Weaning off of Garmin and Basecamp - also Linux questions

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by discochris, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. discochris

    discochris Stayin' Alive

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    So here's my situation. Forgive me if this has been discussed, but I've been searching for a long time, and I haven't found an answer.

    I currently have a Zumo 220. It's getting long in the tooth, and I dislike Basecamp in general (I run it on a Mac).

    Reading all the threads about using rugged phones as GPS units got me to thinking. I already have a rugged phone (Blackview 8000). Why not see if I can wean myself off of Garmin?

    So I've downloaded Locus Pro and Sygic and played around with them both a bit. Locus seems to be an amazing program. I'm going to try it out on a trip up to the cabin this weekend (not on the bike - can't tow a boat with a motorcycle).

    But here's the situation I'm struggling with and trying to find an alternative to Basecamp. I used to do a lot of LD Rallies, like the Team Strange Minnesota 1000. I'd like to get back into that. How it works, is the night before the rally, you get a flash drive with all the possible bonus locations (in GPX format) and are sent off to plan your route for the rally that starts the next day. This year there were about 125 possible locations. So you end up planning out possible routes, figuring out mileage, bonus points, etc. It's far easier to do this on a computer. I often drag my routes around to add or subtract different bonus waypoints to try and come up with an optimal route. Basecamp is good for this, especially with a huge number of waypoints.

    Now I could continue to use Basecamp on the Mac, plan my route, export to GPX and then upload into Locus. That's an option. But my other, newer laptop runs Linux (and the macbook is falling apart). And I've yet to find an alternative that has the same functionality to do what I'm looking for. I've played around with GPSies and FURKOT online a bit, but I'd prefer offline functionality too if possible.

    Is there an option anyone can think of that will actually plan routes like this?
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  2. vsteel

    vsteel Adventurer

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    I don't run anything but Linux at home other than a dual boot system for basecamp. Wine and virtualbox won't run it. I have a Garmin Zumo 396.

    I use Furkot as well but it is a trip planning software and while I love it for planning you can't (well I have not figured it out) just go directly from Furkot to a GPS. While you can load the GPX files into the GPS, it won't overlay directly on the roads. Trying to get the GPS to recalculate will not let it work either, when you follow the road there are places where the route leaves the road (trying to cut down on the amount of shaping points) which then messes up the data like distance to next way point.

    Currently what I do is make a route in Furkot, load it into Basecamp, in each segment of the trip put a shaping point on the road and then Basecamp will recalculate so it follows the road. I don't know if it is possible to get around Basecamp because that is one program that has the exact same map as your GPS.
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  3. lkraus

    lkraus Been here awhile

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    Using my 590 with Furkot, I select the "Garmin route GPX(use with newer Garmin devices)" option, right-click the Export button and select "Save link as..." to save to the SD card on the gps. The file name still has a .gpx extension but it is much larger, because it includes Garmin's extensions to the format. Look at files saved in both standard .gpx and Garmin's extended formats with a text editor and you will see hundreds more points which force the route to the correct path. I've not yet had a problem with the route veering off the road using this method even though the maps are different. I do place numerous named shaping points to provide re-entry points to the route if I choose to wander along the way.

    As a backup, I still usually load the route into Basecamp to create a track which I can use to verify that the 590 has not surprised me (again) with a recalculation while I am following the route. This conversion could also be accomplished with the Linux version of GPSBabel. This is not a necessary step, but seeing both the track and the route displayed on the 590 is reassuring.

    I gave up on Linux mainly because too many specialized applications (like Basecamp) were not available, and even those that worked with Wine were too much hassle to configure. I might have to reconsider that if the rumors that Windows will become a subscription service prove to be true.

    EDIT: Will Linux even recognize the 396 as a storage device via USB?
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  4. discochris

    discochris Stayin' Alive

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    Looks like I have some more homework/testing to do. It may be that Basecamp is still the best tool for this specific need (planning multiple route options from many waypoints in a very short amount of time). I did load an old route from Basecamp into Locus, and it appears to work fine, so I know that this part will work. So I guess the real question is whether there is a viable routing tool with the same type of functionality as Basecamp for use in Linux. There may not be.

    As for the question of Linux recognizing the 396, I don't know if I've ever plugged any of my Garmin units into my Linux laptop.
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  5. SRTie4k

    SRTie4k Northeast Explorer

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    I use a combination of GMaps, Basecamp and Locus.

    GMaps (more often My Maps) for long trip planning where I need to route between waypoints separated between long distances, export that to KMZ then convert to GPX.

    Then it goes into Basecamp where I do the "fine detail" routing, i.e. finding backroad segments and dropping waypoints, save that to Dropbox.

    Then download into Locus which I run on the bike for heads up nav.

    I really don't think there's any good alternative to Basecamp out there. You could use Google My Maps, but you have a limited number of waypoints and nav routes you can use.
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  6. lkraus

    lkraus Been here awhile

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    I have NO experience planning a rally route, but Furkot might work for that purpose. Experimenting a bit, I created a new trip (no starting point, only a trip name) and then imported a .gpx file containing only waypoints. These all ended up in the FIND drawer, I think because they are not on a track (Furkot import handling is described here.) They can be added to the trip (one at a time - possible deal killer?), and then rearranged in the PLAN drawer, which will show time and distance for each segment, with total time & distance displayed at the bottom of the TRIP drawer. Adding all the waypoints at once might be possible, but I've not found it yet, maybe someone in the Furkot thread would know? Waypoints can be added as "maybe" stops, displayed as gray flags on the map, which might be useful.

    Still dependent on internet access, though.

    Found this site: https://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Software/Desktop, which will at least give you some options to look at. Scroll down to see charts showing which require internet access for routing, which work with Linux, etc.
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  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1 get a USB-otg cable and a card reader that will let you mount the sdcard with your phone, and import the gpx files to locus.

    2 you can run locus on Linux via an emulator for offline plotting/planning

    3/4 see 2
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  8. vsteel

    vsteel Adventurer

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    Linux will recognize the Garmin without issue. It might take a couple of minutes but that happens in Windows as well. Something in the GPS takes a bit to kick into transfer mode.

    I have issues with Furkot on longer trips with curvy roads. I save it in the Garmin format but it will still deviate from the road when things get curvy. I can make it recalculate on the GPS but it won't seem to snap to the map. I use Basecamp to snap it to the map.

    For Linux Basecamp is the only program that I have to run Windows for. Everything else I have mostly native Linux programs or a couple I use wine but that is more the exception than the rule.
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  9. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    1 how so?
    2 mmm, you mean Gpx , the standard file format?
    3/4 this sounds off , not sure what your saying
    5 this too
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  10. vsteel

    vsteel Adventurer

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    1. When you have a long curvy road Furkot will only sort of follow the road. When you have a S curve it might draw a line straight through it. It "approximates" the road to save on points.
    2. Furkot will save in the GPX format and save in the Garmin GPX format which adds more information to the GPX files that the Garmin GPS will understand. I have saved my route in both formats.
    3. The imported route from Furkot which doesn't quite follow the road will load into the GPS and still "approximate" the road. I try and make the GPS recalculate the route so the route will now follow the road exactly, but it doesn't happen.
    4. When I load the route into Basecamp I can add a shaping point, it will then recalculate the route between the waypoints where I placed the shaping point and it will then snap the approximated route exactly on to the road. I just can't seem to make this happen in the GPS itself.
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