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

Posted: 18 Dec 2013, 6:46pm
by andymiller
Mick F wrote:Yes, I admit I'm being picky!

The problem with the route I'm discussing, isn't really the rat runs. It's the steepness of the gradients and the unsuitability of the road for cycling both uphill and downhill.

The contour lines are plain to see, and if you had the OS chevrons on display, you'd see it. Also, it's common sense that the straight roads will be the old packhorse routes rather than the graceful and gentle turnpike route.


Which underlines the importance of checking what the auto routing is doing. You and I can see the contour lines but I don't know of a website that takes into account elevations when autorouting a route (I'd be very happy to be corrected if anyone does know of one) - bike hike doesn't seem to.

Garmin have developed a Minimize Ascent option for Basecamp and certain handhelds but I don't know whether you need Garmin's own topo maps for the option to work.

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

Posted: 18 Dec 2013, 7:16pm
by Richard Fairhurst
andymiller wrote:Which underlines the importance of checking what the auto routing is doing. You and I can see the contour lines but I don't know of a website that takes into account elevations when autorouting a route (I'd be very happy to be corrected if anyone does know of one)

Yep. cycle.travel takes elevation into account, and CycleStreets too, and even Google Maps when in cycling mode. (In all these cases it's not the only factor, of course.)

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

Posted: 18 Dec 2013, 9:24pm
by Bike-Rich
Richard Fairhurst wrote:No, you can't download Google Maps' vector data. You can download OpenStreetMap data in Garmin format from many sites, however.


Thanks, which GPS systems are recommended or which ones would you consider good?

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

Posted: 19 Dec 2013, 11:17am
by visionset
Does anyone know if there is any Mac software that can use an open source map and apply route information to it to allow the 'follow road' feature. I can produce OS maps in pretty much any format, e.g. GEOTIFF or geo referenced JPEG etc. But I then want to use them for route creation within software that can follow road on them, in much the same way as Bikehike manages to using Google's underlying road database. This would solve my present solution to continually view separate maps, Google for the routing and checking stuff out on the OS.

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

Posted: 19 Dec 2013, 11:37am
by Richard Fairhurst
You could try TrailRunnerX.

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

Posted: 19 Dec 2013, 11:48am
by visionset
Had a quick look at trail runner, but it doesn't look like it has a follow road feature. I'll give it a go though if you think it does.

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

Posted: 19 Dec 2013, 1:04pm
by Richard Fairhurst
Yes, it does (assuming by "follow road" you mean "click A, click B, routeplanner finds an on-road route between the two"). I think it might use CloudMade's routing service.

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

Posted: 19 Dec 2013, 1:54pm
by CJ
visionset wrote:Had a quick look at trail runner, but it doesn't look like it has a follow road feature. I'll give it a go though if you think it does.

www.bikehike.co.uk follows road (on Google or OpenStreet Mapping) with the OS Landranger in an adjacent window - or you can toggle windows and click on that if you prefer. Either way the OS map is there as a sanity check, that the road you're following really is a road or that the path is a right of way. But until OS depict cyclepaths properly, I'll prefer OSM for all its faults.

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

Posted: 19 Dec 2013, 3:14pm
by CJ
Richard Fairhurst wrote:Yep. cycle.travel takes elevation into account,

My compliments on an excellent route planner. It's the first that finds my actual route to work. Or near enough: it uses a bit of bikepath that I don't use unless traffic's stationary on the more direct road, and misses a section of path by the river through Guildford that I DO use in spite of the poor surface because it cuts out a multilane gyratory system with irksome traffic lights.

Cyclestreets 'fastest' route is plain suicidal and unlikely to be as fast as another main road that's more built-up but much flatter (and the way I go if I want to shave 5 minutes or visit the shops that way. Their 'balanced' and 'quietest' are very similar to my balanced route, but even more similar to one another (only differ by one short bit of extra very poor path on 'quiter) and neither of them are anythign like as close as your planner Richard. Both of them include sections of poor path, a flight of steps, and although they do include that riverside path in Guildford, they then miss out the naughty '(no) cycling permitted' bridge over the A3 (that your route quite miraculously finds!) and go all around the houses instead.

