Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Gearoidmuar
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Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Gearoidmuar » 28 Apr 2013, 8:31am

I'm on my second Garmin, the rather excellent GPSmap 62St. However there is an obstacle to using this or any other GPS for touring and that is complexity. How do you plan your route, how do you actually do it, how do you get it into your GPS, how do you do it if you've a Mac?
I changed from Windows to Mac I suppose four years ago. I'd been an extensive programmer in Windows but I no longer programmed and the Mac, though not any more intuitive than WIndows is much much more stable and there's no virus worry.

Now it was Ukdodger put me onto GPSies.com. This brilliant free site is the easiest way to design an actual route by selecting follow roads in Track Creator and clicking etc. You have to register first but that's easy enough.

Another fantastic source is Google Maps. In this you can get the software to design the whole route in a minute by asking for directions from a to b, selecting the bicycle option and off you go. If you want to make sure it goes through a particular place, choose that as the destination and then add another destination and so on. However, this designs maps in KML format. You want them in GPX track format, or in GPX route format. GPS route format is limited to 250 points a route, but it will warn you about an upcoming turn etc., so it is handy. In a track you just follow it visually.
In my Garmin these are stored in a GPX directory on the Garmin and you can store them also in a GPX directory in the SD card if you use one.
You find the Routes by pressing the find button and then selecting routes and you find the tracks by Menu Track Manager and so on.



The map software conundrum.

I can now get Google Maps to design the whole route from coast to coast in about 5 seconds. I can then save that as a KML file, upload it into GPSies.com, save it there then download it as a GPX track file to my computer and drag it into my Garmin and it does the whole lot with full detail, all 300K as one big file!! Alternatively you can design as multiple routes. Routes will giving you turn warnings..

This is what you do, in detail. It is very simple, only follow these instructions. I'm actually doing it again as I write them to make certain of that.

Run Google Maps.

Search for your start-point, like Tower St., Hull.
Then ask for directions to Liverpool Airport.
Select the Bike Logo. Press Get Directions.
Pull the grey scrollbar just to the left of the map to the bottom and
Save to my maps.
"Which map do you want to save to.."
At the bottom of the selection box select create a new map.
Press Save. It will be given the name Bicycling Directions etc...
Press Edit button. Change name. Put in description if you want.
Then press Save then Done.

The Map name will now be in black. Three lines below that is in blue print in my computer, KML.
Press that and it downloads that KML file to your download directory.
Pull the file onto your desktop if you want to or not, but you're going to have to upload it to Gpsies.

Run Gpsies.com

Press Upload in red on top line.
Scroll down a bit. In "Activity suitable for" select cycling. Otherwise it won't work. You have to select something or the process will abort when you try to save the uploaded file.

Then scroll to bottom
"Choose file" from your computer. Select the relevant KML file and press choose
Press SAVE then.

The top Line now reads Track as Google Earth KML

Option 1. Select GPX track instead from this selection box..

Press download on the line below it. It's downloaded to your computer.

I use a Mac and in that I can connect the Garmin with USB and drag that into the GPX directory. The whole lot goes in as one huge file and it's all there.
Don't know if you can drag and drop in WIndows but I imagine you may be able to, or you could get a mate with a MAC or a Linux machine.

OR..

Option 2 Select GPX route instead.
You must then select Options and use slider to give a max number of coordinates to 250. Otherwise route will be truncated if more than that.
250 is usually fine for about 30 miles of cycling.

That's it.

I hope someone finds it useful. Writing it up has cemented it into my brain ..
I'm putting this up, because I found hints of this process on line, but they weren't described step by step and it's very easy to find your way to where you've been before, but difficult to get there unless you get very precise instructions.

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Mick F
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Mick F » 28 Apr 2013, 9:33am

Grief! What a palarva!

I run Macs, and use BikeHike and/or BikeRouteToaster and save the file as a TCX - or GPX if I want - to my desktop. Connect my Garmin 705 and transfer the file to it.

In order to create a route in BH or BRT, you just "compose" what you want and click where you want the route. If you go off road or on tracks that they don't follow, click the "follow road" option off.

