Author Topic: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?  (Read 11431 times)

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Offline mdxix

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2012, 11:21:22 pm »
  2. Waypoints created by ACA that mark the riding route.
Waypoints are waypoints and riding routes are riding routes. There is no mixing between the two. The fact that some waypoints happen to be along the route does not make them part of the route. The routes in the GPX file do not have or mix with any waypoints. Instead, they have route points. See prior example.

As we reviewed earlier, one can strip the GPX file completely from the waypoints and still navigate the route.

I believe you have an older GPS-III+ unit that only recognizes waypoints but not routes. That should work as well, as I suggested earlier to separate routes & waypoints. Users can choose to use one or both.

The method for separating them depends on the tool you are using. Manual separation was quick and reliable. I often use online tools like GPSies.com & RideWithGPS.com. I think they all yield the same result.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2012, 07:59:52 am »
Waypoints are waypoints and riding routes are riding routes. There is no mixing between the two. The fact that some waypoints happen to be along the route does not make them part of the route.

Sorry, Rami, that is not the case. To create a route in every GPS program I know, which is quite a few, one must specify an ordered list of two or more waypoints and tell the program--in a computer or in a GPS receiver--to build a route from them. Those waypoints and the program's routing algorithm define the route. Do you know another way?

You are right that once the route is built, the waypoints are no longer needed if you never need to change the route. The routepoints that remain are not editable in Garmin equipment AFAIK.

I see no harm and considerable good to include the routepoints in our published files. Without question, that will make the wish list.

Your request to separate the three elements of our current files into two or more files still puzzles me. Please help me understand which elements you want to see in which files and why. If the separation you have in mind would make the data easier or better for several people, we can justify it.

Fred

Offline mdxix

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2012, 07:27:40 pm »
specify an ordered list of two or more waypoints and tell the program--in a computer or in a GPS receiver--to build a route from them.
You are correct Fred. This is certainly one way to construct a route. I can understand how this may have been useful for certain units that ignore route points, as you pointed out. Therefore, you had to include the waypoints in the file for navigation.
My old GPS-III+ ignores the route points entirely, showing no waypoints and no routes.

How many of the ACA community have this restriction is hard to know. I want to think this is a rare case, because the GPX 1.1 standard has been around for some time. Units as simple as eTrex 10 now recognize routes. The ACA will have to decide how far back to support GPS units.

That leaves us with routes & route points are the elements we need for navigation.
once the route is built, the waypoints are no longer needed if you never need to change the route.

The programs I use never require that I specify waypoints to construct a route. Here are some examples:
  • MapSource: start on a new map, select from the menu Tools > Route (notice another tool for Waypoints, but we do not want that), use the mouse to drop route points on the map, they get connected by a route, the Waypoints tab in MapSource does not contain any waypoints, select from the menu File > Save, choose GPX format, Save, open the file in a text editor to view its content. There are no waypoints in the file.
  • BaseCamp: start on a new map, select from the menu Tools > Route  (notice another tool for Waypoints, but we do not want that), use the mouse to drop route points on the map, they get connected by a route, the Collection list still only has the route without any waypoints, select from the menu File > Export Selected User Data, Save, open the file in a text editor to view its content. There are no waypoints in the file.
  • Online maps like RideWithGPS.com, GPSies.com, & MapMyRide.com: none of them require waypoints. I simply start charting the route. When I download it, it is also only constructed of routes & route points. There are no waypoints.
    There is an advantage to these online tools: they use Google maps which include bicycle paths. They are also accessible from anywhere and can be easily shared.

With that in mind, it seems that the ACA GPX file is mixing two data sets that are not related in one file:
  • Waypoints that are points of interest
  • Routes that are navigation paths
Each of them is very useful for the trip and needed along the way. I just manage & view them differently.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2012, 07:45:07 pm »
You are right about map points defining a route, Rami. I had completely forgotten them because we found them inadequate for ACA routing. Why? 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.

People ride both ways, but even a simple edit like reversing a route made with map points destroys the routepoints and the turn-by-turn directions. If your GPSR (or your computer) contains a route-able map and the ability to rebuild routes on the fly, then reversing the route works. It will use its own idea of the best roads, of course, which may not be the ones ACA chose.

Our conclusion: we need the waypoints that define the route. Are they harmful in the Edge series? Why not leave them for those who can use them?

Fred

Offline mdxix

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #19 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.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2012, 10:29:05 pm »
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.

This is good to know. I tried Base Camp a year ago and abandoned it as slow and awkward to use in a production environment, in particular when editing the properties of whole groups of waypoints at once. MapSource, despite its terrible UI, does the job. But it won't edit map points. Neither will my GPSMAP 60Cs.

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.

