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Thread: garmin software compared to google

  1. #16
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWPhreak View Post
    What you say is true Paul, but with Garmin making "lifetime" updates pretty affordable, I have gone to that. When a map update becomes available it updates both my computer and my GPS so they are always in sync. I have never had an issue with my GPS (Zumo 450) reprogramming a route built on my computer as a result.
    Good to know. I'm still using a 276C and Nuvi 265W.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  2. #17
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    I'm using the 276C I bought in early 2005 and the maps are an update I bought in 2006. I've also never had a problem with the GPS re-calculating a route I've crafted on the computer, but then maybe that's because I turn off the auto-recalculate function on my GPS.
    Mark
    2006 R1200RT

  3. #18
    Less is more. samuelh's Avatar
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    I think part of the problem was that I haven't installed the "City Navigator North America NT 2009" mapset to my mac? The detailed map was only available when I plugged in my zumo via usb, the second I unplugged it it went back to the generic world map. I am installing the maps now, my hunch is that will make searching much, much faster, as it doesn't have to happen over USB. I had no idea it was even possible to load a map from your gps into Base camp.

    I'm interested in what Paul said about waypoints.. I don't know if you can answer in general for the entire LD community, but what I read from your post is that people tend to plug in waypoints, and then let the GPS do the routing? That's interesting to me, as I have found sitting down and drawing the routes on my computer to be terribly error prone.. IE I end up with a lot of u-turns and weird little route segments that make no sense once I am on the bike.

    Also playing around with audio from my 550... that's a whole nuther adventure.

    SH
    "The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
    --Randy Pausch
    (2011 C14 6500m) | (2009 G650GS - 20,135m) | (Suzuki GZ250) | (Honda 250 twin)

  4. #19
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    Yep, u-turns happen. The majority of those, at least for me, happen when I use a town as a way-point. What happens is the software decides where in the town the way-point is actually set and sometimes on what side of the divided highway it may be on. It will send you to that exact point which then might require some weaseling around to get back on the main track. After building a route, I then go back and look at the directions. In cases where these 'detours' occur, I zoom in, create a new way-point at the proper intersection, add it to the route, and then delete the point the Garmin self generated. It is actually pretty quick and painless, once you get the hang of it.

    Regarding your map installation, I too use a MAC. (One day, maybe the rest of the world will catch up, LOL.) When a map download/update is done, there is an 'Advanced' button (I think that is what it is called) that if not looked specifically for, can be easily missed. That button, when clicked, gives the option of installing the map on the MAC. Select that option and the map update/installation will occur on both the GPS and the MAC. Then, all that is required is to verify RoadTrip (upper right hand corner on main screen) or BaseCamp (Maps on menu bar at top) (take your pick, each has it own advantages) is using the latest map.

    Hope this helps.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi/2005 DR200SE aka Pennsy
    Yorktown, Va

  5. #20
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Regarding waypoints vs. routes:

    One of the considerations is how you will be riding. Obviously, if you are GS-ing it on trails, you will want to choose waypoints. If you will be doing only street riding, then you can (1) use waypoints and let the GPS pick the route, or (2) use a route you have developed from a non-GPS mapping program.

    I have done both (GPS picks route vs. mapping program) and find that my preference (YMMV) is to play with the route in a non-GPS mapping program and download the route as a "route", not a set of waypoints. For me, I find it easier to manipulate the route on my laptop. Of course, once the Garmin has imported the GPX file, I can still modify the route "on the fly" if I want to add another stop.

    In my experience, route files downloaded from a non-GPS mapping program have always followed the route I have chosen and the GPS has never monkeyed with the route. Just make sure that the non-GPS mapping program DOES NOT use a map vendor that restricts you in your route planning (i.e.; not letting you choose a seasonal road even if it is "in season").

    (+1 on Mac)
    Last edited by THEO; 04-09-2011 at 12:38 PM. Reason: OS bias.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  6. #21
    Less is more. samuelh's Avatar
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    I still think I'm missing something fairly basic with BaseCamp. For instance: I'd like to do a SS1000 from Philadelphia to near Lumberton NC, or from Philadelphia to Springfield OH. In google maps, I just type in "Philadelphia PA to Lumberton NC" and I get a route. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to find cities at all in BaseCamp. I'm essentially just trying to set a single waypoint, and failing.

    Grrr.

    SH
    "The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
    --Randy Pausch
    (2011 C14 6500m) | (2009 G650GS - 20,135m) | (Suzuki GZ250) | (Honda 250 twin)

  7. #22
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuelh View Post
    {snip}...For the life of me, I can't figure out how to find cities at all in BaseCamp. I'm essentially just trying to set a single waypoint, and failing.