On my second test route, to Portsmouth continental ferries, CycleTravel and CycleStreets balanced are near enough the same and both find a route I'd recommend - mostly. Unfortunately they are both fooled by some error in the OSM data into using a section of the Sussex Border path south of Liphok which is muddy, rocky, and generally not worth bothering with unless you're on a mountain-bike. On this challenge only CycleStreets finds the hidden facility, taking the bike path underneath Rudmore Roundabout at the port, Which I reckon worth doing, as the junction is rather hostile.

On a third test, CycleStreets included a muddy waste-of-time bridleway not only on its balanced but also its 'fastest' route. (It's quietest on the other hand, would have you up to the axles in sand!) CycleTravel did much better on this cross-country challenge, choosing only one section of dubious track.

CycleTravel comes out best I reckon.

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

Posted: 19 Dec 2013, 8:14pm
by andymiller
Richard Fairhurst wrote:Yep. cycle.travel takes elevation into account, and CycleStreets too, and even Google Maps when in cycling mode. (In all these cases it's not the only factor, of course.)


Thanks for the links - an exciting development. (But presumably this means you sent MickF up the steep hills just to give him a hard time)

Do you know which countries this works for? (Results of my quick tests: US - Check. UK - check. France - check. Italy - doesn't seem to).

visionset wrote:Does anyone know if there is any Mac software that can use an open source map and apply route information to it to allow the 'follow road' feature. I can produce OS maps in pretty much any format, e.g. GEOTIFF or geo referenced JPEG etc. But I then want to use them for route creation within software that can follow road on them, in much the same way as Bikehike manages to using Google's underlying road database. This would solve my present solution to continually view separate maps, Google for the routing and checking stuff out on the OS.


Could you turn them into a custom map and then use it with Basecamp?

http://garminbasecamp.wikispaces.com/Custom+Maps

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

Posted: 20 Dec 2013, 10:22am
by visionset
Could you turn them into a custom map and then use it with Basecamp?


I think there is a limit on the map size and these are OS 1:50k split into the usual 12 maps that cover UK

Also with a custom map in BaseCamp do you still get access to the underlying road data ie 'follow road' ?

I'm new to Mac, can't get Base Camp to see my installed DVD city navigator maps, but Road Trip does see them. Not sure what the real difference between these is, but tbh I far prefer google maps for routing. But I'll give the cycle travel thing a go, though I'll be amazed if it is as fast ;)

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

Posted: 20 Dec 2013, 7:37pm
by andymiller
visionset wrote:
Could you turn them into a custom map and then use it with Basecamp?


I think there is a limit on the map size and these are OS 1:50k split into the usual 12 maps that cover UK


I thought you were turning the OS maps into jpegs. I don't know whether there's a limit - I think it might be worth experimenting to see whether or not it does what you need.

Here's the page from the Garmin Wiki:

http://garminbasecamp.wikispaces.com/Custom+Maps

Now just to make things more difficult Basecamp uses the term 'image overlays' while 'custom maps' are intended for use on certain handheld devices. Google 'Basecamp image overlays' and you get links about custom maps. Are they the same thing? dunno but it looks like they might well be.

Sorry, you'll need to spend a bit of time experimenting. (Or there's also the Garmin support forums).

Also with a custom map in BaseCamp do you still get access to the underlying road data ie 'follow road' ?


I don't know. What I've read from Garmin suggest that it is simply treated as an image overlay - again, the best way to find out would be to try it out.

I'm new to Mac, can't get Base Camp to see my installed DVD city navigator maps, but Road Trip does see them.


You have to use either Map Manager (I think, it might be MapInstall) to install the map on the computer so that it appears on Basecamp's 'Maps' menu. I don't know why it appears in RoadTrip but not Basecamp but I'd suggest you try reinstalling the map. It could be that Garmin's weird and wonderful licensing is getting in the way: if you have problems email Garmin Support or ask a question on the Garmin Support Forums.

RoadTrip is what the Mac version of Basecamp used to be called a *long* time ago. Garmin (credit where credit due) have made lots of improvements over the years to Basecamp so RoadTrip is very definitely obsolete/redundant. Seriously you'd be better off doing what you need to do to make your maps available to Basecamp.