OK! This goes on the wish list right now.

Fred

Offline Jesterrider

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2012, 01:59:29 pm »
I am new to using a gps for bike navigation and I am still attempting to figure out how to use ACA waypoints with my Garmin receiver.  I have printed the information that you have on the web, but it is new to me and somewhat confusing. 

My hope is that I will be able to ride the Atlantic Coast route in 2013, and I want to use both a gps and the maps, which I have already purchased from ACA.  But first, I have to figure the gps waypoint system out. 

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2012, 02:35:19 pm »
Hi Jesterider. Did you get the GPS Data User Guide? That is the definitive document. Also check the sticky topic at the top of this GPS Discussion forum.

Using a GPS receiver (GPSR) is not rocket science, but it does require a bit of study. I spent a very useful hour in an armchair with my first one and its owner's manual, learning my way around its functions.

http://gpsinformation.net/ is a great resource for tutorials and for reviews of hardware and software. If anything has to do with consumer GPS, there will be a link to it on that site.

What model did you buy and what map set to go with it?

You can find a wealth of specific information by browsing this forum. Don't overlook the search feature when the list of topics is on the screen.

For GPS training, make a GPS route to cover one of your local rides. See what the machine tells you as you go along, and how far you can trust it.

Fred

Offline JMilyko

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2012, 11:01:01 am »
First, thank you one and all -- Fred, tsteven4, Pat & mdxix -- for your vigorous conversation about the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints! We appreciate your time and energy put into this discussion. We haven't forgotten about this issue but have been operating with a short staff over the last 6 weeks as we have each taken some time to get out of the office. (My Colorado trip was fantastic, btw.)

The conversation has gone into a technical realm that is a bit beyond me at this point but I'm sure it will be helpful as we move forward.

And second, one question that was not directly addressed that I'd still like to understand is:

  • What about the waypoint names? Do you rename them? What if we rename them over time?

I ask you to think about this because one of the ideas being considered is a process to automate the updating of waypoints from within the database. From what I understand, the entire waypoint file(s) would be recreated with each update necessitating that the waypoints be renamed due to the addition or deletion of services and reroutes.

How do you imagine would this effect users as a whole?

I look forward to learning your thoughts on this.

Thanks,
.Jenn.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline tsteven4

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2012, 08:07:30 pm »
Jennifer,

Glad you had a good time in CO.  Lin and I enjoyed our transit through MT as well.

For my purposes I don't care if you rename all the waypoints every time you update the database, the names aren't too descriptive anyway.  I don't rename them myself.   However, it might cause some confusion in communication as we couldn't refer to a common name across versions.  I think automation is the way to go, once the process is working it should be more consistent and less laborious.

Steve

Offline mdxix

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #25 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.

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2012, 11:17:32 pm »
I rename a few, usually where turn-by-turn navigation does not provide the name of an upcoming road. However, I'd rename them again when starting over with a new ACA data set, regardless of whether you renamed them in that data set.

Fred

Offline newfydog

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2012, 06:34:51 pm »
Hi, new to this forum, but a veteran GPS-Bike user.  I did two segments of the Great Divide this year and never looked at a single named waypoint.  I just loaded the track from Topofusion and followed it. I loaded free topo maps from GPS filedepot.com for a base, and only looked at the ACA map every few days to see an overview. I use a handlebar mounted Garmin Dakota 20.

I think waypoint lists and GPS units that can't handle tracks are obsolete. I know I have a few gathering dust. Any phone or resonably modern GPS can handle a huge long track and a basemap. 

I feel adventure cycling is a bit behind in this field.  The Adventure Cycling website could be the first source for detailed .gpx or .kmz files of your routes, but there does not seem to be much available.  With a bit of Googling, good tracks can be found on sites like Garmin connect, Topofusion, GPSies, Strava, etc. The points from ACA can be  made into a rough track, but they could use some filling out!  The topfusion track for the great divide is great---it has enough detail that by zooming up you can tell in a glance whether a road is the turn you need to take, or just a recent dead end logging road.  No written decription is needed, and it is rather liberating to know you aren't going to get off route.

 A few volunteers could click out all your routes in detail on Google Earth pretty fast, but I'll bet you could find recorded tracks on the internet and among recent riders fairly easily.

PS:  Hey there Tsteve!  Thanks for the pics of you and L in Montana.--
Doug
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 11:56:10 am by newfydog »

Offline JMilyko

Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2012, 02:28:53 pm »
As a department we've been studying your needs and wants alongside our needs and wants. We're starting to come to some conclusions as we work with an outside contractor to get our database up and running. I wanted you all to know your comments have been very helpful in this process. Thank you!

As more questions arise, we'll be back in touch.

Best,
.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes