Tracks vs Routes

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by jimrobinette, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. jimrobinette

    jimrobinette Been here awhile

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    I don't yet own a Garmin, but I am close to buying a 60 or 76. After reading this forum over for a week or so, can someone explain to me the difference between a "route" and a "track" in relation to Garmin software and handhelds. Not that it will sway my opinion to no not-to buy a Garmin, but I just don't understand the difference.

    Thanks for a great forum.

    Jim
    #1
  2. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    Tracks or "bread crumbs" are an actual record of a ride although you can also draw them in Mapsource. They show on the screen all the time, can be set to any color and look like you took a marker pen and high lighted the map. Routes are a stored way that you must call up and start navagating. It goes from route point to route point unless you specify "follow road" then it will only follow roads on your map that are autoroutable.

    Typically use tracks in the dirt and Routes on the highway. Navagating a route will show you turns ahead of time and will tell you ETA and distance to any Route waypoint.

    You can also use "Find" then "Go To" and GPS will route you to item (Waypoint, city, location on the map, etc.) straight line or autoroute on any available autoroutable maps you have.

    Just get it and start playing with it on your way to work etc.
    #2
    mikejana likes this.
  3. jimrobinette

    jimrobinette Been here awhile

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    Jerry,

    Thanks a lot for the answer!

    Can you tell me if I have this correct. Routes are something you create before you depart or have the GPS create "on the go" if you autoroute or tell it to go direct. Kind of like figuring how you will get to your destination with paper maps.

    Tracks are the typical "bread crumbs" GPS units leave to mark where you have been. Tracks can't be created before hand, but are used to see where you have been during a ride, or for post-ride analysis in Mapsource.

    Does that sound right?

    Again, thanks for taking the time to answer such a basic question.

    Jim

    #3
  4. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Hi Jim,

    Both tracks and routes can be drawn ahead of time. Routes are prepared using a routable map. When you select a couple of points on a route segment, the route will appear by following a road on the map. Notice that it only takes a few points to make a route that follows roads.
    [​IMG]

    Tracks on the other hand, are more or less a connect the dots kind of drawing. To follow a road, you would have to draw a series of connect the dots type points in the shape of the road. This is useful for off road trips that use trails and roads not routable in the map program.
    [​IMG]

    You can map long trips using tracks.
    [​IMG]

    If you use a route, your GPS may be able to give you turn by turn directions on the screen. If you use tracks, you simply follow the track line on the screen (no directions - just a line to follow).

    There are other features to both of these, but hopefully this explanation covers the basic difference.

    You already have the info about recording tracks as breadcrumbs. :D
    #4
  5. jimrobinette

    jimrobinette Been here awhile

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    Cannon,

    Great to know and thanks for the detailed answer. The graphics help a lot.

    It seems Mapsource and the units have so much capability that it may take a while to learn. Kind of like jumping into using Windows if you had never used a computer before!

    I just orders a 60cx and it should arrive this week. Now, to figure out the multiple pieces of software Garmin requires for us on a Mac! :eek1

    Jim
    #5
  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Administrator Super Moderator

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    Once you mess with it a little bit, it all becomes pretty clear. The Mapsource software has good features to help you learn.

    The 60cx is a good choice for a dual sport GPS. Hope you enjoy it!
    #6
  7. LookOutLinn

    LookOutLinn Strom Trooper

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    Thanks too!!!
    #7
  8. crossEDup

    crossEDup Sir Fallsalot

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    Using eTrex Vista HCX with microSD card trying to save separate tracks to record trail loops that branch off a main loop while on the trail but I'm too dumb to figure it out. Would anyone care to share the step by step way to record-name-save each loop in the eTrex so I can pull them up at home in Map Source?

    Thanks in advance for the help (and tolerating a GPS noob)!
    #8
  9. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    It might be easier to just enter a waypoint at the start and end of each loop and then when you get home you can use Mapsource to see your whole track with the loops identified by the waypoints.

    Are you saving your tracks to the SD card? If not see page 18 of your manual.
    #9
  10. crossEDup

    crossEDup Sir Fallsalot

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    Thanks. I am saving the track to the sd card. I'm riding a trail that begins and ends at one common point but has a few loops that lead off the main loop and then return to the main loop. What I'm hoping to learn is how to have a separate track for the main loop and for each of the other loops. I can't seem to figure out how to do that.
    #10
  11. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    If they are short you can download the whole track from your SD card and use the track tools in Mapsource to break it into the sections you want. Then using the track properties window you can name them whatever you like. Always save the original data under another filename in case you screw up and have to go back to it.

    If you haven't done so you might want to take a look at Making Tracks with Garmin Receivers above in the sticky section.

    You can save the separate parts and name them in the GPS but it is much easier to do it on your computer. To do it in the GPS see p. 18 of your manual.

    There is also a way to very simply make a map that will load into Mapsource and then into your GPS. I have just started to play with it. It takes your tracks and waypoints and with a couple of keystrokes converts them to a map and automatically loads them into Mapsource.

    See here http://gpx2img.com
    #11
  12. crossEDup

    crossEDup Sir Fallsalot

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    You gave me what I was looking for!
    #12