A Noobie, Drowned in a Sea of Information

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by AdventurePoser, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I've had a Zumo 550 for years and really never learned to use it other than the most basic, intuitive features.

    Now I want more knowledge....Base Camp is bewildering....for more info on how to really use my Zumo I've started with the BC FAQS and tutorial page.

    Next step You Tube?? Any published books on the subject i.e., "The Idiot's Guide to Zumo?BaseCamp?":deal

    I think my reluctance is based on my basic character and that is "Whatever comes, comes." I've ridden lots of long rides and rarely plan anything...No reservations, no routes, just point the GSA and go.

    Now, I'd like to see how the Dark Side:D works.

    Have a great riding day,

    AdventurePoser
    #1
  2. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

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    As I recall, Emoto posted some links for video tutorials on Base Camp in the huge Montana thread. He said they were a great help to him.

    For me the Zumo is all about routes and I run routes everywhere I go. But I am not a fan of dedicated routes, I use auto routing most of the time. I am always looking for back roads to ride and auto routing helps me find new roads and routes to ride.
    Auto routing makes exploring easy, fruitful, and fun:D
    #2
  3. 568V8

    568V8 Ontario Vstrommer

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    MapSource and Base Camp are both way to complicated for some of us to be bothered. I've no doubt that a proficient user can do neat stuff; but I've ridden my Vstrom with a Zumo 550 to all 10 provinces and 42 states without using either program. I know my Zumo intimately and we ride great together.
    #3
  4. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I think if you are happy with what you are doing you should just stick with it. A lot of people don't need or want to deal with detailed trip planning.

    I live on the Dark Side for two reasons. First I enjoy trip planning. Second I got really tired of being hopelessly lost, running out of gas, stuck in the dark, running into locked gates, etc.

    But I like to do trips mostly offroad in very remote places with minimal civilized conveniences.

    If you really want to learn these software packages, I think you should pick one or two pretty easy things you want to do. Like maybe plan a route between two points and then learn how to send the route to your GPS and then learn how to turn on the route and actually try to follow it.
    #4
  5. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Thanks guys...really good advice. For whatever reason, I find Base Camp complicated by "extra" steps and a certain degree of being counter intuitive. I wonder if it's worth the effort to learn...

    To some degree, I think I'm conflicted...I see RRs with beautiful inlays of routes, GPS tracks and Google Earth information, and I say, "Jeez, I'd like to learn that, but where do I start?" On the other hand,I don't mind being "lost," and don't think much about advance planning on long trips, other than consulting maps.

    Any teacher will tell you unmotivated students are the hardest to teach, right?


    I think the best thing will to try to learn some simple routes and import them into my Zumo.

    I do know my Zumo 550 pretty well, and use it all the time for navigating distances, times, etc while on the ride. The Trip Marker feature has been my friend...nice to follow that little blue line outta a maze of country roads-in the dark.:clap. I think the only thing I haven't done on the Zumo is to input Lat/Long to find a destination.

    Happy riding,
    Steve
    #5
  6. Emoto

    Emoto Sure, why not?

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    Definitely start by making some routes, pushing them to the GPS, then following them. I think you really have to start doing to retain anything. Or, see if any of your friends in the area have a route file they can send you, and then open that up n basecamp and play around with it.
    #6
  7. lvscrvs

    lvscrvs Been here awhile

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    Agree. This is the painful process I am going through right now so I can relate to your frustrations. I'm starting with making simple routes to learn the basic functions of the software and going from there. There are some tutorials on Youtube that help.

    For years I used Mapquest to create Routes because the interface was much like Google maps, but it did not work well when I wanted to share Routes with others, so I'm forcing myself to learn Basecamp. Definitely takes some patience, but once you get the basics, it becomes more user-friendly (relatively speaking.... :lol3).

    This YouTube tutorial helped me....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnn0Uamy73Y
    #7
  8. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    I must be a glutton for punishment...thanks for the you tube link! I'll check it out and start playing with Base Camp.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    #8
  9. Effjay

    Effjay Adventurer

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    Hey Steve,

    I've become a proficient user of MapSource but balked when I first viewed BaseCamp. Garmin's logic in changing rather than evolving their custom routing platform eludes me. You might recall from 2008 UN where I combined all of WeinerDog's day ride routes into one single file - each with "legs" that could be navigated individually - and shared that with some riders in advance. That's the approach I still use for multiple day trips (now mostly with travel trailer in tow) or as options to select "on the fly" during one long single day.

    Since then, I've created MapSource tutorials as Word docs to share with friends just starting out with custom routing - usually with Garmin Nuvi series units. I have those available to share but unsure how closely they follow current BaseCamp protocol without creating even more confusion.

    Emoto suggested having local buds email some route files to you to play with in BaseCamp. Depending on what you're looking for, I could do that. Send me a PM if you wish...

    Jeff
    #9
  10. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Jeff,

    Great hearing from you...I'll send you a p.m.. Thanks. I'd played with Mapsource, but then I went to Apple, and I guess, by default, Basecamp.

    Best,
    Steve
    #10
  11. bkg123

    bkg123 Been here awhile

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    I'm a huge noob to GPS and base camp, but I've spent most of this winter hashing out what I can. This site has been an awesome learning tool for me. Huge amount of info and experience on here.
    I think my advantage has been not having to'unlearn' anything so base camp has seemed pretty straightforward to me. I've been building routes and practicing them around home all winter. My big trip is in a month, and for the most part most of it is going to go by how it feels, but I have a dozen or so 50-100 mile excursions/routes saved that I can jump on to if I feel like it. I'm just planning on 'connecting the dots' so to speak on the trip. I think everyone has their own way of getting it done.
    #11
  12. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Huge fan of Multnomah...have friends there!

    Thanks for your input. I guess I just have to decide, am I a "point the wheels and just decide to go," or am I a rider who wants the security of a planned route. So far, I've been the former, but I do want to learn the latter, just for grins...

    Cheers,
    Steve

    ps-What is this "winter" you speak of?:rofl
    #12
  13. bkg123

    bkg123 Been here awhile

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    Ha, I had to scrape the windshield once back in February, it was brutal!
    #13