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Old 04-16-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
Viperject OP
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Click and drag route planning: does it exist?

I'll start off by saying that even though I purchased a NOS Garmin 60Cx almost four years ago, it's been in my closet ever since-- never used, not once--- so I still consider myself a complete novice regarding GPS. I've crossed the country north to south and back many times with nothing more than paper maps and hand-written directions, but I'm about to embark on a 5-6000 mile trip into completely unfamiliar territory (all street) and I want the GPS unit/system best suited for my purposes.


I think I have a rudimentary understanding of the distinction between "routes" and "tracks." Routes tell you where to go, tracks tell you where you (or someone else) have been. I would like to borrow tracks from other riders through the states in which I am not familiar, insert bits and pieces of my own, and tie it all together into one large route, or many smaller routes than can be run in sequence. I want MapQuest-style "click and drag" route planning; I want to piece together the entire ride, road by road, at my PC, transfer it to my GPS unit, and let it tell me when and where to turn to complete my route.


What I do not want is for the GPS to determine the route for me. Research leads me to believe this is how most of these systems work: you insert destinations/locations/waypoints/whatever, and the system tells you how to connect them. I understand this can be altered with certain criteria, depending on the system being used, like "no Interstate," or "scenic/twisty roads," but ultimately the rider is still at the mercy of the GPS. I want a unit that guides me through my very specific route, not its own. Does such a system exist?


Deep discounts are available on the Garmin Zumo 660LM, which supposedly handles tracks much better than other road-going units. I've heard good things about the TomTom Rider series as well, which are usually available for half the price (or less) of comparable Garmin units. I'll spend the extra money for a Garmin, however, if it simplifies the process of downloading and using the tracks of other riders.


If the 660LM fits the bill, is additional software necessary to pre-plan the route? The specs say that it includes City Navigator NT and "free lifetime maps," but how does BaseCamp play into the process?


Lastly, I've read that while you can download the tracks of other travelers, the GPS does not use them to generate turn-by-turn directions. Is this true? Or does that apply only to those tracks that aren't on the map?
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperject View Post
1a I'll start off by saying that even though I purchased a NOS Garmin 60Cx almost four years ago, it's been in my closet ever since-- never used, not once--- so I still consider myself a complete novice regarding GPS.
1b I've crossed the country north to south and back many times with nothing more than paper maps and hand-written directions, but I'm
1c about to embark on a 5-6000 mile trip into completely unfamiliar territory (all street) and I want the GPS unit/system best suited for my purposes.


I think I have a rudimentary understanding of the distinction between "routes" and "tracks." Routes tell you where to go, tracks tell you where you (or someone else) have been.

2 I would like to borrow tracks from other riders through the states in which I am not familiar, insert bits and pieces of my own, and tie it all together into one large route, or many smaller routes than can be run in sequence.
3 I want MapQuest-style "click and drag" route planning; I want to piece together the entire ride, road by road, at my PC, transfer it to my GPS unit,

4 and let it tell me when and where to turn to complete my route.


5 What I do not want is for the GPS to determine the route for me. Research leads me to believe this is how most of these systems work: you insert destinations/locations/waypoints/whatever, and the system tells you how to connect them. I understand this can be altered with certain criteria, depending on the system being used, like "no Interstate," or "scenic/twisty roads," but ultimately the rider is still at the mercy of the GPS. I want a unit that guides me through my very specific route, not its own.

6 Does such a system exist?

7 Deep discounts are available on the Garmin Zumo 660LM, which supposedly handles tracks much better than other road-going units. I've heard good things about the TomTom Rider series as well, which are usually available for half the price (or less) of comparable Garmin units. I'll spend the extra money for a Garmin, however, if it simplifies the process of downloading and using the tracks of other riders.

8 If the 660LM fits the bill, is additional software necessary to pre-plan the route? The specs say that it includes City Navigator NT and "free lifetime maps," but how does BaseCamp play into the process?


9 Lastly, I've read that while you can download the tracks of other travelers, the GPS does not use them to generate turn-by-turn directions. Is this true?

10Or does that apply only to those tracks that aren't on the map?



the amount of learning curves, and their steepness, that you have involved, makes me want to suggest you just keep using paper maps.

seriously, all of this is a LOT of stuff to do, just basecamp and transfering files usually stumps most folks. then you get into 'why doesnt track x work when route y does, on my garmin z unit ?" questions, and the frustration level compounds.

it's not all doom and gloom. some of the guys that have spent years understanding the hows/whys of garmins processes will tell you it's easy. but there is a lot to learn along the way.

instead, it might be a good idea to shadow a friend from his desktop to his bike, and borrow his gps for a weekend trip. this would be a great way to find out what you didn't know to ask about, yet. it would also be a good excuse to get the + / - of what he's using. in your hands.

i would normally tell you to just pull out your smartphone and i'll show you how, but you didn't ask about that... and a lot of people still think that cellphones won't work away from cell towers. but they will, and that's another subject.
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Old 04-17-2015, 05:37 AM   #3
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Oh the "Route vs Track"...lol

I have been in your shoes, for way too long.

