Author Topic: Cheapest way to viewing gpx routes on tour without using your phone?  (Read 3895 times)

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Quick question for the etrex users, do the 20, 30, and edge tours etc... have silly limits on number of track points in a GPX track? The 250 point limit on my etrex 10 is a right utter pain in the arse.

The 20 and 30 have a limit of 10,000 points per Track.
They have a limit of 250 points per Route (assuming direct or off-road routing methods, the limit is much lower if autorouting).

Possibly your 'GPX track' is being saved as a GPX Route?  Some online planners are not clear enough about this distinction.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Quick question for the etrex users, do the 20, 30, and edge tours etc... have silly limits on number of track points in a GPX track? The 250 point limit on my etrex 10 is a right utter pain in the arse.

The 20 and 30 have a limit of 10,000 points per Track.
They have a limit of 250 points per Route (assuming direct or off-road routing methods, the limit is much lower if autorouting).

Possibly your 'GPX track' is being saved as a GPX Route?  Some online planners are not clear enough about this distinction.

I am in fact thinking of GPX route's not tracks.

The 250 point limit is a right pain. It has stopped me using my etrex 10 pretty much.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Route = fewer points, intelligently placed further apart
Track = many more points, placed closer together
there is some overlap but that's the general idea.  Either or both can be contained in a GPX file.

Without any autorouting (which I don't think the E10 can do anyway) and without even a base map, I would say in typical UK laney terrain, an average of 1 point per km is easily good enough to navigate by.  (More in towns, less in open country, obviously, but presumably most cycling is done out of towns.) 
So 250km is a good long day's riding by anyone's standards.  And the Etrex can store a lot of Routes, and it's easy to swap from one to the next.  Good enough for a month-long cycle tour, IME.
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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
You need about the same number of routepoints with autorouting, if you don't want it to take you on a magical Garmin mystery tour (and even then, it will inevitably fail where you do something cyclisty like ride up a dead-end street, get off and cross a dual cabbageway as a pedestrian, then continue on the dead-end street on the other side).  Main difference is that the strategy for positioning the points will be different.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Route = fewer points, intelligently placed further apart
Track = many more points, placed closer together
there is some overlap but that's the general idea.  Either or both can be contained in a GPX file.

Without any autorouting (which I don't think the E10 can do anyway) and without even a base map, I would say in typical UK laney terrain, an average of 1 point per km is easily good enough to navigate by.  (More in towns, less in open country, obviously, but presumably most cycling is done out of towns.) 
So 250km is a good long day's riding by anyone's standards.  And the Etrex can store a lot of Routes, and it's easy to swap from one to the next.  Good enough for a month-long cycle tour, IME.

Meanwhile in the civilised world outside the UK. I think that is excessively niave...

Ditto if you're not on road.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Baron Brymbo von Pickelhaube

  • Adel auf dem Radel
Also handy as in very very very rare cases the Etrex CAN appear to lose all of its waypoints and routes.

I used to have that problem a lot, across three different Etrex 30s.  Since adopting a policy of putting my GPX files onto the device itself, and not onto the mSD card, I've completely eradicated the problem.
A little bit off topic, but where exactly do you place the files in the folder hierarchy of the device?  I have an Etrex 20 and assume it has the same folder structure as a 30.
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
eTrex\Garmin\GPX

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
QG, FF's approach works in lots of Europe and in India. Just ask his partner.

Why do you need so many points on a route? I've never felt the need, though I almost exclusively use tracks now.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Sheila uses (and distributes) Tracks exclusively, with waypoints to mark daily destinations and lunch stops.

I do prefer to use Routes personally (in direct/off-road mode), but Tracks are a lot less trouble and they work very well on modern Etrexes, so I too tend to stick with tracks mostly these days.

Most 'civilised' places have a much less dense road network than the UK, and so in central France for example, the 1-point-per-kilometre average rule of thumb stretches out to more like -per-5km - a single 250 point Route can take you well over 1000kms in terrain like that.

This is all off-topic btw, probably my fault, sorry.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Phil W

You need about the same number of routepoints with autorouting, if you don't want it to take you on a magical Garmin mystery tour (and even then, it will inevitably fail where you do something cyclisty like ride up a dead-end street, get off and cross a dual cabbageway as a pedestrian, then continue on the dead-end street on the other side).  Main difference is that the strategy for positioning the points will be different.

