Need advice on mapping software...
I'm about to order a Garmin 60csx from ebay, and was getting excited about an upcoming Flinders trip so started working on some routes.
In the past I have used Google Maps to work out a route, then saved it as a kml and converted to a gpx file (as a track). It would autoroute from one town to the next, then I'd modify the route onto minor tracks that looked interesting or that I knew. This seemed to work ok, opened in Mapsource with Shonky or Tracks4Aus, so I assumed I could just upload the tracks to my new gps and it would ensure I was going in the right direction.
However, Google Maps has apparently been "upgraded", and it will no longer route onto minor (dirt) roads. It insists on major bitumen roads, unless I switch to walking mode, which doesn't have any option to save the maps. In other words it's useless now.
So what I want is a map set that I can load in Mapsource, which will allow me to:
a. Search for towns or road names, and set waypoints
b. Draw a route from waypoint to waypoint, sticking to the roads I choose (not that it chooses) ie snap to the road, not just a straight line between waypoints.
c. Save as a track and upload to GPS
What is the best option for doing this? From my searches and reading of threads Oztopo won't autoroute, so will Garmin Topo Australia do this? Are there any other options?
Routes are for autorouting
Tracks don't autoroute
A route won't work with non-autorouting software (mapping).
Can you clarify whether you want/need autorouting? This makes the big difference.
I want to auto-route in Mapsource, so the route sticks to the roads. I then want to be able to modify the route to take in certain back roads. I want it to stick to the new roads I choose. This is instead of drawing a track freehand with the mouse, it's too slow and my hand/eye coordination isn't that good. Basically, I want it to work just like using Google Maps to plan a route. Auto-route between two towns, then drag the route to roads other than those chosen by the software.
I then want to save it as a track (I do that now with GPSBabel - converting Google Maps routes to tracks), load the track in the GPS, and follow it. I DON'T want it to auto-route while I'm riding. I have Copilot Live on my phone (offline maps) if I need to autoroute through a town etc.
I've found a workaround with Google Maps, that, although not very elegant, works ok. It would be nice to have a simpler method though, and Google Maps still won't let me onto some minor trails, even in walking mode.
In Topo Australia, is it possible to save a route as a track, or will I need to use GPSBabel to convert it? Or is this not possible?
My understanding of Garmin's Topo Australia is that it does indeed autoroute, which is what you are after. Saving a route as a track shouldn't be hard, I know I've done it in Mapsource but I can't remember how or why I did it.
The GPSMAP60CSx is a damn fine GPS too, with one caveat for the use you intend.
It will recalculate a route EVERY time you load it up, regardless of any other setting you may use. it may send you places you didn't want to go. It is a "feature" of these particular units, discussed at some length in the main gps forum here, and the workaround to get it to do what you want it to is quite simple.
Hope this is of some assistance.
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