BTW have you tried using one of the Open Street Map maps from say velomap.org or openfietsmap.nl or talkytoaster (.co.uk?), These contain contour information etc and while, cartographically they might not be quite as good as OS mapping and not as definitive, but 99 per cent of the time they'll have the information you need, and they are better than either Google Maps or City Navigator (although both of these are good in their way and have their uses).

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

Posted: 26 Dec 2013, 6:32pm
by visionset
Okay, so now I've got Basecamp maps working and spent a while reviewing route creation for my needs. First and probably last impression is that there has been no appreciable improvement since I used mapsource on the pc. Clunky route dragging and almost invisible via points that make forcing a route where I want it to go difficult. It really isn't designed for this mode of use. Also there is a 3mb limit on the image within the KML for use as a custom overlay within Basecamp which would mean a huge number of files required to cover the UK rather than my existing 12. So will be checking the other recommended options now

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

Posted: 26 Dec 2013, 8:20pm
by andymiller
visionset wrote:Okay, so now I've got Basecamp maps working and spent a while reviewing route creation for my needs. First and probably last impression is that there has been no appreciable improvement since I used mapsource on the pc. Clunky route dragging and almost invisible via points that make forcing a route where I want it to go difficult. It really isn't designed for this mode of use.


I'm slightly puzzled by that one - just click on a point on your route with the select tool and drag it. Job done. Or if you are using the hand tool hold down the option key, click on a point on the route and drag it, Not sure how you could make it *less* clunky.

As an alternative you could try pressing cmd-z to delete the most recent via point then putting the next via point where you want to go. Mildly annoying, but fairly quick.

A lot of the changes made over different versions are below the hood, it's much quicker than it used to be - there've been a number of changes eg it opens kml files, and got much less fussy about the format of point references - fairly subtle changes but if you need those features they are real time savers.

All due respect to TrailrunnerX, although it's not perfect (I've yet to find a mapping program that is) Basecamp is pretty much the only show in town if you are using a Mac.

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

Posted: 26 Dec 2013, 10:27pm
by visionset
Since the overlays are limited to 3mb it's immaterial really, but for the sake of trying to give a better picture of how I create routes...
In google maps I would typically have a bookmark for a template route that is a circular with a say 4 via points that force it around say a 100 mile loop. Then when I create a specific route I go to say my west template and move the via points about and add new ones. Typically I will go right up to the maximum 23 via points.
On google maps a via point is a very distinct white circle that does not scale. When you drag a via point you will occasionally during the draft stage get 'cul de sac routing' where the route goes out and back on itself. Adding further via points corrects this and forces the route around a loop. Google routing algorithm seems to generate less culdesacs.
At present I use an electronic OS map for reference on one screen and route on another with google maps. I know exactly what roads I want to use, and am not interested in the route suggestions that 'follow road' gives, I use follow road for speed since I want to follow the road as opposed to route freestyle, though this is useful to toggle on/off so I can use the little footbridge over a river, and I still want to route as per car, since frankly cycle auto routing is a long way off being honed as has been argued at length on here. So speed and the embedding of turn/course points that with the right service can materialise in the generated TCX/GPX.
A Saturday ride for me will typically utilise 140 miles of the narrowest surfaced roads, so the narrow gauge yellow (minor) roads on OS. I will look at the OS and see a route that keeps to these as much as possible - it's just what floats my boat. I have even experimented with putting OS maps through photoshop to filter the narrow yellow roads making them stand out to enhance seeing the wood for the trees.
So then it is a process of looking at each screen to quickly build a route. Depending how fussy I am being I can knock a quality route out in as little as 30 mins.
I also use the google street view feature to quickly check navigable roads. Drag the man without dropping the man and all the streetviewed roads are highlighted, so you can see at a glance if your route is actually a bridleway. Not that I mind the odd bit of that.

Event I organised using one of my routes: http://vimeo.com/user16410237/hom2

I can't stress enough how vital the behaviour of the via point is to the way I create routes. On basecamp they are practically invisible and I will be dragging all the via points about constantly gradually moulding the route. And I'm amazed how slow it is in basecamp as opposed to a browser restricted google maps.
I wondered if I could do it all in google earth, but alas there is no via point capability yet. I think the overlays in google earth pro would make the use of geo referenced map formats a breeze, but £270pa is too rich for me!!
Since I'm a developer, I might even spin my own solution, though i don't really have the time.