Author Topic: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS  (Read 11776 times)

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2011, 09:46:44 pm »
The wiggly track is what you see; the route can be set to invisible so you don't get the "as the crow flies line", and the waypoint names give the instruction according to the naming convention at the routesheet points. It's more time consuming than just drawing a track, the benefits of the routesheet instructions coming with the track make it well worth the extra time for me.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2011, 09:49:56 pm »

That on my Edge 705 takes 10 minutes to plot for a 200km Audax, but is relying on the GPS to give me the prompts based on its routing and its knowledge of the roads (sometimes it doesn't tell me about every junction which is why I need to have it on the map page to see the where the route and track go). The difference is that I'm not telling the GPS where to tell me what I want it to tell me, which is what you get with the other 'one routepoint per routesheet instruction' method.
Ah, I see what you mean now. But if you don't put in the "one point per instruction" waypoints, is there a risk that the GPS unit will work out its own route and expose you to the "I can't use Highways so I've got to go miles out of the way to find a straight crossroads" scenario?

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #27 on: April 07, 2011, 09:58:59 pm »
The wiggly track is what you see; the route can be set to invisible so you don't get the "as the crow flies line", and the waypoint names give the instruction according to the naming convention at the routesheet points. It's more time consuming than just drawing a track, the benefits of the routesheet instructions coming with the track make it well worth the extra time for me.
Yes I can imagine how that works on screen. It comes back to what I said earlier, that different methods suit different people. For me, the simplicity of the Track, uninterrupted by things popping up, seems to work OK, apart from as I said above, I could wish that the Track line was a bit more visible.

On the other hand, I might have become a bit set in my ways, having done it this way almost from the off and perhaps it would be good to experiment
a bit again!

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2011, 10:03:12 pm »

That on my Edge 705 takes 10 minutes to plot for a 200km Audax, but is relying on the GPS to give me the prompts based on its routing and its knowledge of the roads (sometimes it doesn't tell me about every junction which is why I need to have it on the map page to see the where the route and track go). The difference is that I'm not telling the GPS where to tell me what I want it to tell me, which is what you get with the other 'one routepoint per routesheet instruction' method.
Ah, I see what you mean now. But if you don't put in the "one point per instruction" waypoints, is there a risk that the GPS unit will work out its own route and expose you to the "I can't use Highways so I've got to go miles out of the way to find a straight crossroads" scenario?

No because the route you upload is made up of the same 3000+ points that the track is (this is what the GPXX format gets you with its extensions to normal GPX). Each point is 50m-100m from the previous one so there's no choices for the routing algorithm to take.

It won't like any off-road sections that you do, but that's why you look at the map page so that you can see where the track goes. But in normal operation you look at the map page and the GPS prompts you at most junctions with what to do, the 'Dist Next' field also displays the distance to the next expected turn according to the routing algorithm (not the distance to the next point in the route/track).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2011, 08:18:35 am »
But if you don't put in the "one point per instruction" waypoints, is there a risk that the GPS unit will work out its own route and expose you to the "I can't use Highways so I've got to go miles out of the way to find a straight crossroads" scenario?

No because the route you upload is made up of the same 3000+ points that the track is (this is what the GPXX format gets you with its extensions to normal GPX). Each point is 50m-100m from the previous one so there's no choices for the routing algorithm to take.

It won't like any off-road sections that you do, but that's why you look at the map page so that you can see where the track goes. But in normal operation you look at the map page and the GPS prompts you at most junctions with what to do, the 'Dist Next' field also displays the distance to the next expected turn according to the routing algorithm (not the distance to the next point in the route/track).
OK, I geddit now. The bit I'd overlooked is that we're talking an Edge and you're using the .gpxx format. I'd never bothered with .gpxx before because I got around any issues with limits on the number of points per Route/Track by splitting my journeys into sections. I guess I ought to put in some more homework! This won't help Polar Bear though, because the Map60 CSx doesn't support .gpxx.

One more question though - on my Edge I find it irritating that the road and street names can sometimes obscure the Track line - the street name layer seems to be on top of the road and Track lines. I find this can make it difficult to see clearly what's coming up ahead when navigating through villages and towns, especially as the Edge (605/705) screen is a bit small. I haven't found a way of turning these off without also losing all the small roads as well - am I missing something?

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2011, 08:20:22 am »
What's the best way to do this please?   We would like to be able to plot a route on the computer, download it onto the GPS then select it for navigation purposes.

Please keep instructions simple  :D  :thumbsup:  
bear in mind all of the other options talked about above. IMO the most simple is to use a track not a route. Frankly Frankie described it as following a like drawn on  map. I used Google Maps to draw the line on Google Maps, pull it around until it goes where I want, then use GMap2GPS, well my own customised version to produce a track. The I save the track, open in it MapSource and load it to my GPS.

