Author Topic: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?  (Read 2570 times)

Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« on: August 09, 2010, 07:34:27 am »
Finally getting around to playing with my new Vista HCx. Trying to following SimonP's advice (waypoints on each turn, track between waypoints, route ...haven't got that far), I've been putting waypoints on each turn, then commenting instructions in. This show up in mapsource, but not on the unit. Cam I make the unit display the comments on the map instead of the waypoint name?

Thanks

Euan Uzami

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 09:13:45 am »
you've got to edit the .gpx file, change the <name>  attribute of  the route points from e.g. "pt1" to something meaningful, open it up in mapsource, then transfer it to the unit.
it's the <name> attribute of a routepoint that will show up on the unit

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 09:55:15 am »
The normal approach is to give the waypoint a meaningful name, i.e., 001 L, 002 SOX, etc.

If you combine this with different color flags (red for controls, green for infos, etc.) you are most of the way there.

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 11:20:30 am »
Ah, this occured to me on the way to work...

Hmm, I fear too much of today is going to be spent reading Francis Cooke's pages.

Cheers

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 12:04:11 pm »
The normal approach is to give the waypoint a meaningful name, i.e., 001 L, 002 SOX, etc.

The problem (I find) with the 2nd example above, is that it exceeds 6 chars, and on the Etrex C this results in the onscreen font in the data fields getting dramatically smaller.
(Possibly since one of the chars is a space you get away with it?  Haven't tried that, I've always used a hyphen.)

So, you'll need to allocate 3 chars for the unique Id (possible to do it with 2 even on big projects, but 3 can be done more mindlessly I find), then a space or hyphen - so you only have 2 chars for your 'instruction', this limits you to L, R, LR, RL, LL, RR, SO, and for roundabouts X1, X2, X3 etc (though I usually use L or R).  I also use just X to indicate 'choice of routes'.
The colour-coded flags is a good idea, I hadn't thought of that.  I set all waypoints to the 'small town' symbol by default, which renders as nothing on the etrex screen, to reduce clutter.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 12:12:30 pm »
The old basic yellow eTrex has a limit of 6 characters. Anything more than that is truncated and duplicates (once truncated) are discarded.

So, you'll need to allocate 3 chars for the unique Id (possible to do it with 2 even on big projects, but 3 can be done more mindlessly I find)

2 was enough for the whole of LEL. Using letters alone 26*26 = 676 instructions. Letters plus numbers: 36*36=1296.

I just write the instructions into Bikely (or Bikehike) without the bits required to make it unqiue, download the route and run it through a script to rewrite the instruction unique bits automatically for me. It checks the number of points needed and uses the easiest system (i.e. numbers for routes with under 100 points, letters up to 676, letters+numbers above, etc). It'll even handle a few instructions that are 4 or 5 characters, it just makes sure all of the point names end up being unique.

I then have an underscore or hyphen to use up a 3rd character. That leaves 3 characters for the instruction, giving:-

SO, LT, RT, L, R, 3R, 4L, E1, E3, but also 3 characters for some instructions: LiR, SOX, STR, FIN, INF, etc.

Not a problem now as I use an Edge 705...
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 12:42:36 pm »
Re-reading the OP I understand the problem now - following simonp's advice!

My approach is to place User Waypoints* in the midpoint of key roads (n.b., NOT at junctions), with the Waypoints spaced such there is only one unambiguous route between them (i.e., the desired route).

This approach (a) reduces the total number of waypoints you have to plot (b) allows the GPS to guide you through the junctions (which is what it is good at), (c) stops the GPS getting confused at junctions by the presence of extraneous waypoints and (d) reduces the risk of a slightly misplaced Waypoint causing the GPS to send you the long way round or 10 miles down a road to the next roundabout so you can turn round.*

Having created the route use utility WINGDB3 (google for it) to create a track which you copy into .GDB. Set the route colour to WHITE which creates a 'halo' round the track making it easier to read on the display. Remember to filter down the track to the max number of points supported by your GPS (500 for the Vista).

This gives you the security of an easy to read static track with the benefit of auto-routing to guide you through the junctions. I generally code up a 200km route in < 50 waypoints. Start with the Main Controls using Red flags, Info Controls using Green flags then flesh out the rest of the route with Blue Flags.

Easy.

*User Waypoint is my term for the user editable waypoints I create manually using Mapsource. This allows me to label the waypoints using appropriate town/street names which will appear on real world road signs and be displayed on the GPS info fields, i.e., 24hr to Tulsa.

