Author Topic: Cheapest way to viewing gpx routes on tour without using your phone?  (Read 3896 times)

When the fork in the proper cutlery only has one tine and we’re told any more than that is excessive and bloated, I’ll take the bloody spork.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
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.

Indeed. Last time I gave any money to this godawful company, there was no such thing as the Wahoo Elemnt. Even the Rflkt hadn't been invented yet.

The only realistic alternatives for a while were Bryton and Mio. I did know someone who had a Mio and he was quite the evangelist for it, but I think that's only because he was trying to convince himself. He uses an Edge 1000 these days.

If I were in the market again today, I certainly wouldn't be looking exclusively at Garmin, but I'm in no hurry to upgrade/replace my Edge 510, which still does everything I need it to do very well, despite people constantly trying to tell me otherwise.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
My favourite eating utensils are my fingers. Chapati is good too.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Paper maps for you then.

Garmin don't have any real competition unless you don't mind going out on a limb.  Their traditional competitors (such as Magellan, Lowrance) don't compete in the leisure market, at least not outside the US.  Newer options like Satmap, Bryton, Memory Map, Lezyne etc are just underwhelming.  The Wahoo (and possibly Hammerhead) devices seem strange to me because of their phone-dependence, but I think the higher-end Garmin Edge models are heading the same way, so obviously that symbiosis which is unappealing to me makes sense for others.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Paper maps for you then.

Won't the rice pudding make them soggy?

Pingu

  • Put away those fiery biscuits!
  • Mrs Pingu's domestique
    • the Igloo
...Why bother with the frustration of learning some esoteric new device?

For me, the smartphone would the esoteric new device  ;D

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Depends whether you prefer eating with proper cutlery or with a spork, I suppose.
If you already own a spork, why would you splash out on a silver fishknife?

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.

Indeed. Last time I gave any money to this godawful company, there was no such thing as the Wahoo Elemnt. Even the Rflkt hadn't been invented yet.
I don't think I'll ever give money to a company who are so mean with their vowels. Tssrs.

I resent the Garmin learning curve. At least the new players are trying to make life easy for their customers (even if they can't spll).
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Samuel D

Even though Garmin is so thoroughly incompetent that only historical lack of competition permits its continued survival, most of us have struggled for years with its products and learned an array of tricks and workflows to get around the pointless limitations and arcane complexity.

If you go with another product, all that knowledge is wasted and you have to start from scratch. I’d do that if another product was vastly better and likely to be developed for the next decade, but they all seem to have their own problems when examined closely and I don’t trust some of the companies making them.

The least frustrating Garmins are perhaps the eTrex models. They are hideously complex, but they are pretty reliable at showing a line on a north-up map (that’s all I care about for navigation; instructions to turn left on Who_cares Street in 100 m, etc., seem pointless to me) and they can run for about 20 hours on two eneloop AA cells including through the night with a dim backlight.

Unfortunately the eTrex is bulky and has a poor bicycle mount that relies on zip ties. It’s ugly, as you can see in this photo of my rig in Dieppe:



… but it got me there without bother, which is more than the shown Edge 520 would have done without a load of babysitting, battery charging in the middle of the night, etc.

Phil W

Wahoos are as equally underpowereed as Garmins. As one of their design considerations is battery life.   Battery density has not really advanced all that much in the last 15 years, if only there was an equivalent Moore's law for that.  Wahoo solved the routing issue on a low power / cpu device by getting the onlne routing web servers to do it (RWGPS). Correct me if I am wrong but Wahoos cannot do on the fly routing without the connected phone app.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Wahoos are as equally underpowereed as Garmins. As one of their design considerations is battery life.   Battery density has not really advanced all that much in the last 15 years, if only there was an equivalent Moore's law for that.  Wahoo solved the routing issue on a low power / cpu device by getting the onlne routing web servers to do it (RWGPS). Correct me if I am wrong but Wahoos cannot do on the fly routing without the connected phone app.