Dead simple and foolproof.
Mick F. Cornwall

sjs
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby sjs » 28 Apr 2013, 10:41am

My feeling is that the planning of a route is part of the fun. I just wouldn't want Google maps or bikehike or whatever to do it for me. In fact on the occasions when I have been too liberal with the automatic features (OSM+bike routing option) of bikehike I've had some interesting experiences with unexpected off-road sections.

Automatic routing in my Oregon 450 + Talkytoaster maps is not too bad if the options are chosen carefully (I guess eTrex 20/30s are the same), but I wouldn't want to tour that way. I generally use the maximum of 50 intermediate points per route and give the gadget no real choice in the way it goes. Then if for some reason I'm forced off the planned route, the gadget can do its thing and find a new one.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Cunobelin » 28 Apr 2013, 11:05am

The automatic routing is fine as a starter, especially if youa re a novice.

You can the modify / change these to suit yourself

My favourite is Cyclestreets

Put in start, put in finish and you will get a fast, balanced and quiet route to choose from.

sjs
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby sjs » 28 Apr 2013, 11:18am

Cunobelin wrote:The automatic routing is fine as a starter, especially if youa re a novice.

You can the modify / change these to suit yourself

My favourite is Cyclestreets

Put in start, put in finish and you will get a fast, balanced and quiet route to choose from.


That's all very well, but I just find it more satisfying to pore over OS maps on bikehike or whatever, and choose my own set of yellow roads. I wouldn't expect any algorithm to give as good a result.

Gearoidmuar
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Gearoidmuar » 28 Apr 2013, 1:05pm

Mick F wrote:Grief! What a palarva!

I run Macs, and use BikeHike and/or BikeRouteToaster and save the file as a TCX - or GPX if I want - to my desktop. Connect my Garmin 705 and transfer the file to it.

In order to create a route in BH or BRT, you just "compose" what you want and click where you want the route. If you go off road or on tracks that they don't follow, click the "follow road" option off.

Dead simple and foolproof.


I've used GPSies in exactly a similar way and it's dead easy. However, the resource that's there in Google Maps is not to be sniffed at. It would've taken me a huge amount of time to plan my way back from Hull to Liverpool were it not for it. That's why I posted it.

Gearoidmuar
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Gearoidmuar » 28 Apr 2013, 1:07pm

sjs wrote:My feeling is that the planning of a route is part of the fun. I just wouldn't want Google maps or bikehike or whatever to do it for me. In fact on the occasions when I have been too liberal with the automatic features (OSM+bike routing option) of bikehike I've had some interesting experiences with unexpected off-road sections.

Automatic routing in my Oregon 450 + Talkytoaster maps is not too bad if the options are chosen carefully (I guess eTrex 20/30s are the same), but I wouldn't want to tour that way. I generally use the maximum of 50 intermediate points per route and give the gadget no real choice in the way it goes. Then if for some reason I'm forced off the planned route, the gadget can do its thing and find a new one.


I've had the experience a couple of times in France, of finding out why the software didn't want me to go along such and such a route. Unrideable or blocked etc.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Cunobelin » 28 Apr 2013, 2:14pm

sjs wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:The automatic routing is fine as a starter, especially if you are a novice.

You can the modify / change these to suit yourself

My favourite is Cyclestreets

Put in start, put in finish and you will get a fast, balanced and quiet route to choose from.


That's all very well, but I just find it more satisfying to pore over OS maps on bikehike or whatever, and choose my own set of yellow roads. I wouldn't expect any algorithm to give as good a result.


Which is why I said that they are a starter to be modified and changed and not the final product

Gearoidmuar
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Gearoidmuar » 28 Apr 2013, 8:32pm

Mick F wrote:Grief! What a palarva!
.


Is a Palarva a friendly young baby insect?

A palaver. No it's not? It's a detailed description of how to do what you want with both Google Maps and Gpsies.com. Neither of these is particularly intuitive in some respects, nor do I imagine that you found the software you use particularly easy the first time. As for learning to use a cycling GPS. I've had two of them, both Garmins. They are a nightmare to get the hang of them for the tyro.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Cunobelin » 28 Apr 2013, 8:51pm

Gearoidmuar wrote:
Mick F wrote:Grief! What a palarva!
.


