Author Topic: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file  (Read 7367 times)

idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« on: November 20, 2008, 11:11:28 am »
I've had the GPS for a while (garmin etrex vista cx) and have got quite good at planning routes using mapsource, importing them into the gps and then following the route.  I use auto routing on the machine and it tells me how to get back on track when i get lost, which is handy.

I've just tried importing a GPX file of Chris' for a 200 in Norfolk, it loaded fine in mapsource, transferred fine into the gps but when I try and 'navigate', it wont do it because there are more than 50 waypoints.

Whattam I doing wrong?

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 11:19:00 am »
Good question, I've wondered about that.  I'll sit here and wait for words of wisdom to flow forth ...

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2008, 11:20:51 am »
Mike, I'd go for a conversion to a track (+/- a few of your own waypoints created in Mapsource at an tricky junctions etc and for info controls) rather than using the device to navigate a route. The on-board routing can do very strange things at times.

GPSbabel is useful for filtering (reducing the number of points) and various conversions if needed.


Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2008, 11:35:04 am »
Yes, the form I use for my gpx's doesn't work well for "Follow Road" navigation.

But you shouldn't need it. You will notice that:

1. There's a route point (Note - not waypoint) for each turn on the route sheet - so your GPS will beep, light up and get your attention when a turn comes.
2. There's a saved track for the route, in bright green which is precisely the route that the Follow Road route should take you.

So you should only need to use "Off Road" navigation, then follow the prompts and the green track. I find this 99% as good as "Follow Road" but without the problems that mode brings (You know, when he GPS thinks - "He'd be much better off going down the A11 here...").

Dave

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2008, 11:38:31 am »
That sounds wierd. The GPS should be able to handle a route with more than 50 waypoints easily.

I'd echo what Pluck says - get the route converted into a tracklog (waypoints are the spawn of Satan :P). But I'm not sure how good Mapsource is at doing that?

Dave

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2008, 11:41:23 am »
2. There's a saved track for the route, in bright green which is precisely the route that the Follow Road route should take you.

So, mike should be able to open the file in Mapsource, delete the waypoints and leave the track behind?

This is what happens when I've downloaded some of Pluck's routes from Bikely - there have been 100s of waypoints, but there has been a 'proper' track underneath...

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2008, 11:43:08 am »
That sounds wierd. The GPS should be able to handle a route with more than 50 waypoints easily.

I don't think so - not in "Follow Road" mode, which is what mike is trying to do - there's a 50 point (waypoint or route point) limit on that.

The routes I create have at least as many route points as turns on the printed routesheet, so can't be followed with "Follow Road" mode - that's why I include saved tracks of the route too which paint a nice green route on the map for you to follow - that is the same as the "Follow Road" route.

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2008, 11:45:02 am »
2. There's a saved track for the route, in bright green which is precisely the route that the Follow Road route should take you.

So, mike should be able to open the file in Mapsource, delete the waypoints and leave the track behind?

This is what happens when I've downloaded some of Pluck's routes from Bikely - there have been 100s of waypoints, but there has been a 'proper' track underneath...

No, because there are only about eight "Waypoints" (ie User Waypoints) in the GPX - just those for controls and infos. The routes themselves contain named route points - but this is still too many for "Follow Road" mode.

Dave

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2008, 12:05:51 pm »
Ah. So the answer to
Quote
Whattam I doing wrong?
is "using 'follow road' mode" ;)

The Mechanic

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2008, 12:09:13 pm »
I have had the same problem with long routes.  I couldn't get the whole of the Snow Roads 300 in one route.  I split the route into a few smaller routes and that worked OK.  However, I believe that, if the gpx file is a track, then you can follow track as previously stated.  I have had strange things happen on "follow Road" mode such as taking what the gps thinks is a better route.  This usually requires additional waypoints to force the correct route.  Still learning though.