**Whilst you thought you'd placed the Waypoint on the apex of a junction in fact you have not and you've caused the GPS to miss the turn which is bad news if you've disabled UTurns on the GPS. Easily done.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 12:51:23 pm »
The normal approach is to give the waypoint a meaningful name, i.e., 001 L, 002 SOX, etc.

Re-reading the OP I understand the problem now - following simonp's advice!

What do you think my advice was, then?  ::-)

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 01:02:09 pm »
Trying to following SimonP's advice (waypoints on each turn...

I get the feeling that I'm in a minority on this one. Heigh ho. This approach seems like far too much work to me and no less prone to error. YPYPATYC.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 01:22:45 pm »
Trying to following SimonP's advice (waypoints on each turn...

I get the feeling that I'm in a minority on this one. Heigh ho. This approach seems like far too much work to me and no less prone to error. YPYPATYC.

It depends.  If you have a mapping gps routable maps, your approach works.  I don't claim credit for coming up with this approach - I learned it from jo.

I couldn't use one of your routes on my device with the maps I have.  Conversely, I can give one of my gpx files to pretty much any user and they ought to be able to use it (perhaps with minor tweaks for waypoint name length and number of waypoint limits).

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 01:24:10 pm »
Finally getting around to playing with my new Vista HCx. Trying to following SimonP's advice (waypoints on each turn, track between waypoints, route ...haven't got that far), I've been putting waypoints on each turn, then commenting instructions in. This show up in mapsource, but not on the unit. Cam I make the unit display the comments on the map instead of the waypoint name?

Thanks

The track is an extra hint that you're on-route.  It's overkill.

The waypoints are at junctions, and named as Manotea describes with simple mnemonics such as 001 R.  The numbering ensures each has a unique name.


Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2010, 01:30:47 pm »
For short one i used to do 01-L 02-R and for long ones as GB: AA-L AB-R AC-E1 etc

The dakota displays the comment field so now I can display more meaningful instructions such as R@T A470 sp Rayadher

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2010, 01:32:06 pm »
How can you name the waypoints in an informative way if they are in the middle of roads rather than at junctions?

(b) allows the GPS to guide you through the junctions (which is what it is good at),

Having created the route use utility WINGDB3 (google for it) to create a track which you copy into .GDB. Set the route colour to WHITE which creates a 'halo' round the track making it easier to read on the display. Remember to filter down the track to the max number of points supported by your GPS (500 for the Vista).

This gives you the security of an easy to read static track with the benefit of auto-routing to guide you through the junctions. I generally code up a 200km route in < 50 waypoints. Start with the Main Controls using Red flags, Info Controls using Green flags then flesh out the rest of the route with Blue Flags.

Easy.

*User Waypoint is my term for the user editable waypoints I create manually using Mapsource. This allows me to label the waypoints using appropriate town/street names which will appear on real world road signs and be displayed on the GPS info fields, i.e., 24hr to Tulsa.

**Whilst you thought you'd placed the Waypoint on the apex of a junction in fact you have not and you've caused the GPS to miss the turn which is bad news if you've disabled UTurns on the GPS. Easily done.

How do you get the GPS to guide you through junctions? Is this a route thing? I haven't looked at them yet.

Using WINGBD3, do I just create a route, save it as a .gdb file in Mapsource, then use that as the basis for converting to other things?

Any error in my tehnique is entirely the results of my own ineptitude.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2010, 02:18:28 pm »
Ah, my approach assumes you have mapping software supporting 'follow road' functionality such as Garmin City Navigator, in which case you can put the waypoints where you like and let the software do the routing between them. The trick is to place the waypoints such that the GPS will take you the way you want to go. That comes with experience...

The short answer is 'yes' but best to have a play with WINGDB. There are lots of options available and the latest version even has documentation!

As has been discussed (ad nauseum..) elsewhere, the software on the PC and on the GPS will occaisionally have different opinions on the route between waypoints which is a pain. My approach is designed to overcome that problem and generally make it easier to plot a route. Ultimately there are no hard and fast rules...

As Simon suggests, the Turn by Turn approach is favoured by Audaxers because it complements the routesheet and predates/is independent of mapping/routing functionality on the gps, and so can be considered a 'simplest common solution'. For those creating routes manually - i.e., most of us - its quite a lot of work to create and maintain a TbT route. Consider renumbering all the waypoints if you make a change to the route, for example.

As always, context is key. My final justification for getting a GPS was because I was fed up prepping detailed paper routes for DIY riding (audax and otherwise) for which my approach is much, much simpler. IMO. YPYPATYC.