Basically, what you want to do, isn't realistic apparently.

For whatever the reasons may be...making a "route" and convincing a GPS to "navigate" it (with turn by turn) is apparently "impossible" for whatever reason, even though EVERYONE wants it.

Instead, it's relatively simple to make a "track" on a computer at home, and with enough programs and resources pop it on your GPS and then "follow" it as you ride.

I can tell you from personal experience, the ONLY way to learn this is to plunk down some cash and buy something and start living it.

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Old 04-17-2015, 06:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperject View Post
I think I have a rudimentary understanding of the distinction between "routes" and "tracks." Routes tell you where to go, tracks tell you where you (or someone else) have been.
. . .
I want to piece together the entire ride, road by road, at my PC, transfer it to my GPS unit, and let it tell me when and where to turn to complete my route.


What I do not want is for the GPS to determine the route for me.
There is one other important difference between "routes" and "tracks".

A route is a series of points set up so that the GPS unit can tell you where to turn. If you use only a starting point and a destination, the GPS has to choose a lot of roads in between. If you specify many, many waypoints, you can make sure that the GPS uses the roads you choose. Getting enough points to constrain the GPS can be a PITA.

Tracks are NOT set up for turn-by-turn directions. (Is there any GPS that calls out directions for tracks? IDK.) A track is, as you said, a recording of a ride. You can also make a track at your computer or tablet. You can display a track on your GPS but the GPS doesn't help you stay on the track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperject View Post
If the 660LM fits the bill, is additional software necessary to pre-plan the route? The specs say that it includes City Navigator NT and "free lifetime maps," but how does BaseCamp play into the process?
Basecamp works on a computer (Windows or Apple, not Linux) to plan routes, edit tracks, and turn one ito the other. It's much easier on a computer than on the little screen of a GPS. Plus more, I'm sure. I have used GpsPrune and QtLandKarte but not Basecamp (see OS parenthetical digression, above).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperject View Post
Lastly, I've read that while you can download the tracks of other travelers, the GPS does not use them to generate turn-by-turn directions. Is this true? Or does that apply only to those tracks that aren't on the map?
Basecamp and other programs for computers can compress tracks (from, say, 10,000 points to just a few hundred) and some can convert routes to tracks and tracks to routes. See ohgood's comment on steep learning curves in his post above.

I hang a GPS on the handlebars and ignore it a lot. It finds gas and food. At the end of the day it gets me unlost. I'm shopping around for some Android app that will help me do what you want to do. I have not found it.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:57 AM   #5
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I'm sure I could complete this trip using my old-school paper method, but what a pain in the ass... I'll end up with a book's worth of hand-written pages stuffed in the sleeve of my tank bag.

I've been reading about this A LOT over the past few days, and it sounds like many riders have had good luck using the 660LM to convert tracks to routes. It sounds like just using the tracks themselves might be a safer bet, however, to guarantee the detail I'm after.

So long as I have the correct maps downloaded to the device, once I overlay them with tracks I will still see street names/numbers, correct? No turn-by-turn or audio directions, but as I understand it, I can just follow the line... right?

And I can build my own custom tracks by connecting the downloaded tracks of others with my own sections of manually drawn tracks, correct? Or, I assume I could just manually draw the entire thing start to finish. Are there data limits associated with this method? Will I have to break the ride into smaller tracks that can be traced in tandem? Will a micro SD card allow me to run a larger route/track, or does it simply provide the space to hold more smaller routes/tracks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by avc8130 View Post
I can tell you from personal experience, the ONLY way to learn this is to plunk down some cash and buy something and start living it.
I hate to spend $450 on a device I may hardly use, but you're probably right. I need to just bite the bullet and try it out.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:05 AM   #6
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I find Basecamp and its predecessor Mapsource very valuable for planning rides.

You do have to either buy Garmin or otherwise get a mapset. I mainly use City Navigator which is autoroutable.

This means you just select a few points and the software draws a road following route between them.

You can load this onto your 60 and get turn by turn directions.

I don't like this and prefer to navigate by tracks. So I convert the route into a track and load this onto the Montana I use.

You can create routes on the GPS unit. But I only use this to make ad hoc changes in the course of a ride.

With all autorouting you might not get the route you want. You fix this by creating intermediate route points along the path you really want.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:21 AM   #7
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Bob, is that you?




