Author Topic: Please help! How to follow waypoints?  (Read 301 times)

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Offline cloudcult

Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« on: June 27, 2014, 02:27:43 pm »
I have a Garmin eTrex 20. I have installed maps on it from gpsfiledepot.com. Earlier I biked a portion of the Great Divide trail and decided that following waypoints would be way easier than following the map only. I talked to a biker who uses the same unit and said with his dash-mounted GPS he can just look down and see which way his arrow is pointing when he gets to a road junction. THIS IS WHAT I WANT!

I downloaded waypoints for the route from topofusion.com but have not put them on the unit yet.

How do I install waypoints so I can then follow the route? Do I just install them on the unit and then click enable and they appear on the topo map? I think I can manage to 'Create Route' through the 'Route Planner" but do I need to select every single waypoint in the topofusion route?

Also, does it matter which direction I ride in?

I save routes and mark waypoints on my GPS, and when I return to the area I can open that track that I want and navigate by the waypoints already saved, but in this case I will have a set file of waypoints, not a saved track.

Obviously I am not an expert with the GPS. I'm not against fiddling with it, but I'd hate to think I had done everything right only to get on the trail and discover I had missed a step!

Offline mdxix

Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2014, 09:55:25 pm »
Which route are you trying to follow?

In general, you need a GPX file. Connect the eTrex 20 to your computer. A storage device should appear. Copy the file to your device under the folder /GARMIN/GPX.

However, some GPX files need further processing or do not contain sufficient information.

Please add more details about the route & file.

Offline cloudcult

Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 12:00:32 pm »
Thanks, I'm trying to follow the Great Divide route, generally the Montana section in maps 1 and 2.

Offline mdxix

Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 05:13:13 pm »
I downloaded waypoints for the route from topofusion.com but have not put them on the unit yet.
What is the download link? Where did you find the route on that web site?

How do I install waypoints so I can then follow the route?
I am not aware of a track for the GDMBR that follows the route exactly. There is a compilation of route points in a very low resolution. They will give you general guidance about the route, but not exact directions.

Your most reliable source will be from the paper maps. You can then supplement the maps with the GPS location.

Here are the steps to follow:
Be aware of two problems with these files:
  • The files contain each point twice as route point & as waypoint. There are 1,590 waypoints in the GPX files. They will quickly consume the 2,000 waypoint memory from your device, in case you need it to store points of interest & services. It may be best to remove these waypoints in BaseCamp or manually.
  • There is a chance that your unit may decide to recalculate the route based on its internal map. The result will not be the same as the intended route. You can remove maps from the unit to avoid such problem. Be sure to regularly validate the GPS display against the paper maps.
Also, does it matter which direction I ride in?
Yes. You must reverse the route, as needed, using BaseCamp or other tools.

Offline cloudcult

Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 03:45:49 pm »
Thank you.

I've actually realized now what I really want is not the waypoint data but instead track data which is made available here:

http://www.topofusion.com/divide/gps.php

So rather than using waypoints I could (in theory) follow that guy's track, which would/should show up as a blue line on my gps signifying that it's an entered track.

I have copied those files into my Garmin but they are not visible on the unit tracks, nor is the track visible on the map when I zoom in.

Is there something I have to do to unlock the track or install it on the unit?

I apologize for the shifting nature of this question. While using the eTrex 20 is easy, loading it and customizing it with maps has been really confusing and annoying!!!

Offline mdxix

Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 06:13:48 pm »
I've actually realized now what I really want is not the waypoint data but instead track data which is made available here:

http://www.topofusion.com/divide/gps.php
Good choice. Tracks are the way to go.

Where are you storing the files on your eTrex device?

I just downloaded both files, copied them onto my eTrex under the folder /GARMIN/GPX. They loaded fine:
  • Turn on the device after you copy the files
  • Select Where To
  • Select Tracks
  • These two files should be there.
Be cautious of the following:
  • Neither track has a name in the file. They will both appear as "Track" on the device. Take a guess which is which.
  • There appears to be a large discrepancy between the files. One shows a distance of 1,030km while the other of 4,338km.
  • The two tracks show different outline on the map preview.
  • The web site calls one of the tracks as "official". The only official data I know of is on the Adventure Cycling Association web site.

Offline cloudcult

Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 11:57:04 am »
Ah -- so for some reason I only loaded one of them, not both.

In Basecamp it seemed that what I loaded had the entire journey as the latitudes started in the 50s and went to the 30s, but on the map when it appeared the track started in Banff and ended near Helena -- yeah, probably about 1000 miles.

Let me try it with both.

I really appreciate your help.


Offline cloudcult

Re: Please help! How to follow waypoints?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 02:52:22 pm »
OK, so I reloaded and had a track that went from Banff to Helena then stopped, and a route that would make the unit crash when opening. I deleted, reloaded and ... same. Then I erased everything, went to topofusion.com again and dowloaded everything, put it up on the unit and ... success? There are now three tracks, one of which stops in Helena, but the other two seem to go to Mexico. So ... I guess the lesson learned is that if you hit enough buttons enough times things eventually work.

Thanks very much for your help as I know this was  rambling target shoot of a question!