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2010, 02:27:18 pm »
The problem is that City Navigator sucks.  It sees no-through-roads where there aren't any, it picks blind alleys and generally muffs it up.  I gave up on it after spending many evenings trying to make it follow the Exmouth Exodus route.

A more reliable way to follow a route is:

1. Plot it on GMap Pedometer or whatever
2. Convert to GPX
3. Downsize to 250 waypoints (an annoyingly low limit) using GPS Babel
4. Upload to the device as a route

The clever thing about the downsizing is that it puts the points in at "corners" and doesn't waste them on arrow-straight roads.  Then you just set your display to "track up" and follow the line.  On a really long ride, break it into sections for greater resolution; 250 points is OK for about 70 miles but gets a bit ragged beyond that.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2010, 02:34:05 pm »
I have a whole host of issues with RZ's approach, but thats fine.

He has paid his penny and found a solution that works for him. Mine works for me.

There is no right answer. YPYPATYC.

[FWIW I mostly use Metroguide V8 Europe with the magic patch to enable the follow road routing on the GPS. This predates the City Navigator series. It's not perfect but (whisper it quietly) neither am I. Nowadays the main reason I get lost go off route (for with a mapping GPS you are never 'lost') is because I'm day dreaming and failed to keep an eye on the GPS. So, no change there then!]


Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2010, 03:43:54 pm »
There is no right answer. YPYPATYC.

This is what I am struggling with. I am looking for the definitive method, and it appears there isn't one.

FWIW, I am currently using waypoint and trip manager 5. I've installed open cycle map on the device and got mapsource to use it by renaming it as the basemap. I've drawn used waypoints on each junction, named sequentially and including instructions, and manually set proximity alerts. I've then used the waypoints to create a series of routes.

For some reason, I also created a route of the whole journey and converted it to a track using WINGDB3, but I've since forgotten why I did that.

Can someone remind me why I should convert routes to tracks? Can I use waypoints to create tracks instead? How do I change the colour of routes vs tracks so I can see both? Do I need to see both?

As you can see, GPS neurosis has set in.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2010, 03:52:18 pm »
There is no right answer. YPYPATYC.

This is what I am struggling with. I am looking for the definitive method, and it appears there isn't one.

FWIW, I am currently using waypoint and trip manager 5. I've installed open cycle map on the device and got mapsource to use it by renaming it as the basemap. I've drawn used waypoints on each junction, named sequentially and including instructions, and manually set proximity alerts. I've then used the waypoints to create a series of routes.

For some reason, I also created a route of the whole journey and converted it to a track using WINGDB3, but I've since forgotten why I did that.

Can someone remind me why I should convert routes to tracks? Can I use waypoints to create tracks instead? How do I change the colour of routes vs tracks so I can see both? Do I need to see both?

As you can see, GPS neurosis has set in.

Tracks don't have any of the named wp features.  They're just a trail of points with no data other than position and elevation (if created with elevation data).

Some people prefer to follow a track; I don't, for the following reasons:

1. I want to know before I get to a turn what it'll be.

2. A turn right which appears straight on on a map will not be flagged when following a track, and you can easily miss a turn.  This happens more at night.

Track display colour can be controlled from track properties in mapsource.  I find bright green the best for showing up on the device.

I'm probably about the only person that creates a track to use alongside a route.  The way I create routes is using Tracklogs software (OS maps) and it doesn't cost me much to create the track, since I need a way of knowing the distance to each waypoint to compare with distance on the routesheet.

I find it a useful crutch when it's dark and I think I might've gone off route, such as on PBP when I suddenly started thinking I was in Yorkshire.

This really needs a FAQ, with each of the various options explained, with pros and cons.

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2010, 04:59:51 pm »
This really needs a FAQ, with each of the various options explained, with pros and cons.

There was talk of a Wiki. One page per significant GPS model linking to different methods of doing it.

I'll happily write one for the 'sparse routepoint' method (i.e. the Jwo method) for bog standard non-mapping eTrexes, plus I'll have a bash at one for routes/tracks on the Edge 705 (although others are far better at that than me).

But there is no Wiki, and I lack enough round-tuits to get one sorted out. One that has a 1:1 mapping between Wiki account and YACF account would be good, and allow us to control it without it being taken over by defacers or spam/porn ads.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2010, 05:40:20 pm »

I'm probably about the only person that creates a track to use alongside a route.  The way I create routes is using Tracklogs software (OS maps) and it doesn't cost me much to create the track, since I need a way of knowing the distance to each waypoint to compare with distance on the routesheet.