Using tracks doesn't make full use of the GPSs capabilities, IMO, routes do and IMO best for when you need to get to a destinaton. Just let the device work it out, tell it to navigate to place X then use it. For twisty turn by turn routes where you want to use  specific roads I don't think it's th ebest solution

My custom version of GMap2GPS actually removes the need to reduce the number of track points to < 500. I am working on something to remove the need to 'save the file and open it with MapSource' too

PM me if you want my version of GMap2GPS, it's a firefox bookmarklet, it's available on line but I haven't gotten round to writing instructions since it was developed for my own use.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2011, 04:30:56 pm »
Just as a test I've created a 1 mile gpx test file using bikehike.  I've loaded this down to my computer and then onto the memory card of my gps.  Unfortunately the gps doesn't seem to be able to find this.   Any ideas why please?
The 60CSx can't read GPX files on the memory card. You need to load the route to its internal memory. You can use software like GPSBabel or MapSource to load the route. Or you can install the Garmin Communicator Plugin, then use the option in Bikehike to download directly to the GPS unit.

Right, next noobs problem.   I feel a fucking imbecile really but this isn't getting any better.    :(

I've got a .gpx file created in bikehike.   GPSBabel doesn't seem to recognise this as an input file type.  WTF ???   

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2011, 04:54:52 pm »
HOLD THE BACK PAGE!!!!!!!!!

I've now loaded my test track created in bikehike and loaded via gpababel to teh Garmin.   Progress indeed.

Time to play I guess...    ;D   :thumbsup: 

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2011, 02:59:18 pm »
Testing, testing...

I have now loaded a 20 mile loop into the gps using the same method and intend to try it out later.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2011, 09:11:16 pm »
First test report:

The 20 mile loop was created in bikehike and loaded into the Garmin using GPSBabel as a route with max 500 waypoints.   

The Garmin knew it had lots of waypoints and bleeped on a regular basis, i.e. for every bend and curve! 

I was following the map but every time it bleeped for a waypoint it would zoom out.   I think that I may have found a setting in the GPS to resolve this.   

All was going well until waypoint 249 at approximately 15 miles.   It seemed to think that was the last waypoint.   I have just uploaded the route from the pc back into bikehike.  It seems to end early!   ???

Anyhow, I've now done the route again and will load it into the GPS with 100 waypoints.   I'm reckoning that 5 waypoints per mile should keep most bleeps at or near junctions  :)

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
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Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2011, 11:20:29 pm »
PB there's a confusion here between Routes and Tracks.  
In truth there's  not a lot of difference but it helps to know that on your GPS a single Route can have:
250 points absolute max (or 50 max if you expect it to autoroute/follow road)
while a Track can have:
500 points max (which won't get you very far, about 30km at default settings).

Use whichever you like but know that these are the limits.  In Garmin terminology "a route with 500 waypoints" is never gonna work.  
In practice, in the UK, Trackpoints are, on average, less than 300m apart.
Routepoints are, on average, 500m - 2km apart.
Routepoints for autorouting are, on average 5km+ apart.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2011, 11:39:52 pm »
PB, I haven't read through the whole of the thread so I apologise if someone has already offered what I am about to type ...

About 3 years ago I entered the world of GPS with some trepidation, the choice of unit was scary, the choice of mapping software was utterly bewildering.  I read an article in Arrivee by Frankly Frankie and the mists cleared.  I bought a Garmin eTrex HCX (now superseded I think) plus Garmin's Mapsource City Navigator and haven't looked back.  I am sure my choice wasn't the cheapest and am sure someone can prove it isn't the best but it works for me.  

Before GPS I would spend a great deal of time at the side of the road staring at my upside down OS map much like a monkey would stare at a abacus.  Now, my GPS gives me turn by turn instructions - a revelation.  Sure, it took me a short while to work out how to get the best from the unit and mapping software, sprinkling waypoints around like fairy dust is a good idea as is placing them strategically, like on the exit point from a town.  And occasionally I still have the odd navigational moment but nonetheless GPS has changed my cycling life.

I hope this helps.

