Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
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lastant
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Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby lastant » 9 Mar 2010, 9:53am

Just wondering if anyone can advise me which is the best tool to use to plan out a LEJOG route for a Garmin Vista HCx? I've had a quick playabout with the MapSource application but thinking there was a better alternative I had a bit of a google and got stumped.

Bikehike, bikeroutetoaster, mapmyride...there's so many options out there, don't suppose anyone's got any thoughts as to which is the one that's the most 'idiot proof' and Garmin friendly?!

Have had a search of the board(s), but can't seem to find a definitive answer anywhere - apologies if there is a blatantly obvious one that I've somehow overlooked! Thanks in advance.
One Man and LEJOG. End to End on Two Wheels in Twelve Days.
http://onemanandlejog.wordpress.com

amaferanga
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby amaferanga » 9 Mar 2010, 12:36pm

There is no definitive answer!

I like bikehike. Unfortunately you have to download the route once you've plotted it now as they're closed the database. Can't stand all the advertising on most of the route plotting sites.

toontra
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby toontra » 9 Mar 2010, 1:06pm

I can wholeheartedly recommend a browser-based system called Marengo - http://www.marengo-ltd.com/map2/

As with many other GPS sites it uses Google Maps as it's basis. You then plot your route - each time you create a route-point you have a dialog box into which you type an instruction or note (max 6 characters I think). Once your route is complete you save it (onto the Marengo server) and then export in .gpx format to your computer, or directly to your connected HCx.

I've tried all route-creating systems and this wins hands down. I started using it in preparation for my LEJoG in '98, and by the time the ride came I was sure it was reliable. Sure enough, I only took 2 wrong turns in the entire 875 miles, and those were when I followed road signs rather than trusting the Garmin.

There is a nominal fee (£10 pa I think) but there is a fully-functioning demo period to see if you get on with it. The developer is amazingly friendly and helpful - I emailed him with a suggested improvement on Sunday afternoon and he replied within 10 minutes! In the past he has also implemented other improvements I've suggested.

Being a Mac user I am not catered for by many of the GPS software programmes out there, but with Merengo - who cares!

cidermartin
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby cidermartin » 9 Mar 2010, 5:11pm

I too have a Vista HCx and went through the same process as you. Eventually I purchased the Garmin MapSource City Navitagor for Europe and it would faultlessly. Takes a bit of getting used to, as do all programs, but really is good. I have encountered some mapping errors (Ordanace Survey it is not) and it is not as easy to use as BikeHike where you can see both Google and OS maps simultaneoulsly, and it is difficult navigating off-road but overall it is very, very good (although not cheap)

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patricktaylor
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby patricktaylor » 9 Mar 2010, 5:17pm

I've started using Google Earth for route planning. I too hate adverts, and I don't particularly like having to log in to anything (plus some of those mapping websites can be slow). But you do need the Google Earth application on your desktop. Having said that, it is simply superb.

Description one.
Description two.
(Same method)

My GPS is an eTrex Legend HCx, which works the same, but I use Tracks, not Routes. The method works well. You can see the terrain you'll pass through (with photos too) and you can lay trackpoints exactly where they're required, and only where they're required, to keep to the 500 maximum per Track. It does take a bit longer to plan this way but you have more control.

Once you've created a course, you can fly along it virtually.

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lastant
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby lastant » 16 Mar 2010, 8:27am

Thanks for the suggestions - I've had a look at Marengo and think it'll be the one I go with. I've had a quick couple of goes on bikely.com to set up two rides and it seemed to work, but I get the feeling Marengo's as stable as they come so will probably invest time in that!

Need to work out how to get the Garmin to 'bleep' and warn me of upcoming turns, and there's other bits I need to understand (tracks or routes, waypoints etc.) but think I'll get there. Got a week off next week so going to try and get a preliminary route finalised and ready for analysis on here then.

