Author Topic: Convert route to track  (Read 9662 times)

Convert route to track
« on: June 14, 2008, 02:17:19 pm »
OK, so let's say I have a route on GMap which I can save as a .gpx using GMaptogpx.
How do I convert this series of waypoints to a follow-able track? I have GPSbabel - when I select what is to be converted do I only select track out of the options waypoints / routes / tracks?

In GPSbabel do I make the output a .gdb or .mps?



To be specific, the route in question is Annie's Suffolk ride route:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1870436

Am I right that this would be more useful as a track on my HCx? I presume if I have that route on my HCx, when I open the route it will simply want to take me straight to the finish point?
 
 

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2008, 05:08:31 pm »
Actually the easiest way to do this is to open the .gpx file in MemoryMap which has simple tools to convert tracks <> routes.

So I have both a route and track in the device - however if I open the route on the device it tells me it has too many points for routing. Hmm. I don't want it to attempt to recalculate the route, simply to follow it. I am trying to use Chris' technique of having both the track and the route together.

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2008, 05:27:10 pm »
Actually the easiest way to do this is to open the .gpx file in MemoryMap which has simple tools to convert tracks <> routes.

So I have both a route and track in the device - however if I open the route on the device it tells me it has too many points for routing. Hmm. I don't want it to attempt to recalculate the route, simply to follow it. I am trying to use Chris' technique of having both the track and the route together.
This may not be of assistance:
Being curious I put my gpx copy of annies route on to my Edge 605 and selected it for navigation. There are 72 turns on the route and the 605 calculated a road route between the turns. So it isn't changing the gpx file just joining up the 72 turns in the shortest route.

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2008, 05:35:50 pm »
Interesting. The HCx says there can be a max of 50 points for follow road routing.

However, the waypoints, route and track are all visible on the map. I guess it means it will not direct me from one WP to the next.

Not that it will be a problem tomorrow but just good to figure out how it works.

Maladict

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2008, 10:13:02 pm »
It won't do more than 50 waypoints to a route.

If you want to do longer, you need to just have routepoints.

There is a way, see here:

Creating Garmin 'routes' for French rides

If you convert the waypoints to routepts then you get a limit of 122 per route.

What it really needs is a python script or something, doing it manually is possible but easy to cock up esp if you are not familiar with xml or html.


Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2008, 10:30:05 pm »
Thanks for all that Maladict - yes I've been reading that "French rides" thread and working out how I can use it for my purposes.

Just had a look:

The problem is that my .gpx file from Bikely already has routepoints rather than waypoints  ??? but when open it on the device it obviously considers them to be waypoints. Any ideas?

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2008, 10:57:52 pm »
Thanks for all that Maladict - yes I've been reading that "French rides" thread and working out how I can use it for my purposes.

Just had a look:

The problem is that my .gpx file from Bikely already has routepoints rather than waypoints  ??? but when open it on the device it obviously considers them to be waypoints. Any ideas?

I have a road atlas for our trip tomorrow.
'Tis made of paper  ;D  :P

Maladict

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2008, 10:58:52 pm »
Thanks for all that Maladict - yes I've been reading that "French rides" thread and working out how I can use it for my purposes.

Just had a look:

The problem is that my .gpx file from Bikely already has routepoints rather than waypoints  ??? but when open it on the device it obviously considers them to be waypoints. Any ideas?

YHPM

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 03:56:28 pm »
Just to update this with info kindly provided by Maladict.

To enable follow-roads routing on the device - i.e. to follow a route uploaded from Bikely - the upper limit is 50 routepoints. Thus routes containing more than 50 routepoints need to be split into component parts each with less than 50 points.

This is done by editing the file thus:

1. At the splitting point, make an end to the first part of the route by inserting </rte>.
2. To start the second part of the route, insert the following:
   <rte>
      <name>*****</name>, in which the name length must be limited to (I think) 12 characters including spaces.
3. Duplicate the last point of the first part of the route so that it also acts as the first point of the second part. This avoids any gap between the two parts.

