Help from a dualsport mapper

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by huckleberry, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    N.E. Pa.
    OK i need some help! i have topo 8 and a pn 40, am laying out a dual sport ride and want to create a track to share with anyone that shows up. what do i need to do to create a universal gpx i would guess so i will have min. problems? thanks in adv.
    #1
  2. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,526
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Kind of a broad question - but a gpx file with a single track with less than 500 points will suit Garmin 60's, 276/376/478, 76's which are what you will likely see the most of. And then you will need cables from a laptop to the GPS's.

    The older Quests, Streetpilots, III+ and V's will support a track upload if you name them correctly.

    Some folks actually create a map to upload with the "track" set up as a road and colored so you can follow it. The problem with that is that you will blow away the maps that exist on a person's GPS.
    #2
  3. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    N.E. Pa.
    name them correctly? this is the kind of thing i'm lookin for - the problem spots i figure if i can catch the quirks beforehand-------or would it be better to create a route?
    #3
  4. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,533
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    GPS Babel is a great little program to do converting between routes & tracks and rename and entire track log with ease, etc.

    I would definitely do tracks, although not all GPS allow you to load saved tracks, but then those guys probably wouldn't be using those GPS for dual sport rides. Most guys that use GPS's for DS rides know how to use tracks and choose a GPS that handle tracks. You could create some general routes, but the limits on what every GPS can handle varies widely between GPS. Some only hold 30 pts, some 50pts. You are so much more limited on the number of pts, it really limits you.

    I agree with a 9Dave that limiting your track logs to 500pts each would be a good start. With GPS Babel, you can split those 500's into 250's also which is what some of the older GPS's could store in their track log.

    As for naming, you want to make each track pt unique. So just come with a naming convention were each track log as some characters and then numbers each one from say 1-500. Keep it under 8 characters just to be safe too.

    Here's some examples.
    TrckA001
    TrckA....
    TrckA500

    TrckB001
    TrckB....
    TrckB500

    Obviously, you can name them anything you want, but just keep them organized and unique and keeping that at 8 characters should keep any GPS's from cutting the name short.
    #4
  5. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,789
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I think what 9Dave meant abut naming them correctly is the method of loading tracks into the active log of GPS units that have no (or limited) saved log memory. I believe you have to use all caps and a 3 digit number (ACTIVELOG001 for example). Not sure though.

    Just FYI: The GPS V does take saved tracks - 10 tracks of up to 250 points each:D

    huckleberry, the guys in the PN-40 thread may be able to help you more.
    #5
  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    21,017
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Huck,

    If you draw up a draft of what you propose and send it to me via e-mail (PM for address), I'll go over it for you and explain what I did to get you what you want. There are too many things to talk about to try to address it in this thread. Happy to help. I'm sure some others would do the same. Always glad to see someone willing to work up a track for others to use. :D
    #6
  7. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    N.E. Pa.
    thanks for the help give me a bit and i'll try to find a couple tracks that will give you an idea of what i'm trying to do. the worst thing is going to be trimming down to 500 pts. as the pn saves about 10,000 points to a full track!
    #7
  8. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,533
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    CannonShot should definitely be able to help you. :thumb He's shared some awesome tracks and DS routes in the past and I love reading his ride reports.

    Splitting track logs is not that hard and I'm sure CS will have some tricks up his sleeve.
    #8
  9. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,106
    Location:
    N.E. Pa.
    went back and checked the manuel and know how to trim down the tracks it was set for a point every 10 feet so i guess i have to set it down to get 500 in 50 miles so that won't be bad just have to get them to work with garmin easily:clap
    #9
  10. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,140
    Location:
    Almost Heaven
    I leave my gps set to auto calculate the amount of points stored in a track. This allows for more detail in the ziggy sections while only adding a minimum in a stretch. I then allow mapsource to filter each track to less than 500 points before distributing. The filtering algorithm is smart enough to keep the detail where needed.

    I also supply routes, direct routes or off road routes as some refer. Keep the via points to less than 250 per route.

    If you manage the routes correctly, waypoints should not become a problem. Use VIA points as often as possible. I have one file that has 363 waypoints and have not heard of a problem. I would guess that you need to stay under 500, but that is only a guess.

