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Thread: Which GPS to get?

  1. #61
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdimon View Post
    I grew frustrated with Basecamp before I could figure it out. I use Tyre instead. Check it out at http://www.tyretotravel.com/ It uses the Google Maps engine and makes itineraries and custom POI files. It's still not as straightforward as it could be but it's pretty good.

    Interesting idea but I have issues with Google Maps. As I mentioned earlier, there is a road near my house that many of my routes use that shows up on Google Maps but which the program will not allow me to draw a route on. I've encountered many instances where Google Maps shows unpaved roads as paved. And I find that it is difficult to design long routes with it.

  2. #62
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    Interesting idea but I have issues with Google Maps. As I mentioned earlier, there is a road near my house that many of my routes use that shows up on Google Maps but which the program will not allow me to draw a route on. I've encountered many instances where Google Maps shows unpaved roads as paved. And I find that it is difficult to design long routes with it.
    When you get an update from Garmin, it really doesn't mean that roads are updated. Restaurants, gas stations and other miscellaneous crap is updated in most cases and "some" roads. In some cases Google Maps may have more up to date info. In others they don't. As for paved versus unpaved, you can try to find DOT maps to check things but they are not the greatest either. The best bet is to get on AdvRider and ask the locals. For Spartanburg County SC my office has the absolute latest roads period. That's what 911 uses. We give them to the state once or twice a year and NavTech and Atlas get them from the state to put into Garmin updates.
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  3. #63
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    As for paved versus unpaved, you can try to find DOT maps to check things but they are not the greatest either. The best bet is to get on AdvRider and ask the locals. For Spartanburg County SC my office has the absolute latest roads period. That's what 911 uses. We give them to the state once or twice a year and NavTech and Atlas get them from the state to put into Garmin updates.
    Unpaved roads in South Carolina (which is what I used to learn to drive on--as well as do a bootlegger's turn) are very different than unpaved ones in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

  4. #64
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    Unpaved roads in South Carolina (which is what I used to learn to drive on--as well as do a bootlegger's turn) are very different than unpaved ones in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
    I was born in Ohio across the river from Wheeling. I also built the GIS for Centre County and ran central PA from the NY to MD lines, so I'm very familiar with what you speak. PA is the National Bureau of Standards model for bad roads. Poor to no road beds, off camber turns, and "God help you" 180 degree uphill switch backs. Then there is WV where some gravel roads are thought of as interstate highways. Gotta love WV though.
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  5. #65
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    I was born in Ohio across the river from Wheeling. I also built the GIS for Centre County and ran central PA from the NY to MD lines, so I'm very familiar with what you speak. PA is the National Bureau of Standards model for bad roads. Poor to no road beds, off camber turns, and "God help you" 180 degree uphill switch backs. Then there is WV where some gravel roads are thought of as interstate highways. Gotta love WV though.
    I used to complain vociferously about the sorry state of Pennsylvania roads until I rode through western New York last year. Everything is relative. I drove a Suburban from Kuwait City to Basra in April 2003 and the roads were better. Although, I will admit, there are slightly fewer artillery shells and anti-air missiles laying along side the roads in New York.

  6. #66
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Hi Rock,
    MSTA is having an event at Little Swizerland just off the BRP near Spruce Pine, NC. They made about ten route maps. I processed them with both MapSource and BaseCamp. I even tried to make them crash by using two different map versions in MapSource and my Zumo. I couldn't get it to produce any extraneous points or jaggies. I did do a master reset of the Zumo and trashed some old stuff. Now the proof will come on Friday and Saturday when I actually run them. Learned a lot about BaseCamp. I am really getting to like it. I did find that you should make profiles under options so you can control your calculations better. You need to watch what you are doing too. That is make sure you have the right version and right settings or it will send you through the middle of town rather than a short interstate by-pass. At least in BaseCamp, once you get the hang of it, it is much easier to edit, at least IMO. I also believe you need to check how Mr Zumo calculates your route. Mine did just what BaseCamp sent but we'll see when I get it on the road.
    Rod

