Author Topic: Will a GPS unit...........  (Read 2549 times)

Will a GPS unit...........
« on: October 07, 2011, 11:23:56 am »
detract from my love of routes and maps or enhance it?  I cannot decide if I need/want one or not?

Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 11:27:16 am »
Yes and particularly if you contribute data to the Openstreetmap project. 

Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 11:28:01 am »
I can't route-plan on a GPS.

I use my GPS for:

Navigating, when I'm on a pre-planned route (*very* useful on group rides when you stop to help someone/have a PNB)

Seeing speed/time/distance at night (2nd hand GPS being cheaper than cycle computer with backlight that works)

Finding out where I am when befuddled.

Give me a big map for route planning, please.
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 11:32:05 am »
Plot your routes on bikehike or other googlemaps based stuff (bikehike is ace because it has an OS map pane). Load up onto gps and go...

What you may well find is that you use roads you never knew existed because the gps takes away the difficulty in navigating routes with lots of turns and junctions (which of course are not always clear on maps)

Manotea

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 11:32:33 am »
You don't plan routes on a GPS; you plan routes on a PC using local software and/or a plethora of route planning websites.

Endlessly.

So if endless mucking about with maps is your thing, get a GPS.

Life was so much simpler - and more exciting* - when I used a routesheets.

*Not necessarily in a good way.

Biggsy

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 11:37:59 am »
detract from my love of routes and maps or enhance it?  I cannot decide if I need/want one or not?

A GPS removes the need to take a map on rides, but you'll still enjoy using maps at home, whether on paper or computer.

It's great for anyone like me with poor short-term memory for directions, to save an awful lot of stops to look at a map, or to save writing notes.
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 11:40:46 am »
Plot your routes on bikehike or other googlemaps based stuff (bikehike is ace because it has an OS map pane). Load up onto gps and go...

What you may well find is that you use roads you never knew existed because the gps takes away the difficulty in navigating routes with lots of turns and junctions (which of course are not always clear on maps)

This is one of the things that puts me off a gps, I'm quite good at remembering routes, and quite enjoy that fact.  And my routes are always on tiny back roads.

Biggsy

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2011, 11:48:44 am »
You don't have to use the GPS for the whole ride.  On my little Brompton trips, I go for a random ride, and only use the GPS to find the nearest railway station when I've had enough.  It's brilliant for that.
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2011, 11:52:52 am »
Plot your routes on bikehike or other googlemaps based stuff (bikehike is ace because it has an OS map pane). Load up onto gps and go...

What you may well find is that you use roads you never knew existed because the gps takes away the difficulty in navigating routes with lots of turns and junctions (which of course are not always clear on maps)

This is one of the things that puts me off a gps, I'm quite good at remembering routes, and quite enjoy that fact.  And my routes are always on tiny back roads.


Don't get one then  ;D

I find it invaluable for long (ie 100 miles+) rides on unknown roads if I don't want to get a map out all the time.

Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2011, 12:01:01 pm »
Okay, so can I load Openstreetmap's onto the GPS or do I need to buy base mapping?

vorsprung

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2011, 12:04:40 pm »
This is one of the things that puts me off a gps, I'm quite good at remembering routes, and quite enjoy that fact.  And my routes are always on tiny back roads.
Don't get one then  ;D

I find it invaluable for long (ie 100 miles+) rides on unknown roads if I don't want to get a map out all the time.

Jamie, try getting an Android phone with google maps on it.  They have a GPS locator and basically if you get lost they can tell you where you are and show you the local area map as if by magic.  Continue to navigate by routes and carry a google maps instead of a paper one.  If you are particularly keen you can draw the route into bikehike and then by various magic make the route come up as a line in google maps

CLINT, this is what is making me think I will eventually buy a proper GPS.  It seems that I can do longer rides with slightly less planning
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fboab

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2011, 12:10:03 pm »
If you are particularly keen you can draw the route into bikehike and then by various magic make the route come up as a line in google maps

tell me of this magic, vorsprung.
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2011, 12:18:31 pm »
It is possible to get by with 'just' OSM maps on the GPS - you don't have to buy maps.  OSM usefulness varies a lot depending on where you want to go:
rural UK - pretty good, and in some ways better than Garmin maps
suburban UK - not as good as Garmin maps
France - patchy, some areas excellent but many areas have not really been 'explored' by the mappers yet
India - in remote places OSM can be better than any other available map, including paper ones and even including Google Maps.
and so on

Getting them into the GPS is a learning curve, but once you have found a workflow that works, then easy enough.

But if you 'love maps' (by which I assume you mean OS maps) then all GPS vector-based mapping is a bit of a cold shock at first (though I've learned to love it and prefer it to OS in many ways.
Look at the screenshots on this page to get an idea of what to expect - these show overlaid contours which is fairly advanced stuff.
It's not dark yet but it's getting there.