PS - I'm no computer / geeky expert and can't be arsed with getting my head round too much complexity so you can bet what I do is both simple and effective.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2011, 10:21:08 am »
PB there's a confusion here between Routes and Tracks.  
In truth there's  not a lot of difference but it helps to know that on your GPS a single Route can have:
250 points absolute max (or 50 max if you expect it to autoroute/follow road)
while a Track can have:
500 points max (which won't get you very far, about 30km at default settings 
In practice, in the UK, Trackpoints are, on average, less than 300m apart.
Routepoints are, on average, 500m - 2km apart.
Routepoints for autorouting are, on average 5km+ apart.
frankly frankie, I don't understand your quoted limit of 500 trackpoints on any single track.I recently rode the Man of Kent 200km using the organisers supplied gpx track that had 5019 trackpoints(that's what Mapsource or BaseCamp say it had).My Garmin 705 missed pop up directions at 2 junctions but otherwise gave complete turn by turn directions for the whole Audax.Also if you want to produce a route if you use BikeHike and ask for the output as a gpxx route file I thought any 50 or 100 viapoint,waypoint,coursepoint limit didn't apply.Everytime I think I understand gpx tracks and routes another obstacle appears!

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2011, 10:41:24 am »
PB there's a confusion here between Routes and Tracks.  
In truth there's  not a lot of difference but it helps to know that on your GPS a single Route can have:
250 points absolute max (or 50 max if you expect it to autoroute/follow road)
while a Track can have:
500 points max (which won't get you very far, about 30km at default settings 
In practice, in the UK, Trackpoints are, on average, less than 300m apart.
Routepoints are, on average, 500m - 2km apart.
Routepoints for autorouting are, on average 5km+ apart.
frankly frankie, I don't understand your quoted limit of 500 trackpoints on any single track.I recently rode the Man of Kent 200km using the organisers supplied gpx track that had 5019 trackpoints(that's what Mapsource or BaseCamp say it had).My Garmin 705 missed pop up directions at 2 junctions but otherwise gave complete turn by turn directions for the whole Audax.Also if you want to produce a route if you use BikeHike and ask for the output as a gpxx route file I thought any 50 or 100 viapoint,waypoint,coursepoint limit didn't apply.Everytime I think I understand gpx tracks and routes another obstacle appears!
No doubt FF will be along in a minute but in the meantime I think the answer may be that the .gpxx format does not suffer from the limit on trackpoints. If you use most other Garmin (non Edge) models and try to download into them a Track with more than 500 points, you'll get a "truncated track" message and the line will reach only until the 500th point!

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2011, 10:47:40 am »
frankly frankie, I don't understand your quoted limit of 500 trackpoints on any single track.I recently rode the Man of Kent 200km using the organisers supplied gpx track that had 5019 trackpoints(that's what Mapsource or BaseCamp say it had).My Garmin 705

Because the Garmin 705 doesn't have the 500 trackpoint limitation when using gpxx files.

'Older' GPSes (including the eTrex series) do have this limitation and they're more popular amongst Audaxers (although I am starting to see more and more Edge 605/705/800s on each ride).

[EDIT] Cross with PP...
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2011, 11:01:37 am »
I was answering the OP who has a GPSMap60 - older-generation type of GPS (though none the worse for that).  

The limits I described apply to those models and to Etrex C types, which all also maintain a clear distinction between Routes and Tracks, and don't understand Course or gpxx as anything special.

My impression is that newer models do seem to blur the boundaries between Track/Course/Route, partly by using a (very sensible) central 'Where To' menu for everything, partly by beefing-up Track navigation to make it a more Route-like experience.
I daresay these are genuine improvements and, when the downsides of the newer models have been eliminated, we'll all want one.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2011, 11:21:20 am »
So, should I be saving my bikehike creations as routes or tracks then?  Is there any benefit to either?

For the life of me I don't understand why it has to be so over-complicated.   

Oscar's dad

  • Cheers!
Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2011, 03:38:10 pm »
So, should I be saving my bikehike creations as routes or tracks then?  Is there any benefit to either?

For the life of me I don't understand why it has to be so over-complicated.  

It doesn't, I don't have to endure such complexities.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2011, 03:47:02 pm »
Both are just lists of points to be visited in the order they're listed - so I agree it's a bit confusing to have the two choices.

Each have pros and cons, but a Track is simplest in concept because it is essentially exactly like having a highlighted paper map on your handlebars.  It's better than the paper map because it scrolls as you travel, and is zoomable to taste, and is wind/waterproof - OTOH it's not so good because it's dim, and very small.
If you choose this option, the trick is to colour the Track(s), in the GPS menus, to make it much more visible on screen, more like a highlighter pen, and to observe the 500-point limit by splitting and/or downsampling.

A Route on the other hand is more analagous to a turn-by-turn route sheet.  If (like me*) you are used to riding with a route sheet and never refer to a map, then I would suggest that learning about Routes will be more rewarding in the long run.