    PS - I've been using Garmins for about ten plus years. Their tech support has been fantastic with hardware related items. Software was pretty good too, until the last year or two. Their first line techs, if you want to call them that, are barely adequate now. It is difficult to get to the second line techs at all. Yesterday the tech went to a special in house FAQ database and it was obvious she didn't really know how the software operated. If you are not having issues with their latest and greatest gear, or your issue isn't directly related to updating or loading software, good luck on getting an answer.
    Last edited by chewbacca; 07-25-2013 at 10:56 AM.
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  7. #67
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    GPS Feature I Love: Destination viewed only as Compass needle direction.

    You might like riding toward "the destination" by only using a red mark on a virtual compass display. Text display shows the "crow flies" distance remaining. You come to a T intersection and glance at the Garmin display to see that "the destination" is slightly to the right of center, so you can turn right unless the choice to the left looks more interesting.

    My Garmin Nuvi 500 or 550 can do this in "hiker mode." The compass display straight ahead is the direction you are going, sort of like using the angle of sun to get somewhere but it also works on overcast days and at night. Quirk: after you enter the destination, set the mode to "hiking" set display to "compass" then as you get into 2nd gear the GPS realizes its going faster than walking and asks if you want to switch to "automobile" mode, decline with another button push and you are good to go. No recalculating, no words you to need to hear, just steady progress on the smaller roads directly toward where you want to go.

    On the downside, we have been lead to "ferry boats" and smaller and smaller dirt roads that go underwater but were passable. You don't get a pinpoint "arrival time" but you can tell if the crow flies distance is still 100 miles then you know about how long it will take.

  8. #68
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    Hi Rock,
    MSTA is having an event at Little Swizerland just off the BRP near Spruce Pine, NC. They made about ten route maps. I processed them with both MapSource and BaseCamp. I even tried to make them crash by using two different map versions in MapSource and my Zumo. I couldn't get it to produce any extraneous points or jaggies. I did do a master reset of the Zumo and trashed some old stuff. Now the proof will come on Friday and Saturday when I actually run them. Learned a lot about BaseCamp. I am really getting to like it. I did find that you should make profiles under options so you can control your calculations better. You need to watch what you are doing too. That is make sure you have the right version and right settings or it will send you through the middle of town rather than a short interstate by-pass. At least in BaseCamp, once you get the hang of it, it is much easier to edit, at least IMO. I also believe you need to check how Mr Zumo calculates your route. Mine did just what BaseCamp sent but we'll see when I get it on the road.
    Rod

    PS - I've been using Garmins for about ten plus years. Their tech support has been fantastic with hardware related items. Software was pretty good too, until the last year or two. Their first line techs, if you want to call them that, are barely adequate now. It is difficult to get to the second line techs at all. Yesterday the tech went to a special in house FAQ database and it was obvious she didn't really know how the software operated. If you are not having issues with their latest and greatest gear, or your issue isn't directly related to updating or loading software, good luck on getting an answer.
    When I resolved my own problem after multiple Garmin techs were unable to by reformatting the memory card, I emailed them with the solution since I know other people have had the same issue. Never received a reply.

    When I was unable to get the maps I purchased to load on my Macbook that I use for travel, I tried a different approach: I put in multiple help tickets to Garmin at the same time assuming different techs would get them. 1 out of the 4 came up with the correct answer. I guess the upside is that marginally beats the zero out of fifteen score I have using Microsoft technical support.

  9. #69
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    I used to complain vociferously about the sorry state of Pennsylvania roads until I rode through western New York last year. Everything is relative. I drove a Suburban from Kuwait City to Basra in April 2003 and the roads were better. Although, I will admit, there are slightly fewer artillery shells and anti-air missiles laying along side the roads in New York.
    Not to mention heaving from frost!
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  10. #70
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    Learned a lot about BaseCamp. I am really getting to like it.
    I've used it a lot over the past few months and still consider it one of the most bizarrely incompetent programs I've ever encountered. To take the latest example, I just tried to revise a long route I'd built. But the revisions were all cockamamie, reversing courses and the like. Unfortunately, I closed out of the program and re-opened it which means the screwed up version was automatically saved and there was no way to revert. What were the software engineers thinking to design the only program I've ever encountered that does not ask "do you want to save" when you change something?