Bob, a friend of mine, is old school. He has a less than zero interest in new technology. That's fine, he has other interests.
He wants to take a cross country trip this year, and decided he needs a GPS. I suggested he find a friend that would give him an old smartphone for free so he could play with it, to see if it was something he wanted to do. Next thing I know, he bought a used one off of Ebay. Weeks later, he called, and wanted to know how to turn it on. He also didn't know how to install the battery in it. And how to charge it.
Basically, he is in over his 'interest level'. He has no interest in spending a LOT of time with the device to learn it, and the software. When he goes to use it on his trip it will only bring him frustration.

If you haven't even turned on the 60CS and learned it, why will a newer device fix that? Why not stick with paper maps. Do your route online with Google and print out the turns instructions. Done. Enjoy the trip.


PS, I suspect that you will find Basecamp WAY frustrating.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperject View Post
I'll start off by saying that even though I purchased a NOS Garmin 60Cx almost four years ago, it's been in my closet ever since-- never used, not once--- so I still consider myself a complete novice regarding GPS. I've crossed the country north to south and back many times with nothing more than paper maps and hand-written directions, but I'm about to embark on a 5-6000 mile trip into completely unfamiliar territory (all street) and I want the GPS unit/system best suited for my purposes.


I think I have a rudimentary understanding of the distinction between "routes" and "tracks." Routes tell you where to go, tracks tell you where you (or someone else) have been. I would like to borrow tracks from other riders through the states in which I am not familiar, insert bits and pieces of my own, and tie it all together into one large route, or many smaller routes than can be run in sequence. I want MapQuest-style "click and drag" route planning; I want to piece together the entire ride, road by road, at my PC, transfer it to my GPS unit, and let it tell me when and where to turn to complete my route.


What I do not want is for the GPS to determine the route for me. Research leads me to believe this is how most of these systems work: you insert destinations/locations/waypoints/whatever, and the system tells you how to connect them. I understand this can be altered with certain criteria, depending on the system being used, like "no Interstate," or "scenic/twisty roads," but ultimately the rider is still at the mercy of the GPS. I want a unit that guides me through my very specific route, not its own. Does such a system exist?


Deep discounts are available on the Garmin Zumo 660LM, which supposedly handles tracks much better than other road-going units. I've heard good things about the TomTom Rider series as well, which are usually available for half the price (or less) of comparable Garmin units. I'll spend the extra money for a Garmin, however, if it simplifies the process of downloading and using the tracks of other riders.


If the 660LM fits the bill, is additional software necessary to pre-plan the route? The specs say that it includes City Navigator NT and "free lifetime maps," but how does BaseCamp play into the process?


Lastly, I've read that while you can download the tracks of other travelers, the GPS does not use them to generate turn-by-turn directions. Is this true? Or does that apply only to those tracks that aren't on the map?
The zumo 660LM is at end of life so you should find reasonable pricing on the unit. That is not to say that it isn't a good unit. Maybe not the best since it is over six years old now - but solid nonetheless.

If you only want to use a computer application, then I would suggest BaseCamp. But, it does have a learning curve just like every application - even the simplest ones. If you want a somewhat easier to use application that is an online app, I would recommend you use Furkot.com to create your routes (Trips). You can create them easily on the map using the drag/drop method and placing Stops where you want them. You can insert other folks Tracks into your route easily to create your own Trip. Once you have your Trip laid out the way you want you can Export your Trip in GPX format using the Tracks option and you will get a GPX file with Tracks and Waypoints which you can save to your zumo 660LM's Garmin/GPX folder when it is USB connected to your computer.

On the zumo, once you disconnect it from USB and restart it, you can Import Tracks in two ways. You can import them into the Off Road Tracks App as Tracks and you can also Import them (convert them) to Routes in the Custom Routes App. These Routes will give you turn-by-turn and will be just the same as your Tracks but they can not be allowed to Recalculate while your are navigating them or they will loose the original path. It's simple to prevent them from changing by selecting Recalculation=OFF in the Navigation settings.

If you want to know more about Routes, Tracks and Waypoints with respect to GPX and sharing data, you might read over my latest article on the subject.

I also have a few Furkot.com YouTube Videos on getting started to do exactly what you have said you would like to do. If you do watch the videos, you may notice some slight changes in the User Interface and probably a few new options since I created these videos a few months ago.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperject View Post


1 I'm sure I could complete this trip using my old-school paper method, but what a pain in the ass... I'll end up with a book's worth of hand-written pages stuffed in the sleeve of my tank bag.

I've been reading about this A LOT over the past few days, and it sounds like many riders have had good luck using the 660LM to convert tracks to routes. It sounds like just using the tracks themselves might be a safer bet, however, to guarantee the detail I'm after.

2 So long as I have the correct maps downloaded to the device, once I overlay them with tracks I will still see street names/numbers, correct? No turn-by-turn or audio directions, but as I understand it, I can just follow the line... right?

