Garmin Montana

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by AugustFalcon, May 18, 2011.

  1. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    It depends on how your brain works. And I don't mean that as a shot at anyone. It's not right or wrong; good or bad. Just different. I have never had any difficulty doing anything over the years with Garmin's earlier Mapsource. But I really dislike Basecamp. I can figure out how to do anything I want with it. I just find it a real pain in the butt to do some of what should be the simplest things.

    And I really hate that it shoves everything into a single giant database. So I'm constantly trying to remember whether I'm working with the actual object or just a pointer to that object or ...?

    So I can genuinely understand when someone has difficulty wrapping their heads around Basecamp and also why those who get it don't get that anyone could have trouble understanding it.

    Vive la difference! Can you imagine the boring poor selection of motorcycles we would have to choose from if most people liked the same thing? :snore

    ...ken...
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  2. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    :thumb

    Back in the late '80s and early '90s I was attempting to computerise my workplace. This involved digitising a pile of paper records dating back the early 1950s, building online real time data acquisition tools, data warehousing, designing relational databases, developing multi variable alarm algorithms, reporting, and building front ends for manual data entry etc. I tried engaging computer nerds to sort it all but it didn't really work out, they solved their problems, and usually not mine. I realised it was because I wasn't explaining/speccing the problem adequately in their language, so learnt relational databases, SQL and VB programming and built a prototype system that is still in use today.

    What was especially satisfying was that the field guys were coming to terms with computers at the same time, and using the applications that I built was their first real exposure to something useful on a computer, and the benchmark for how they expected programs to work, simple, intuitive etc etc.

    I still often think in Lotus 123 instead of Excel when spreadsheeting, and WordPro is still a superior, more logical wordprocessor than Word, etc. Its because they were the first applications of their ilk that I fully came to terms with, and learnt their way to do stuff. Every other way is different, not necessarily better or worse, but if they don't align with your brain's muscle memory, they are harder work.

    I've dabbled with Mapsource and whatever software I used with my Magellans pre Garmin way back, but Basecamp is the first gps/mapping software I've really come to terms with, so its easy for me.

    So I do get it, but still don't think that its that hard, but I get it......
    :beer
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  3. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a retired IT professional so I am able to understand and use Basecamp. I just don't like to. I especially dislike that they haven't managed to hide the underlying database. They shove it right in your face. On the other hand, if you can get your head around it, and if you don't already have something else that works for you, it's a very powerful tool.

    Yeah, I also think in 123 by default if I haven't used Excel for a bit. But Excel is close enough that I don't dislike it.

    Isn't it funny how "working prototypes" end up becoming the production systems by default, if they're good. So that's a pretty good endorsement of yours. I used to push my staff to make sure they built the prototypes so they were easy to change and maintain over the long haul, for that reason (once you let the users get their hands on it for testing, they won't let it go if it's any good). I usually got some pushback at the start of a project ... and apologies later on.

    I was something of a black sheep in our IT department because I always tried to design systems so they solved the users' problems with as low a learning curve as possible. If that meant a bit more work on our part ... well, isn't that what we're paid for??

    It often puzzles me how design gets done at Garmin. So many products have different interfaces when there seems no need for it. ... Notice how I cleverly segued back to the topic!

    ...ken...
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  4. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    It was ultimately a very satisfying experience. In recent times they've tried replacing it and gave up, having spent a few millions. I retired 11 years ago, with everything pretty well documented and handed over to the IT dept. I have a background in surveying, civil engineering and geotechnical instrumentation, with the IT stuff tacked on in my latter years. Corporately, the message was to just buy something, but nothing is out there on the shelf, so it was an in house project by me. Sometimes identified by external consultants as the best they'd seen anywhere in the world. It was/is for looking after major civil structures, primarily the dams of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, but fully scalable etc.

    Far too much software is written and documented by coders who are never 'flies on the wall' when end user testing happens, they solve their problems, and not the end user's.

