Author Topic: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route  (Read 1285 times)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« on: July 31, 2018, 02:12:37 pm »
Following on from discussion in other recent threads, but starting a new thread to avoid taking any of them even further off-topic...

I was thinking about Garmin's 250 point limit on GPX Routes, and the effect that has on navigability when your GPS device doesn't support maps or autorouting or give proper turn by turn instructions natively. Since my 200km audax has considerably fewer than 250 instructions, it strikes me that it should be perfectly possible to create a useable GPX Route from the routesheet, by plotting routepoints only where turn instructions are actually needed.

What I would then like to do is add the instructions from my routesheet as custom text. And maybe suitable symbols (eg turn arrows).

So, what's the best/easiest way to do this? Is it something I could do in Basecamp? (I've never really got to grips with Basecamp but am willing to try.)

I know RWGPS lets you create "custom cues" if you have a paid-for account, but they can only be exported in the form of TCX Course files - I want something more universal, if possible, so I'm assuming that GPX Routes would be more suitable.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2018, 02:34:52 pm »
Think I've answered my own question: it looks like you can do this in gpxeditor.co.uk

Adding custom turn instructions seems to be a case of inserting <name> elements inside the <rtept> tag. Does that sound right?

Time for some experimentation...

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2018, 03:34:48 pm »
In GPXEditor, create a new Route using As-the-crow-flies routing method and click on each point to rename with your chosen instruction.  You can add comments too, but I'm not sure how they will display on the GPS.

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2018, 03:46:49 pm »
For tcx files, waypoints apparently don't currently save as "cues" but at least one other person has requested this (unless it was you) so I am going to do it soon. He has provided me with an example tcx file of how it should be but I haven't looked at it yet.

For gpx files, waypoints can be saved with proximity alarms and thus can act as cues on compatible devices. This is what I do. But apparently "cues" are a specific thing in the tcx standard.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 03:48:57 pm »
In GPXEditor, create a new Route using As-the-crow-flies routing method and click on each point to rename with your chosen instruction.  You can add comments too, but I'm not sure how they will display on the GPS.

Yep, that's exactly what I've just been doing - plotting routepoints only at the locations where I have instructions on my routesheet, nowhere in between, then clicking on each one to add text (and when you export the file, this custom text is inside a <name> tag, as I expected).

I have a feeling my Edge 510 will just ignore the <name> tags on Routepoints in a GPX Route, though - I think it only recognises "cues" in the form of Coursepoints in TCX Course files. But it's worth trying in the spirit of experimentation anyway. This is really just an exercise in developing my understanding of the quirks and vagaries of different GPX file formats.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2018, 03:55:39 pm »
For tcx files, waypoints apparently don't currently save as "cues" but at least one other person has requested this (unless it was you) so I am going to do it soon.

Don't think it was me but it's something I'm interested in. I will have to look into the TCX format in a bit more detail and see how easy it is to add "custom cues" (ie TCX Coursepoints) without using a paid-for RWGPS account...

I think this kind of experiment exposes the limitations of the Edge 510 as a navigational aid, but I generally get along fine just following GPX Tracks anyway, so I'm doing this more for fun than out of necessity.

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2018, 03:57:04 pm »
Ah, I thought you were editing the GPX manually after creating it. :thumbsup:

I used to do this when I first started using a GPS about 10 years ago - an Etrex H with no on-board maps.  Create a route in Bikely and manually edit the GPX output to include routesheet instructions such as R T (Right at T junction), SO @ (Straight on at roundabout), L TL (Left at traffic lights) etc.  I think it was frankly frankie's system originally.  Took bloody ages - now I just follow a track - but it might be worth experimenting with again, particularly as gpxeditor makes it so easy to prepare.

Phil W

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2018, 04:01:58 pm »
For tcx files, waypoints apparently don't currently save as "cues" but at least one other person has requested this (unless it was you) so I am going to do it soon. He has provided me with an example tcx file of how it should be but I haven't looked at it yet.

For gpx files, waypoints can be saved with proximity alarms and thus can act as cues on compatible devices. This is what I do. But apparently "cues" are a specific thing in the tcx standard.

Not cues, coursepoints in courses.  Note courses are only for Edge units.  Proximity alarms on waypoints would require the user to have their setting to match else they may get up to 3 alerts and if you take turns close together it would just be a mess. Francis also asked what the limit is on proximity alarms.

