Thanks Theo for testing MS Streets and Trips. It was worth a try.
Guess we're back to using MapSource. It's a shame really that Garmin doesn't make a GPS model specific version of MapSource which would use the identical routing algorithms as our 550/66X series Zumos. MapSource is written for use by all Garmin models so it's not surprising that each works a little differently.
I've had some success converting Google Maps routes to Zumo routes using this website, but for really complicated routes, MapSource is still the only way to go.
Only because I didn't see it mentioned...
The Harley website has a Ride Planner section that I prefer over any of the others I have tried (Google, MapQuest, Yahoo):
For my summer trip (~10k miles, US only), I plotted using multiple start/stop points and way points, breaking the trip into sections by day/mileage. When I exported to the BaseCamp, all the points were there, and, from what I could tell, all the routes were identical. But...
(ain't there just always a "but"?)
I knew I was going to be using BaseCamp to fine-tune the route, so I was primarily only concerned with the retention of the waypoints and the start/stop points. So things may well have gone a bit wonky. The Zumo is new to me (never traveled with any GPS before), so I'm still figuring things out with it.
When I''m done (any day now!) I'll be able to upload it right back into the Harley ride planner and share it. In theory, all the routes will be the same. I'll let you know how that turns out heh.
imo, you're not going to find a single planning solution that does everything you need. Best case scenario you narrow it down to 2 or 3 things, each of which has something that makes your life and your ride a little easier. Worst case scenario... well... bring your paper maps anyway and you're covered :)
Reasons I found why the planned route in Mapsource is calculated differently on my GPS unit:
- I used "shorter distance" on Mapsource but "faster time" on the GPS unit (or vice versa).
- On Mapsource you can define you personal average speed for different types of roads. My GPS unit doesn't have this setup so it maybe different and hence the route may come out differently.
- Setting road/street avoidance feature (no U-turns, unpaved roads,...) may be set different in Mapsource and the GPS unit.
I usually have enough planned way points loaded and I let the GPS do the fine tuning of the route. Going in-and-out of urban areas I usually select "faster time" to avoid little side streets. In the open I usually select "shorter distance" to hit the "scenic byways". Mostly in conjunction with avoid "unpaved roads" unchecked in the GPS unit.
One of the reasons why once at sunset in Kansas in order to reach the state park before darkness I ended up with my front wheel stuck in a corn field. :laugh