What is your strategy for route points?

Phil W

Below is the northbound leg of the Flatlands 600, so 326km.  The track has 1688 points, the route has 49 points.  The route has minor differences in a couple of places but otherwise follows the same roads.   The filtering strategy for the route points is the same as I use for tracks.  I might just bung a route creation / filter into my Simple GPX, so it will additionally create a filtered route to complement the tracks if one is not already in the GPX.


Route

Track


Kim

  • 2nd in the world
You need about the same number of routepoints with autorouting, if you don't want it to take you on a magical Garmin mystery tour (and even then, it will inevitably fail where you do something cyclisty like ride up a dead-end street, get off and cross a dual cabbageway as a pedestrian, then continue on the dead-end street on the other side).  Main difference is that the strategy for positioning the points will be different.

What is your strategy for route points?

As a general rule, if you're autorouting, the route points usually need to be in the middle of the sections of road that you want to use, rather than at the start of them (as you'd do to make junction exists unambiguous in off-road routing).  Sometimes you'll find bits of road that it really doesn't like to use, and you'll have to sprinkle additional points around to persuade it.  It's all about second-guessing the algorithm, and because Garmin are idiots, Basecamp doesn't use the same algorithm as the unit itself, so just because it does the right thing there doesn't mean it won't do something random on the unit.  Checking is possible, but deeply tedious.

What you should never do is plot a route for auto-routing using anything but the map that's going to be on the unit (eg. using some website or other, rather than Basecamp/Mapsource).  That's just going to end in a world of pain.

Personally, I do use autorouting for the more visible instructions (the Garmin screen's a long way away on my touring recumbent), but if it's an audax or something, I'll back it up with a visible Track.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

As per frankie and others, the 250 limit is no problem at all so relax geek. And also look for civilisatio in the UK.

I use point to point "off road" routing (of course I'm usually cycling on road) with the numbered points placed at significant turns and, now and again, additional points mid-road to act as minimal "shaping" points, make the line point in vaguely the right way so that it is clear which way I am meant to go at those junctions/points.

The points are numbered to help me if I go off route on a trip to explore something. Usually I could see the line on the screen to get back on route, but if that is ambiguous, I just get the Etrex to autoroute to a numbered point I know is overhead.

By putting the points at the junctions, the "off road" routes also pretty much always still work/are just as clear when I am using the route reversed.

250 points covers pretty much any day trip I am likely to make. If not, no problem at all to have two routes for the day. I may do this if doing a circuit - one for the outward route and another for the return by a different bunch of roads.

I was a late convert to GPSs - for ages used route sheets I had typed out - but the discipline of that fed into me creating gpx routes which are economical on points. In short, you only need to put a point whetre there is a divergence from what you would take to be the normal onward road. Hence not all junctions need to be marked at all.

So, relax, geek - and embrace your Etrex.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
As per frankie and others, the 250 limit is no problem at all so relax geek. And also look for civilisatio in the UK.

I'm so sorry that I imagined my etrex 10 only showing the first 250 points of a ride and thus leaving me with navigational improvisation to do the remaining leg of my journey...  so glad that it isn't a problem I had in 34 °C weather in Luxembourg.

I'll find civilisation in the UK about the same time the UK decides to be sensible...

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I use point to point "off road" routing (of course I'm usually cycling on road) with the numbered points placed at significant turns and, now and again, additional points mid-road to act as minimal "shaping" points, make the line point in vaguely the right way so that it is clear which way I am meant to go at those junctions/points.

The points are numbered to help me if I go off route on a trip to explore something. Usually I could see the line on the screen to get back on route, but if that is ambiguous, I just get the Etrex to autoroute to a numbered point I know is overhead.

My etrex has no autoroute, it just draws a straight line from each routepoint. That makes following it hard if the road isn't dead straight, or the points are too far apart. It can also make things ambiguous at junctions with more than 4 roads meeting.

On my wahoo, if I didn't have way points on the roads to provide shape, then it would beep at me for being off route every 200 yards. That would drive me nuts.

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By putting the points at the junctions, the "off road" routes also pretty much always still work/are just as clear when I am using the route reversed.

