Google Maps to Garmin - It Shouldn't Be So Hard!

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by RZRob, May 25, 2012.

  1. RZRob

    RZRob Long timer

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    OK, I admit I must be stupid. I'm definitely frustrated. I've spent ridiculous amounts of money and embarrassing amounts of time and have yet to crack the nut and successfully (consistently) take a route I've created in Google Maps and import it into my Garmin Zumo 450.

    Shame on Garmin for not posting this process. I've seen lots of tips requiring shareware but this doesn't seem acceptable. I've got BaseCamp, Topo, DeLorme and every other program that's on the market. The only thing I'm missing is the brain required to make good of it.

    The last thing I read said to 'create a profile in Google Maps'. Heck, I'm so stupid I can't even do that. It's a wonder I can even spell GPS.

    If someone's figured this out, post it here and I'll name my next adopted pet after you. Of course I'm considering taking the sledge hammer to all my Garmin products.

    CAN YOU TELL I'M FREAKING OUT?:lol3

    RZ Rob
    #1
  2. dacrazyrn

    dacrazyrn ED RN Adventurer

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  3. RZRob

    RZRob Long timer

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    Neato, but not what I asked for.

    Very simply, I want to draw a route in Google and use it on my Zumo. It's as simple as eating paste - something I must've done a lot of as a kid.

    I'm totally feeling anti Garmin right now.

    RZ Rob
    #3
  4. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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  5. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    Frustrated? Understandably. Stupid? Not any moreso than lots of other people trying to do the same thing.

    Well, Garmin wants to sell you their stuff. And with their map data and the Basecamp, you can make it happen.

    Your biggest problem with Google to a GPS (not just Garmin) is that Google determines its own routing. To make that happen on a GPS, or in Basecamp or Mapsource, it ususally uses lots of points to shape the route. Also, the map data that Google uses is not necessarily the same as the map data you have available in Basecamp, or on your GPS. So they don't always know how to deal with missing or incomplete data.

    There are at least a couple threads in here that explain in detail how to do this. Including a couple in the last few weeks. Do a Google search of ADV and you can find them. Lots of good information and workarounds.
    #5
  6. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister Funky White Boy

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    I've used TYRE for the last couple of years, and it works. It's not the 1-step process that Gamin should have created (still need their programs to transfer), but it works.

    http://www.tyretotravel.com/download-tyre/

    TYRE uses Google Maps (or Google Earth, if you have the app) to create routes. Save the routes in .gpx, then transfer them to ZUMO with Garmin Mapsucks or BaseCamp.
    #6
  7. RZRob

    RZRob Long timer

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    Hi folks,
    Well I actually found something that was borderline witchcraft, but it worked. Stumbled onto this around 1AM using - Google - to search for someone that'd done the same thing. Of course this is where I originally started, but all of them involved downloading Shareware and weren't quite getting me to the finish line.

    This clever guy's little script http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/gmaptogpx/ creates a NotePad file that I could get BaseCamp to accept.

    Here's what I did:

    1. Created my Google Maps route exactly as I wanted. THEN, I went to the bookmark that the folks in the URL above tell you to make earlier (it's a script generator).
    [​IMG]


    2. It creates this script of details of your route(s) to which you Select All (Ctrl A) then Copy (Ctrl C) then open NotePad and paste into (Ctrl V). Save that files as WhateverYouWant.GPX (instead of .TXT). BaseCamp needs it to have the .GPX file extension.[​IMG]



    3. Now open BaseCamp. This is a free application from Garmin (replaces outdated MapSource I believe). From the File menu, select Import, and select the .GPX file you just created.
    [​IMG]

    4. Your Google Maps route(s) should be in a Garmin-palatable format whereby you need just select them all as I did (see highlighted blue in lower-left of screen grab below) and right click and send them to your USB connected Garmin device. It will take a few moments (probably 10 seconds) for the data to get sent to your Garmin. In the upper left corner of the above screen grab when you're doing this you'll see a faint green progress bar.
    [​IMG]

    5. Next, unplug your Garmin and (turn it on if necessary) you'll get a message of "New Data Found on GPS. Do you want to deal with it now?" Select yes, or later just go to Tools (icon in lower-right of main screen on GPS)and select User Data and select Import Data, then Routes, then select all your newly created Routes and Viola!

    I hope this helps. I'm not crazy about it, but it did work for me.



