Routing with Garmin's Montana/Oregon/62/78/eTrex XX
This thread is to discuss strategies with regard to how best to work with the 50 point limitations imposed by these new generation Garmin gps units when navigating a route in "On Road Mode".
Garmin Basecamp lets you create Routes with many waypoints but if you have more than 50 in your Route, when you try to navigate said route on your gps, you'll see a screen which says "Only 50 points can be used for On Road Navigation". (Message specific to the 62S I have but possibly also to others)
This is very frustrating to some people, so this thread is created to try to work around those issues without completely overwhelming topics on the gps units themselves.
Feel free to discuss your own experiences with regard to routing with a 50 point limit...
The first time I encountered the problem I had created a multi-day route with maybe 250 points. I was about 50 miles into the trip when I decided I needed to turn on routing. The limit ruined my ability to navigate for the whole trip.
This was one of the big reasons I navigate with tracks now.
But I do create routes in order to make the tracks. I just make them short enough that I can get by with 50 points. I have found it very desirable to make one route per gas stop. This makes it easy to figure what the distance to gas is for each leg. It also makes it convenient to make changes to the trip during the planning stage which for me is typically a few to several months.
I create a hard waypoint (as opposed to a via point) about every 3 miles and number them 1-50 to make sure I don't go over. This way I can see the waypoints even when I am not navigating a route. And the short names to do not clutter the screen too much.
I do download the routes and I distribute them to the other riders on a trip. Some guys prefer to navigate with routes, but they are gradually learning to use tracks. Nearly all my routes have some roads that do not show up on City Navigator. I switch to either 100k or 24k topos to fill in the gaps.
Anyway that is what I did when I was using my 60cx. But I have continued this method with the Montana.
This thread was originally an offshoot from the Montana thread (where I was asking too many newbie routing questions :lol3) so please excuse me if my own posts may be particular to the Montana and also to BaseCamp (recommended for the Montana and it solves a lot of old issues IMHO).
In order to make this thread useful to other routing newbies like myself (I'm used to tracks mainly), I am taking the opportunity now to try to lay out some basic posting suggestions and facts up front before we get into the details. I hope this does not rub people the wrong way... :norton And by all means correct me if I'm wrong and I will modify my posts.
Please post differences for other Garmin models as needed but only for those models listed in the thread title because they are believed to be similar in operation. Please don't post confusing information about other models (60CSx, Zumo, etc), but if you just HAVE to then make it clear what model you are talking about.
For example, the 60CSx for navigating to a waypoint has 2 options: "Off Road" (direct point to point) or "Follow Road" (requires autoroutable maps)... this is in contrast to the Montana which has a "Routing Activity" concept that can be set to "Direct" (point to point) or one of several autorouting activity choices ("Non-Direct"). So it would be best to not use 60CSx terminology that does not apply.
Suggestions for posting:
1) In my (novice) view, the first thing to clarify is the GPSr routing "activity" setting...
...For the Garmin Montana GPSr the main thing that affects how the routing behaves is which of 2 primary modes you have set in the GPSr. This is defined by the Routing Activity setting you have selected in the GPSr itself (not to be confused with the mode you select in BaseCamp when you create and transfer the route to the GPSr).
On the Montana GPSr this is found at:
The choices are "Direct" routing vs. all other choices which I will call "Non-Direct".
"Direct" routing means "point to point as the crow flies", in other words the GPSr will not attempt to autoroute using roads it could have found on your mapset, but instead it does not use the mapset and simply goes in a straight line from one point to the next point in the route. The straight lines of the route are displayed but are independent from the map that is also displayed. (Think of the point to point route as simply being overlaid on top of the map layer, but it did not use the data from the map that understands where the roads exist).
In my opinion most people are interested in "Non-Direct" routes which include choices like Motorcycle, Automobile, etc. For these choices the GPSr will autoroute based on the points in the route and the available road data from the mapset you have enabled on the Montana at the time it autoroutes. It uses 2 basic items as inputs: 1) It knows where all your desired points are AND 2) from the (routable) mapset it gets data as to where roads exist and from that it autoroutes a route that keeps you on the road. Furthermore on the Montana you can use Setup->Routing->Avoidance Setup to tell it the types of roads you want to avoid (Unpaved Roads or Interstate Highways, etc).
