) ?

Both.  The Pois are stored on the data card (alongside the map) so as long as you put a big card in (2Gb cards are incredibly cheap) you can store thousands of Pois.  Organising them into subdirectories before uploading them to the gps, allows you to search by category on the GPS, though by default they are all jumbled together and listed nearest first, which works pretty well in practice.

You'll need the POI Loader which is obtainable free from the Garmin website, and probably also PoiEdit
http://www.poiedit.com/ to manage them.

A useful POI list in France is all the Decathlon stores (in Europe - strangely omitting the 6 UK stores) which is available as a data file from Decathlon's French website.

Other stuff - if you have Mapsource installed, then an extremely useful freebie is WinGDB3, which just supplies a few utilities that really ought to be built into Mapsource but aren't.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 07:26:28 pm »
Well the GPS and bike mount have landed, although annoyingly the 2G memory card is being sent as a separate delivery so I don't think I'll be using it for my weekend mini tour (tourette ?)

The user guide is on a CD rom, for Windows or Mac.  The Mapsource CD is Windows only...   ???
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2009, 11:44:28 pm »
The Mapsource CD is Windows only...   ???

I don't know why you're surprised  ::-)

But all the Garmin manuals are available as pdf from their website - quite a good way of familiarising before it arrives ... or deciding which model to buy ...
(I agree lack of hardcopy manual is pathetic)
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2009, 01:08:08 am »
OSM maps are a work in progress. There will be roads that nobody has put on the map yet, which may in some areas be quite a high proportion. On the other hand, in the areas where they are pretty complete they are better than anything else, having been largely plotted by cyclists with consequent inclusion of cycle tracks, shortcuts etc.

POI files are readily loaded (assuming there is a Mac version of POILoader or that GPSbabel will cope).
POILoader requires that all the POI files are in one folder, and uses the file names as category names on the GPS. Also, loading the POIs discards all previously loaded POIs, so don't discard the files after you've loaded them.
The problem is in getting hold of good, reasonably comprehensive data. If there's an organisation that's prepared the data (Camra, Decathlon, Travelodge etc) it's simple, but there's an awful lot of "beginning" POI files out there (eg lists of campsites with only a couple of hundred sites), and it isn't a simple job to collect and combine them if you care about duplicates.
In the case of the C&CC list, the one I found on the web seemed like it would be reasonably complete, but didn't distinguish between big sites and small member only sites. I use "Archie's campings" for campsites - the last file I looked at had 21,000 for Europe.

Jaded

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Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2009, 04:20:25 am »
If you are using it to log rides, take a look at Ascent. It isn't free, but it knocks Garmin's into a cocked hat.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2009, 07:03:16 pm »
Well, 9 days after I ordered it via one of Amazon's resellers my MicroSD card hasn't arrived so I bought one locally and sent a snot-o-gram asking for a refund.

I've now got Andy's Munky maps loaded, and have "LoadMyTracks" and "POILoader" installed on the Mac. 

Time to start playing around, having fun and plotting my route home from the camping weekend  :D
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 12:48:44 am »
I'm plotting my route from the YACF camping meet next weekend back to Liverpool using BikeHike.  I'm downloading the routes as GPX files but they are being truncated unless I reset the number of waypoints to 249.

Is there a better way of doing this ?
Would I be better saving as Tracks rather than Routes ?
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009, 10:44:23 am »
Yes. Tracks aren't as limited.
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Craig

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 06:24:08 pm »
If you have the "Follow road" option turned on in Bikehike, then it create loads of points in the route/track to make it closely follow the road, probably too many many for the GPS to handle.
Whereas if you turn follow road off, it only creates waypoints where you click, so its a more sensible number. You don't need very many waypoints in a route to follow it, about one at each junction is usually enough.

Alternatively, you can use tracks. They are limited to 500 points, and Bikehike may create more than this. But you can simplify it using GPSBabel to less than 500, and it will probably still follow the road well enough.

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 08:16:20 pm »
Thanks for the info.  Yes I've been using BikeHike in "Follow Road" mode.  It does tell you under the "Options" button how many points it's used and gives you the opportunity to reduce them.

I shall carry on experimenting...
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Another GPS Neophyte....
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2009, 01:11:55 pm »
Thanks for the info.  Yes I've been using BikeHike in "Follow Road" mode.  It does tell you under the "Options" button how many points it's used and gives you the opportunity to reduce them.

I shall carry on experimenting...
You can also load routes created elsewhere into BikeHike & use it to reduce the number of points.
"A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Type-Writer Girl, 1897