    Viva la difference :freaky
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  5. Burner25

    Burner25 Been here awhile

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    Hi all’s mate has going to e-mail me a route from ViewRanger in a gpx, (I think) can this be moved across into my garmin, or is it different files?
    Thanks
  6. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    A gpx file is fine.
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  7. leighwgold

    leighwgold Ph.D. of B.S. Supporter

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    Guys I spend all day in front of a screen, planning / scheduling / resourcing maintenance and overhauls in a large power station, we get new software thrown at us very regularly, which we have to develop for our own ease of use. Hence the reason I use Plotaroute, I do not want to waste time learning the way around Basecamp. I’m a firm believer of the KISS principle and Pr. fills the hole nicely. Not saying BC is no good, it’s just not for me.
    Ken in Regina and BergDonk like this.
  8. TwoUpTourer

    TwoUpTourer Long timer

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    I do, as it evaded my common sense filter for a long time. I get it now, and think it is really dumb.

    For the record, clarifying the difference between lists and GPX files was a mystery that made no sense, and I could quite happily dispense with the concept of lists altogether if it were possible. I keep it simple now, and create a new list for each GPX, just to keep Basecamp happy, then i ignore them completely, displaying and transferring the GPX files as if the list wasn't there.

    But that said, as a tool for transferring and managing GPX files for my Montana, it is quite good. As I've raved before, Plotaroute's mapping function is a LOT better than Basecamp, not even in the same race, so both have their place in this process.

    I have manually dropped GPXs in as @leighwgold mentions above straight on to the Montana, but I think for simple maintenance, Basecamp is better.
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  9. Burner25

    Burner25 Been here awhile

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    Used the Montana for a tricky off road run on the weekend, it was quite easy to follow, I changed the line to orange and it didn’t get lost in the map as usual.
    I want to share the gpx I used, so do I just plug the device into a laptop to remove it into an email ?, or does it have to go through basecamp ?
    Thanks
  10. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Any GPX file on the Montana is a standard GPX file so you can email it without messing in Basecamp.

    ...ken...
  11. Burner25

    Burner25 Been here awhile

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    Thanks ken
  12. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    The problem i have had with accessing the file directly on the Montana is that the file names are are not very descriptive. But I haven't tried to do this in a long time and could be FOS.

    I find it much easier to use Basecamp to find the tracks and waypoints I want to retrieve from the Montana. I archive daily so I just have to look for the tracks with the dates I want.
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  13. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    ??

    Mine also archives daily and the name is always the date.

    Like you, I just look for the files with the dates I want.

    I just use the file browser to get the tracks I want.

    Basecamp looks good to me but I use Linux, so no Basecamp for me*.

    *I tried to install Basecamp to an old Win 7 computer but I won't connect an unprotected Windows computer to the internet and the installation failed because it wasn't connected. I'm sure I could overcome all the problems but I ran out of motivation.
  14. duggram

    duggram Sunrise Bahia de LA Supporter

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    Does anyone have advice for my 680t issues? I was riding this weekend in a remote location and the screen changed it's view. For 2 1/2 years it's been a map with trails on it. Then it changed to some kind of relief view with mountains and rivers that was hard for me to follow. The new view also eliminated the data boxes that were on the right of the screen. The next town I got to that had cell service I called a friend and he went through the Montana manual We couldn't figure out how to get back to the original view I'm familiar with. After we ended our call I rode off to the next destination and halfway there the view changed back to the original view but without the data boxes. So how do you manage the device view?
  15. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    Its interesting how our brains function differently, being human and all that.....

    For the most part I don't think in GPX terms. If you use BC to create and manage your GPS objects and transfer them to your GPS device like a Montana, like tracks, routes and waypoints, their format is irrelevant.

    I should have a look at Plotaroute, I know you are keen on it, but for me, BC does it and I feel no need to have anything more, dunno what i dunno I guess.

    Do you have your map detail maximised in Basecamp? Its one of those interface quirks that you can't adjust the map detail without turning on the detail toolbar and it doesn't default to Highest which means a lot of good stuff isn't displayed by default. Likewise in the Montana, I have it set to highest all the time.