If your post is specific to one type of Non-Direct mode then please specify it in your post (e.g. Motorcycle), otherwise simply specify whether your post is regarding:
Direct or Non-Direct routing activity
2) Please also specify the mapset you are using on your GPSr. Many are using CNNANT (City Navigator North America NT) of a specific version (e.g. 2013.3) but of course not everybody will be, so this makes a difference! (Note: For example, the CNNANT and Topo 24k are autoroutable but the Topo 100k is not).
3) This is not intended to be a BaseCamp (or MapSource) tutorial but routing is very intertwined with first creating the route in BC (recommended for newer units like the Montana) or MS, and exactly how the route was created when it was loaded to the GPSr makes a difference. So please specify the details about the mapset used AND the route "activity" type set in BaseCamp before it was loaded onto the GPSr. To define this more clearly, I will be posting some info up front about "points" terminology in BaseCamp.
The error message referred to in Post 1 refers to "On Road" navigation, but technically on my Montana it says exactly this:
"Only 50 points can be used for follow road navigation"
... apparently this is referring to these "Non-Direct" or "autorouting" modes and perhaps they used to be called "On Road Mode". I guess this makes sense because it has a map of roads and you are trying to use the map data to autoroute on a road, as opposed to going Direct (formerly called "Off Road") without regard to roads. There are more topics than this 50 point limitation that we can cover.
So I hope this makes sense and hope it will make it more clear when you make posts. Sorry for being presumptuous on my part but this a maze and clarity and terminology are half the battle of understanding all of this! :clap
Some basic terminology
This post was originally Posted by KGANSHIRT from the BaseCamp thread..
There are some references to MapSource and not BaseCamp, and I made some edits myself (noted as [edit: new stuff inserted]
These are general explanations and later I will expand on Via Points and Shaping Points as they appear to be defined in BaseCamp.
The concepts are quite simple. It's the method of distinguishing one from the other that is likely quite subtle in the code.
POI - A formal Point Of Interest. An entry in the internal POI database with a name, location and usually other information associated with it.
Waypoint - Any arbitrary point on the map that you have designated you want to keep track of. Usually stored in the "Favorites" or "My Locations" or whatever your personal navigation device calls its waypoint storage database. Your device will usually allow you to store such things as the location, any arbitrary name you want to supply and other information such as address, phone number, category(ies) and a symbol/icon to be used when displaying it.
Via Point - A point used to create a multipoint route, e.g. Go from Point A to Point B via some other arbitrary point(s) that you will designate. If your personal navigation device supports multipoint routing, the via point can be a POI, an existing waypoint/favorite or any other form of location that is searchable on your device, e.g. address, intersection/junction, custom POI, etc. In most cases, to use something as a via point it must already exist in one of the devices' searchable databases.
Shaping Point - In Mapsource, to "shape" a route to go exactly where you want there are a couple of methods. Just as with the personal navigation device, you can edit the route's properties to insert Via points ([edit: if you add Waypoints as Via Points then these are not] shaping points although they do serve a similar purpose). You can also just use the route tool [edit: the "Insert" tool in BaseCamp] to click on spots on the map to force the shape of a route. When you do that, you are using a location that is not already in one of the searchable location databases. Mapsource does not force you to add these points to any of the formal databases. It simply inserts the actual coordinates invisibly into the route. These are shaping points.
Shaping points occur in another, automatic, fashion as well. Even when you only designate a two-point route, e.g. go from Point A to Point B, there will usually be multiple places, usually intersections, where a change in direction is required. When building the route, the personal navigation device (or Mapsource/Basecamp) will automatically include all of these points in the route.