You are not wrong, you have to use the phone app to do the routing. But if you have a GPX file, you can just load it up and it works. Even when that file has 15000+ points.

It's a good way of doing it. The majority of people are carrying a super computer in their pockets, so why stick needless complexity into the unit, when you can offload it to the pocket supercomputer most people have. Sure it might not be as good as "you have deviated from your route, recalculating". But it still provides a lot useful info, you have the line you're supposed to be on, you have a basic map. You can then do your own routing back to it.

The main features I find missing from my bolt are:

- single way point nav. Just draw a straight line from my present location to the destination way point. I'll do the rest thanks
- Load in a db of POI, and flag when I am close to them, this would be useful as I could then load in the water fountain info from OSM...
- Autozoom - Zoom in more when route is fiddlier, and zoom our when it's not.

The wahoo is not perfect, but it seems to be better than the Garmin's. It'll be interesting to see how many TCR riders this year are screwed over by Garmin failures...

It's actually an interesting one how ultra racers, and audaxers are good at finding bugs in these devices. Often a bug won't manifest itself for a number of hours, and most "normal" cyclists don't do many rides longer than 3-8 hours. So a bug that only appears at 15 or 20 hours run time just doesn't often show up in testing. But these bugs are surprisingly common in many systems (free the goddamn mallocs()!), and a sod to debug.

Incidentally, regarding battery density. It has come along, we just don't realise it. The energy density of a battery that you can put in a modern device is considerably better than even a year ago. and orders of magnitude better than 2 years ago. The main thing that stops us realising that batteries have improved, is that cpu power requirements have gone up to match the battery improvements. If you took a low power cpu from 15 years ago, and plug it into a modern  battery, the life would be amazing. This comes back to the issue of most rides being quite short. Wahoo claim a 15 hour battery life, which is great. But I've done 3 rides in the last 6 months that were longer than 15 hours. But then, as with the rest of my life, I am an edge case for these devices, just like most people round here are...

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

Phil W

Wahoos are as equally underpowereed as Garmins. As one of their design considerations is battery life.   Battery density has not really advanced all that much in the last 15 years, if only there was an equivalent Moore's law for that.  Wahoo solved the routing issue on a low power / cpu device by getting the onlne routing web servers to do it (RWGPS). Correct me if I am wrong but Wahoos cannot do on the fly routing without the connected phone app.

You are not wrong, you have to use the phone app to do the routing. But if you have a GPX file, you can just load it up and it works. Even when that file has 15000+ points.

It's a good way of doing it. The majority of people are carrying a super computer in their pockets,

No they are not. The phone is not a super computer and the routing is not done on the phone it is done on the RWGPS web servers.  The phone just acts as an intermediary to pass the routing data across.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
No they are not. The phone is not a super computer and the routing is not done on the phone it is done on the RWGPS web servers.  The phone just acts as an intermediary to pass the routing data across.

The definition of supercomputer has been updated over the years, but around the turn of the century, a super computer was classified by the US government as being able to do >2000MTOPS (Millions of Theoretical Operations Per Second). As such the Apple G4 computer fell fowl of US export restrictions, being that it did just under 2500MTOPS, these being the same export restrictions that controlled weapons/arms exports. The US government has updated the threshold of MTOPS to be classified as a super computer, but your average smart phone easily does over 2500MTOPS. So by a 18 year old definition, we do carry a super computer in our pocket[1].

I stand corrected on the pass through to RWGPS servers.

J

[1] Also a calculator, take that year 8 maths teacher who said we wouldn't always have a calculator in our pocket!
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Phil W

Super computer performance was (and still is as far as I am aware) defined in terms of floating point operations per second (FLOPS) so not quite sure where you got this TOPS figure from.  Even in 2000 super computers were hitting 10 power 12 FLOPS.  Tell me, does your phone hit that figure?

Widely off topic as we have strayed.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Super computer performance was (and still is as far as I am aware) defined in terms of floating point operations per second (FLOPS) so not quite sure where you got this TOPS figure from.  Even in 2000 super computers were hitting 10 power 12 FLOPS.  Tell me, does your phone hit that figure?

