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Messages - mdxix

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GPS Discussion / Can you use POI Loader with Garmin Edge?
« on: March 28, 2012, 01:32:31 pm »
I am trying to load POIs onto the Edge 705.

POI Loader recognized the unit, created the POI directory, and placed the GPI file. But the unit does not seem to recognize the file, as I do not see the points on the map, nor get any alerts near them.

According to Garmin support team, and the POI Loader web site (, custom POIs work only on Outdoor and Automotive products.

Did you get them to work on your Garmin fitness product?

adding route-point extensions does not cause trouble for receivers that cannot use them.
Here is a curious discovery: it seems as if adding empty route-point extensions causes trouble for receivers that do use them! They are responsible for fooling the Edge 705 into not calculating the route.

I loaded an old copy (circa 2005) of ACA Atlantic Coast route onto the Edge. The GPS calculated the route, navigated the road, and gave me turn-by-turn directions. A copy of the file AC01v004.gpx is at

That does not happen with the latest copy of that route. The Edge displays it in straight lines and gives cardinal directions. The distance to next turn and distance to destination are not accurate, because they are calculated over straight lines. A copy of the file AC01v007.gpx is at

Why is that? Why did the old file work, but not the new?

I found the new file has the <extensions> tag without the detailed route extensions. The Edge uses these extensions and was relying on them to provide the route details, but the details never came.

I edited the file to remove the empty extensions. I did that for just the first portion of the route A01010. Voilà. The Edge calculated the route, navigated the road, and gave me turn-by-turn directions. A copy of the file A01010.gpx is at

I noticed that for some reason route A01030 in AC01v007.gpx has the full extensions details. The Edge was very happy to find them and navigated properly on the road.

That is, to get the ACA routes to work better with the Edge, one needs to either remove the empty extensions or fill them up with the route details.

I wonder if this same behavior happens with other recent Garmin units in the Outdoors line of products. Any experience there, say with 2011 and 2012 models such as GPSMAP 62 and eTrex 30? Do the new units rely also on route-point extensions?

For those who have not been studying trip planning software, MapSource is still current.
Here is the official response from Garmin that I just received:

Subject: Re: Support for MapSource  (KMM24591883I15977L0KM)
Date: 25 March 2012 22:54:50 EDT

Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I will be happy to help you with this.

MapSource has been discontinued, no further updates will be made.

Garmin BaseCamp is an interface designed for Garmin devices and mapping products. The software allows users to plan and manage trips, routes, tracks, and waypoints between the computer and compatible devices. 

BaseCamp has the following unique features:
   •   Displays 24K or 100K topographic maps with Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in 2D or 3D renderings with elevation profile
   •   Rotate maps to any orientation
   •   Playback feature allows simulating the routes and tracks
   •   Supports geotagged photos
   •   Easily organize data in folder format
   •   Users can view their data in Google Earth
   •   Supports all the geocache information presented on
   •   Prints full page color maps
BaseCamp for Windows:
BaseCamp for Mac :

With Best Regards,

Software Support Specialist
2nd Shift Software Team
Garmin International

5. eTrex: how do you navigate with an eTrex 10? I am looking at the picture on Garmin web site. It looks as if the little arrow is following some pre-determined detailed path. Is that a route (GPX), course (TCX), or something else?

I am also reading the manual. Page 16 indicates the "You can navigate a route, a track…". Is that for the 20 & 30 models only?

If this basic unit can handle detailed routes (GPX with route-point extensions or TCX), then this would be very promising and encouraging to add those details to ACA routes.

6. Compatibility: this would be great news. I am thinking that the current ACA routes contain only the waypoints, without the route-point extensions. Do you think that adding them now will not cause trouble? Otherwise, I am all for adding the route-point extensions. See separate private message.

Another advantage of having the route-point extensions is that users will not be required to purchase maps. I use this feature when navigating on the Edge in Asia, for which I do not have maps. I simply follow the detailed TCX course.

TCX courses have more advanced features that older CRS courses. They can include custom navigation alerts.

7. Edge navigation: I want to clarify that the Edge can use the ACA routes as is, without manipulating them with BaseCamp or MapSource. Only, they will appear as straight lines. The Edge will give compass navigations at these points such as go North and Northeast. As we established in #3 earlier, the Edge does not recalculate stored routes within the unit.