To easily illustrate this, you can create a two-point route in Mapsource by clicking on a Point A and a Point B that will require a few turns to get from one to the other. Now export the route to a GPX file and take a look at it with Notepad or your favorite text editor. You will see that, in addition to the starting point and the ending point, there will be a bunch of other points in the file to control all the turns.
1. I did not exactly agree with his definition of Shaping points vs. Via Points, from my understanding of BaseCamp. This is explained in an upcoming post.
2. Export as GPX files and open them in an editor, as a learning tool:
If you are motivated to understand this concept better, I highly suggest you do as he mentions and export the route to a GPX file and take a look at it. This is explained in an upcoming post.
Even with the Montana, there really are only two types of routing. Direct which is point to point, straight line as you described. The other is follow the road which as you said requires auto routing mapsets.
New gen GPSr's like the Montana do offer activities for routing, but all those aside from Direct are still follow road. They just merely have different avoidance/preferences based on what most people favor for those specified activities. Of course those activity preferences can be altered and custom activities created as well, but it still comes down to only the 2 types of routing.
To keep everything here simple to understand the two types are really all you need to refer too, because 2 people could be using Motorcycle Activity and the preference/avoidance set up could look entirely different and the routing behave completely different.
BaseCamp defines Shaping Points as a type of Via Point
This post is ONLY about BaseCamp and not any GPSr unit.
I am proposing terminology here using BaseCamp as the definitive source, that can be used later to guide discussions.
Below is an example of a Route in BaseCamp, showing the Properties tab for the route.
At the top in the Summary it shows " Via Points: 7 " and then it lists 7 items line by line under "Via Point Name".
Although technically BaseCamp displays all points in a route as "Via Points", not all items listed there are the same "type", as will be explained below.
Typically to create a route you start with 2 points and typically these are actually Waypoints. This includes 1 Start Waypoint and 1 Destination (finish) Waypoint, but these are now used as Via Points in the Route.
So normally you use the Waypoints that you already had available, in order to start building a Route. So initially you have only these 2 Via Points in your Route.
In between the Start and Destination Via Points you can then add more Via Points. These can be added in different ways resulting in different types of Via Points:
- You can use the "+" button on the right to choose a Waypoint from the Insert Waypoint popup list.
- You can use the menu item Tools->Insert to select the "Insert Tool" whereupon you then click on a route segment on the map to "rubber band" and click a point on the map which will be inserted. These are not Waypoints but just locations, and by default they become Shaping Points.
- These are just 2 main ways, there are other methods and types of Via Points you can insert.
Shaping points are a special type of Via Point in Basecamp that are added just to force a route to go a certain path (it is usually best to insert one after a turn, and not right at the intersection which can sometimes confuse the autorouting).
So if the list is called "Via Points" for everything, how do you know when it is a Via Point or actually a Shaping Point?
If you right click on a line in the Via Point list you will see one of 2 possible menu items appear:
a) "Don't Alert on Arrival (shaping point)". Clicking this will turn it into a shaping point and now the name is greyed out with the words "(won't alert)" after it.
b) "Alert on Arrival". If this option is showing then it is already a Shaping Point so selecting it would turn it into a normal Via Point.
As described above, by default the Insert Tool will create Shaping Points, which you can tell because it is already greyed out and says "(won't alert)".
In my mind, even though BaseCamp lists all of these as Via Points there are differences between Via Points and Shaping Points and when transferred to the GPSr they "sometimes" invoke different behavior when it autoroutes.
So the BaseCamp screen shot above has these 7 items under the Via Point Name list:
- Start - a Via Point created from selecting a Waypoint when first creating the Route
- 4 Shaping Points, created from using the Insert Tool and clicking points right after intersections
- A Via Point inserted using the "+" and picking from the Insert Waypoint list, and selecting the Waypoint named "Stetson" with the "insect" icon
- Destination - a Via Point created from selecting a Waypoint when first creating the Route
Also note that the Shaping Points appear on the map as merely dots and do not have any icons showing like the 3 Via Points do.
Ok the second (less important) concept:
Note in the picture above, at the top left under Summary that it shows:
Via Points: 7
And the top middle shows "Direct" as the Activity Profile in Basecamp.