This all worked fine for me on the day.

One problem I did have, however, was that my .gpx file on the card was incoomplete. It only seemed to include the last part of the ride (when I was back in London). So although I have a track of the whole days proceedings, which I can save as a track, it does not seem to be present in the day's .gpx file on the card  ???
I wonder was it overwritten in some way?

Oh well, it was only my second "proper" ride with the Etrex, and I'm getting there.

Many thanks to Maladict for the help.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2008, 11:00:54 pm »
Going back to the start -

OK, so let's say I have a route on GMap which I can save as a .gpx using GMaptogpx.
How do I convert this series of waypoints to a follow-able track? I have GPSbabel - when I select what is to be converted do I only select track out of the options waypoints / routes / tracks?

GMaptoGPX can give you, directly, a viable Route or a viable Track.  For a good Track choose the option 'All' in GMaptoGPX.
GPSBabel is not easy to use, the Win interface which comes with it helps a lot, its called GPSBabelGUI - but it is worth persevering with the program, as it is a one-stop shop for everything you might need to do.

As for the waypoints limts, I just hate to see this myth rearing its ugly head yet again.
In my (Cx) hardcopy manual, page 31, it quite simply states:
The eTrex lets you store 50 routes with up to 250 points each.
Further on the same page it states:
... routes with more than 50 waypoints cannot be navigated using the Follow Roads option.

I can only assume some units are setup to 'Follow Roads' by default which is why people get problems.  Instead, set it up to 'Prompted' by default - in the Routing Setup page - then you always have the choice, if you get the 50 points error message, of choosing 'Off Road' and gaining the use of all 250 points.  And 250 points is a lot - even in the laniest country, that should get you 100 miles or more, in remoter country like mid-Wales, it would get you 300+ miles (if Wales were bigger!)
I always limit programmed Routes to 125 points to give backwards-compatibility with older Garmin models, but if this isn't a concern (eg, you don't share Routes) then the limit is 250.

There is also an overall 'Waypoint limit' of 500 (in the C or Cx models) or 1000 (in the HCx) - it would be better to think of these as 'User Waypoints' - this may come into play if you are relying on software other than Garmin's own Mapsource, but using Mapsource to create Routes it doesn't generally generate many of these.  If you're using 3rd-party software such as Memory Map, you may have to learn how to hack the .gpx file in a text editor to remove the User Waypoints while leaving the Routepoints.
I have loaded a Cx with 18 Routes with over 100 points each on average, and not even got halfway-close to the 'waypoint limit'.

Its also true that Tracks - that is, the Tracks you can see listed in the Tracks page - are limited to 500 points each - which at default settings only represents about 20 miles.  The 'Active Track' can go to 10,000 points (but only if you have set it up to do this) and so can the daily .gpx files that are saved to microSD card, but again, only if you have set that up.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2008, 11:15:21 pm »
Great FF, thanks for taking the time to write that. I'll absorb all that in due course. I have the GUI for GPSBabel. As you suggest, if that software can indeed do all that I need, I should stick to that and get to know it rather than shuttling between different utilities.

I have a few queries:

- Waypoints and routepoints: are they the same?
- If you choose off-road after getting a "50 points error", is it still easy to navigate the route? What kind of instructions do you get?
- I have the Active Track set to 10,000 points but how do I do this for the daily .gpx file?
- Any idea why my daily .gpx file mentioned above showed only the end of the route? Is storage of the .gpx file affected by switching the unit on or off, or riding for different parts of the day in different parts of the country?


Maladict

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2008, 11:49:19 pm »
I think what Francis refers to as waypoints are routepoints in gpx parlance.  "User waypoints" are waypoints in gpx parlance.

In Mapsource they are both referred to as waypoints.  You can't edit the name of a routepoint in Mapsource, which makes them useless for turn-based routing unless you are willing to start having to edit them manually in the gpx file.  No thank you.