* for example - if someone were to ask me the way to my house, my instinct would be to write "leave the A6 here, then right here and left here" - rather than to draw a sketch map.  That seems to make me a Route person not a Track person.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2011, 04:34:22 pm »
frankly frankie, I don't understand your quoted limit of 500 trackpoints on any single track.I recently rode the Man of Kent 200km using the organisers supplied gpx track that had 5019 trackpoints(that's what Mapsource or BaseCamp say it had).My Garmin 705

Because the Garmin 705 doesn't have the 500 trackpoint limitation when using gpxx file
Greenbank and frankly frankie,as I explained in a previous post I rode the man of Kent 200 with full pop up directionson my Garmin 705, from a gpx track with 5019 trackpoints.This was a gpx track,NOT a gpxx route or gpxx track!There must be quite a high limit on trackpoints when producing a gpx track on a 705.
Greenbank,if BikeHike etc can produce a track with thousands of trackpoints that also produces pop up directions in a Garmin705,what is the point of producing a gpxx route too?
Greenbank,one last point,a gpxx route seems to work in a 705 and BikeHike if you upload it to BikeHike but produces a straight line between start and finish in Mapsource.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2011, 04:44:50 pm »
Greenbank and frankly frankie,as I explained in a previous post I rode the man of Kent 200 with full pop up directionson my Garmin 705, from a gpx track with 5019 trackpoints.This was a gpx track,NOT a gpxx route or gpxx track!There must be quite a high limit on trackpoints when producing a gpx track on a 705.

OK, but it's still useless for the OP since he doesn't have an Edge 705. He's stuck with the 500 trackpoint limit on a track because that's what his GPS is limited to.

I don't think there's any limit to the number of trackpoints in a GPX track on the Edge 705.

Greenbank,if BikeHike etc can produce a track with thousands of trackpoints that also produces pop up directions in a Garmin705,what is the point of producing a gpxx route too?

Dunno, I've always downloaded as both a GPXX route and a GPX track. I do know that they give different options when selecting them under the 'Where to?' menu.

A GPX track gets:-

Navigate, Map Setup, Copy to Card, Delete

A GPXX route gets:-

Navigate, Copy to Card

I had assumed that you needed to put in a GPXX route to perform turn by turn instructions (with road names) rather than the annoying constant "North in 60m" that I got when I tried it Navigating against a GPX track.

When you say 'pop up directions' what kind of directions do you get and how often? Are they just general direction arrows or does it include road names/numbers (i.e. "3rd exit roundabout onto B466").

Greenbank,one last point,a gpxx route seems to work in a 705 and BikeHike if you upload it to BikeHike but produces a straight line between start and finish in Mapsource.

Probably because Mapsource doesn't understand the GPXX extensions. Only the start (and maybe the finish and some intermediate points) go in a GPXX file as trackpoints, the rest of the points are extensions to those trackpoints. If it doesn't understand the extensions it just sees the very few trackpoints (possibly just the one at the start and end).
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2011, 05:08:10 pm »
I've got no experience of Edge models (other than trying to help somebody with one, by the roadside, and making a complete fool of myself  ::-)
- and no direct knowledge (yet) about Course syntax and gpxx extensions -
but just as a point of interest, Mapsource is fully capable of writing a Route gpx file with gpxx extensions, to all intents and purposes exactly the same as the ones Bikehike produces.  And it has no difficulty transferring this information to an Etrex GPS.  However as far as I can tell, the Etrex does little or nothing with this information, in fact it probably strips it out at the import stage.  Certainly if you reverse the transfer, and re-download the Route from the Etrex back into Mapsource and inspect the result, the gpxx points have gone.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2011, 05:55:03 pm »


I had assumed that you needed to put in a GPXX route to perform turn by turn instructions (with road names) rather than the annoying constant "North in 60m" that I got when I tried it Navigating against a GPX track.

When you say 'pop up directions' what kind of directions do you get and how often? Are they just general direction arrows or does it include road names/numbers (i.e. "3rd exit roundabout onto B466
Greenbank,you get full pop up directions displayed on a Garmin 705 from a gpx track produced in BikeHike or Bikely such as "Right on Station Road",Left on Lodge Lane","Right on A272","Left on Batts Bridge Roundabout"(all from Invicta 300km gpx track)plus the schematic diagram of the junction previewed 100m before the approaching junction or turn and then repeated at junction or turn with bleeing to wake you up in both cases.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2011, 06:41:52 pm »
Greenbank,you get full pop up directions displayed on a Garmin 705 from a gpx track
After selecting the" Navigate" option on the Garmin 705.

Re: Plotting routes for Garmin GPS
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2011, 09:37:42 am »
After selecting the" Navigate" option on the Garmin 705.
Another wierd feature of the Garmin 705 gpx track is that it has a chain like appearance similar to the presentation of tracks in Mapsource if you just display the track on 705 without pressing "Navigate"As soon as you do press "Navigate"the track becomes  pink line overlaying the roads that have been chosen by the 705.Once more Garmin products seem to behave in different ways in software and hardware,given the same information!