Phil W

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2018, 04:09:49 pm »
In GPXEditor, create a new Route using As-the-crow-flies routing method and click on each point to rename with your chosen instruction.  You can add comments too, but I'm not sure how they will display on the GPS.

Yep, that's exactly what I've just been doing - plotting routepoints only at the locations where I have instructions on my routesheet, nowhere in between, then clicking on each one to add text (and when you export the file, this custom text is inside a <name> tag, as I expected).

I have a feeling my Edge 510 will just ignore the <name> tags on a GPX Route, though - I think it only recognises custom cues in the form of coursepoints in TCX Course files. But it's worth trying in the spirit of experimentation anyway. This is really just an exercise in developing my understanding of the quirks and vagaries of different GPX file formats.

The Etrex 20 unit will use the name in the next waypoint data field (when navigating the route).  So it could be used that way.    Note only Edge units use courses.  You can still download Training Centre if you want to add coursepoints by point and click on an existing map.

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2018, 04:16:08 pm »
For tcx files, waypoints apparently don't currently save as "cues" but at least one other person has requested this (unless it was you) so I am going to do it soon. He has provided me with an example tcx file of how it should be but I haven't looked at it yet.

For gpx files, waypoints can be saved with proximity alarms and thus can act as cues on compatible devices. This is what I do. But apparently "cues" are a specific thing in the tcx standard.

Not cues, coursepoints in courses.  Note courses are only for Edge units.  Proximity alarms would require the user to have their setting to match else they may get up to 3 alerts and if you take turns close together it would just be a mess. Francis also asked what the limit is on proximity alarms.

They are called coursepoints, yes. ('Cues' was obviously just the nickname the user referred to them as.)
What I seem to have realised is that the tcx standard allows a 'Course' to contain tracks AND coursepoints - apparently it's useful to edge users to have the coursepoints and the track(s) within the same 'Course'.
In gpxeditor the only way currently to create coursepoints is to create a route, because coursepoints map from routepoints. However, this results in the route being saved as a different course to any track(s) - so I am going to tweak it possibly so that there is only ever one 'Course'.
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Phil W

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2018, 04:22:54 pm »
In fact I have just re installed my old copy of Training Centre and here you go.  It only talks TCX, CRS, and Fit file formats I am afraid, not GPX.  In the screen shot you can see the icons allowed in course points and how you added them to your course.  The banana icon circled in red being food!


citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2018, 04:25:33 pm »
You can still download Training Centre if you want to add coursepoints by point and click on an existing map.

Didn't know that. Thanks! Will investigate...

They are called coursepoints, yes. ('Cues' was obviously just the nickname the user referred to them as.)

Yes, I'm trying to stick to the correct terminology to avoid confusion but it's tricky when different terms are used in different formats... What RWGPS refers to as "cues" are coursepoints in TCX Courses. Since TCX is a Garmin-only format, I'd rather use GPX Routes to make it easier to share files, but my Edge 510 appears not to support the full range of features of GPX Routes, so using Training Camp to create TCX Courses might be a better option for me.

Standards schmandards.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2018, 04:27:46 pm »
In the screen shot you can see the icons allowed in course points and how you added them to your course.  The banana being food!

I'll give Training Centre a go. Will be interesting to see how it handles the symbols - when I tried changing the symbols on Waypoints in Basecamp before adding them to the 510, they came out as totally different symbols to the ones I wanted.  ::-)

Phil W

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2018, 04:27:55 pm »
For tcx files, waypoints apparently don't currently save as "cues" but at least one other person has requested this (unless it was you) so I am going to do it soon. He has provided me with an example tcx file of how it should be but I haven't looked at it yet.

For gpx files, waypoints can be saved with proximity alarms and thus can act as cues on compatible devices. This is what I do. But apparently "cues" are a specific thing in the tcx standard.

Not cues, coursepoints in courses.  Note courses are only for Edge units.  Proximity alarms would require the user to have their setting to match else they may get up to 3 alerts and if you take turns close together it would just be a mess. Francis also asked what the limit is on proximity alarms.

They are called coursepoints, yes. ('Cues' was obviously just the nickname the user referred to them as.)
What I seem to have realised is that the tcx standard allows a 'Course' to contain tracks AND coursepoints - apparently it's useful to edge users to have the coursepoints and the track(s) within the same 'Course'.
In gpxeditor the only way currently to create coursepoints is to create a route, because coursepoints map from routepoints. However, this results in the route being saved as a different course to any track(s) - so I am going to tweak it possibly so that there is only ever one 'Course'.