When there is a map on the unit, and the route follows the road on that map, the Edge will give all the directions you mention. There is even a page that displays all the cue sheet entries of all upcoming turns and distance to each.

I am using City Navigator North America 2012.4 (I have nüMaps Lifetime for North America & Europe, so I always get the latest).

I am not sure how widely applicable is a file with these route-point extensions. I would like to think most of the newer units do. For example, I was looking at the very basic eTrex 10 on Garmin web site:
It indicates that the GPS is compatible with Garmin Connect. That is a small hint that it does support detailed routes and possibly TCX tracks. I will call Garmin on Monday and check. I will also likely pick one up this week from REI and test it for sure.

The question I have is will it hurt older units to have this extra data? Ideally, units can either use it or ignore it without causing trouble. This will need some testing.

I am not very clear on your last question about ACA routes. I am able to load ACA routes onto MapSource & BaseCamp, recalculate, send to Edge, and navigate. Is that what you meant?

You seem to remain under the impression that a route exists as a series of straight lines or as a path that follows a road,
GPX routes contain the waypoints within the <rtept> tag and bread crumbs between waypoints in <extensions> tag.

When a program like MapSource is set to Use Direct Routes (Edit > Preferences > Routing > Route Style > Use Direct Routes), then the GPX route file contains only the waypoints that the user defines.

For example, I created file mstestd.gpx. I dropped three random waypoints in Missoula using direct route method. MapSource drew straight lines between these three waypoints. Inside the GPX file, there are three <rtept> tags, each containing one of the three waypoints. There are also three <extensions> tags, but they are empty because this is a direct route. Here is the first waypoint as an example:

    <rtept lat="46.87122224830091" lon="-113.99796235375106">
        <gpxx:RoutePointExtension xmlns:gpxx="">

Without making any changes to the waypoints or the type of the route, I recalculated it to follow the roads. I set MapSource to Use Auto-Routing (Edit > Preferences > Routing > Route Style > Use Auto-Routing). I right-clicked on the route name and selected Recalculate Route. The straight lines were replaced with lines that follow the road. I saved this recalculated routed in file mstestr.gpx. Inside the GPX file, there are the same three <rtept> tags. The main difference is that the <extensions> tags have intermediate waypoints that connect the main waypoints. Here is a portion of the first waypoint as an example:

    <rtept lat="46.87122224830091" lon="-113.99796235375106">
        <gpxx:RoutePointExtension xmlns:gpxx="">
          <gpxx:rpt lat="46.871087467297912" lon="-113.99817190133035">
          <gpxx:rpt lat="46.870808601379395" lon="-113.99778842926025">
          <gpxx:rpt lat="46.871151924133301" lon="-113.99727344512939">
          <gpxx:rpt lat="46.870765686035156" lon="-113.99675846099854"/>
          <gpxx:rpt lat="46.870379447937012" lon="-113.99598598480225"/>
          <gpxx:rpt lat="46.870121955871582" lon="-113.99529933929443">
          … and so on

Both files are routes. They appear under the Routes tab of MapSource, not under Tracks. They are not a course either, since MapSource does not deal with courses and the file does not have .crs or .tcx extension.

What do you think?

I am not able to attach the files to this post. I put a copy on Dropbox at
mstestd.gpx at
mstestd.gdb at
mstestr.gpx at
mstestr.gdb at

MapSource is a great piece of software. It is very fast. I particularly like the way it handles files and the simple user interface. When I switched to a Mac last year, BaseCamp was Garmin's product for it. Since then, BaseCamp became also available on Windows. And it looks like Garmin stopped developing MapSource. The latest version for MapSource 6.16.3 was last updated 15 months ago on 25 October 2010, compared with BaseCamp 3.3.1 as of last month on 10 February 2012:

3. You are correct. The Edge does not recalculate stored routes within the unit. That is the case for changing the routing method and reversing the route.

4. I am curious now, why save the routes as direct lines? That limits usage to specific units, and risks the possibility of the unit calculating the route differently from the original intention. Also, CityNavigator maps do not include trails. When the unit recalculates the route, it will move it onto roads, not knowing about the intended trail option. A full route with bread crumbs also allow anyone with any unit to use the file after a quick and easy conversion to their format, using a web site such as GPSies to KML, TCX, and others.