    Does a pn-40 have an auto calc for track logs? Does Delorme Topo 8 allow for track filtering and direct route via points? It's been a long time since I helt, felt, or smelt anything Delorme.
    #10
  11. projectsguy

    projectsguy n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1
    I ride DS rides out west and find the rides by Countdown the best for GPS. Jerry has it down to an art. I just finished his Hi Desert 250 ride this weekend and the tracks were dead on. You can see a library of some of his public tracks at http://www.gpsxchange.com/ look under private libraries.

    All of that said for naming if you break the ride into tracks for the way out, then the way back and by day. Example DS11, DS12, DS21, DS22. This would be dual sport day one, track one etc. This allows you to turn off and display only the track out. This is important if your ride crosses paths on the way out and back.

    As someone else mentioned most DS people use a latter model Garmin and the tracks allow 500 points. So when you take a long track and optimize it to 500 points you lose detail. Having multiple tracks allows keeping more detail for navigation.

    Hope this makes sense, good luck.
    #11
  12. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,533
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    +1 most GPS's can store multiple save tracks also, so for a long ride, I'd rather have several tracks each broken into 500pts each vs some trying to slim it down to one 500pt log and loose the detail you need.

    I agree that leaving the GPS auto calc it is the best option and then just chop them up in 500 pt intervals and save those.
    #12
  13. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,526
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Just load them into Mapsource and use the Filter function to reduce the number of points.
    #13
  14. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,078
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    If you have x model it makes like much easier.

    I record as many points as possible (Auto Method and Most Often) in Active Log. An x will save it all every day. When I get home, I upload to PC and save, also edit tracks to perhaps make new route. My tracks for rides are all gas to gas. On Mex2Can and all my Dual Sport rides I use 500 points for gas to gas of about 100-130 miles works fine. There are times when more detail is needed and I have more than one 500 point track between gas but very rare.

    To filter, I don't use Mapsource is will give you a lot less than 500 points when you want 500. If you name a track ACTIVE LOG and send it to an x, and then "Save", it will be exactly 500 points.
    #14
  15. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,533
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    He's on a Delorme PN40, so no MapSource.

    .....
    #15
  16. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,316
    Location:
    Compass PA
    I have a PN-40, and a Garmin Nuvi 760. Here is the notes I made on how to export from Topo8, so I can use it in the Nuvi. Note: This requires Maqsource.

    Topo 8:
    1) click on Draw tab, Click on File. right click on route, Manage Draw, copy to active track layer.

    2) Click on this new track layer, Export, pick Save as Type: GPX, name it, then Save.

    MapSource:
    Open this file in Mapsource.
    Click on Tracks Tab. highlight track, right click and pick route properties.
    Click on Filter.
    check Maximum points, and set it to less then 500. (see below).
    click OK, then OK.
    save it as a .GDB file, same file name.

    GPSBabel: (Since Garmin only likes to show routes, this changes the file from a track to a route).

    Input: File, Format Garmin MapSource-gdb
    file name
    Translation Options: Click on Tracks, and Filters.

    Filters:
    Click on Miscellaneous, Check Transform Tracks -> routes, check delete, OK

    Output: File, Format Garmin Mapsource-gdb
    File name (add something to end of file name.)
    apply

    Mapsource:
    Open this new file.
    Route Tab, Highlight route, right click, route properties, change name and pick color. Ok
    Save File (same name).

    Copy to Garmin:
    Try one or the other.
    Send to SD card (garmin\GPX\
    or
    Send to Garmin.


    Max points. This number is said to be 500, but this number goes down ad mileage goes up.
    In 250 miles, I had to set at 200 and it worked, (137 points) but 300 did not work.

    there might be other ways to do this (like using mapsource to change it from a track to route) but I am better with Topo8 then I am with mapsource, and I have not played with it past what I did when I took these notes.
    #16
  17. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,533
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    See my comments below in red. I think some of these steps are not necessary and turning it into a Garmin GDB file probably isn't the best either. See my reasons why.

    If I was creating a route/track for people to follow on a ride and all I had was Topo 8 that the user said he has, then I would do the following.