    Grrr...{snip}
    Why not just download your Google route to the Garmin? You'll need to install the free Garmin "Communicator" plug-in (from Garmin's site) for your browser, then you'll be ready to go.

    Works with my Mac/OSX/Safari setup and with the Mac/WinXP/Firefox setup. Do you seem to be running into problems when trying to do this?
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  8. #23
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    Why not just download your Google route to the Garmin? You'll need to install the free Garmin "Communicator" plug-in (from Garmin's site) for your browser, then you'll be ready to go.

    Works with my Mac/OSX/Safari setup and with the Mac/WinXP/Firefox setup. Do you seem to be running into problems when trying to do this?
    When I tried that I could get it to download maps that Google itself created, but not custom ones where I designed the route. Was I doing it wrong?

  9. #24
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    When I tried that I could get it to download maps that Google itself created, but not custom ones where I designed the route. Was I doing it wrong?
    Give me a little time this weekend and I'll try to replicate your problem. Stay tuned...
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  10. #25
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    For more detail, if I go to maps and put in a starting point and a destination, the GPS shows up in the "send to" menu. If I pull up a map from the "my maps" list, the GPS doesn't show up in the "send to" menu.

  11. #26
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Sith Lord,

    Ok, I steered you in the wrong direction. I use MapQuest, not Google. (I'm so embarrassed!)

    I just experimented with both and you are absolutely correct about Google: (1) it only sends the destination AND (2) when saved to MyMaps, the send to GPS doesn't exist!!! So, substitute "MapQuest" for each time I mentioned Google (except for the seasonal road thing). Please refer to the following (Garmin Communicator plug-in required!):

    I plugged my N??vi 550 into the computer and waited for the device to be mounted. Then, using MapQuest, I created a route from Easthampton, MA to Pittsfield, MA. I let MapQuest create the route. I then changed the route by dragging the route line to an alternate (longer) route chosen randomly. Here is the screenshot:

    Note where the "Send to" button is (red box) in the above screenshot.


    Next, I clicked the "Send to" button and a tabbed window of destinations was shown. I clicked on the "GPS" tab (red box below) and saw the following:

    Note that MapQuest (via Communicator) sensed the presence of my 550 (blue box above) and wants me to choose whether to save the file to the 550's memory or the MicroSD inserted into it. I usually save all ".GPX" exchange files to the MicroSD so I can easily transport them to another device (GPS/Laptop/Smartphone) if I want to. So, I selected the "TWMMICROSD" device

    Also, note that I have selected to "Send the locations as" a "Route", not "Waypoints" (purple box above). Finally, MapQuest creates a file name that is rather cryptic, so I changed the name to something more descriptive.

    I then clicked the green "Send" button and the following success verification screen was displayed:



    At this point, the GPX file is on the SD card in the 550. I needed to import it to use it as a navigable route. To do this on my 550, I went to "Tools>My Data>Import Route From File" and searched the GPX files shown for the filename of the GPX file I just downloaded from MapQuest.

    There you go. I hope this helps and my sincere apologies for leading you down the Google path!

    Theo
    Last edited by THEO; 04-10-2011 at 12:07 PM. Reason: I'm old.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  12. #27
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    UPDATE:

    Upon further testing, I verified that the test route I developed in the last post DID NOT transfer as routed to my N??vi 550! So I did a little research into a series of routes I used for planning a four segment trip through Maine last year. I was puzzled because the use of MapQuest worked perfectly during last April's planning and yielded and identical route on Garmin when I transferred the GPX file.

    An analysis of those GPX files created by MapQuest revealed that I had established a sufficient number of "stops" (sightseeing, roadhouses, etc.) on the routes to force both MapQuest's and Garmin's routing algorithms to be identical. However, when I replicated several of the custom routes WITHOUT the stops; the starting points and ending points were the only "rtept" entries in the new GPX files. I got EXACTLY the same result as others received! The custom route disappeared and Garmin routed me over a different one!

    So, I guess I got lucky putting in all those stopping points in our trip planning last year. Of course, this means that the only way to make Garmin mimic the MapQuest routing is to load up a route with enough waypoints to force route duplication.

    I even checked out Microsoft Streets and Trips. Same thing. With enough waypoints, routing is identical. But drag a route to a different road in S&T without establishing waypoints (pushpins) and Garmin will know nothing about your customizations!

    I guess I'll eschew the BaseCamp and MapSource experience and still use the MapQuest environment with a few additional waypoints to force identical routing.

