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Messages - mdxix

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GPS Discussion / Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« on: January 02, 2013, 11:01:53 pm »
Beware if you get hold of older versions of the USA Topo maps, routing does not seem to work properly for some states.
Note earlier discussion that even current Topo 100k v4 does not support routing, while Topo 24k does.

GPS Discussion / Re: best way to get use a Garmin 800 for cc trip
« on: January 02, 2013, 10:54:49 pm »
1. Which maps do you recommend? Garmin's City Maps, Velo Maps, or Adventure Cycling's GPS map data?
I use Garmin City Navigator. Unless you already have purchased maps, invest a few minutes testing Open Source Maps. There are detailed instructions on how to install them. Read the rest of the post for some notes about these maps.

OSM seem to be also the source for Velo Maps.

The ACA GPS map data are just that: routes and points of interest. Use them with any of the maps above.

2. If anyone has done a long trip with the 800, how often did you need to charge it? And how did you go about it?
I have toured with the Edge 705, charging it nightly. It comfortably worked all day, close to 12 hours. I charge it from electric outlet when available, or one of the battery charging options suggested earlier.

I found these charging options serve dual purpose to charge the phone as well.

3. Did you set up a trip using Basecamp or anything like that?
Basecamp is one option to use, especially with Garmin City Navigator maps. There are plenty of web sites for charting routes, such as Ride With GPS, GPSies, and Map My Ride.

Many web sites offer using Google Maps to display & route on bicycle trails. In this case, make sure to export the route with detailed route points (bread crumbs), not just way points.

4. Overall, how accurate were the maps?
I think where the data exists, the maps I used have been accurate. I did find some misalignment when I tested OSM maps, but that was easy to recognize.

5. Would you recommend that 800? I love it as a cycling computer.
You already have the unit—give it a try. It is small, light, & familiar to you.

GPS Discussion / Re: New Oregon 450 & Topo 100K
« on: December 12, 2012, 09:44:06 am »
Your experience is correct with the current map releases:
  • Topo 100k does not provide route calculation. See product feature that it "Contains roads, trails and highways in metropolitan and rural areas" without mention of the key word "routable". Meanwhile, I had posted earlier instructions for use of free Open Street Maps.
  • Topo 24k does provide route calculation. See example Southeast route from Garmin. It "Contains routable roads, trails and highways in metropolitan and rural areas".

GPS Discussion / Re: Google maps vs garmin GPS
« on: December 10, 2012, 09:44:05 pm »
The iPad certainly has some advantages:
  • Map browsing on a larger screen for route navigation & plan adjustment
  • Multi-purpose tool for email, blogs, camera, Skype, and other communications
While a dedicated GPS unit has other advantages:
  • Long battery life that, for most units, lasts at least a full day with continuous navigation at every turn
  • Pre-determined routes & points of interest that you can store in advance of the trip
There are many apps out there to make the iPad better for navigation (check out EveryTrail), and battery accessories.

My choice for now is a dedicated GPS unit + iPhone.

GPS Discussion / Re: Topo US 100K loads slow to computer & SD card
« on: December 07, 2012, 09:31:03 pm »
I never loaded entire maps, so cannot compare with your experience. Do you really need to? I choose the regions around my intended route, and a bit more for detours. On one 4GB SD card, I have portions of Topo, CN North America, & CN Europe.

I do find it strange that Garmin support did not agree to copying the file from one SD card to another. All it is an image file—I am not aware of any hidden files behind it. I have copied it before with no problems. Give it a try.

GPS Discussion / Re: Topo US 100K, what date is current?
« on: December 07, 2012, 04:21:04 am »
I have the same which seems to be the latest that Garmin issued.

The web site has three versions for sale:
I think the later releases are simply in a new format of the same content. They all indicate the same version 4.0.

Yes, you will be able to load both topo & City Navigator, at least partially.

There are two options:

  • Load maps to the internal memory of the unit: the capacity is 850MB. It may not seem much, but you will be surprised how much it holds. For example, I have loaded my Edge 705 with City Navigator & Topo for all of New England + NY for less than 400MB. Make sure you leave some space for your data: log files, routes, etc.
  • Otherwise, add an micro SD card to the unit: 4GB should be enough and 8GB should be plenty. With this option, you will be able to load the full map sets for both City Navigator & topo for the US.

In both cases, it is better to purchase the maps on disc or download from Garmin to install from the computer. You can pick & choose to load the entire map set, or portions of it.

