How do I Route Plan and Transfer to GPS or other Device for South America?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by One2Travel, May 14, 2019.

  1. One2Travel

    One2Travel Adventurer

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    Hello All. As the title states, I need help in learning how to plan routes and transfer them to GPS or other devices when I travel through Central and South America.

    I looked on some threads here but a couple started so long ago and I do not know what is accurate and currently available now, as technology changes so much!

    I will be traveling from Illinois into Mexico, then heading all the way south to Argentina. Regarding electronic devices, I currently use an Iphone for navigation (in my car) and I will also be taking an ipad. I don't have any gps devices for my motorcycle but am willing to purchase if needed.

    If there are (very current) specific forums and threads here that you believe will help me, will you please post a link to the thread?

    What was the BEST thing you did for planning routes and loading them onto a device while going through Central and South America?

    What do you wish you knew or did before going on your South American journey (related to navigation)? I want to learn from you if you did a Central to South America trip! You have so much knowledge I can benefit from.

    Sort of tangentially related, I have heard that TMobile works pretty well in Central/South America and it's easier than buying multiple SIM cards. What recommendations do you have for mobile devices, and service providers? How frequently were you without service and what did you do during those times?

    And finally, what did you need to keep all your devices charged? How many USB ports are enough/too many/not enough?

    I appreciate links that will help me understand what problems I will face with navigation, what products will help me reach my destinations each day, how to download and transfer routes, and any youtube videos, links to products and services or other links to help me find my way to Ushuaia.

    Thank you.
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  2. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    Get a reputable device, Tom Tom I use in Europe, garmin I thinks popular in the USA... But stay open to other people's devices and experience...


    Most devices have a route planning web site, design your route there, save it ( as a gpx file. ....gpx are files sat navs read ) and name it to make it easily findable, the transfer with USB lead or Bluetooth to device..


    It's a case of practice practice practice I found the web sites very patients testing..

    Good luck
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  3. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    Choose your bike mount wisely, my ktm powerparts mount with Tom Tom vibrates alot, I'd not recommend it, it's a pain...i wish I made one Now and bolted it the handlebar clamps solidly
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  4. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

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    I have found that Google maps works well for route planning, but that getting those maps to your device is a problem. My round about solution was to sign up for a Google Platform account so I could get an API key so i could use GPSvisualizer.com. The instructions are here. Super tedious and a little annoying, but it does allow you to export your routes from you computer to a GPX file.

    As for cell service, look into Google Fi. You'll need a compatible phone, but there are no hidden fees and everything abroad bills exactly the same as it would domestically. I use it all the time now and for 2 of us our monthly bill is under $65.
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  5. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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    I don't use phones any more due to GPS signal dropping, sometimes for a fair while, satnav holds signal always I found ( remote parts of Europe )
    #5
  6. Lewilewi

    Lewilewi Ride it like you stole it......

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  7. One2Travel

    One2Travel Adventurer

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    Thanks. Will have a look.

    Any recommendations on said reputable device or one to avoid?

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  8. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Ohhhh, interesting. What device were you using ?

    What application ?

    Where ?

    The "where"part is a lot more interesting than anything else. Normally people use "high accuracy" on Android devices, but it defaults to scanning WiFi/cellular antennas instead of defaulting to the GPS antenna... Only to learn later (from a part like this) of the mistake. I'm still trying to find areas that folks claim have no GPS reception.
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  9. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

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    If I try to use google maps when I'm sitting at home in my car it will not load because it is still trying to hold on to wifi, but the problem goes away when I turn it off.

    I've used Maps.Me in Ireland with a good bit of success without any data connection (because of a bad SIM), but there were some times when it couldn't find me. - i think due to that faulty SIM I had. I never tried going completely offline to see if it worked.

    I have thought about investing in a dedicated GPS unit, but with the on average acceptable mapping I can get with the available phone apps I already have I haven't been able to justify it. With that being said, I have not tried phone based navigation (on/offline) in less developed areas, so that could completely change my thought process here.
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  10. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Do this
    Screenshot_20190515-181319.png

    Then try again. The Sim card has nothing to do with gps duties. All it does is pull dates to display maps.
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  11. Spoilyfarts

    Spoilyfarts whomp whomp

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    I now know that, but I didn't then.
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