    1. Create a track using Topo 8 which how I think you said is how you started. I'm assuming Topo 8 has no problem drawing a track log or taking one you ride and come back and download to your PC.

    2. If you are drawing a track, you can easily stop at 250 pts. Most GPS can handle 250 track log pts with ease, a lot can handle 500, but lets leave it at 250 to make it easier. If you are taking a previous track log that you saved from your GPS, then you need to manipulate it to break it into 250pt chunks. Can you do this with Topo 8?

    3. For an example sake, lets say when you are down drawing out your entire DS route, you end up with 10 tracks of 250 pts each. You save that map file as a GPX file using Topo 8. Using GPSBable, convert those 10 tracks of 250 pts each into 10 routes with 250 via pts and save as a new map. That way you know have 10 tracks and 10 routes of the same DS plan in 2 different maps. I'm assuming you should be able to use Topo 8 and some how import (or copy and paste) the 10 routes and 10 tracks into 1 single file. Save a new map file with the 10 tracks and 10 (direct routes) each of 250pts in one map. Don't let it "calculate" the routes. Again, save this as a GPX file. So now you should have 1 GPX file with 10 routes with 250 pts each and 10 tracks of the same exact 250 pts, but labeled as track pts vs way or via pts.

    Now, you can send this simple GPX file to your friends. Regardless if they have Topo 8 or MapSource or some other program that can handle GPS files, you should all be able to open this and depending on their particular GPS, should be able to load it with minimal modification. Many people with a GPS that handles tracks well, probably shouldn't have to modify this file at all before sending to their GPS.

    If I was taking this file and loading it into my 376/478, I could open it up in MapSource and send it to my GPS just like it is. The X76/x78 can easily hold 10 direct routes of 250 pts each and and 10 track logs of 250 pts. (Remember, I'm leaving this as a "direct route" and not re-calc it) Technically the route and the track should look identical, but I can follow either one or both). If I didn't want to load 10 tracks since I could really do it in 5 tracks, I could easily use the "join" tool in MapSource to combine every 2 tracks into 1 effectively creating Five 500 pt tracks. This would take all of 10 seconds for me to do and is very easy in MapSource.

    As for Towpro who has a Nuvi which sounds like doesn't handle tracks very well if at all, if he was getting this file from you, he gets it with 10 tracks and 10 routes. He can't do much with the tracks so he either just ignores them or deletes them. I'm not sure if the Nuvi can do "direct routes" or off road routes", but I know in MapSource you can definitely tell it not to "re-calc" routes that you bring in. If his Nuvi can only do "calculated" routes, then he'll be forced to actually calculate it and send it to his GPS as a calculated route, but since he's using his MapSource version to do this, it should work fine.
    #17
  18. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,526
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    #18
  19. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,316
    Location:
    Compass PA
    Blue, I will try some of your points when I get time. I no longer use the Garmin for the bike. But when I do take a week this spring to test out my new PA route for the Trans Atlantic trail, I plan on taking the Nuvi along for backup, plus I plan to put the route on my buddies Zumo 500.

    Again, I am using a Nivi 760. It don't do tracks very well (but it does save them if you know where to dig and find them).

    It will allow you to import GPX files, but you are limited to the number of points. I think this is written as 500 waypoints, but as the route mileage gets longer, this number goes down. I called Garmin on this one, there is no set figure. What will happen is the route (gpx) will end at the point the memory runs out of room for more waypoints.

    I have also ran into a problem where I was doing a route on grouprider.com with Vias to force me down back roads, then exported this as a GPX, brought it into the 760 (as a gpx), add all these vias turned into favorite locations. It bogged the gps down so bad I ended up having to do a hard reboot just to get it to restart. This is why I wrote in my notes about bringing it into mapsource, and changing it to a gdb file. I am not a mapsourse export, but I found it easier to edit that way.

    What kind of Garmin GPS do you use? I only have experience with my Nuvi
    #19
  20. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,318
    Location:
    47°50′15.8″N, 119°56′21.9″W
    A route on any nuvi-based (including zumo) Garmin GPS can only have a max of 250 Via Points (Waypoints) according to Garmin Software Engineering. When the unit reaches the 249th point it calculates a straight line between that point and the end point in the original route.
    #20