Widely off topic as we have strayed.

At the top end they were. At the low end of what was classified as a super computer?

The Apple G4 was classified as a super computer, it had 500Mhz single core cpu. My phone has an octacore cpu at 2ghz, plus a 3d accelerator. Modern phones are as powerful as desktop machines of nearly 20 years ago.

Yes it's an isoteric way of looking at the definitions and it's abusing terms, but it is technically the case.

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

Phil W

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.


It is really excessive for the route and distance and a prime example of bloat. 

I just downloaded the Race around the Netherlands GPX and the track has 31,814 track points.  Far more than necessary.  I loaded that into my Etrex 20, and also loaded one filtered down to 10,000 points.   The original takes 40 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate, the filtered version takes 8 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate.  Over 30 extra seconds processing the extra track points it does not need by any stretch of the imagination.  If I passed through 30 controls I have already lost 15 minutes just awaiting for the GPS to be ready.  Plus it will be slower updating the map.
 
Does not need the trackpoints? Well I made both tracks visible on the GPS map screen and zoomed right in to see where they deviated.  Note the zoom and tell me where you can see the original track (it is red) on the screen grabs?  I usually have my GPS set at 200m zoom but zoomed right in to show you there is really is no differece in what you see.







A track with thousands of track points it does not need is wasteful and bit like someone handing me a 100 page A4 manual of directions when I asked how to get to the local shops.

Throwing increasing amounts of power at a problem is not always the answer.  I know a company who used to do this and it cost them a million pounds a year in hardware upgrades every single bloody year.  Sometimes you have to look at the efficiency of the software and the appropriateness of the data you supply.

For instance here is a trackpoint from the Round Netherlands GPX. Tell me what precsion those lat / lon and elevation are claiming. 

<trkpt lat="51.999610000000004" lon="5.466810000000001">
    <ele>19.000000000000004</ele>
   </trkpt>

Truth is the Round Netherlands track could have been navigated as a single track but not the bloatware they provided.

Phil W

Super computer performance was (and still is as far as I am aware) defined in terms of floating point operations per second (FLOPS) so not quite sure where you got this TOPS figure from.  Even in 2000 super computers were hitting 10 power 12 FLOPS.  Tell me, does your phone hit that figure?

Widely off topic as we have strayed.

At the top end they were. At the low end of what was classified as a super computer?


The Apple G4 was classified as a super computer, it had 500Mhz single core cpu. My phone has an octacore cpu at 2ghz, plus a 3d accelerator. Modern phones are as powerful as desktop machines of nearly 20 years ago.

Yes it's an isoteric way of looking at the definitions and it's abusing terms, but it is technically the case.

J

It is technically the case that in 2018 your phone is not classed as a super computer.

In 2000 US export restrictions limited Internet Explorer to 40 bit SSL encyption. Anything stronger was classed a munitions. Presumably now you will tell us that this is strong encyption or that browsers are munitions in 2018?

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
For instance here is a trackpoint from the Round Netherlands GPX. Tell me what precsion those lat / lon and elevation are claiming. 

<trkpt lat="51.999610000000004" lon="5.466810000000001">
    <ele>19.000000000000004</ele>
   </trkpt>

I know it was a rhetorical question but I just looked up the answer anyway out of interest. Apparently, 13dp gives you angstrom levels of precision, so 15dp is going to be somewhat more precise than that.

https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/8650/measuring-accuracy-of-latitude-and-longitude#8674


Phil W

For instance here is a trackpoint from the Round Netherlands GPX. Tell me what precsion those lat / lon and elevation are claiming. 

<trkpt lat="51.999610000000004" lon="5.466810000000001">
    <ele>19.000000000000004</ele>
   </trkpt>

I know it was a rhetorical question but I just looked up the answer anyway out of interest. Apparently, 13dp gives you angstrom levels of precision, so 15dp is going to be somewhat more precise than that.

https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/8650/measuring-accuracy-of-latitude-and-longitude#8674

Brilliant, exactly the level of precision that quixoticgeek is demanding for her navigation....