250 points covers pretty much any day trip I am likely to make. If not, no problem at all to have two routes for the day. I may do this if doing a circuit - one for the outward route and another for the return by a different bunch of roads.

We do very different day trips it seems...

The file for tomorrow night's ride, as it comes out of ridewithgps has 4073 trkpt items in it.

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I was a late convert to GPSs - for ages used route sheets I had typed out - but the discipline of that fed into me creating gpx routes which are economical on points. In short, you only need to put a point whetre there is a divergence from what you would take to be the normal onward road. Hence not all junctions need to be marked at all.

So, relax, geek - and embrace your Etrex.

Why? it drives me nuts that I can't load a route with more than 250 points, that seems a silly limit. It goes against the zero, one, infinity rule of good computer software design.

Now what this discussion has highlighted to me is a misunderstanding I had about tracks vs route. I thought a route was a collection of way points outlining a Route that you were going to follow, while a track outlines a series of way points tracking where you've been...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
I'm so sorry that I imagined my etrex 10 only showing the first 250 points of a ride and thus leaving me with navigational improvisation to do the remaining leg of my journey...  so glad that it isn't a problem I had in 34 °C weather in Luxembourg.

Some might call that inadequate preparation on your part (RTFM applies).

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My etrex has no autoroute, it just draws a straight line from each routepoint. That makes following it hard if the road isn't dead straight, or the points are too far apart. It can also make things ambiguous at junctions with more than 4 roads meeting.

Autorouting is only a feature on fairly recent models AIUI. You'd be better off using tracks if you want to follow a specific route.

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The file for tomorrow night's ride, as it comes out of ridewithgps has 4073 trkpt items in it.

RWGPS is notorious for producing bloated tracks. You can use Phil W's app to slim them down:
https://simple-gpx.herokuapp.com/

The track for the 1000km ride I did recently had 5166 points, and even that was far more than it really needed.

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Why? it drives me nuts that I can't load a route with more than 250 points, that seems a silly limit. It goes against the zero, one, infinity rule of good computer software design.

Presumably due to the low processing power and memory of mobile GPS devices. In any case, railing against the designers isn't going to get you anywhere. You need to learn to live with the limitations, just as others have done.

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Now what this discussion has highlighted to me is a misunderstanding I had about tracks vs route. I thought a route was a collection of way points outlining a Route that you were going to follow, while a track outlines a series of way points tracking where you've been...

Tracks can perform both roles. I've never used routes and my GPS device (Edge 510) doesn't support them anyway, but that's not a problem because I get on fine with tracks.

https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=v0rJAHy2hq3prHjRlxdRw5&searchType=noProduct

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
The file for tomorrow night's ride, as it comes out of ridewithgps has 4073 trkpt items in it.

A Track file.  So this is largely a misunderstanding arising from the sloppy semantics in use (by nearly all of us) surrounding:
1. route - dictionary definition, a way to get from one place to another
2. Route - (my capital) a type of GPS file and navigation method, can be used to describe a route
3. Track - (my capital) a type of GPS file and navigation method, can be used to describe a route
4. tracklog - a Track that has been recorded by a moving GPS.

If people could use the terms correctly instead of interchangeably, a lot of these discussions would go away.  As I mentioned upthread, a lot of the blame for this must lie with some of the online planning sites such as BikeHike and RWGPS and others, who use the word 'route' as in (1) above, but in a GPS-ey context it's easy to suppose that they actually mean (2). Or even (3).  And it's catching!
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

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Presumably due to the low processing power and memory of mobile GPS devices.

I have a circa 2002 eTrex Legend with the same limitations. Since then there’ve been orders of magnitude improvements in mobile processing power technology, *especially* in low power battery devices. And it’s apparently entirely passed Garmin by.

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In any case, railing against the designers isn't going to get you anywhere. You need to learn to live with the limitations, just as others have done.

You can stop giving money to this godawful company.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
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Presumably due to the low processing power and memory of mobile GPS devices.

I have a circa 2002 eTrex Legend with the same limitations. Since then there’ve been orders of magnitude improvements in mobile processing power technology, *especially* in low power battery devices. And it’s apparently entirely passed Garmin by.

Exactly, the current state of the art is such that there is no excuse for such arbitrary limits memory is cheap, cpu is cheap, in fact it's often more expensive to get something with less power, less memory, and lower power use than it is to get something with less.