    On well...
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

  13. #28
    Less is more. samuelh's Avatar
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    For a google based solution, check out gmaptogpx, it is a very lightweight, but third party converter. I ignored it for a long time because the instructions look complex, but in reality its pretty easy. I found the key was having a Garmin/GPX folder on my SD card, and just dropping the GPX files in there.

    SH
    "The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
    --Randy Pausch
    (2011 C14 6500m) | (2009 G650GS - 20,135m) | (Suzuki GZ250) | (Honda 250 twin)

  14. #29
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THEO View Post
    UPDATE:

    Upon further testing, I verified that the test route I developed in the last post DID NOT transfer as routed to my N??vi 550! So I did a little research into a series of routes I used for planning a four segment trip through Maine last year. I was puzzled because the use of MapQuest worked perfectly during last April's planning and yielded and identical route on Garmin when I transferred the GPX file.

    An analysis of those GPX files created by MapQuest revealed that I had established a sufficient number of "stops" (sightseeing, roadhouses, etc.) on the routes to force both MapQuest's and Garmin's routing algorithms to be identical. However, when I replicated several of the custom routes WITHOUT the stops; the starting points and ending points were the only "rtept" entries in the new GPX files. I got EXACTLY the same result as others received! The custom route disappeared and Garmin routed me over a different one!

    So, I guess I got lucky putting in all those stopping points in our trip planning last year. Of course, this means that the only way to make Garmin mimic the MapQuest routing is to load up a route with enough waypoints to force route duplication.

    I even checked out Microsoft Streets and Trips. Same thing. With enough waypoints, routing is identical. But drag a route to a different road in S&T without establishing waypoints (pushpins) and Garmin will know nothing about your customizations!

    I guess I'll eschew the BaseCamp and MapSource experience and still use the MapQuest environment with a few additional waypoints to force identical routing.

    On well...
    WOW. after reading this entire thread,
    i've discovered what i was seeking in my thread (last year) BEST GPS? it seems what i REALLY meant was BEST SOFTWARE FOR GPS? or "Best Route Entry Method For GPS"?

    looks like there are myriad options for not only a GPS but also software and programs- and equally numerous ways to get messed up while route planning, using a GPS interfaced with a PC or laptop (read: computer)... different satellites, mapping sources, software programs, interfaces, updates... all of which seem to have some glitches? seems no single combination of GPS and software interface/mapping source is bulletproof. add human interface and the potential for error increases exponentially.

    while i STILL Haven't gotten a GPS, i AM still considering the possibility of one in my life. this last post by Theo has sparked something about *waypoints* which i haven't really understood to now: are waypoints simply points along an intended route where you might change routes- like from one state numbered road onto another? or even a turn from one named street to another (if you were routing thru a major city?

    you know how sometimes in life we tend to over complicate things especially when we get technology involved? is this what's happened here???

    perhaps i misunderstand it, but if i were going to plan a (LD) route, i would

    A: pick the start point and the intended destination.

    B: go over the route and write down each turn at every intersection in or near whatever town the intended turn happened to fall at. (i usually include the town name). if i happen to know of a bangin' restaurant or whatever along the way i might route myself to it as i choose the series of roads i will travel.

    have i just *created* a series of *waypoints* along my *route*?
    would each turn (intersection) or stop (restaurant) along the way be a *waypoint*?


    BTW, i usually use Google Maps, instead of Mapquest, for whatever reason?
    i also *interface* using De Lorme Gazetteer and/or Rand McNally Atlas.
    i *save* my route and my *waypoints* to a *piece of paper*!

    OK i admit the spoof. but seriously.
    does it really need to be so complicated?

    the process of mapping, like the route itself, has many options- all of which will get you there...
    eventually.

  15. #30
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    {snip}...does it really need to be so complicated? ...{snip}
    No. Use paper maps.

    But learning how to extract the most out of your GPS involves a bit more time. It can be a simple as putting the start and end in and letting the GPS auto-route you. But if you want to customize the auto-routed route (!), you'll need to spend more time with your GPS/computer. Yes, you can change your route using the GPS device itself, but that can be quite maddening. Best to use a computer program (like MapSource or BaseCamp) to customize your route and faithfully download it to your GPS.

    As we have discovered, the problem with Google AND MapQuest is that they download isolated waypoints instead of routes. When viewed in your GPS, it will show "as the crow files" connections to the waypoints; the paths between them are not constrained by roads, buildings, oceans, etc.

    And, yes, you can write all your waypoints down on paper then enter them into your GPS, but most folks prefer to omit that step and simply adjust the route using software instead of brute force.
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
    2012 MINI Countryman S, 2004 MINI Cooper S JCW, 2000 BMW 328i

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