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Here's an extract from one of the answers given in the link quoted above:

Quote
The fifth decimal place is worth up to 1.1 m: it distinguish trees from each other. Accuracy to this level with commercial GPS units can only be achieved with differential correction.
The sixth decimal place is worth up to 0.11 m: you can use this for laying out structures in detail, for designing landscapes, building roads. It should be more than good enough for tracking movements of glaciers and rivers. This can be achieved by taking painstaking measures with GPS, such as differentially corrected GPS.
The seventh decimal place is worth up to 11 mm: this is good for much surveying and is near the limit of what GPS-based techniques can achieve.
The eighth decimal place is worth up to 1.1 mm: this is good for charting motions of tectonic plates and movements of volcanoes. Permanent, corrected, constantly-running GPS base stations might be able to achieve this level of accuracy.
The ninth decimal place is worth up to 110 microns: we are getting into the range of microscopy. For almost any conceivable application with earth positions, this is overkill and will be more precise than the accuracy of any surveying device.
Ten or more decimal places indicates a computer or calculator was used and that no attention was paid to the fact that the extra decimals are useless. Be careful, because unless you are the one reading these numbers off the device, this can indicate low quality processing!

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
For instance here is a trackpoint from the Round Netherlands GPX. Tell me what precsion those lat / lon and elevation are claiming. 

<trkpt lat="51.999610000000004" lon="5.466810000000001">
    <ele>19.000000000000004</ele>
   </trkpt>

I know it was a rhetorical question but I just looked up the answer anyway out of interest. Apparently, 13dp gives you angstrom levels of precision, so 15dp is going to be somewhat more precise than that.

https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/8650/measuring-accuracy-of-latitude-and-longitude#8674

There are two points here that should not be conflated.

1) Number of track points,

2) Precision of the track points,

You can reduce the precision of the track points, I agree that 15dp is a bit overzealous 5 or 6 dp is plenty, however, the track point you have hilighted has come about due to a poor implementation in some software somewhere, of the IEEE 754 floating point standard. It's common in a lot of computer systems where designers don't know enough about the way their machine is storing the underlying bits. Many programmers look at a problem and think they will use floating point variables. Now they have 1.000000000000002 problems. This is why you can remove bloat from many a GPX, by simply taking all the values for lat/long, and making sure none of them are more than 5 or 6dp, (or even 3 or 4 if you're ok with 20+m of accuracy), this reduces the total number of bytes that the files needs to be stored. This can reduce the amount of CPU used by the device. However, as most programmers will just import the value into a variable, which will be either a 32bit, or in some cases (rare I'd say) 64bit, value, it takes the same amount of memory on the device to store 54.0, 54.123456 or 51.999610000000004, even if the actual file size for 54.0 is 14 bytes smaller. The only time that this longer variable then is slower than the shorter one is when it comes to reading the bytes off of the memory that the file is stored in, at which point you are looking at string manipulation, and saving yourself a couple of dozen or so clock cycles, when each clock cycle is done at many dozens of megahertz at least.

Thus, the precision of the lat/long points used in the gpx file, and the number of track points in the file, are two entirely separate things. I never claimed I needed angstrom level precision, and I hope that the above gives you an adequate explanation of why points like the above come about, and why it really doesn't matter, as well as how that is entirely not the point I am making.

So, having having dealt with that red herring, shall we move on to the issue of number of track points?

How about next time I go out for a longish ride, I upload my gpx file as it comes out of what ever route planner I've used, and one of you lot can reduce it to what ever you think is right, and I'll ride it, and we can see at which point I scream and switch to my original gpx[1]?

J

[1] Here, have Mondays ride: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28119872 it's 1992 track points, 116km, give me a gpx with less than 116 points, and also tell me how long it took you to do it, and I'll see how far I get before it drives me too insane and I use the original route.
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
It is really excessive for the route and distance and a prime example of bloat. 

