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Thread: GPS expert advice needed

  1. #1
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    GPS expert advice needed

    OK... I'm sure i didn't make this up. Is there a way to use something like google maps, draw out a route then transfer that to a GPS?

    What would be the least expensive GPS that could do that?

    Maybe I'm crazy, maybe this isn't possible... i tried looking around Garmin's website and couldn't figure it out. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Pedro in OKC

  2. #2
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    Garmin

    You need a GPS that uses a SD card or something like that. You can down load the information for Google Maps to the card and then insert the card into the GPS. The ZUMO series does this.

  3. #3
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    There are programs out there, but unless the route is fairly direct most of the data points get lost and only a small portion of the route transfers.

    I played with several conversion softwares, and came to the conclusion that I just had to spend the $$ for the Garmin city navigator software. although not as slick as Google maps, it does let you build a route on the computer in a similar manner and transfer it in.

    I believe the Zumo to Google maps comment above is incorrect, you still have to do multiple manipulations to make it work, and the results, unless just point to point are less than satisfactory. IMHO

  4. #4
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    GPS is great: I own a StreetPilot and a Nuvi and have been all over the country with both.

    But don't throw away your paper maps and the "big picture" sense of perspective you get from knowing what is on them.
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  5. #5
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    Gps

    You can download maps from computer on to the Zumos. I have been using the 2610,2720, and most currently 2820 with all maps downloaded already. I love this unit. You can either use one of the three recommended routes the 2820 gives you or you can put your own route in depending on the cities you want to go through. If you look around, you can get these units for between $300.00 and 400.00 dollars. They will give you rest areas, places to eat, gas stations and many more things. On my K1200RS, I have a mount for the 2820 that is downright beautiful made from aircraft aluminum and on the K1200LT, I use the mount that came with the unit. (Little plastic mount with a rachet lock and double sided tape for mounting. Of all the units I have used, the 2820 is one of the most user friendly units you can get with more info you will ever use.










    r

  6. #6
    Club President gsjay's Avatar
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    anyone know where the best deal is for a Zumo 450?

    I'm finding referbished units w/ brackets for $399. friends got a NEW unit for the same price earlier in the year.

    thanks,
    gsjay
    Jason Kaplitz
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  7. #7
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    Routes

    As far as I know, you cannot transfer ROUTES to the GPS unless you use the software supplied by the manufacturer. You can only transfer waypoints.
    What many of us Garmin users do is use MicroSoft Streets and Trips on the computer to set up the route using waypoints. You oftentimes will have to put in a bunch of waypoints to ensure you follow the roads you want. Then use GPS Utility (a user-supported program) to transfer the waypoints to your GPS using the appropriate USB cable. Then you have to have the GPS recalculate the route.
    If you use the manufacturer's software (Garmin's Mapsource, for example) to design the route on the computer, you just transfer the route over to the GPS. The GPS will recalculate the route when you pull it up, and if the maps on your computer are the same as the maps on your GPS, and you have the same routing options set on both devices, the route will probably be the same.
    When I run rallies, I don't have the GPS calculate the route as a whole - I go from waypoint to waypoint.
    And I use a 2610 on the bike. I also have a 2730, but don't like it as much as the 2610.

  8. #8
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsjay View Post
    anyone know where the best deal is for a Zumo 450?

    I'm finding referbished units w/ brackets for $399. friends got a NEW unit for the same price earlier in the year.

    thanks,
    gsjay
    Try www.GPSCity.com and look at the Nuvi 550. Almost the same as the Zumo 550 and a lot cheaper. The Zumo 450 has been discontinued BTW.
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  9. #9
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWPhreak View Post
    Try www.GPSCity.com and look at the Nuvi 550. Almost the same as the Zumo 550 and a lot cheaper. The Zumo 450 has been discontinued BTW.
    Gerard, I did check out the 550. Am I correct that it does not come with MapSource? Can routes, waypoints, etc. be downloaded from a computer to this unit? Will it require the purchase of maps at an additional cost? Thanks.
    Dan

  10. #10
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    I decided to buy the nuvi 550 instead of a Zumo because of the very large difference in price. As far as I can tell, Garmin makes 4 GPS models that are waterproof and they all cite the same waterproof spec. The models are Zumo 550, Zumo 650, nuvi 500, and nuvi 550. The only difference between the nuvi 500 and 550 is the 500 has maps of the US and the 550 has all of north america including Canada and Alaska. The list price of the nuvi 550 is $299, I got one on-line for $259 with free shipping and no sales tax.

    An advantage the nuvi 550 has over the Zumo models is 8 hours of battery life. This is no doubt provided because it has both on and off road walking / hiking modes. I believe the Zumo battery life is 4 hours which is typical for a car GPS.

    I have ridden for extended periods of time in the rain with my nuvi 550 and know first hand that it is very waterproof.

    I bought the Garmin hard-wire kit that comes with a bracket for a RAM mount that is a much better bracket than the one from RAM. It has a latch at the top that allows you to easily pop the GPS in or out of the bracket. The RAM bracket has a tab at the top that you bend upward to allow the GPS to be put in or out of the bracket, making it a two handed operation that requires a lot more effort than the Garmin bracket with the latch.