  11. #71
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    I've used it a lot over the past few months and still consider it one of the most bizarrely incompetent programs I've ever encountered. To take the latest example, I just tried to revise a long route I'd built. But the revisions were all cockamamie, reversing courses and the like. Unfortunately, I closed out of the program and re-opened it which means the screwed up version was automatically saved and there was no way to revert. What were the software engineers thinking to design the only program I've ever encountered that does not ask "do you want to save" when you change something?
    Did you try "undo"? It might still work after getting out and back in. Not sure. Easy enough to try.

    Something you can do is to right-click a route and "make copy" then screw around with the copy instead of your original.
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  12. #72
    Steve rockbottom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMOTO View Post
    Did you try "undo"? It might still work after getting out and back in. Not sure. Easy enough to try.

    Something you can do is to right-click a route and "make copy" then screw around with the copy instead of your original.
    Yeah, I tried. I ended up just completely rebuilding the route.

    I know the make copy thing works but that's kind of my larger point--it's a shame that users have to find work arounds to Garmin's design flaws. Every other program in the world asks if a user wants to save changes to something rather than just taking it on itself to save them.

  13. #73
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockbottom View Post
    Yeah, I tried. I ended up just completely rebuilding the route.

    I know the make copy thing works but that's kind of my larger point--it's a shame that users have to find work arounds to Garmin's design flaws. Every other program in the world asks if a user wants to save changes to something rather than just taking it on itself to save them.
    Yeah, I recall when that change came along in an upgrade. It was a feature. I like to do my own saving.
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  14. #74
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Just a "this is how I do it" comment. I make a route using a LOT vertices (a lot of clicks, not sure if each click creates a waypoint or not, but don't care). Just trying to eliminate as much as possible the software choosing the actual path. When I'm done, I take the track and go up it from end to end to see where the software decided not to follow what I want. I've found the it is better to just cut out "bow ties" "zig zags", and other assorted deviations, delete the error section then zoom in tight and make a new "correct" section. When I'm happy with what I have, I merge the section and create a route from it. You may cuss BaseCamp, but at least I can actually get what I want. With MapSource I found that even when I got to what I thought was "what I want" it would not transfer to my Zumo without changes. I'm sure that what I just outlined isn't new to most of you guys, but thought it might be useful to somebody. IMO, programming routing is about as tough as it gets. Our roads and streets are really a lot harder to map than you might think. I have and now manage the people who do it for our County 911 and that is easy compared to making a program select roads for a route.
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  15. #75
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    Just a "this is how I do it" comment. I make a route using a LOT vertices (a lot of clicks, not sure if each click creates a waypoint or not, but don't care). Just trying to eliminate as much as possible the software choosing the actual path. When I'm done, I take the track and go up it from end to end to see where the software decided not to follow what I want. I've found the it is better to just cut out "bow ties" "zig zags", and other assorted deviations, delete the error section then zoom in tight and make a new "correct" section. When I'm happy with what I have, I merge the section and create a route from it. You may cuss BaseCamp, but at least I can actually get what I want. With MapSource I found that even when I got to what I thought was "what I want" it would not transfer to my Zumo without changes. I'm sure that what I just outlined isn't new to most of you guys, but thought it might be useful to somebody. IMO, programming routing is about as tough as it gets. Our roads and streets are really a lot harder to map than you might think. I have and now manage the people who do it for our County 911 and that is easy compared to making a program select roads for a route.
    I think in BaseCamp, using the pencil icon (insert) tool to tack down a route inserts either "via points" or "shaping points" I am not sure which, but definitely not way points. That is good because you can bump into way point limits per route on some/many of the GPS units.
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