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In any case, railing against the designers isn't going to get you anywhere. You need to learn to live with the limitations, just as others have done.

You can stop giving money to this godawful company.

Exactly, this is why now I have a Wahoo Elemnt bolt. It's not perfect, but it has met my needs admirably. I primarily looked at the wahoo based on the sheer number of reports of ultra racers who had their rides compromised by failing garmin's.

The file for tomorrow night's ride, as it comes out of ridewithgps has 4073 trkpt items in it.

A Track file.  So this is largely a misunderstanding arising from the sloppy semantics in use (by nearly all of us) surrounding:
1. route - dictionary definition, a way to get from one place to another
2. Route - (my capital) a type of GPS file and navigation method, can be used to describe a route

Up to this point it all makes complete sense.

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3. Track - (my capital) a type of GPS file and navigation method, can be used to describe a route
4. tracklog - a Track that has been recorded by a moving GPS.

This is where it just makes no bloomin' sense at all. What is the point then of having the different terms of route and track? It makes no sense.

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If people could use the terms correctly instead of interchangeably, a lot of these discussions would go away.  As I mentioned upthread, a lot of the blame for this must lie with some of the online planning sites such as BikeHike and RWGPS and others, who use the word 'route' as in (1) above, but in a GPS-ey context it's easy to suppose that they actually mean (2). Or even (3).  And it's catching!

Well yes, the terminology doesn't seem to go out of it's way to make it clear. Not helped by the fact that apparently modern gps devices have a limit on the number of route points, but a much more reasonable limit on the number of track points...

I'm so sorry that I imagined my etrex 10 only showing the first 250 points of a ride and thus leaving me with navigational improvisation to do the remaining leg of my journey...  so glad that it isn't a problem I had in 34 °C weather in Luxembourg.

Some might call that inadequate preparation on your part (RTFM applies).

It was inadequate preparation on my part to not check that the device I had bought didn't have some silly built in limit that makes no sense. That I conseed.

However, as someone with a background in embedded computer system development, I think that it is poor workmanship on those who made the device to go against simple tenats of good design such as the zero, one, infinity rule. I have spent my professional life trying to avoid falling for such traps and design out the need to.

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Autorouting is only a feature on fairly recent models AIUI. You'd be better off using tracks if you want to follow a specific route.

And this is why it's so fscking crazy. To follow a specific route I need to use a track? What brain damaged moron thought this was a good way of doing the terminology?

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RWGPS is notorious for producing bloated tracks. You can use Phil W's app to slim them down:
https://simple-gpx.herokuapp.com/

The track for the 1000km ride I did recently had 5166 points, and even that was far more than it really needed.

As do all the route planners. By having more track points, you can also have a more accurate impression of the total distance you're going to ride, this helps with better planning and better riding.

The track for the Race round the Netherlands, 1670km, has over 15000 track points. What's your point?

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Why? it drives me nuts that I can't load a route with more than 250 points, that seems a silly limit. It goes against the zero, one, infinity rule of good computer software design.

Presumably due to the low processing power and memory of mobile GPS devices. In any case, railing against the designers isn't going to get you anywhere. You need to learn to live with the limitations, just as others have done.

Low power and memory? it's 2018.

I am not going to learn to live with a stupid limitation, I'm going to take my money elsewhere, it's the only vote I can have here. Why accept the inadequate? Why accept poor design? Why accept limitations that are entirely needless?

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Tracks can perform both roles. I've never used routes and my GPS device (Edge 510) doesn't support them anyway, but that's not a problem because I get on fine with tracks.

https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?faq=v0rJAHy2hq3prHjRlxdRw5&searchType=noProduct


See above for why this terminology is just brain dead.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
I haven't used Phil W's app so can't compare them, but another way to slim down RWGPS files is to load them into Bikehike then download from that. This also lets you add POIs, eg control locations on an audax or cafes or whatever interests you, which RWGPS doesn't (at least with the free account).
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
I haven't used Phil W's app so can't compare them, but another way to slim down RWGPS files is to load them into Bikehike then download from that. This also lets you add POIs, eg control locations on an audax or cafes or whatever interests you, which RWGPS doesn't (at least with the free account).

Or just don't use a poorly designed Garmin...