A course consists of a timed track and course points.  A course must contain a timed track but does not need to contain coursepoints. Courses are created from workouts the nearest thing to which is a GPS tracklog (though it is not the same). Cues is a RWGPS thing.

Phil W

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2018, 04:32:34 pm »
In the screen shot you can see the icons allowed in course points and how you added them to your course.  The banana being food!

I'll give Training Centre a go. Will be interesting to see how it handles the symbols - when I tried changing the symbols on Waypoints in Basecamp before adding them to the 510, they came out as totally different symbols to the ones I wanted.  ::-)

Each GPS has a set of symbol codes.  If they match then it will use its internal version of that symbol else it will use a more generic symbol.  They are called symbol sets.  The more basic the unit the more basic the symbol set.  Note that Training Centre does not talk GPX so you will need something to convert to TCX, CRS or FIT before loading.   It may talk direct to the Edge 510 it certainly does to the Edge 500.


citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2018, 04:56:36 pm »
Note that Training Centre does not talk GPX so you will need something to convert to TCX, CRS or FIT before loading.

Thanks for the warning. That's easy enough to do though - eg bikehike can convert GPX to TCX.

The 510 seems to have most of the same symbols that are available in Basecamp, but I guess its internal database of symbol codes doesn't match the one in Basecamp - which sounds like fairly typical Garmin perversity. (You can manually change Waypoint symbols on the device itself but it's a laborious process.)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2018, 05:04:32 pm »
Ah, I thought you were editing the GPX manually after creating it. :thumbsup:

I used to do this when I first started using a GPS about 10 years ago - an Etrex H with no on-board maps.  Create a route in Bikely and manually edit the GPX output to include routesheet instructions such as R T (Right at T junction), SO @ (Straight on at roundabout), L TL (Left at traffic lights) etc.  I think it was frankly frankie's system originally.  Took bloody ages - now I just follow a track - but it might be worth experimenting with again, particularly as gpxeditor makes it so easy to prepare.

 :thumbsup:

Sounds like I have - albeit by a somewhat circuitous route/track/course* - hit upon the same system as FF. Which is reassuring, because he does know what he's talking about on this subject. GPXeditor is obviously a much better way of doing it than doing it in a text editor - the benefits of being a late adopter.


*delete according to preferred file format

Phil W

Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2018, 05:28:45 pm »
I used to use courses and course points on my Edge 500. I still have the Edge 500 but I have donated to my wife to record her rides, but it is no longer used for navigation.  I found it would alert course points just a little too late. So put your course points 50, 100 metres before the actual turn etc. I can see from later courses that I only really used course points to mark controls. A good thing about course points was that the alerts only took up a small amount of space at the top of the screen, so you could still see the map.  Which is how I now use proximity alarms on the Etrex. With proximity alarms the map gets blocked out, so they would not be a great choice for navigation prompts.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2018, 05:36:58 pm »
I found it would alert course points just a little too late.

Yep, I found a video on youtube on how to add turn by turn instructions to an Edge 510 but the bloke did say that it would often notify him only after the turn. His solution was to use the cuesheet screen for navigation.

Tbh, I think I'm best off just sticking to using GPX Tracks (or getting a different device) for my personal use. I'm still interested in learning more about the TCX format though since I've had some riders on my 200 ask for a TCX file - I just send them one I've converted from GPX in bikehike but it's untested so comes with a 'use at your own risk' warning.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Convert a routesheet into a GPX Route
« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2018, 06:43:33 pm »
In BikeHike it's easy to add Coursepoints, and to set their 'Left' 'Right' symbols, which is the USP of Coursepoints over Waypoints.

The problem with Waypoint naming is that each point within a Route has to have a unique name, so you can soon run out of 'Left @ T' or 'R then L' type options.  Coursepoints with their turn symbols overcome that.

See here Francis' guide to waypoint naming which is very old gen but you get the idea.  For example translating a routesheet to waypoint names:
Routesheet snippet:
124.1km: Straight across mini-roundabout.
127.2km: Left at T.
127.4km: 1st Right.
131.1km: Fork Left.

I would translate into four Routepoints:
124-SO,    127-LR,    127-R,    131-L

Here's my complete (and very short) list of possible instructions:
-L
-R
-SO
-LR    'Left and shortly Right' - ie, turn Left then take the next Right which is already in view.
-RL
-LL
-RR
-X3    this would be '3rd exit at roundabout' obviously other numbers are possible. I generally only use this at large roundabouts if L or R or SO isn't clear enough.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.