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Old 12-07-2008, 06:30 PM   #1
9Dave OP
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Updated Routing Tutorial for Garmin Mapsource

12/7/08 Mapsource Auto Routing V2
This is an update to the original tutorial created by CMWoodys. Regretfully, Woody kinda Hulked Out and as he departed ADV, deleted all his linked images and files, rendering the original tutorial fairly worthless. I finally have a little time to spend recreating something simillar with new images and info. I've left the original responses in the original tutorial and locked it. Lots of good information there as well. Feel free to add to this thread with additional tips and tricks.

This tutorial is for Garmin GPS units and is based on Mapsource v6.13.7, the last "good" version before the release of the resource hog that is v6.14. The basic concepts will work in any current version of Mapsource. If you have an older version, you may want to update it to one of the newer versions. It appears Garmin has removed the downloadable version of 6.13.7 from its website, but a web search will locate one for you.

Use this at your own risk. I'm not responsible for anything, nor is ADV, and so on, and so on..... Don't be a dope and create a route that takes you over the edge of a mountain, or through the 'hood, when trying to get to Grandma's for the holiday.

Before you Start
Which map data do you have? Garmin sells a lot of different map sets. If you have an older version of Roads & Recreation, or Topo 2008 or older Topo, they are not able to produce automatic routing in Mapsource, or on your GPS. Sets like City Navigator (CN) & City Navigator NT (NT), older maps sets like City Select, and Topo 24K contain routable roads, as do others. Check the Garmin website for details.

Also - even though you lay out a route in Mapsource, when you download it to your GPS, you may get a significantly different result. Units like the 276 & 376 won't recalculate your route when loading, but the 60CSX, 378 and others will when the route is activated. Calculating a route in Mapsource with one map and downloading it to a GPS which has a different map will also create some unanticipated results.

And - there are settings in Mapsource and on your GPS that will affect how autoroutes are created. If you go to the menu selections in Mapsource and select Edit|Preferences|Routing you will see what yours are. For these examples, mine are set like this:

Different settings will likely produce different results depending on available roads.

Also - Mapsource provides multiple ways to do things. For these examples, make sure you have the Tools toolbar turned on. If it's not, right click on the toolbar and then click on Tools to activate.

How to

First, if you have multiple map sets for Mapsource, make sure you have a routable map set selected. For this example, like Woody's, I'll use Utah and Arizona, and route from Red Mesa, AZ to Hurricane, UT.

Move your map to a point where you can see at least the starting point of your desired route. Normally, the city names would be visible. I've set them as waypoints so they would be easier to see.

Select the Routing tool. It is the one next to the arrow on the tool bar that is two purple lines connecting three square black dots.

Click on Red Mesa, then Hurricane, and you should see a straight line between the two.

So long as you have a routable map set loaded, Mapsource should then auto route between the two. With my settings, I get the following.

If that's the route you want, you can then download it to your GPS. Make sure you have the same maps loaded into the GPS so it will know where to go. You can use the Arrow icon and click on the route to select it, then use Edit|Select Maps Around Route to get all of the maps you need. You can also manually select maps. Either way, when you load the route to your GPS, load the maps if you don't already have them loaded.

Modifying an Autoroute
If you don't like where Mapsource wants to take you, it can be modified. Use the selection tool to click once on the route. It should turn yellow and a straight line will appear. Then drag it up to the point you would like to include in your route and click once.

After clicking, Mapsource will recalculate the route including the new point.

If you are happy with the route, you are done. If not, repeat the process of pointing, clicking, and dragging the route where you want it to go.

To get the desired results on your GPS, you need to have the identical map segments on the GPS as are on your computer. If they are different, you could get a message on your GPS telling you the route does not match the available maps and asking you if you want to recalculate. When recalculating, the GPS will make its own decisions on how to route which likely will not match what you laid out in Mapsource

You can select all the map segments around the route by clicking once on the route (it will turn yellow) then click on Edit|Select Maps around Route. You can then load them to the GPS along with the route.

What the heck is a Via Point?
When you modify an autoroute, it will be with either a waypoint, or a via point. What's the difference between the two? From a navigation standpoint, not much - they both provide a means of modifying a route to match the way you want to go. Unlike a waypoint though, a via point will not appear in your waypoint list, even though it will appear in the route.

Notice the two intermediate points with black squares. These are Via Points and are included in your route. But if you look in you Waypoint list, they do not appear.

Different GPS units have different limits on the number of waypoints and via points that can be included in a route. Check your unit to see what the limits are.

Why Can't I get there from here?
Or - why am I getting strange results

Let's say you want to go south from this point

and you know the road connects because you have been through there before. But - when you go to autoroute, you get this instead

What can you do? Well, the short answer for those still learning is "not much". The problem is that in CN, the road is not shown as connecting. The same kind of thing has occured for folks trying to route south from San Diego into Tijuana. For some reason, CN 2008 didn't show a road connection across the border.

What are your alternatives? Well - if you have a unit like the 276/376/478 that does not automatically recalc on loading the route, there are advanced ways of connecting up the routes. The easy alternative is to just create two routes and load them both to the GPS. You can then load the next route when you come to the end of the current route that does not connect.

So What Else Do I Need to Do?
Play with Mapsource - a lot - and frequently. Don't read this the night before you want to go out on a trip across the U.S., or around the world and expect to get it right.

And download lots of routes to your GPS and work with it - often. The easiest way to do this is in the cage with someone else driving. You can then play with the GPS without worrying about wrecking the vehicle while you 're learning.

As noted above, there are often multiple ways to do things in Mapsource. Pointing and clicking, working with the keyboard, etc. Again - use the product, spend time playing and learning, and you will become proficient. Every product has a learning curve, and this one is no different.

So What is a Direct (Point to Point) Route?
Ahhh - a very good question. It is a collection of wapoints with straight lines in between. You can try this by going to your routing preferences and clicking the radio button. Like via points and waypoints in an autoroute, different GPS units have different limits on how many points can be included in a direct route. Check your particular GPS's specs for details.

A Copy of the file, please?
Right now, attachments to the site are restricted, but as soon as they are available again, I will attach a gpx file with the route that is shown above.

Hope this helps. If anyone notices anything that doesn't seem correct, please let me know so I can review and fix as needed.



9Dave screwed with this post 12-09-2008 at 07:21 PM
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