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Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Meter Man, Aug 18, 2013.
Hope it gets easier to use with time. Very fiddly and a bear to use.
I've used MapSource since it came out and hated BaseCamp when it arrived. Now that I've spent some time with BaseCamp, I've grown to really like it. The first think you need to understand is that MapSource is no longer supported by Garmin which really boils down to BaseCamp works better than MapSource because it's internals have improved while MapSource has not. I just don't use MapSource at all because for a long time I did not trust the reliability of the maps I loaded into my Zumo on long routes. The other thing you have to understand that map routing is NOT easy for the software. If you want a route to go where you expect it to go, you HAVE to put some time into it.
I've tried to learn it a few times. Why didn't they make it function like their GPS? The training videos are all but useless. I usually use Google maps to lay out the route and then build the same route in the GPS by using POI's from Google. It's still a pain in the ass trying to re-route on the fly. If I have cell service, I use a navigator on my phone and then transfer it point by point to the GPS. Anyone have a easier method for us dumb people that can't learn overly complicated mapping software?
Think of it as striking one's self in the head with a hammer. It feels soooo good when it stops and goes away.
If it gives me a Mr. Misty headache, I won't fool with it.
I did learn how to use it. But the way in just locks up for what seems like minutes at a time on my PC drove me back to MapSource.
I still use it for a few things like reading and writing files to my Montana and for dealing with custom maps.
I also like the fact that it shows minor roads at higher zoom levels than Mapsource.
But I spend a lot time creating trips and editing tracks. For this I really prefer Mapsource even if I have to use third party software for converting routes to tracks.
Just because Mapsource isn't supported doesn't mean it still isn't really useful (nice tripple negative there). I know a few people actually prefer earlier versions of Mapsource than the last released one.
Well, most users have already sunk a chunk of cash into the hardware, so they're captive. Why waste time improving the software when you can spend that money making some new gotta-have GPS feature?
Google maps seems to be much easier. I am trying to put a route together that goes from Dallas to St. Augustine Florida. I want to stay off main roads as much as possible. Built the route in Google Maps. Convertered it to GPX file with takitwithme.com. All good at that point. Loaded it to base camp. Still all good. Felling like a techno geek. Then down load it to my Montana 600. GRRRRRRRRRR 5500+ waypoints. Really? WTF. I am thinking about selling the Garmin going old school maybe with a sextent or a paper map. HELP!!!
That isn't really true. Garmin has changed the coding in BaseCamp without changing it as an upgrade in Mapsource. There are items in the format of the maps that have changed too (according to Garmin) that are not supported in MapSource. I believe that because I had waaaay too many routes I loaded into my Zumo from MapSource blow up in congested areas and other specific types of areas. As far as comments on 3rd party software, IMO if you want routes to show up "EXACTLY" like you want them to you need to use tracks to make sure of where they go and convert the track to a route. When you load it into your device you need to walk that route from start to end to make sure it didn't take any side trips on its own. Just putting in widely separated via points and letting any software decide the exact routes just doesn't work unless you don't care where you are going.
I definitely prefer navigating from tracks instead of routes. The third party software I use is WinGDB3. I just use it to convert routes to tracks.
It works just like the conversion in BaseCamp.
The last map set I bought was City Navigator 2013 about a year ago. I haven't had any problems using it in Mapsource. But I can easily believe that Garmin is changing the way maps are dealt with and those changes won't show up in Mapsource.
What software does Garmin ship on its map DVDs, Basecamp?
For the past two years they have only shipped map DVD's with BaseCamp as the pre-rec.
+1 on basecamp being HORRIBLE. I'm not a technical retard by any means but it really is not user friendly.
I had considered buying a Montana for my upcoming vacation but I think I'm sticking to my good old paper maps and iPhone....
There's these new things out,maps. No electricity required.
People have circumnavigated the world with out GPS.
Considering you're on the GPS subforum, that is one STUPID comment.
I discoved the big problem about tracks about a week ago. I was in a time crunch and slammed some tracks together and built routes from them. They would not load because of too many via points. Talk about total BS. Gamin's software designers have some serious head problems. IMO, those via points should be just a special attribute to a vertex and be unlimited. My Zumo can hold 500 way points, and 50 routes IRCC plus each route has a limit of 250 via points. When you plug in a route from SC to OH on twisty roads merging routes isn't an option if you used tracks to make the routes. Yes, there are filters, but I never seem to get the same results twice using them in BaseCamp.
my solution to tracks an routes is called "gpx2img" creates a transparent map of my tracks. set the typ file for linewidth of 4 and color of your choice....
Unless I'm missing something these are images which right off the bat limit what you can do with them, such as compare them in any way other than visually with the loaded map. It also only works with MapSource which IMO and Garmin's is something you want to get away from. The following are a list of assumptions that I use when I work with the GPS unit and GPS Software such as BC or MapSource:
#1 - I want the "route" to match exactly the path I want to travel
#2 - The "path" is the exact roads that actually exist and will travel along
#3 - When I make a "route" in the software it will transfer EXACTLY to my Zumo.
#4 - If I provide a GPX file to a friend, they should be able to create the previous three items.
Over the years I have found that 2 & 3 don't always come out the way I planned. When I receive a GPX from someone, routes may or "may NOT" obey items 1 through 4, but tracks have proven to be more reliable. After rigorous experimentation using routes, tracks and BC, I have found that I no longer trust ANYONE's routes and that if I want to use their routes, I create a totally new route from scratch using their data as a template, just drawing over it.
They are the images of exactly where I want to go....which seems to be what everyone strives for....
and with some waypoints I can still do some auto routing as needed.
Used this system very nicely in a recent trip to Newfoundland...had images of all the offroad routes I wanted and waypoints at some places I wanted to go where there were paved roads and even the beginning of the offroad routes. So we were free to wander but a simple goto got us to where we needed to be and no worries about routes,tracks and to many via points....and easy to see we were on the right path while off the pavement.
Basecamp took some getting used to and I still use Mapsource sometimes.
This may help take out some of the mystery of Basecamp.
There are also tutorials for your favorite Garmin GPS. Just follow the links on the page.
Yes they are "images" of where you want to go, but you are just using it like a mapbook with an occasional waypoint to keep you in the right direction. Using that method you rely on the Garmin routing algorithm to keep you close to the image, but close is all you get. I much prefer to build a route (a correct route) and hit "go". That way I do not have to keep my eye on the screen, it tells me when a turn is coming.
I explained in a previous post about what I try to do with my Zumo and BaseCamp. Well I found out that my Zumo only can load a route with 200 via points not the 250 I found in another source. Garmin tech support said they recommend 30 via points. I took a 300 mile track I rode Sunday which started with 7182 via points. I filtered it to 30 via points and another copy at 185.
When I built routes from each using my motorcycle options, the one with 30 was all screwed up. The one with 185 was close but I still had to examine it and make edits to get it right. IMO, BaseCamp isn't truly close and is definitely in the "no cigar" category.
For me, I'll just build my routes from scratch.