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Messages - mdxix

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GPS Discussion / Re: ACA GPS files on Google Earth problem
« on: December 03, 2013, 07:32:24 pm »
Here is a sample file of GPX track of Section 1. Import that into Google Earth. It should work. Remember that the distance is still not the same.

I followed these steps to create this file:
  • Edited the original GPX file from ACA to remove all Waypoints. Only the Routes remained. This is because Waypoints are irrelevant to the Route.
  • Edited the file from Step 1 above to merge all the Routes into one route. This is to make sure that the track is rendered in the correct order.
  • Converted the file in Step 2 above from Route to Track using GPSies web site

Do you have any idea why when I enter ACA data into Google Earth, it displays all the waypoints, but for some sections it displays only about 1/3 of the route (for example, WE 1 and 4) while for others it displays the entire route (WE 2 and 3)?
Not really. I can only take a guess.

The original GPX file from ACA was created with a very different purpose in mind using Garmin software to use on (mostly Garmin) GPS devices. It has much more data than a basic KML file would contain. It seems that Google Earth struggled in converting the GPX file into the KML format it needs.

Tracks, meanwhile, are a simpler format that maps more closely to KML. That seems to have done the trick.

GPS Discussion / Re: ACA GPS files on Google Earth problem
« on: December 03, 2013, 07:09:01 am »
I'm trying to get maps with elevation profiles of some ACA routes.
Your best bet is to use the paper maps published by ACA. They include an elevation profile.

First I tried using the ACA GPS files.
This is one  way to get a general idea about the elevation profile. Once you have the GPX file, load it onto your favorite web site tool such as Ride with GPS or GPSies. Both sites will show you the elevation profile and total elevation gain.

The accuracy of elevation data generated on web sites is frequently disputed and vary greatly by web site. I have seen it vary by 50% when calculating the elevation gain. Nevertheless, the profile can give you a general idea about the route.

With Section 2, it seemed to map the whole route and give an elevation profile, but the distance it shows is only 300 miles, much less than the ACA says it is.
This is expected. The GPX file posted on the ACA web site (at the time of this post) is a general representation of the route. It has a series of route points that could be > 10km apart, connected by a straight line, instead of exactly following the route. Therefore, the straight line is expected to be shorter than the meandering actual road.

I struggled with the Edge 810 for a few months and finally decided to give up. I replaced it with the 510 and never looked back.

I found the 510 superior to the 810 as follows:
  • Sensitive (GPS + GLONASS)
  • Very simple to operate without the worries about routing—just use tracks
  • Reliable (all works as expected)
  • Small package (tiny compared to others)
  • Long battery life (I can run it for almost two full days without a charge)
These are in addition to the standard functions in 810 & 510 for recording all trip data (laps for multiple trip sections, fitness data, HR, cadence, temperature, grade, etc), wireless phone connectivity (for Live Tracking, download routes from Garmin Connect, and upload activities to Garmin Connect).

GPS Discussion / Re: Newb asking for some GPS advice. Please
« on: September 11, 2013, 06:04:41 am »
The new Garmin Edge Touring (uses OpenStreetMap for basemap and routing) might be a contender, too.
Indeed. It is available for pre-order. The basic unit without heart-rate support is $249. The Plus unit with heart-rate support is $299.

Note that all of the mapping units listed above also use OpenStreetMap for basemap and routing. Instructions and test results are at:

GPS Discussion / Re: New Garmin Edge Touring
« on: September 09, 2013, 06:47:21 pm »
I'm wondering if/how the new Garmin Edge Touring allows for updates of its underlying OpenStreetMap (OSM) data.
I do not believe this is clear just yet. I have not seen any reference from Garmin to indicate the availability and method for updates.

If updates are available, they will be through Garmin's map update page. The current tool for updating maps on the Edge series is Garmin Express.

Meanwhile, the unit itself accepts SD cards that you can load with new and custom maps.

To load the latest OSM maps on the Touring unit or any other unit for that matter, take a look at these two references:

BTW, I'm an owner of more than one Garmin GPS device, and I REALLY do prefer the much-greener NiMH (rechargeable via my solar panels) AA batteries.  If a device doesn't use AAs (and NiMHs well), I might not buy it, and I'm not alone!
The unit has built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery accordingly to the product specifications page. This is the same for all the Edge series units.

Can you elaborate on your experience with solar panels in this other discussion: Solar Panel - Yea or Nay?? The general feedback was "iffy" at best.

GPS Discussion / Re: Newb asking for some GPS advice. Please
« on: August 27, 2013, 05:32:19 pm »
Here are a few Garmin gadgets that do it all (or most).