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2011, 12:32:27 pm »
Okay, so can I load Openstreetmap's onto the GPS or do I need to buy base mapping?

It'll come with base mapping, but this is so minimal in detail (for Garmin Edge's at least) that it's useless.

I paid for City Navigator* maps as well as downloading free OSM maps, to switch between the two.  Each is better than the other for certain areas.

* Good for country as well as city, despite the name.
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2011, 01:50:48 pm »

[/quote]
I paid for City Navigator* maps as well as downloading free OSM maps, to switch between the two.  Each is better than the other for certain areas.

* Good for country as well as city, despite the name.
[/quote]

Do the City Navigator maps have all the tiny roads?
Thanks
Jamie

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2011, 02:04:59 pm »
Do the City Navigator maps have all the tiny roads?

"Yes".  At least, more "yes" than Openstreetmap, in my experience (which tends to be excellent in populated areas and dubious out in the sticks).  OSM often has an advantage for non-road cycleable paths, especially those that are part of the NCN, which the Garmin maps generally don't cover.

Don't read anything into the "City Navigator" name - the mapping detail is consistent throughout the countries covered.

The routing data of OSM maps is distinctly dubious - roads that join up on the map aren't always linked properly, so the algorithm will take an alternative route.  If you plan to use auto-routing, I'd say the Garmin maps were essential.
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2011, 02:13:46 pm »
If you are particularly keen you can draw the route into bikehike and then by various magic make the route come up as a line in google maps

tell me of this magic, vorsprung.

On my Windows Mobile thing:  Plot in BikeHike.  Save as a kml.  Transfer it to the phone.  Click on it in File Explorer.  Up comes Google Maps with the line drawn on it.  Even if you haven't got coverage to download the map tiles the line is still there to be followed.

I assume that Android is similar.

Biggsy

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2011, 02:32:44 pm »
Do the City Navigator maps have all the tiny roads?

Yes - except if any have been left off through errors or being out-of-date.  But, basically, yes, even the narrowest single track roads are included.

Some footpaths and cyclepaths (rather than roads) are missing in some areas, but are included in OSM, and vice versa for some other areas.
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Biggsy

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2011, 02:38:05 pm »
Free contour maps are available as well - to overlay your other maps - though it is tricky to combine maps with some Garmin models.

To begin with though, for Garmin Edge 605 or similar, I suggest simply starting with a single map - be it OSM, City Navigator, or whatever.
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2011, 02:42:53 pm »
Okay, GPS ordered, thanks all.  Think I'll start with OSM and see where I end up.   :)

Manotea

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2011, 02:49:28 pm »
Okay, GPS ordered, thanks all.  Think I'll start with OSM and see where I end up.   :)

Tish Boom.

vorsprung

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2011, 02:53:35 pm »
If you are particularly keen you can draw the route into bikehike and then by various magic make the route come up as a line in google maps

tell me of this magic, vorsprung.

On my Windows Mobile thing:  Plot in BikeHike.  Save as a kml.  Transfer it to the phone.  Click on it in File Explorer.  Up comes Google Maps with the line drawn on it.  Even if you haven't got coverage to download the map tiles the line is still there to be followed.

I assume that Android is similar.

What I do is draw the route in bikehike, export as a GPX, then load into the "My maps" feature in google, when you are logged on to google - on a PC.
Then login to google on the phone (this is automatic on android), run the google map thing and the my maps stuff is available under "layers"

I think bikehike is the good one but often other GPX need xml "transform" to get rid of stuff or even completely rewrite the tag names
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2011, 03:02:29 pm »
Apologies for asking what's probably elsewhere in the forums, but this seems a good place for some clarification.
As I understand it, for Garmin maps (I guess City Navigator, but I suppose OS too) you either buy an sdcard with mapping on it, which *isn't* tied to the device, or you buy the downloadable version which *is* tied to the device.
Now, ISTR seeing something about alternative mapping being used by the device (manually selected or otherwise), but is that constrained by how you've bought you maps from Garmin ?
eg the preloaded sdcard means you have to put OSM on the device, whereas with the device-tied version do you have to download onto the device, or do can you download to sdcard (I'd guess with some encoding to ensure only that device can use it) together with OSM also on the sdcard - or does OSM go on the device.

I guess there's also the question re a preloaded sdcard of what the device does when it's logging/archiving - does a preloaded sdcard prevent this.

Hopefully that little lot makes sense !

(the irony with this is I'm tinkering with sdcard drivers in Android at the moment, but only seeing what's happening at the device driver level !)



Biggsy

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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2011, 03:18:38 pm »
You can do more with the DVD versions of the Garmin maps.  It's complicated, and been discussed in detail on this board before.

Okay, GPS ordered, thanks all.  Think I'll start with OSM and see where I end up.   :)

That was quick.  What model?
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Re: Will a GPS unit...........
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2011, 03:36:51 pm »
The new Garmin etrex30.  ;D