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2008, 12:10:09 pm »
Ah. So the answer to
Quote
Whattam I doing wrong?
is "using 'follow road' mode" ;)

Yup - at least, when used in conjunction with my gpx :)

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2008, 12:15:11 pm »
Ah. So the answer to
Quote
Whattam I doing wrong?
is "using 'follow road' mode" ;)

Yup - at least, when used in conjunction with my gpx :)

got it. Have switched that off and programmed Chris' number into my mobile for when I get lost :)

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2008, 12:24:40 pm »
But you shouldn't need it. You will notice that:

1. There's a route point (Note - not waypoint) for each turn on the route sheet - so your GPS will beep, light up and get your attention when a turn comes.
2. There's a saved track for the route, in bright green which is precisely the route that the Follow Road route should take you.

Are you using Bikely to plot the routes to begin with, or what is your method? Personally I just make up the route (usually) im Memory Map, save it as a .gpx, and bung it on Bikely when I need others to see it.

This is what happens when I've downloaded some of Pluck's routes from Bikely - there have been 100s of waypoints, but there has been a 'proper' track underneath.

How do I improve on this?

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2008, 12:33:55 pm »
got it. Have switched that off and programmed Chris' number into my mobile for when I get lost :)

 ;D

Follow Road mode does have one really useful application - and it's one reason why I retain controls as User Waypoints. If all else fails, I lose the tracks and routes and I'm completely lost - I can do "Find" on the GPS, select the control I was headed for and then navigate with "Follow-Road" on.

Edit: Of course some might say this is not the spirit of Randonneering where one should follow the prescribed route at all times, and backtrack to the route when you deviate off it ;)

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 12:48:37 pm »
But you shouldn't need it. You will notice that:

1. There's a route point (Note - not waypoint) for each turn on the route sheet - so your GPS will beep, light up and get your attention when a turn comes.
2. There's a saved track for the route, in bright green which is precisely the route that the Follow Road route should take you.

Are you using Bikely to plot the routes to begin with, or what is your method? Personally I just make up the route (usually) im Memory Map, save it as a .gpx, and bung it on Bikely when I need others to see it.

This is what happens when I've downloaded some of Pluck's routes from Bikely - there have been 100s of waypoints, but there has been a 'proper' track underneath.

How do I improve on this?

I use Mapsource to create my routes. Here is what I do:

1. Interpret the written routesheet, and drop a User Waypoint for each control (eg "001 - HQ", "021 - CON1") and instruction (eg: "078 - L TL", "089 - SOX", "099 - INFO R") onto the map. I use red flags as markers for the controls, regular black dots for the others.

2. Join the waypoints to make one or more routes. If (like the Norfolk B-Roads 200) the route is a figure 8, I'll probably do it as two routes - one for each loop.

3. Save this as a .gdb file (Version 2), then open it with WinGDB and convert the routes to tracks. I copy and paste these tracks back into the original gdb, so I now have a file with a load of User Waypoints, one or more routes, and one or more tracks (one track for each route).

4. There is a 500 track point limit per track on the Etrex Vista, so if (as is likely) the tracks have too many points, I split them into separate tracks each up to 500 points long, and also set the track colour to bright green.

5. Now I save this as a gdb file (for posterity) and a gpx.

6. I run a utility to strip all but the Control (Red Flag) User Waypoints from the gpx. I can do this because Mapsource rather helpfully copies the User Waypoints into the routes as route points, retaining the original instruction text.

And there you have it - a compliant gpx that works fine for "Off Road" navigation.

----------------------------------------
1 I used to use "CNT" for "Control", but people I shared my routes with would fall about laughing whenever we approached a control - but I could never work out why ;).

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2008, 12:55:14 pm »
Thanks Chris. This is good: I know all this info is on the forum (prolly posted by yourself or Greenbank) but it is good to have a resume.

3. Save this as a .gdb file (Version 2), then open it with WinGDB and convert the routes to tracks. I copy and paste these tracks back into the original gdb, so I now have a file with a load of User Waypoints, one or more routes, and one or more tracks (one track for each route)

Do you paste the tracks at the start or the end of the .gdb?