I believe "Points" means "total" points and includes any "internal" or "hidden" points that BaseCamp itself would have added during its autorouting algorithm.
However because in this example it is in Direct mode, so it did not have to insert any more hidden points because it did not autoroute any turns and just went straight point to point.
You can see this because the map above shows the solid Blue lines going straight between the 7 points.
Now contrast this with the screen capture shown below:
The only thing that I changed in BaseCamp was to change the Activity profile to no longer be Direct. Here I chose Motorcycling.
Observe the change in the total, called "Points" which is now 28 because now BaseCamp had to autoroute and pick more points for the turns and apparently these are hidden from the line item display of the original 7 Via Points, which still show up the same.
But you can see the autorouting occurred in the Cyan (turqoise) colored route that follows the roads and in fact satisfies the Shaping points and Via points.
GPX File Details - and Shaping Points example
As recommended earlier by others, if you are motivated to understand these concepts better, I suggest you do as mentioned and export the route to a GPX file and take a look at it. After you create a route in BaseCamp, select the route then do File->Export->Export Selection... and send the route to a GPX file, then look at it with an editor (like Notepad).
I did this and the GPX file is a type of XML file and you can look around at the tags (for more GPX syntax see examples HERE and the GPX "Syntax" or elements HERE ), but basically you see all the Waypoints < wpt > listed at the beginning, then the Route < rte > and inside the route is the series of RoutePoint < rtept > elements which apparently always has the initial Start waypoint and the last Destination waypoint and in between are all the other Via Points (of various subtypes like Shaping Points etc, as I am getting into next).
Shaping Points - the "proof":
I believe I can confirm that BaseCamp's "Insert Tool" creates Shaping points (by default) because in the RoutePoint < rtept > information for all the "(won't alert)" greyed out points it has a section with the code:
< trp:ShapingPoint / >
If instead I used the + to add a Waypoint then in the < rtept > information it shows it as a ViaPoint:
< trp:ViaPoint >
My conclusions from all of this is we should speak carefully so we can communicate.
But we need to speak in specifics. Don't say just Via Point if it really is a Shaping Point as it could make a difference when this route is sent to a GPSr and then used for autorouting.
50 (or 51) Points Max for Non-Direct mode on Montana
Ok now to get to the main point of this thread as presented in post 1:
"Only 50 points can be used for follow road navigation"
This error message appears on the Montana (version 4.60) when it is in any Non-Direct mode (i.e. autorouting) and you press GO, but there are too many Via Points or Shaping Points in the route.
More specifically, using the CNNANT 2013.3 mapset on both BaseCamp and the Montana, the process was to create the route in BaseCamp with a specific number of Via Points and a specific Activity Profile, then transfer it to the Montana and use Where to?->Routes->[Select Route] then the autorouted route on the map should display so you press GO and the navigating begins.
In my experiments, the exact number of MAX points allowed so it could still autoroute and navigate successfully was dependent on the Activity Profile saved in the Route creation in Basecamp:
a) With 50 total Via Points (48 Shaping + 2 Waypoints):
- Both the Direct and Non-Direct saved routes were able to GO and route properly.
b) With 51 total Via Points (49 Shaping + 2 Waypoints):
- The Non-Direct saved route was able to GO and route properly.
- The Direct saved route would display the map, present the Go button and when pressing it, then it would give the error "Only 50 points can be used for follow road navigation".
c) With 58 total Via Points (56 Shaping + 2 Waypoints):
- Neither the Direct nor the Non-Direct saved routes would even open the map up, it just stayed on the page with the list of route names and with the selected route highlighted and just stay there until I tapped the exit button.
In my case the Non-Direct activity profile I used in BaseCamp was Motorcycling. Also it didn't matter whether the points were Waypoints, Shaping Points or Via Points, they behaved the same.