There is also the option of 450t, which has tho topo maps already loaded. You then have all the remaining 850MB for City Navigator, trip log history, routes, & other data.

I have a few more questions:
  • Can you send Check-In/OK? Do your contacts receive them?
  • To Track Progress, do you press and hold the Track Progress button until it blinks green?
  • Do you see the GPS and Message Sending lights blinking green for approximately 15 seconds when sending Track Progress messages?
  • Do any of the lights blink red?

Do you have the "tracking" subscription? This is separate from the standard annual subscription.

Tracking Progress is $50/year more.

For domestic travel, check out Find my Friends app on iPhone & Google Latitude.

GPS Discussion / Re: How to get ACA route on an Android phone GPS
« on: October 07, 2012, 08:38:20 pm »
I use EveryTrail to follow and record trips on the iPhone, and it seems that they have an Android version as well.

I can create complete guide of the trip, follow the route, snap pictures & video along the way, and record notes, all GPS tagged.

GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: September 11, 2012, 09:13:00 pm »
What about the waypoint names? Do you rename them? What if we rename them over time?[/li][/list]
I have no preference for waypoint names. For my purposes, you may name them and change the names as you wish.

GPS Discussion / Re: GPS Data Wish List
« on: August 24, 2012, 07:44:54 am »
KML? Maybe, if enough members want it for bicycle navigation, this would be worth spending staff time (=money) on.
The request here is for open & accessible format. For those interested in KML, there are plenty of tools out there that would convert from GPX—no need to spend any of ACA time or money. That will only work if the GPX file is structured properly.

KML is just one example. There are many other formats that users may be interested in.

I will edit the original post to state this intent of my comment: Test conversion to multiple formats and various online mapping tools

GPS Discussion / Re: GPS Data Wish List
« on: August 24, 2012, 07:34:59 am »
consider taking a wiki approach to the data and allow users to rate, comment, and flag waypoints.
I like that Chris, something along the lines of or some other location based services. Download the the desired points to the GPS, view on the web, or view on a mobile device. Brilliant.

GPS Discussion / Re: GPS Data Wish List
« on: August 22, 2012, 10:45:25 pm »
I vote for 5 & 6. In my view, it is essential to keep the data sets independent, modular, and compatible with many platform.

I thought the blog that Jennifer wrote was very promising. She made statements about "robust database", "mobile mapping solution is not if, but when", & "waypoints can be kept up to date easily and in an unobtrusive way". I could not agree more.

On the several trips that I have taken on four ACA routes, I never used the files as is. Nor have I read in this forum that someone simply loaded the files as is in their GPS unit, regardless of make and model.

That is, the more these files are easy to handle, manipulate, and use on various tools the better. Hence, I add:

6. Keep open & accessible across multiple platforms.

In other words, I would rather there not be a preference toward a few models versus others. People are using all kinds of technology that is advancing every year, including mobile.

Instead, I prefer to see the files use open standards that are modular working on multiple platforms. Create, for example, a quality check list that includes:
  • Test conversion to multiple formats and various online mapping tools (edited 24aug2012)
  • Test on multiple GPS units (recruit some test volunteers from the membership community)
  • Test the file on a mobile device (test volunteers can help)
This applies to both routes & waypoint—but keep them separate ;)

Best of luck to your team. This is a big effort. Thank you for your time.

GPS Discussion / Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« on: August 15, 2012, 10:01:27 pm »
They are not editable. We add a comment to every waypoint naming the roads or the turn, so you can anticipate the junction even when navigating straight-line with a basic receiver. We also add elevations in mountainous terrain.
In BaseCamp, draw a route using route points (not waypoints), select a route point, right click for properties, and add comments to you heart's desire.

Regardless, given your three choices
The elements are these:
  1. Waypoints created by ACA that mark off-route points of interest.
  2. Waypoints created by ACA that mark the riding route.
  3. Routepoints created by Garmin software when told to navigate following roads. Garmain calls these mapoints in their user interface, and rpt in the GPX file.

This is exactly what I was looking for:
As I wrote above, we can easily separate 1 from 2 and 3 by their symbols, creating two files: (1) and (2,3).

This way, it allows me to manage the points of interest in (1) as I wish, storing them separately, filtering them, etc. I can also easily extract (3) from (2,3) to have the navigation routes. It is then less risk of losing (1) in the process when extracting (3) from (1,2,3) all in one file.

Thank you for taking all this input.

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