4. There is a 500 track point limit per track on the Etrex Vista, so if (as is likely) the tracks have too many points, I split them into separate tracks each up to 500 points long

How do you end / start the split tracks?

6. I run a utility to strip all but the Control (Red Flag) User Waypoints from the gpx


Why do you do this, and what with?

Dave

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2008, 01:18:46 pm »
How Chris does it.

It's always interesting to read things like that. Particularly as it's completely different to the way I do it:

1 Use the routesheet (interpreted using Google maps and the Tracklogs OS maps) to plot a track directly into Tracklogs.

2 Add a few waypoints - usually just the controls, infos and the end.

3 Upload to the GPS.

(4 Don't let the GPS direct me, just follow the track.)

Quote from: Sergeant Pluck
How do I improve on this?

No need to as far as I'm concerned. I find it much more difficult to handle other people's routes if there's only route points or waypoints in the gpx.

Turning a track into route points and/or waypoints is far, far easier than trying to create a track when there are only route points and/or waypoints...

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2008, 01:23:34 pm »
But you shouldn't need it. You will notice that:

1. There's a route point (Note - not waypoint) for each turn on the route sheet - so your GPS will beep, light up and get your attention when a turn comes.
2. There's a saved track for the route, in bright green which is precisely the route that the Follow Road route should take you.

Are you using Bikely to plot the routes to begin with, or what is your method? Personally I just make up the route (usually) im Memory Map, save it as a .gpx, and bung it on Bikely when I need others to see it.

This is what happens when I've downloaded some of Pluck's routes from Bikely - there have been 100s of waypoints, but there has been a 'proper' track underneath.

How do I improve on this?

I use Mapsource to create my routes. Here is what I do:

1. Interpret the written routesheet, and drop a User Waypoint for each control (eg "001 - HQ", "021 - CON1") and instruction (eg: "078 - L TL", "089 - SOX", "099 - INFO R") onto the map. I use red flags as markers for the controls, regular black dots for the others.

2. Join the waypoints to make one or more routes. If (like the Norfolk B-Roads 200) the route is a figure 8, I'll probably do it as two routes - one for each loop.

3. Save this as a .gdb file (Version 2), then open it with WinGDB and convert the routes to tracks. I copy and paste these tracks back into the original gdb, so I now have a file with a load of User Waypoints, one or more routes, and one or more tracks (one track for each route).

4. There is a 500 track point limit per track on the Etrex Vista, so if (as is likely) the tracks have too many points, I split them into separate tracks each up to 500 points long, and also set the track colour to bright green.

5. Now I save this as a gdb file (for posterity) and a gpx.

6. I run a utility to strip all but the Control (Red Flag) User Waypoints from the gpx. I can do this because Mapsource rather helpfully copies the User Waypoints into the routes as route points, retaining the original instruction text.

And there you have it - a compliant gpx that works fine for "Off Road" navigation.

----------------------------------------
1 I used to use "CNT" for "Control", but people I shared my routes with would fall about laughing whenever we approached a control - but I could never work out why ;).

I am sure I'm going to make myself look a right twat here but all this seems very complicated.  I haven't used my GPS for an audax yet but I have used it for long routes.

Here's what I do (using Mapsource City Navigator):

1. Grab an OS paper map, either mark the route on it or just use it for reference.  I find a paper map easier to follow than just using the screen.  Paper allows you to see the bigger picture - literally.
2. Place waypoints every 0.5 to 1 miles or at junctions.  I number them and also give them names when they are at villages and towns
3. Then I join them up using the routing tool.  Sometimes you have to switch to "Use direct Routes" as the auto routing option can get confused.  You can switch it on and off as you want.
4. Then I upload the route to my Vista HCx
5. I normally use the "Follow Road" option on the GPS and this sometimes doesn't work well.  You can tell as the the device might say the distance to your destination is 300 miles but I know the route is only 67 miles for example.  But, as my waypoints are so close together I can see the next one on the screen and know which way to go.  Hitting re-calculate once you've cycled the bit of the route that's causing problems will sort everything out.  Or just select the Off road option when the Vista is calculating the route.