Once you have generated a route using proper waypoints it's easy enough to convert the file to use routepoints.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2008, 10:20:20 am »
Yes - but really its Garmin who are as responsible as anyone for the slack definition of terms - they don't reallly make clear that their 500 waypoints total limit and their 250 waypoints per route limit are referring to two different types of waypoint (which admittedly often overlap).  And then the 50-point limit for 'Follow road' mode is in some ways different again, and I for one don't fully understand all the ins and outs of what works best in 'Follow Road' - especially if you do a 'Recalculate' in mid-route. 

So, I take Waypoint to be a generic term for a pair of co-ordinates accompanied by some sort of Id (eg a name).  All other *points are specialised versions of this (extra information fields) with the exception of Trackpoints which don't even need an Id.   But they don't exist in a vacuum - eg, a Routepoint is only viable if its contained within a Route.  Converting various files to GPX format and inspecting them in a text editor makes all this a bit clearer, for those who are curious.  Compare a few samples here: http://www.aukweb.net/services/lwg_6.htm
If you use the 'Route' tool in Garmin's software, it generates mostly Routepoints and these are also 'Map Points' - a vector map being composed entirely of 'points' means the map in your GPS already has a huge number of waypoints (Map points) pre-loaded - when writing a route Garmin see no need to re-invent these points, the route just uses pre-existing ones wherever possible.   If you plan your route using other (non-Garmin) software, of course these pre-existing Map points can't be utilised, and you end up with far more 'User Waypoints' in the file.

Off-road - the instructions are pretty good (I think) but certainly not as pretty as the Follow Road display.  Compare the final 2 images on this page: http://www.aukweb.net/services/lwg_4.htm   Personally I prefer the extra control that Off-road gives, and I entirely agree with Maladict that naming the turns is very useful in this mode - see the left-hand image in the link above, where there are waypoints marked SO, R and L.  Even if the 'shape' of the junction is ambiguous when you get there, good turn naming can clarify what to do.  But it makes planning more anal than most people can cope with!
But really Follow Road and Off Road are rather incompatible in that, its very difficult to plan a route in such a way that it will work well in either mode - you must make your choice at the planning stage.

Daily .gpx - find your way to the screen picured 3rd down here: http://www.aukweb.net/services/lwg_8.htm and tick the box.  On the previous screen (Track Setup) set the Active Track to 'Wrap when full'.  In combination, these 2 setting should ensure you never lose a single trackpoint.  The GPX files are split into segments each time you turn the GPS off/on, so I imagine they should be able to handle things like change of time zone etc.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2008, 02:14:08 pm »
Thanks both.

Re the off road directions, yes I can see these are fine for a route you have made yourself so that the turns can be named appropriately. Not so good if you are making use of a route not labelled this way.

Regarding the daily .gpx, at what stage does the Active Track get saved to the card? If the Active Track is set to wrap when full, that must mean the start of the ride is lost when the AT gets too big, so if the transfer to card takes place after the "wrap" then the .gpx will not contain all the day's data. (Still trying to see how I lost the first part of Sunday's ride on the .gpx - I already had the settings as you suggest).

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2008, 02:19:20 pm »
- Waypoints and routepoints: are they the same?

Having spent a bit of time this morning clarifying my own thoughts on this, I would offer the following:

* Routes are composed entirely of Routepoints.  (In a Etrex Cx-type, up to 50x250)

* The data held in your GPS may or may not also include co-incident Waypoints ('User' Waypoints, as I call them) and may or may not also include other non-co-incident Waypoints.  (500 in a Cx, 1000 in a HCx.)  All this depends on the software you use, and the options you choose both within the software and at the point of upload.

You could for example choose to upload Routes but untick the option box to upload Waypoints.  The result is a GPS containing 0 Waypoints, a Route or Routes that is/are completely viable in Off Road mode, and completely UNviable in Follow Road mode.   Follow Road seems to be highly dependent on (User) Waypoints, even though the 50-point limit in this mode is for Routepoints.