Note that all these devices take some time to get used to. There is at times a steep learning curve for setting them up for use, creating tracks, managing tracks, and navigating while on the road.

Once you learn how to use them though, they can be one of your best friends on the road. They just need patience, a few phone calls to Garmin support, and trials in your local neighborhood.

Here are the options:

ModelMSRP (you can often find lower prices in retail stores and online)Map in backgroundHeart rate (belt purchased separately)NavigationComments
Edge 810$499YesYesYes:
  • Turn-by-turn navigation with proper map installed.
  • Create new routes or destinations on the unit.
  • Otherwise, navigate without a map similar to Edge 510 below
This is the latest GPS cum bicycle computer cum navigation machine. It should be fantastic when it works. Earlier releases of the firmware on the unit had many defects. The unit was practically not usable. I think they fixed many of the issues by now.
Edge 510$329NoYesYes. There are a couple of options:
  • Follow the route as displayed on the screen on blank background, prone to error without street map
  • With advanced options, the route file can contain turn-by-turn navigation options
This is my current favorite. I navigate with it on new routes all the time with no trouble. Very easy to use. Very stable. Many advanced features.
eTrex 30$299YesYesYes, similar navigation to the Edge 810.This is one solid GPS, practically indestructible, very long battery life, AA batteries can be replaced easily, very easy and simple to operate.
eTrex 10$109NoNoYes, similar navigation to the Edge 510.Similar to eTrex 30 with fewer functions and features, but very usable.

Routes / Re: Edinburgh, UK route advice?
« on: August 27, 2013, 09:36:24 am »
Another resource to check is the Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC) in the UK and their forum.

GPS Discussion / Re: Newb asking for some GPS advice. Please
« on: August 26, 2013, 03:05:58 pm »
What are you looking for in a GPS unit?

The Cat Eye you refer to is "Designed for the competitive cyclist" that displays riding data such as speed, distance, HR, etc.

Typically for touring and long distance riding, I rely on a unit that has navigation functions to show route, turns, and points of interest, instead of frequently looking at a map or cue sheet.

What will you use the GPS for?

GPS Discussion / Re: How to get ACA route on an iPhone GPS
« on: August 20, 2013, 06:27:23 pm »
Here are some app options for the iPhone:
  • Galileo Offline Maps & MotionX GPS: display the GPX track with an indicator of my position. There is an option to keep maps in the memory when navigating without internet connection.
  • MapMyRide & GPSies: display the track with an indicator of my position. These apps require that I have the GPX route previously loaded on & web sites. There is no option to save maps in memory for offline use.

Before you load the GPX tracks, you need to decide what to use. There are at least two options:
  • Raw GPX file from ACA web site, which contain route points at key intersections with straight lines between them. These do not exactly follow the roads. But given that you will have a map in the background, you may be able to follow them just fine.
  • Processed GPX file that you take from option 1 above and edit to create a track following the roads. You can edit the file using Garmin Basecamp, Ride with GPS, GPSies, and other tools.

Also check out the Companions Wanted section.

New England / Re: Maps of Central and Western Mass.
« on: July 19, 2013, 06:49:28 am »
Anyone still printing paper maps;)

I can loan you my copy of Rubel's Western Massachusetts map. Central has been long gone.

Check out some popular rides for ideas that can help you stitch a route together. One that can get you pretty much across the state is the High Point ride from Lexington to Mt Greylock. From there, I have used a route to Great Barrington. And then find your way to Hillsdale.

Check out the Strava bicycle heat map for alternate ideas.

Routes / Re: Mapquest Maps/Routes
« on: July 10, 2013, 06:28:23 pm »
I find and to have an extensive network of trails.

Even better, these maps are available for download to use on the Garmin GPS units. Therefore, I get to match the view on the computer screen when charting the route with the map on my GPS screen when riding.

RideWithGPS allows selecting either of the two maps: OSM or OSM Cycle when charting a route.

Gear Talk / Re: Recommended Long-Sleeve Touring Shirts?
« on: July 07, 2013, 03:55:38 pm »
I usually reach out to one of many options that ExOfficio offers. Here is an current offering for this season: 1/4 Zip Long-Sleeve Shirt with UPF 50+ rating.

NH DOT has a detailed set of maps for cycling roads in the state. You can stitch the shortest one to your preferences that will get you to Conway, the Kancamgus highway (NH112), and continue you the NT.

The original post appeared twice under different discussion areas. That was redundant. New England seemed most suitable for the question. It is borderline post that can potentially fall under "Connecting Routes" area. Do you prefer moving it there?

GPS Discussion / Re: Android App to view GDMBR gpx
« on: July 01, 2013, 07:55:53 pm »
There is also the MotionX GPS app for iPhone.

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