    RZ Rob
    #7
  8. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    It really isn't Garmin's fault that you chose to use a zumo 450 which doesn't support Track navigation. You also aren't using the same maps that Google is using so you have no "road" to Route on hence the need to Direct Route from Marker (waypoint) to Marker. Did you try using the latest CNNA in BaseCamp instead of the Topo map you show you are using? The route you have mapped between Mt. Baldy road and Lytle Creek is available on the latest CNNA (Barrett-Stoddard to Big Tree Cucamonga).

    [​IMG]

    Blame can be placed on Garmin for not fixing the KML/KMZ Import translator. When this is fixed you will be able to save your Google Map route to your My Places and then save that path to KML format on your computer. When BaseCamp gets the KML Import working you would simply Import the KML path as a TRACK into BaseCamp. There you can edit the track so that it will work on your zumo 450 as a Direct Route or convert it to a Route is you're using CNNA.

    Today, since the KML Import isn't working, I use GPSBabel to convert the KML on my Mac to a GPX file. Then I import and do whatever I need to do in BaseCamp.

    Hope that reduces your workflow a bit.

    Cheers,
    #8
  9. Spiritwalker2222

    Spiritwalker2222 Been here awhile

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    I haven't read the responses, but you can go from google maps to a track in basecamp.

    Create the route in google maps, but make sure your logged in to your account. Create an account if you don't have one.

    Then save it my maps(bottom left).

    Go to my places and select the map you just saved.

    Select the KML option, and save to you desktop or wherever.

    Open in google earth and then save track as a KMZ file.

    You can now import that KMZ file into basecamp as a track.



    ***edit, just read Dan's response. It will be nice once the KML importer works in basecamp. Save a few steps, not that I make routes or tracks from google maps.
    #9
  10. RZRob

    RZRob Long timer

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    I really blame only myself for the challenge, but I wish it was easier. I did try the the KML export (and GPSBabel), but it kept saying I had nothing to route. As for Garmin 450 limitations, Garmin told me this was a perfect choice. I guess I don't really understand the track vs. route issue you raised. Aren't tracks where you've been and Routes where you want to go?

    RZ Rob
    #10
  11. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Thanks for adding the Google Earth workflow. As you noted, KMZ Import does work. It's just the KML Import that has problems.

    Cheers,
    #11
  12. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    When you purchased your zumo 450 Garmin was probable giving you good advice. Things change in four or five years - including how we use our GPS tools.

    Your observation of Tracks and Routes is, in general, a good one. But, when a Google "route" is saved to a KML/KMZ file the special data used to create the route is lost and the route you created is reduced to a series of location points along the path you created in Google Maps. That series of points is coded to look just like a Track that your GPS records when you travel. When you bring that Track into BaseCamp (using either of the methods above) you can then Create a Route from the Track. This Route will have two many Via Points so you should reduce the via point count to as few as will keep your Route on the path you intended - use the Track as your guide. It doesn't get recalculated like a Route does.

    Cheers,
    #12
  13. Mr_McBride

    Mr_McBride 'The Cartographer'

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    Did you ever get your gps to route issue worked out? If not, let me know and I will help you. I have gone through alot of frustration as well and just about gave up using a gps altogether. However, I have an easier way that I have not seen posted here. I have spent countless hours working with buggy software and website apps that simply don't work or require too many steps. I finally found a process that works for me.

    I'm referred to as the Cartographer on some forums. I'm by no means a gps expert, but I have a learned quite a bit over the years with creating routes from a single webpage that allows me to send the route directly to my gps ( read this as not requiring any additional steps like google maps to takitwithme to gps ).

    I'd be more than happy to help.
    #13
  14. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    Can you share this 'single web page" with us?
    #14
  15. Mr_McBride

    Mr_McBride 'The Cartographer'

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    Sure.