Is a Palarva a friendly young baby insect?

A palaver. No it's not? It's a detailed description of how to do what you want with both Google Maps and Gpsies.com. Neither of these is particularly intuitive in some respects, nor do I imagine that you found the software you use particularly easy the first time. As for learning to use a cycling GPS. I've had two of them, both Garmins. They are a nightmare to get the hang of them for the tyro.


A palarva is a a term used to express what a load of hassle a task or experience is/was.

Of Portuguese and European extraction it is commonly used by many nationalities to describe a rigmarole or unnecessary task, and is acceptable

You could insist on using the Anglicised spelling, but that in itself would be a palarva

Gearoidmuar
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Gearoidmuar » 28 Apr 2013, 9:12pm

I've never seen palarva. PalaVRa is the Portuguese original.
I can't resist a pun!

andymiller
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby andymiller » 29 Apr 2013, 5:53pm

I guess as with many things, they can take longer to explain than to do. But yes it does sound unnecessarily complicated.

Personally I simply use the routing tool in Basecamp then use gpsies.com to convert to a track (and fill in the altitudes). Takes seconds.
Italy Cycling Guide - a resource for cycle touring in Italy.

andrewjoseph
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby andrewjoseph » 29 Apr 2013, 6:42pm

basecamp for mac, with old garmin map and new OSM contour map. export to sd ccard on device. No need for converting, exporting to websites, re-importing etc.

the only problem with basecamp is that it doesn't give altitude gain, but you can get a rough idea by using the profile feature ( this works with OSM contour maps).
--
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Gearoidmuar
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby Gearoidmuar » 29 Apr 2013, 7:17pm

andymiller wrote:I guess as with many things, they can take longer to explain than to do. But yes it does sound unnecessarily complicated.

Personally I simply use the routing tool in Basecamp then use gpsies.com to convert to a track (and fill in the altitudes). Takes seconds.


It can be done in two minutes. I actually planned the entire Lejog (I've done it in reality twice) in two minutes the other night. The only reason it's long is that I explained absolutely everything for the person who was using either Google Maps to save a map, for the first time, and the same for Gpsies.com. Old fashioned software would take you through steps and was self-explanatory. Modern stuff is often a maze.

There are essentially three steps. Make map and save to computer as KML. Upload to GPsies. Save as GPX, route or track, or both if you want.

Everyone is quoting this and that software for map planning and I've used a few. Google Maps is great BUT Google has an extra feature which makes it essential to use it, as far as I'm concerned.

Anywhere you are in a Google Map, enter accommodation or hotel or B&B and all the local ones will light up with details on them on the side, incl phone numbers.. You can do a selective screenshot (Shift Command 4 then Press mounse, drag the area and let go of mouse, in Mac) of each town like that and it's absolutely terrific for storing info for flexible touring. I don't often book ahead, and usually only do so if in a low-accommodation area.

The last big tour I did was Barcelona to Lisbon. It was all planned on Google Maps and I did screenshots of all the towns with accommodation and loaded them into my phone. It was invaluable.

andymiller
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Re: Garmin, Mac, Route Planning, Tracks and Routes

Postby andymiller » 30 Apr 2013, 7:01am

I appreciate the excellent features of Google Maps and I use it all the time. However I simply don't see the benefit of going to all of this faff to avoid using Basecamp - Garmin have improved it dramatically over the years. I use it to organise and edit tracks, and I also have details of campsites, hostels, train stations which I can export and convert to POIs. It really is a much better way of organising and processing all that information. Give it a try.

I should say that I use the excellent maps from VeloMaps.org. It costs 20€ for the membership to download the maps in gmapi format but I don't mind paying the guy for his work - especially as I could never figure out gmapibuilder. Once you have installed the mapping you can output it to your gps.
Italy Cycling Guide - a resource for cycle touring in Italy.