So my conclusion for the Montana set to any NON-Direct routing activity is that the maximum number of "all types of Via Points" it is able to autoroute successfully is:
- 51 if saved in BaseCamp in any NON-Direct activity profile
- 50 is saved in BaseCamp in the Direct activity profile
Others have reported different results from me, in that more than 51 points would not hang but the map would be displayed, sometimes with or without the GO button appearing, but if GO appeared then selecting GO would give the error message.
Some people have said "the Montana does not support Shaping Points".
What does this mean? Is it true?
I think this is comparing the Montana behavior to other GPSr's in the past perhaps.
On the one hand, setting Shaping points in Basecamp so they now show up as "(won't alert)" does in fact work because they do not announce in the Montana when you reach them.
On the other hand, for the example of a 51 point route saved as Moto in BaseCamp (i.e. Non-Direct), then transferred to the Montana which is also set to Non-Direct, you can see below that all 51 of the little blue locators show up on the map. It would be preferred that these do not show up as they are simply for Shaping the route, so in this regard you might say that Shaping is not supported.
Anyone know more about this?
Direct routing on Montana truncates after 250 points
In earlier discussions we have established there is a 50 (or 51) point max if you try to navigate with it using any NON-Direct Activity on the Montana, meaning if you try to use it for Autorouting.
But this post is to describe what the limitation is for using the DIRECT routing activity on the Montana:
If you have Setup->Routing->Activity set to Direct on the Montana, then you cannot use any route from BaseCamp that has more than 250 Via Points in it, or it will truncate....
This means you will be able to select Where To? -> Routes -> [select route] and the map will appear, GO will appear and you can select GO and navigate, however all the points past the first 250 will not show up on the map (including the destination point).
Below is a specific example of Direct routing limitation on the Montana:
I made 2 Routes in Basecamp, one with 102 Via Points (2 Waypoints + 100 Shaping Points), then I just kept inserting more shaping points until I had a total of 266 Via Points (2 Waypoints + 264 Shaping Points).
1. The 102 Via Point route showed all 102 Via Points without truncating. You can tell because it shows my Destination (finish) Waypoint in the upper right.
2. The 266 Via Point route truncated after 250 Via Points! This I can tell because it deleted the last 16 points in the upper right, including my Destination (finish) Waypoint in the upper right.
I don't foresee this as something important, to me I would never use Direct mode on the Montana, I would much rather use Tracks in this case.
The easiest way to create a Track is to use BaseCamp to make a route and use a Non-Direct activity in BaseCamp and add Shaping points until you get the route you like. Then double click the Route to get its detailed window and select the "Create Track" button on the bottom of the window. Then move the track onto the Montana.
Which BaseCamp activity setting is best for use on Montana?
For using the Montana routing activity in any Non-Direct mode, the question here is which route activity setting is best to have used in BaseCamp?
I've read that many people recommend using "Direct" in BaseCamp before moving a route to the Montana where a Non-Direct mode is used. This would have the Montana do the auto-routing. In this case it is also common to have the Track file generated from BaseCamp on the Montana as well. You can always trust the Track file as it never autoroutes.
What do you think?
With the Montana in Non-Direct mode and the BaseCamp route also in a Non-Direct mode, will the Montana always do its own auto-routing or is there a way to force it to just take the route it was given and not recalculate it?
In order for the shaping point not to create a blue pin, you have to put the point at an intersection, at least that's how it worked in Mapsource. I need to try and play around with it in Basecamp to see if it works as well.
Units that do not support shaping points will announce shaping points as well as via points. The Montana does not announce shaping points so it's obvious it does support them.
Looks good so far:
I clicked Go and the unit was now navigating, in direct mode.
I clicked "Find" again (this is how the 62/78 works - it does not have a "Where To" button/icon like the touch screen models, including the Montana) I then clicked "Change Route Activity" to "Automobile".
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c...w/s240/159.jpg https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-O...4w/s240/76.jpg https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/--...8Q/s240/80.jpg
Then I got the following which the screen capture was not able to get so I took a picture with my phone.
So Garmin confuses the issue by giving it different terminology even in the gps units...
OK, just did a quicky route and put shaping points at both intersections and non intersections, the Montana shows pins at every point.
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