Author Topic: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6  (Read 996 times)

Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« on: August 15, 2009, 11:30:35 pm »
I finally had time to play with MapSource 6 and my Vista C (not HCx) today.

The route I planned had two gaps. One is where you can nip across the A10 on foot to get into Puckeridge from Mentley Lane West.

The other was where I hadn't noticed :-[ that a road became a bridleway at Matching - fine to ride, but explains why MapSource showed no road/track existing at all for half a mile.

Anyway, I was using road-following/auto-routing, and got some pretty inventive routes at these points. Going up the A10, back down, then round to Mentley Lane East and up that dead end added miles :D

Is there a way round this? Road following is useful, but is there a way to over-ride? What seems to happen is that the system routes to the nearest road, then across, but won't route to a second nearby off-road point.

And can I count on the Vista using the same rules? In the event it complained for some reason that the starting point was a long way away from any road (it wasn't) and refused to route at all.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2009, 11:12:30 am »
And can I count on the Vista using the same rules?

Absolutely not. !!

For one thing the set of 'Follow Road' options that are available to you in the GPS setup doesn't exactly match those available in Mapsource - and in both cases they vary between software versions.  But even if you think you've got the two matched as closely as possible, that's still no guarantee as far as I can tell.  All you can do is throw more waypoints at it, to try to force the GPS down the route you want, but this is a rather poor compromise.

There's no 'combined' mode where you can mix 'follow road' with 'off road' - a route is one or the other.  (Unlike in Bikely, for example, where you can switch from one mode to the other and back in a single drawn line.)  In the GPS while on the move you can use 'Recalculate' to switch between modes quite quickly, but I find this is very trappy - once you 'recalculate' a route in the GPS a lot of intermediate points get disregarded and you may get routed straight to your destination.  For this reason I switch 'off route recalculation' to off. Safer to reload the route to change modes, but this is a more convoluted procedure.

So the best thing is to resort to the built-in over-ride system - ie, just ignore it and go the way you want, until it comes back on message.

Incidentally, regarding bridleways, the Mapsource maps I've got (Metroguide) show quite a lot of unsurfaced tracks, many of them as solid lines.  If you choose the 'bicycle' mode in the routing options, you're liable to become quite over-familiar with them ...

Have you got 'lock on road' switched on?  Try with it off.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2009, 01:51:04 pm »
Thanks for that.

I actually did manage to navigate using the built-in maps, with my waypoints as route markers, and that was fine. However, I was really using yesterday's planned ride as a test for Audaxes. To swap calculation methods, of course, you have to know the points at which you need to do that. That rather prevents your using the GPS to do all the navigating.

All of which is suggesting that the simple method without road-following may be better. I still quite like my older Summit, which just has a big black arrow that swings at every junction where you need to turn.

Is lock on road on MapSource or the Vista C? I'll have a look later.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2009, 01:57:04 pm »
When a route goes off-piste I pick out the desired path using standalone (i.e., not included in the route) map pinflags to bridge the gap between the two road sections. One can double check they are in the right place by viewing the mapsource route in google earth. Not perfect but it works well enough.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2009, 03:00:12 pm »
Is lock on road on MapSource or the Vista C? I'll have a look later.

Its in 'Map Setup' in the GPS.

I always have it switched off.  That way the GPS always tells me where I actually am (but if reception is poor it will sometimes be inaccurate)
Switched on - I think the GPS uses the map data to 'correct' the positional info making the assumption that you are always on a road - and then writes that 'corrected' data to the track log  :o
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2009, 03:04:27 pm »
It did occur to me that the best solution was probably to plan three routes, one to Puckeridge, one from Puckeridge to Matching, and one from there onwards.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2009, 03:17:05 pm »
However, I was really using yesterday's planned ride as a test for Audaxes. To swap calculation methods, of course, you have to know the points at which you need to do that. That rather prevents your using the GPS to do all the navigating.

For your own use? or for constructing a route for sharing?

You might consider just making a Track instead:
* Do your autorouting thing in Mapsource, temporarily disregarding the off-road bits.  Save it.
* Use WinGDB3 (free utility) to convert this to a Track.  1-click process.  Reload in Mapsource.
(Or use Google Maps, or Bikely, to get to this stage)
* Downsample to <500 points (or split the track into sections).
* Use the Track edit tool to cut out the wrong bits and draw in the correct path at these places.
* Name and colour the track, and save it.
* In the GPS, maybe use 'Trackback' to follow the track - this puts up turn prompts and bleeps, similar to a Route, whenever it detects an upcoming change of course of more than about 30 degrees.

For sharing, I've come round to the view that a Track is much more appropriate than a Route.  If someone wants a Route (as I certainly would), it is better all round if they construct their own, by all means using the shared Track as a template.   This is why only Tracks were offered for LEL recently.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2009, 03:15:59 pm »
For sharing, I've come round to the view that a Track is much more appropriate than a Route.
Bingo - I bin saying that for ages, he says smugly!

Seriously though - although the Routing function occasionally has its uses, my experience has been that Tracks are far more reliable. They consume less power and are still there even when your unit magically loses sight of the map card and displays only a plain screen (thus providing an element of back-up, even if you are using a Route.) They're also handy when a situation arises where there are two options between places - you can set the two Tracks to show simultaneously, in different colours. Also handy if you have an out and back journey to make and want subtle differences between them (e.g. one-way systems.)

JJ

Re: Auto-routing, gaps and MapSource 6
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2009, 12:54:46 pm »
+ 1 for tracks if you want to be sure of going where you planned.

Whether using routes or tracks, I sometimes plan in alternatives.  I might plan to use the A road, for a stretch but only if I see the traffic is light, or take that short-cut, but only if no one is looking :D.
I put in a proximity waypoint at the decision point, with a radius of a couple of hundred metres, and create a separate track for the alternative, in a nicely vivid colour.  No need to switch navigation over, just ignore the angry beeps as you follow the primrose path, and let it sort itself out again once you get back on track...or route.