For me, this is far simpler than what Chris S has described.  But, I could be massively missing the point and you're all reading this thinking "this bloke's as thick as a whale sandwich!"    ;D

Dave

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2008, 01:45:49 pm »
But, I could be massively missing the point and you're all reading this thinking "this bloke's as thick as a whale sandwich!"    ;D

Neither missing the point nor thick, as far as I can see.

Your method still sounds over-complicated and over-reliant on the GPS directing you properly though.

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2008, 02:06:05 pm »
Chris and I often ride together - but we have different approaches to our GPS - my machine is a Legend CX - and if I use his gpx files -- I am unable to see both a track and the "off road" line which links his points together. So i suspect that we have different Garmin models.
I like the follow road system - and I think it is relatively easy to get into my machine.
You just have to ensure that no single section of the route has more than 50 points - easy enough to keep an eye on when using mapsource to plot the route.

True that you also have to "overcome" the machine saying  "" Ah - if you want to go from here to there -- you need not go via the lanes - here is a very nice main road to follow - which is going to be much faster for you ""  - but with experience you can spot the danger.

I have also done 2 gpx files both with less than 50 points - as I do not put a point at each turn as Chris does -- but I know that follow road will not need a point at every turn - but as you are riding you will get the turn instruction as you approach a junction.

We both have the advantage of knwoing these roads well - so our plotting has an advantage -- we can see the road in our minds eye.

So if you want a file that can be used for follow road ( but with the same proviso about cycle tracks at the beginning ) let me know.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2008, 02:18:14 pm »
Quote from: Sergeant Pluck
How do I improve on this?
No need to as far as I'm concerned.

I'm happy with the way I do it apart from one little thing that you may have noted on two occasions at the weekend: even with a track in purple, I sometimes find it difficult to actually see the track on screen without hitting the light button. So I am interested in seeing if I can change that aspect while keeping it simple.

As well as the Memory Map > send directly to GPS method, I often do routes on Googlemaps > GMaptogpx > send to GPS with Mapsource or MM. These can work really well for shorter routes with routepoints working just as per Chris's description above.

Dave

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2008, 02:28:42 pm »
I'm happy with the way I do it apart from one little thing that you may have noted on two occasions at the weekend: even with a track in purple, I sometimes find it difficult to actually see the track on screen without hitting the light button. So I am interested in seeing if I can change that aspect while keeping it simple.

You can change the colour of the track once it's in the GPS (can't remember exactly how at the mo'). I use a fetching lime green.

Some colours are worse than others for visibility, but the unlit eTrex screen is not that good for colour discrimination, I think.

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2008, 02:35:56 pm »
Green is quite good too. Most of the time I see it fine but once in a while I miss a turn if it is at a complicated junction or I need to concentrate on traffic / road surface etc.

Lighting up at pertinent moments, without actually using routing, would be perfect.

scottlington

  • It's short for, erm....Bob!
Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2008, 02:37:39 pm »
I do mine a completely different way to everyone. I'll post it at some point (mainly so I can get some feedback), but I do love reading about how everyone else does theirs. Gives you some ideas and pointers to things you'd never though of before.

Re: idiot Q - using someone elses GPX file
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2008, 02:38:55 pm »
Yes, I probably have adopted a rather hands-on approach. After 25 years programming computers, I'd prefer to follow my own work, rather than the decision making process of a machine, and what I've ended up with is something that has evolved over time, and a years worth of randonneering.

Also, I like the way the GPS lights up in the dark of a wet night, makes a reassuring chirp, and presents to me an instruction that originally came from the Organisers' routesheet; it's like an electronic version of the paper route I got after entering the event, rather than just an automated version of the event.

If you see what I mean.