Originally Posted by Albie
The whole shaping point thing was created because of ZUMO owners. They didn't want all the Via points cluttering up the map display, You can imagine how bad it looked having 300-400 via point flags being displayed in a couple hundred mile route. So Garmin created shaping points as a way to turn them off so they wouldn't display on the ZUMO's, and to make them non announcing. As far as I know, none of the other units outside of the ZUMO hide the shaping points. Of course with only a max of 50 points with the Montana, not like there's a lot of clutter anyway.
Actually, shaping points have always been hidden on Garmin devices. Except Zumos. Or at least in the 10 or so years I've been using Garmin products (iQue 3600, iQue 3600A, Mobile PC, Mobile XT, nRoute, GPS10x, eTrex Legend HCx, Nuvi 765T, Nuvi 255W, Nuvi 40). (My Approach G6 probably doesn't count cuz it's dedicated to the golf course.)
Don't take my word for it. Do this test. Create a two point route (A to B) in Basecamp or Mapsource. Make sure there are a few turns necessary to get from A to B. Export the route to a GPX file and view it in your favorite XML viewer or a text editor like Notepad. You will see a bunch of shaping points in the route. Transfer that route into any (non-Zumo) Garmin nav device that supports loading routes. Activate the route and look at the map. You will only see points A and B disolayed. None of the shaping points you see in the GPX file will be displayed nor will they be announced ... except that the appropriate turns they mark will be announced, of course.
Except on a Zumo.
When Garmin created the Zumo to support the sorts of off-the-beaten-path routing that motorcyclists and some RV travellers like to use, a side-effect of the way they implemented some of the features was that shaping points became visible, in all respects, eg. they showed up on the map display and they were announced just like waypoints or POIs used in the route.
This, of course, was an undesirable side-effect so a workaround had to be devised.
The "shaping point" and "via point" terminology has existed in the Garmin vocabulary for a very long time. But it had to be added to the GPX spec so the Zumo could distinguish them and handle them appropriately. And, of course, the code had to be added to the Zumos.
The side-effect is that the features can now be used in devices like the Montana and future devices aimed at folks like us who like to travel like cats. :)