Is it file size? I tried to find the difference using Section 1 of the Atlantic Coast route from Bar Harbor, ME to Boston, MA. The file AC01v007.gpx is 670KB. Using BaseCamp, I changed all the routes to follow the roads and saved them as such with bread crumbs. The result was a file size of 1,536KB, more than twice the original.

The entire Atlantic Coast route files are 3,135KB. For following the road & trails, assume the size will triple at 10,000KB or 10MB. That is still a very small amount, given the internal storage capacity of these units is more than 500MB (1,700MB in GPSMAP 62 & eTrex 20, 850MB for Dakota 10 & Oregon 450), not including SD cards that are 2,000–4,000MB.

Is there more to it?

Receivers that are more suitable for touring can switch modes as you go along. I do not know whether the Edge can do that while following a course. Let us know when you find out, please.
I know how to recalculate the route from straight lines to follow the roads using MapSource (discontinued Garmin product) and BaseCamp (current Garmin routing product).

1. Are you saying there are GPS units that recalculate the route from straight lines to follow the roads? In other words, can you download a GPX file from ACA web site with straight lines, copy to the Garmin unit, recalculate the route within the unit itself to follow roads, and navigate it?

2. What Garmin GPS unit are you using for that?

3. The Edge has the two options to "Follow Roads" and "Off Road". That is used when the GPS is creating a new route or navigating to a waypoint. Are you referring to this feature in your unit? How do you use it to recalculate an existing loaded route?

GPS Discussion / What tools does ACA use to create the GPX files?
« on: March 20, 2012, 09:51:50 pm »
1. I downloaded the Atlantic Coast GPX file yesterday. The file was stamped with MapSource 6.12.2. Is this correct?

2. If so, how do you save them? I found it strange that the route appeared as straight lines on my Edge 705. I have used MapSource before and it worked fine with the Edge. With the latest ACA route, I had to import it to Garmin BaseCamp, recalculate, and save back to the Edge.

What do you use to create the routes?

GPS Discussion / Re: Garmin DVD vs Card
« on: March 20, 2012, 12:11:28 am »
The DVD is a great idea. You can then mix and match maps on your device, adding sections from North America, Europe, and topo maps as you wish. I have 4GB SD card in my Edge 705 stuffed with maps and routes.

The key with the Edge 705 is to observe the 100 waypoints limit. Routes with more than that will get truncated, unless you convert them to a course.

I loaded the latest GPX file from the Atlantic Coast route. I can see and navigate the routes, but they are straight lines, not following the roads. I did get directional prompts at each route point to go north, west, etc, without road names. The waypoints for points of interest along the route were not all there, since the unit can only store 100 of them.

There are of course many ways around these limitations. GPSies can be of great help there.

GPS Discussion / Re: Discrepancies between gpx files and paper maps
« on: March 05, 2012, 11:03:28 am »
All this blood, sweat, and tears to generate the GPX routes is labor of love!

Thank you Fred and your crew of volunteers. Hats off.

GPS Discussion / Re: Gps waypoints for Rock Creek Trail Washington D.C.
« on: February 03, 2012, 03:21:31 pm »
You can chart you route over the trail on a map such as Navigate to Redland, MD. Select "Bike Paths" view from the top right corner of the map. Drop a point at the start of the trail and another at the end. RWGPS will follow the trail and generate a GPS file for you.

You can add pre- and post-sections of your ride to the map as needed.

General Discussion / Re: No ride reports???
« on: January 16, 2012, 10:03:58 pm » is very active with trip reports.

General Discussion / Re: Crossing Canadian Border
« on: January 15, 2012, 11:33:26 pm »
Keep your passport handy.

Be careful not to cross with any "green" uncooked food (vegetables or fruit). I am sure that some are allowed, but that seems to be the exception. I would rather avoid all that headache and keep it to cooked food, dried fruit, and  packaged snacks.

I have crossed the border several times on a bicycle (BC-WA, AB-MT, QC-VT, QC-NH, NB-ME) and never had any trouble.

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