I use this method too - the track gives you a highlighted "this is the correct road" just like a highlighter pen on a paper map. This is easy to create using various tools eg google maps, my preference is bikehike.co.uk for the added info from the OS maps.
For me, turn-by turn directions eg 045-L  (45 km, left) used as "off-road" on the GPS, as described elsewhere, are an electronic routesheet which beeps at you as the turn approaches. Also in conjuction with the "distance to next" and "waypoint at next" display fields, give you forwarning of the proximity and what to do when you get there.

Some may say the creation of the tracks and routes is too much work, but for me, I used to do this on a paper map anyway (and still missed turns/got lost!), and its part of the fun/preperation for an Audax/other ride. I am a computery-geeky type though  ;D

This really needs a FAQ, with each of the various options explained, with pros and cons.

see Frankly-frankies article on AUK site   These were the ones that gave me most of my methodology.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2010, 06:12:05 pm »
I have a whole host of issues with RZ's approach, but thats fine.

He has paid his penny and found a solution that works for him. Mine works for me.

There is no right answer. YPYPATYC.

+1
Sadly everyone seems entrenched with their own method (me too) so asking "what is the best way" is a bit like unleashing the dogs of war.


How do I change the colour of routes vs tracks so I can see both? Do I need to see both?

You can change Track colours either in T&W Manager (I think) or certainly on the GPS via the Tracks menu.  As others have said, green is good (something nearly everyone does agree on!).  You can only change Route colour on the GPS, and then only if you have a 'modern'* 'HC' model, and then only really for autorouting routes, not turn by turn ones.  That's in the Setup/Routing menu (not the Routes menu).  White is interesting but on the whole I find the default magenta as good as anything. (Although you can change Route colour in modern versions of Mapsource, it doesn't seem to transfer to the GPS)
http://www.aukadia.net/gps/lwg_12.htm

* I say 'modern' because there is some grounds for cautious optimism that Garmin may yet have a new-generation Etrex up their sleeves.  The older 60 and 76 series have both recently been superseded by updated models in similar cases.


So, you'll need to allocate 3 chars for the unique Id (possible to do it with 2 even on big projects, but 3 can be done more mindlessly I find)
2 was enough for the whole of LEL. Using letters alone 26*26 = 676 instructions. Letters plus numbers: 36*36=1296.

'Mindlessly' was the operative word.  And that's not really the sort of 'big' project I had in mind - I routinely load up to 20 Routes each with 100 points on average, and although you could do that with 2 chars (given that very often a L is followed by a R so you can use each Id twice) its really much easier to give in and use 3.


For those creating routes manually - i.e., most of us - its quite a lot of work to create and maintain a TbT route. Consider renumbering all the waypoints if you make a change to the route, for example.

Route points don't have to be numbered in order - that's an urban myth.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2010, 06:16:38 pm »
The "jo method" has been well documented there by the inventor himself.

I have never managed to make manotea method work but on the other hand with the Jo way I very rarely miss a turn.

Like Simon i also upload the track to my GPS as a way to check i am on the route in case of doubt.

Funnily this is the method yachts use in foggy conditions except that a route rarely exceed 5 waypoints.

Manotea

  • Where there is doubt...
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2010, 06:39:49 pm »
Route points don't have to be numbered in order - that's an urban myth.

True, but they need to be unique and I live in an ordered universe!

Edit: Yes, I meant Way Points.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2010, 06:48:29 pm »
Route points don't have to be numbered in order - that's an urban myth.

True, but they need to be unique and I live in an ordered universe!

Waypoints need to be unique.  Not sure that's true for routepoints.  The method I use to construct routes relies on them being correctly sorted (by alphabetical sort) which requires sequential numbering (but 001 001A 002 works fine if I need to insert and extra point).

Euan Uzami

Re: Vista HCx - Can I display comments?
« Reply #24 on: August 10, 2010, 12:05:49 am »
FWIW i'm pretty sure that if routepoint names aren't unique when I send them to the device* it makes them unique. I've seen on occasion** it display something like "South to R@T 1"
there's no way I would have called something R@T 1, I would have just called it R@T, it must have added the 1 because it wasn't unique.

* etrex vista hcx

** one of the fairly limited occasions when i've been arsed to name the routepoints manually by hand or the app i've got to do it hasnt gone into a state of perpetually timing out  :-\ ::-)