3 And I can build my own custom tracks by connecting the downloaded tracks of others with my own sections of manually drawn tracks, correct?

4 Or, I assume I could just manually draw the entire thing start to finish.

5 Are there data limits associated with this method?

6 Will I have to break the ride into smaller tracks that can be traced in tandem?

7 Will a micro SD card allow me to run a larger route/track, or does it simply provide the space to hold more smaller routes/tracks?



8 I hate to spend $450 on a device I may hardly use, but you're probably right. I need to just bite the bullet and try it out.

1 agreed
2 street names will depend on which device, which map, etc but yes, you can just follow the track on the device instead of using TurnByTurn navigation. this is much more reliable than having the gps recalculate a route as you ride, and less frustrating.

3 yes
4 yes
5 yes, for the garmin devices it will vary from device to device. smartphones don't care how many points are in a track.
6 HAVE TO will depend on the devices' point count limits. regardless of that, it's a really good idea to break things up into 100-200 mile segments for street rides, and 20-50 mile segments for trail rides. if you corrupt/delete/screw up/ a segment, you still have all the others waiting in line. hopefully.

7 depends on the device.
8 try out a friends. then another friends. and try out making all this stuff happen with basecamp (offline) or FURKOT, gpsies, gpsvisualizer, or one of the other wonderful websites that are online. keep in mind the tracks/routes guestimated by the computers might be there, but always have a bridge out, construction, missing roads, or something similar. TRACKS from other people are excellent things to have.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:40 AM   #10
Grinnin
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Tracks are NOT set up for turn-by-turn directions. (Is there any GPS that calls out directions for tracks? IDK.)
I believe that Grinnin is wrong about this. According to phone-GPS guru "ohgood", posted today in another thread, the navigation app "Locus" will call out turn-by-turn directions for a track.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:55 AM   #11
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Well, technically you were correct in that no GPS receiver currently on the market, will provide turn-by-turn directions for a Track. Some Mobile Navigation Apps do as you noted from ohgood's info.

Garmin's zumo 660/665, zumo590 and BMW Navigator IV and Navigator V devices will convert Tracks to Routes that will provide turn-by-turn guidance.

It should also be noted that the zumo 660LM will only Import a Track of ≤650 Track Points.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:07 PM   #12
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I believe that Grinnin is wrong about this. According to phone-GPS guru "ohgood", posted today in another thread, the navigation app "Locus" will call out turn-by-turn directions for a track.
it will, but it's crappy...

if you have a few sharp turns, it will say "turn left in thirty feet", followed immediately by " turn right in twenty feet " when it's only a bend in the road, and you would get sick of the instructions in about three turns.... or twenty feet whichever comes first. ;-)

keep in mind it's a whole lot nicer to get a BONG! (out whatever chime you prefer) at major intersections, and leave the rest to a wish glance. just my opinion, not saying you can't have your own.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:23 PM   #13
avc8130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperject View Post
I hate to spend $450 on a device I may hardly use, but you're probably right. I need to just bite the bullet and try it out.
If you have the cash, spend it. If you wind up not liking it, sell it. You won't lose $450. Maybe $100.

It's really the only way you can find out. You will drive yourself batty reading about this crap. Just dive in.

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Old 04-17-2015, 08:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by worwig View Post
If you haven't even turned on the 60CS and learned it, why will a newer device fix that?
I turned it on. Walked around outside with it for a bit. Just never actually navigated with it. Attempted to read the instruction manual, read a million threads on here that confused and discouraged me, put it in the closet.

I think the main reason I gave up on the 60Cx is because it didn't include any useful software, and I couldn't figure out exactly which software I needed to purchase to effectively use the unit. The 660LM comes with all the maps I'll ever need and some listings claim it includes BaseCamp.

Which brings me to another question... will the software included with the 660LM be useful with the old 60Cx as well? I mean, BaseCamp is BaseCamp, right? I assume you can use it to configure any Garmin device..?
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worwig View Post
Bob, is that you?




Bob, a friend of mine, is old school. He has a less than zero interest in new technology. That's fine, he has other interests.
He wants to take a cross country trip this year, and decided he needs a GPS. I suggested he find a friend that would give him an old smartphone for free so he could play with it, to see if it was something he wanted to do. Next thing I know, he bought a used one off of Ebay. Weeks later, he called, and wanted to know how to turn it on. He also didn't know how to install the battery in it. And how to charge it.
Basically, he is in over his 'interest level'. He has no interest in spending a LOT of time with the device to learn it, and the software. When he goes to use it on his trip it will only bring him frustration.

If you haven't even turned on the 60CS and learned it, why will a newer device fix that? Why not stick with paper maps. Do your route online with Google and print out the turns instructions. Done. Enjoy the trip.


PS, I suspect that you will find Basecamp WAY frustrating.
No, it's not Bob, its my friend Bryan
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