Sorry for the late reply, meant to get one in earlier but been caught up with bits.
One Man and LEJOG. End to End on Two Wheels in Twelve Days.
http://onemanandlejog.wordpress.com

mw3230
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby mw3230 » 16 Mar 2010, 8:50am

I've tried Marengo and it is good but I prefer Bikeroutetoaster (Brt). This allowed me to plot a route and down/up load it to my Edge 705. The Garmin then bleeped to warn me of the upcoming junctions (a setting which is adjustable) and gave turn by turn instructions. I would recommend Brt over Marengo. It's user friendly with clear help pages and not too spoilt by adverts
Retired and loving it

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Jonboy
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby Jonboy » 22 Mar 2010, 1:33pm

Hi

I use Tracklogs to plot a route/track and then transfer to the Garmin.

Friends of mine use MemoryMap.

As a word of caution Google Maps seems to have a lot of errors, especially concerning roads that are now bridle ways. Beware!

sharpy
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby sharpy » 23 Mar 2010, 10:07pm

Another vote here for Tracklogs.

Did LEJoG two years ago using a garmin vista and the aformentioned mapping software; not a problem :D
Best Wishes
Paul

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philg
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby philg » 23 Mar 2010, 10:19pm

I'm slightly baffled by the replies here (Legend C user for 5 years, now using Oregon)

Surely the only reason you bought the Vista over the more basic e-Trex is to use the routing & map facility, which means using Garmin maps (City Navigator or Metroguide if you can find it)?

£71 for street level mapping of W Europe (with auto-routing) doesn't seem excessive to me (certainly compared to the price they charged for it 5 years ago!).

You can plot your route on a PC and transfer to the GPS very easily, and unless you need off-road mapping there is really no sensible alternative (IMHO)

toontra
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby toontra » 23 Mar 2010, 10:23pm

Jonboy wrote:
As a word of caution Google Maps seems to have a lot of errors, especially concerning roads that are now bridle ways. Beware!


Absolutely - it's easy to end up a dead end muddy track! Luckily most roads in the UK are now covered by Streetview or ariel view. If unsure about small roads it's a good idea to switch to either of these to check that they are actually viable roads.

toontra
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby toontra » 23 Mar 2010, 10:25pm

philg wrote:You can plot your route on a PC and transfer to the GPS very easily


You said it! PC only, so useless for Mac users.

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lastant
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby lastant » 23 Mar 2010, 10:56pm

philg wrote:I'm slightly baffled by the replies here (Legend C user for 5 years, now using Oregon)

Surely the only reason you bought the Vista over the more basic e-Trex is to use the routing & map facility, which means using Garmin maps (City Navigator or Metroguide if you can find it)?


Good point, and I've actually got City Navigator for my Vista HCx but don't find it particularly intuitive which is why I was wondering if others had found themselves in the same position and had got round it by using some other software, be it web-based or otherwise.

It's the choice of routing that's throwing me on City Navigator. Simple trips across London that I know are doable aren't 'going in' properly with the software with it picking different roads and odd diversions that google maps doesn't do.

It probably just is a case of me needing to learn how to use it which'll only come with experience - but I've had a go with bikely and bikeroutetoaster and been able to export .gpx files which I've then been able to upload into my MapSource and then edit where necessary (getting rid of points) to get them transferred over to my handset.

Apologies. I probably didn't make myself clear enough at the start!
One Man and LEJOG. End to End on Two Wheels in Twelve Days.
http://onemanandlejog.wordpress.com

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patricktaylor
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby patricktaylor » 23 Mar 2010, 11:00pm

philg wrote:... You can plot your route on a PC and transfer to the GPS very easily, and unless you need off-road mapping there is really no sensible alternative (IMHO)

On Google Earth you can plot your route on PC or Mac and transfer to the GPS very easily, even if you need off-road mapping in Afghanistan. There is really no sensible alternative.

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philg
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Re: Plotting a route on the Vista HCx

Postby philg » 23 Mar 2010, 11:09pm

patricktaylor wrote:On Google Earth you can plot your route on PC or Mac and transfer to the GPS very easily, even if you need off-road mapping in Afghanistan. There is really no sensible alternative.


I don't carry a PC (or Mac) around on my bike, so if on a ride I need to detour, find a 24hr garage, pub, hospital, accomodation, train station......... then having the info to hand on the GPS makes sense to me. YMMV

What's the phone coverage like in Afghanistan? - you're a bit stuffed on Google earth without it :?