I have a paid RWGPS account anyway.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
As do all the route planners. By having more track points, you can also have a more accurate impression of the total distance you're going to ride, this helps with better planning and better riding.

The track for the Race round the Netherlands, 1670km, has over 15000 track points. What's your point?

That’s a wildly excessive number of trackpoints. The idea that you need that level of “accuracy” is misguided.

If people could use the terms correctly instead of interchangeably, a lot of these discussions would go away.  As I mentioned upthread, a lot of the blame for this must lie with some of the online planning sites such as BikeHike and RWGPS and others, who use the word 'route' as in (1) above, but in a GPS-ey context it's easy to suppose that they actually mean (2). Or even (3).  And it's catching!

No, again I think it's fucking Garmin.

AIUI in the beginning a route file was a thing you uploaded to your device to follow, and a track file was a thing you recorded and downloaded afterwards.

Then at some point Garmin added a feature to follow a recorded track as if it were a route.

Then not long after that people figured out that - because of Garmin's artificial limitations on how routes work - the best way to navigate a detailed route was to upload not a route but a track to your Garmin!

With the result that the original distinction between them no longer made sense.

(although tbh I'm not sure there's any real need to differentiate them, except to make Garmin's software happy. The GPX format treats them as two entirely separate things - but it was invented *after* the events above)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
The file for tomorrow night's ride, as it comes out of ridewithgps has 4073 trkpt items in it.

A Track file.  So this is largely a misunderstanding arising from the sloppy semantics in use (by nearly all of us) surrounding:
1. route - dictionary definition, a way to get from one place to another
2. Route - (my capital) a type of GPS file and navigation method, can be used to describe a route

Up to this point it all makes complete sense.

Quote
3. Track - (my capital) a type of GPS file and navigation method, can be used to describe a route
4. tracklog - a Track that has been recorded by a moving GPS.

This is where it just makes no bloomin' sense at all. What is the point then of having the different terms of route and track? It makes no sense.

Hysterical Raisins.  It made sense in the early days of handhelds, when a Route was a list of maybe a dozen waypoints you programmed in on clicky buttons, and a Track was what the device recorded as you moved around.

Navigating along a Track in order to find your way back to wherever you came from was also a logical thing to do, and the limitations of 1990s tech probably meant this was a fundamentally different process in the software

At some point somebody made a bad decision and didn't tidy all this up (perhaps simply by having sensible limits and requiring that Tracks be converted to Routes in order to be navigated) at around the time a GPX file became a thing.  AIUI in Garmins there's still a semantic difference with routepoints referring to waypoints or things on the map, and trackpoints referring to arbitrary coordinates.


Most of the problems with Garmin GPS devices seem to result from keeping those 1990s handheld GPS paradigms alive long after they'd served their purpose.  And I say that as someone who quite likes a GPS receiver that's designed for a user who knows what they're doing with a map and compass.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
For a long time Garmin was the only game in town. Early adopters learnt to work with the limitations of their devices, as it was that or nothing.
I too had a Legend, and with my paid (actually free, I beta tested their phone app) RWGPS account almost always used Routes. Keeping them within the limits was straightforward enough, as I could check that on Mapsource. You can load up both Route and Track and have directions and a comforting line, but having been 'raised' on routesheets, I didn't need a Track. Follow the road unless you're told to turn is a pretty easy thing to do - you don't actually need to be on that line all the time. I went through 3 devices which all suffered through hardware failure - the charging socket just isn't robust enough. Now I use an Edge 520, I thought I would be doing more training than I've actually ever managed (bloody work) and load up tcx files which work as a Route. The 520 doesn't have anywhere near a big enough memory for maps and no expandable memory, so it's fundamentally unsuitable for long (400km+) distances and I suspect I'll dust off an old Legend when I get back into the long stuff.
The lack of user friendliness for Garmin devices is legendary. Their manuals aren't even in Chinese English. That said, I have not been tempted yet by the alternatives. They all have limitations in one way or another. Smartphones are so smart now I'm not even sure I'd bother with a dedicated GPS device if I was new to all this. My phone is waterproof, shockproof and has a massive capacity. You can get pretty good mounts and cache batteries are cheap, OTG charging easy. Why bother with the frustration of learning some esoteric new device?
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Depends whether you prefer eating with proper cutlery or with a spork, I suppose.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."