    The nuvi 550 has mapsource. You can download the Garmin software that installs on your PC and make routes that transfer to the nuvi. You can also get route files from others and transfer them to your nuvi. I added a 2GB micro SD card for around $10 that gives you a lot of extra room for additional maps. Unlike a car oriented GPS, the nuvi 550 has an off-road mode that can be used with topo maps that you have installed on the nuvi. I believe the Zumo models do this as well. It could be a very important feature for a GS bike when you are off road. Even if you do not have the topo maps installed for an off-road trail ride, the nuvi 550 has a "back-track" mode that would allow you to find your way back to the highway the same way you rode in. Another feature that could be really valuable on a GS bike.
    Glenn
    2003 F650GS Dakar

  11. #11
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    To answer original question: No magic needed. Your Garmin unit will read all your Waypoints, Routes, and Tracks that you create from another map as long as you save the data in a folder with a file extension .GPX .GPX is a GPS exchange format for data which Garmin uses.

    If you buy a Zumo for example, it will come with a map (probably North America NT if you pruchase your Zumo in the US) that is usable on your Zumo AND your computer. The Garmin program that allows you to read the map on your computer is one of two applications: If you have a PC, then you use Mapsource. If you own a Mac the same program (more or less) is called RoadTrip.Both are free to download from Garmin. From there it's really simple to create your routes and points of interest on your computer and then transfer them to your GPS. You can also pull routes from your GPS.

    Those routes or special trips you create can be given to everyone you know on the planet with no limitations however, the map itself is copyrighted and you can only use the map on ONE GPS device. Once you use their "Unlock code", that map is married for life on the unit you loaded the map on. Your GPS is like a cell phone with it's unique serial number.
    So if you pull a route created on another map, you can load it on your GPS, but you need a map to see where the route is going. Think of a route like tracing paper over a map that you draw lines on. Once you remove the tracing paper, unless you have another map to lay it over, all you have is lines.

    The Garmin maps are some of the best out there. Pricey, but worth it. You can get some free open source maps that will load on your GPS for free and they also will work pretty good however highly recommend the Garmin version for the country you live and ride in.

    You can go on the Zumo forum link below for a list of free open source maps. I just got one for New Zealand for my friend's Zumo who will be traveling with me to New Zealand and it loaded fine.
    http://www.zumoforums.com/index.php?topic=3572.0
    Last edited by RTRandy; 11-29-2009 at 02:16 AM.

  12. #12
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy View Post
    To answer original question: No magic needed. Your Garmin unit will read all your Waypoints, Routes, and Tracks that you create from another map as long as you save the data in a folder with a file extension .GPX .GPX is a GPS exchange format for data which Garmin uses.
    Yes and no. Garmin adds proprietary data inside the GPX file needed to actually follow the roads when a route is loaded into one of their units. You can go from waypoint to waypoint and the GPS might route it over the same roads, but there is no guarantee that the carefully laid out route planning you did in google will translate correctly when loaded onto the GPS.

    Example:

    HTML Code:
       <rtept lat="36.5229302" lon="-118.7638185">
          <time>2005-09-15T11:35:34Z</time>
          <name>BCKEYE</name>
          <cmt>HWY 198</cmt>
          <desc>HWY 198</desc>
          <sym>Campground</sym>
          <extensions>
            <gpxx:RoutePointExtension xmlns:gpxx="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3">
              <gpxx:Subclass>000000000000FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF</gpxx:Subclass>
              <gpxx:rpt lat="36.5229296" lon="-118.7638185">
                <gpxx:Subclass>0600CA494C00FB3000002116000022007A01</gpxx:Subclass>
              </gpxx:rpt>
    [many, many lines snipped]
            </gpxx:RoutePointExtension>
          </extensions>
        </rtept>
    Using roadtrip only the dozen or so "rtept" entries were used to create the route. Roadtrip expanded each of those entries to *thousands* of gpxx:rpt entries to make the route follow the roads according to whatever map was in use. Non garmin code likely won't create the extension data.

  13. #13
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great advice!

    Peter

  14. #14
    Registered User mccodavj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandman View Post
    You can download maps from computer on to the Zumos. I have been using the 2610,2720, and most currently 2820 with all maps downloaded already. I love this unit. You can either use one of the three recommended routes the 2820 gives you or you can put your own route in depending on the cities you want to go through. If you look around, you can get these units for between $300.00 and 400.00 dollars. They will give you rest areas, places to eat, gas stations and many more things. On my K1200RS, I have a mount for the 2820 that is downright beautiful made from aircraft aluminum and on the K1200LT, I use the mount that came with the unit. (Little plastic mount with a rachet lock and double sided tape for mounting. Of all the units I have used, the 2820 is one of the most user friendly units you can get with more info you will ever use.r
    I would like to see some pictures of the mount for your K1200RS. I use a Navigator III on my LT and have an older TomTom Rider that I use on my RS. The TomTom has a problem with recharging while in the mount/cradle so using the Navigator on both bikes would remove that problem.

    Thanks
    Dave
    2008 K1200 LT
    2004 K1200 RS

  15. #15
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    Found this... Thought some might like it...

    http://bmwrides.wordpress.com/2009/1...ite-gps-tools/

    He explains about making routes on google maps then transferring to a Garmin.

    Peter in OKC, OK

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