    First off, I'm currently using the Garmin Communicator Plugin v4.04.

    http://www8.garmin.com/products/communicator/

    Once installed head over to this site to test the plugin:

    http://www8.garmin.com/products/communicator/test/

    The webpage I use for creating routes is MapQuest. However, I have not had any luck with their newer UI. So, use this url to get back to the older version:

    http://classic.mapquest.com/

    My simplified process is to login to MapQuest so that I can save my work ( often ). Then I click on the Directions tab. I usually enter a city and state in the Start and End forms. Once that is done I start dragging the route to the roads I am interested in. MQ is similar to Google Maps in that you can click and drag the route to new roads and a dot will hold the route. If you hover of the dot in MQ a pop-up window will provide you with the option to create a Route Stop. This will cause the waypoints to become numbered. I like to create a Route Stop at every road change. In my Garmin gps these lettered Route Stops show up as flags. So, there is a flag at every turn onto a new road. Once you get your route to your liking save it. Right beside the Save link is another link named Send. When you click on this link you will, if Garmin Communicator has been installed and your gps is connected via USB, see an option to Send to GPS. I have a memory card in my gps and this option allows me to send the route to both the gps and the memory card.

    Once the route has been sent to your gps, don't disconnect your gps just yet. There is a bug in this process that you have to account for. I don't know if this an issue on the MQ side or the Garmin side....it's very easy to get around, though. The gpx file transfers to my memory card with no issues. However, the gpx file that gets sent to my gps has the gpx extension in all capital letters. My gps will not import the route until the GPX extension is renamed to gpx ( lower case ). After that all is well.

    I have built many routes this way and have found this to be the least frustrating method.

    Let me know how if this works for you.

    Limitations: I have found that if you are planning a very long route or a route with many turns there is a limitation. The lettered Route Stops start at A and will end at Z. At or near the max number I have experienced importing errors, not from MQ, but with the importing a route from a file function in the gps. My advice here is to break the route into segments ( 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc ). This has worked very well for me for several years.

    Also, for reference I use a Garmin Nuvi 760. This gps will only allow me to have 10 routes imported at a time, but the memory card I have probably has 50+ routes that I can import any time I need them. Just simply delete some routes from the gps and then import the route(s) needed for the day.
    #15
  16. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    Thanks for that it seems like a pretty good approach.

    I stopped using MQ years ago, but I'll go back and see how good its coverage is here in Mexico.
    #16
  17. guavadude

    guavadude de-composer

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    Dan,
    What map are you using here? I really want this terrain view in Basecamp. Would also love to have it on my Montana but can't find a mapset that is terrain view and not topo with the contour lines.

    thanks!
    #17
  18. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I must be missing something. It seems like the ~$75 you would have to pay Garmin to buy City Navigator and then use it in BaseCamp or Mapsource would be well worth the money given the difficulty and frustrations people are encountering trying to get this job done in Google Maps.

    I have been using it for years. I have given up trying to navigate off-pavement with routes. I convert the routes to tracks and use those for navigation.
    #18
  19. Mr_McBride

    Mr_McBride 'The Cartographer'

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    I couldn't agree more. There is a market for a better solution.

    I use my gps mainly for two functions. 1) I wander around in Google Maps or MapQuest looking for interesting roads, which eventually leads into stitching a route together. I have not been able to do this in Basecamp. It has been my experience that once you zoom in enough to see the roads less travelled you loose the bigger picture of where the roads lead to. Having to zoom in and out to just too tedious for me. I'm able to do this with GM & MQ with minimal zooming. This is my main reason for using MQ as the starting point for building routes. 2) I'm not always following a route. After I have explored an area I will use Basecamp to view where I went. This provides me with a reference as to which roads I enjoyed in that area. I make note of these for future reference. That plus sometimes a planned group ride changes enroute and this also allows me to create an accurate ride report of where we really went that day.

    Of course, this is just my way of using my gps. I would like to hear what process other inmates use. I like to teach others what I know, but I also like to learn from others....I'm always looking for ways to improve.
    #19
  20. guavadude

    guavadude de-composer

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    +1
    That's pretty much how I use them as well. I have CNNA but the terrain view in google maps is perfect for quickly being able to see where the good roads are. Unfortunately GM doesn't show which roads are dirt or gravel, so I'll use satellite or Birdseye view and actually look down the road.
    You can't do that in basecamp.

    It's not hard to move routes between the apps and the gps, it's just not a one click process and it seems it should be.

    Also Mapquest has an OSM terrain view map but you can't import it to BC or the Montana which doesn't make sense since you can import and use other OSM maps. Garmin wants you to buy their maps but only offer a topo view and no way to turn off contour lines which isn't a terrain view.

    It just seems like google and mapquest maps are light years beyond garmin when it comes to exploring and finding new areas and roads.
    I'm not sure why garmin offers such crappy maps. Seems like they've been doing this long enough they should all be the same.
    #20