I just downloaded the Race around the Netherlands GPX and the track has 31,814 track points.  Far more than necessary.  I loaded that into my Etrex 20, and also loaded one filtered down to 10,000 points.   The original takes 40 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate, the filtered version takes 8 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate.  Over 30 extra seconds processing the extra track points it does not need by any stretch of the imagination.  If I passed through 30 controls I have already lost 15 minutes just awaiting for the GPS to be ready.  Plus it will be slower updating the map.

You turn your device off at controls?

Right, you reduced it down to 10000. 10000 is still one way point on average every 167m. That seems reasonable. Thing is, the claim made above is that you shouldn't need more than 1 per km, so now take that gpx, and make it no more than 1670 points. Even then, that's more thanthe 250 that an etrex allows in a route. Still.

Quote
For instance here is a trackpoint from the Round Netherlands GPX. Tell me what precsion those lat / lon and elevation are claiming. 

<trkpt lat="51.999610000000004" lon="5.466810000000001">
    <ele>19.000000000000004</ele>
   </trkpt>

Truth is the Round Netherlands track could have been navigated as a single track but not the bloatware they provided.
\

See previous post for explaining why this is a big red herring.

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

fuaran

  • rothair gasta
Right, you reduced it down to 10000. 10000 is still one way point on average every 167m. That seems reasonable. Thing is, the claim made above is that you shouldn't need more than 1 per km, so now take that gpx, and make it no more than 1670 points. Even then, that's more thanthe 250 that an etrex allows in a route.
You are still confusing routes and tracks. With routes, you need much fewer points. And in a route it is unhelpful if you have too many points.
If following a route, I want the GPS to display the "Distance to next". ie this should be the next place I have to turn off. If it says 1 km to the next point, it means I don't have to think about navigation until then, just keep following the road I am on. So it is pointless and confusing to have loads of extra points in between junctions, it just means you get the GPS beeping needlessly.

Phil W

It is really excessive for the route and distance and a prime example of bloat. 

I just downloaded the Race around the Netherlands GPX and the track has 31,814 track points.  Far more than necessary.  I loaded that into my Etrex 20, and also loaded one filtered down to 10,000 points.   The original takes 40 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate, the filtered version takes 8 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate.  Over 30 extra seconds processing the extra track points it does not need by any stretch of the imagination.  If I passed through 30 controls I have already lost 15 minutes just awaiting for the GPS to be ready.  Plus it will be slower updating the map.

You turn your device off at controls?

Right, you reduced it down to 10000. 10000 is still one way point on average every 167m. That seems reasonable. Thing is, the claim made above is that you shouldn't need more than 1 per km, so now take that gpx, and make it no more than 1670 points.
Frankie's claim above was for direct routing and he did not claim the route would follow the road, it won't. But he feels it is enough to navigate with if you place the route points only at turns. Not a method I have tried so cannot comment on how that would go for me. Even back in 2002 I was navigating by following tracks, before I had a mapping GPS.

Phil W

It is really excessive for the route and distance and a prime example of bloat. 

I just downloaded the Race around the Netherlands GPX and the track has 31,814 track points.  Far more than necessary.  I loaded that into my Etrex 20, and also loaded one filtered down to 10,000 points.   The original takes 40 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate, the filtered version takes 8 seconds to load before you can click Go to navigate.  Over 30 extra seconds processing the extra track points it does not need by any stretch of the imagination.  If I passed through 30 controls I have already lost 15 minutes just awaiting for the GPS to be ready.  Plus it will be slower updating the map.

You turn your device off at controls?

Of course, why on earth would I leave it on chewing batteries whilst I stop for a bite to eat or to sleep?

It would be like leaving the oven on in between meals. Wasteful and pointless.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Of course, why on earth would I leave it on chewing batteries whilst I stop for a bite to eat or to sleep?

So the overall average speed field is correct, presumably.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...