Tracks and Routes...what's the diff?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by rockitdoc, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. rockitdoc

    rockitdoc Been here awhile

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    Dumb question, I know....I usually use Routes for navigation by developing the route on my Mac in Basecamp Topo 24k, then sending it to my 650t (also equipped with Topo 24k). I use Tracks out in the field to keep track of where I've been so I can later transfer to the Mac and share the experience or keep as a record of my wanderings. I just now discovered that I can create Tracks in Basecamp on the Mac, instead of Routes? What's the purpose of this? They seem like the same thing...kinda.
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  2. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Track tools exist because there are GPS units out there that CAN'T do routing at all.
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  3. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    First you just follow tracks on the map, there are no navagation prompts. They are mostly used for riding off highways on jeep roads and trails.

    A few of us use the Track Draw tool to highlight all roads that we want to explore before going in ht field, but others plan a trip then go follow it.

    Tracks are much more used to comunicate a ride that has already been riden and the actual track recorded. I have thousnds of miles of tracks posted on GPSXchange.com

    Contrary to what was said above all Garmin GPS units will handle Routes but many street units do not have Track features. All hand helds along with the newest Zumo and Montana unites have track features.
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  4. EZman671

    EZman671 Adventurer

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    Think of tracks as a grease paint line on a clear overlay of your map. They will always stay as written. They will not be corrupted by anything the gps can do. They will even show as a line to follow if you have NO map loaded in the gps.

    Routes on the other hand at times think they are smarter than you about where and how you want to go. Draw a route, load it, then the gps will alter it based on the rules and maps it has in play at the time.

    Routes will give you info like distance to next turn and more. Tracks just show as a line on the map with no smarts.

    Off road - most times no smarts is better.
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  5. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Your Montana 650t is smarter than a lot of the GPS's that Countdown (Jerry) uses. :evil It can actually navigate a Track and give you Waypoint prompts that you can place along your tracks path - much like a route's navigation prompt. These are not spoken prompts but visual and audible by setting proximity alerts on the waypoints.

    Give it a try next time you're out and about. Where To? -> Tracks -> select the Track you want to navigate and press "GO" on the map. Yeehaaa - a magenta line - just like a route and if you did use some Waypoints along the track path they will also apply to the data fields in the Small and Large Data Field Dashboard.

    Cheers,
    #5
  6. DrLewall

    DrLewall The Human GPS

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    I for one prefer a track over a route. That is because I use a SMALL hand help GPS and I can not read the prompts that a route gives you alerting you of a up coming turn etc. I prefer to follow the mengenta colored line and if I get off the line, I can make adjustments to get back on it, and on a dirt bike, thats real handy!

    I make all my tracks on mapsource for now. I need to start using basecamp I reckon. Anyhow, when I make a track, it starts out as a ROUTE and then I convert it to a TRACK with WINGDB3...I then save that file with BOTH ROUTE and TRACK just incase I share it with others. I figure they are adult enough to decide which format to use, ROUTE or TRACK.

    As was said above, a ROUTE will try to be smart abt telling you where to go..a TRACK is just a grease trail, or "bread crumbs" of where you or someone else has been and the GPS wont yell at you to make a U turn
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  7. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    I think all Garmin GPS units will navagate any Saved Track there just isn't any reason for most people to do it.

    On very long rides, I have used Trackback with no prompts but miles to Destination and Time to Destination data items showing just to know when the damn thing will end. I don't sleep while riding and I am smart enough to make turns without any prompts from a GPS.
    #7
  8. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Only Garmin handhelds will navigate tracks. The zumo 66x are the exception. But they have to convert them to routes.

    Chees,
    #8
  9. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Tracks are fine for slow riders. Saw a guy run right into a gate one time cause he was busy looking at his track. :lol3

    When you're flying at triple digit speeds, you better not be looking at your GPS, that's why we use routes and voice prompts. :lol3
    #9