* To correct a point I made in my previous message, Map Points are used by Garmin's 'Route' tool by copying them as Routepoints.  In other words, if a User Waypoint already exists, the Route Tool will copy that into the Route as a Routepoint - failing that, it will copy a Map Point - failing either of those it will generate a new User Waypoint and copy it, as a last resort.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2008, 02:30:57 pm »
Re the off road directions, yes I can see these are fine for a route you have made yourself so that the turns can be named appropriately. Not so good if you are making use of a route not labelled this way.

They're better than that - my examples weren't very well chosen.  You will get road names etc at the turns, even with off-road mode.  What you don't get is the pretty (and functional) shaped arrows.  Nor have I found any way to get 'Left' and 'Right' - its 'West' and 'East' which is difficult if you have the map running in Track Up mode.

Quote
Regarding the daily .gpx, at what stage does the Active Track get saved to the card? If the Active Track is set to wrap when full, that must mean the start of the ride is lost when the AT gets too big, so if the transfer to card takes place after the "wrap" then the .gpx will not contain all the day's data.

Its most unlikely that you would exceed 10,000 points in 24 hours of riding, at default settings (by which I mean Track Write intervals set to 'auto' - a good setting unless you are actually surveying).

As far as I can tell, the writing to card is either continuous or at power off, not sure which.  If you then power on again the same day, what usually happens is the same file is updated (with a 'break' in the track) - though I have also seen it write a 2nd gpx file with a (2) appended to the filename.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2008, 04:21:18 pm »
Thanks frankly frankie, very helpful.

What does "Off road transition" do?

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2008, 05:14:43 pm »
Quote
Regarding the daily .gpx, at what stage does the Active Track get saved to the card? If the Active Track is set to wrap when full, that must mean the start of the ride is lost when the AT gets too big, so if the transfer to card takes place after the "wrap" then the .gpx will not contain all the day's data.

Its most unlikely that you would exceed 10,000 points in 24 hours of riding, at default settings (by which I mean Track Write intervals set to 'auto' - a good setting unless you are actually surveying).

As far as I can tell, the writing to card is either continuous or at power off, not sure which.  If you then power on again the same day, what usually happens is the same file is updated (with a 'break' in the track) - though I have also seen it write a 2nd gpx file with a (2) appended to the filename.

As far as I've been able to tell from my 60CSx, logging data to SD card doesn't mean that the Active Log is copied to the card, but that data is written to both places simultaneously.

I do a fair bit of my riding logging at 1 point per second (for OpenStreetmap), and the Active Log wraps after about 3 hours. You can see the displayed track apparently starting in the middle of nowhere as old trackpoints drop off the active log. Downloading the data from the card shows complete data. It's split into separate routes in the same .gpx file for each time the GPS is powered off.
Similarly, if I'm riding at midnight, the 23:59:59 trackpoint is in the 20071231.gpx file, and the 00:00:01 trackpoint is in the 20080101.gpx file (I'd have to look to see which file the intervening second went in).

edit:
The midnight point goes in the later file. Also the split between dates is based on local time, but the times in the file are GMT (Universal Time), so it's 22:59:59 in the 20080513.gpx file and 23:00:00 in the 20080514.gpx file.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2008, 06:24:25 pm »
What does "Off road transition" do?

Dunno, I've got it on 'auto' ;- )

I think if you put it on manual you can tweak the distance you are from a waypoint before the various 'next' fields and heading etc focus on the next waypoint - something like that.

Garmin's 'auto' settings do seem pretty usable for most facilities - at least as a starting point.

Another 'road' setting to watch out for is 'Lock on road' - which I feel is better left 'off'.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Maladict

Re: Convert route to track
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2008, 07:02:05 pm »

Another 'road' setting to watch out for is 'Lock on road' - which I feel is better left 'off'.

Particularly when following off-road cycle paths.  :)