    I've used BC for route and track planning here in Oz as well as NZ, US, and Europe without issue.

    My Montanas would now have taken me over 200k kms, and I'd estimate 90% of that was planned in Basecamp.

    Here's a screen dump of NSW and Vicco:

    upload_2020-10-15_7-34-53.png

    Be good to sit down one day after this bug thing settles and compare notes :beer
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  16. duggram

    duggram Sunrise Bahia de LA Supporter

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    The tracks came from the BDR organization. They're used by a lot of folks. I'll try to do what you suggest. Next time you're in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico let's head down to the brewery. They've got some tasty suds.
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  17. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I have been using Mapsource and Basecamp for over 20 years and they get the job done for me.

    I did look into Furkot a few years ago because it was able to display some public land Travel Management maps without much effort. But it was hard to learn and had some problems and for me fatal limitations at the time.

    I can now see all these maps as overlays to the standard Basecamp maps. This is a "must-have" feature for me.

    I might play around with some online routing programs over the winter if I get bored.

    I wish guys who use other software would give us some details of why they think they are better than Basecamp. I suspect they have limited capabilities and thus are simpler to use.
  18. TwoUpTourer

    TwoUpTourer Long timer

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    Here's the difference between Basecamp, the free version of Plotaroute, and the paid version of Plotaroute:-
    Basecamp.jpg

    PlotarouteFree1.jpg
    Plotaroute Free, using the OSM map
    PlotarouteFree2.jpg
    Plotaroute Free using the OSM Topo map
    PlotarouteFree3.jpg
    This is another free Topo map listed as a "cycle" map.
    PlotaroutePaid.jpg
    Plotaroute paid version, using an overlay of Google aerial and road maps.
    This is what I use, for the obvious reason is that I can see exactly what the terrain is. The type of output file is only determined at export, be it a route, track, GPX, KML etc. Snap to road or freeform through the scrub can be mixed easily, plus full editing to truncate/adjust and point reduction with a visual display of the effect that reduction may have on your track. I pay A$28/year for this. A bargain I think.

    I should add that there are several other maps available as well, accessible on the free version too I think.
    EDIT:
    I've subsequently learnt that the bottom shot using Google road and aerial maps is now available on the free version. I think what differentiates the paid/free version now are the save options. Hard to tell as I'm paid up.
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  19. TwoUpTourer

    TwoUpTourer Long timer

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    I worked in IT for 20+ years, starting with DOS v2, and in my latter years I had a gay manager with a back ground in library and information management, and to put it mildly, we saw the world differently. But he said the world was divided into drillers, those who favour a top-down directory structure, and browsers, those who are happy to dump everything loosely into a dog's breakfast pile in a bucket, and, accurately, he gauged me as a driller. Bit ironic given his proclivities!

    But what it meant is that he would use a search tool to find his files, versus me using a hierarchical folder structure. But ask him where any of his files were, and he didn't have a clue. Browsing is all good whilst it's good. Me? I knew where everything was, and it was my job to find where the hell his files had gone to once the search function couldn't find them. I have all files, be it JPGs, PDFs, text files or whatever related to my Montana in a single folder. I may not know what a particular file I'm looking for is, but I sure as hell know where to look for it. Browsers have to hope that somehow their 'system' is smart enough to list everything related to whatever it is being searched. Not very useful when graphic files are involved.

    And so it is with something like Basecamp. I get the idea now of "lists" and their contained tracks, and it reminds me of the 'browser' approach to file storage, which is to not know exactly where the GPX is and leave it to Basecamp to manage. For the likes of me, a 'driller', who likes to drill down through a logical and rationally structured file system, such things are anathema, and something I hear repeatedly by others who don't 'get it' either. I know 'Lists' have some useful aspects, but it is a bugger of a concept for some.
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  20. Bengt Phorks

    Bengt Phorks Been here awhile

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    This webpage may help you understand lists and folders...
    http://www.gpsrchive.com/BaseCamp/Data Management.html
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