Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => GPS & Digital Data Discussion => Topic started by: JHamelman on August 08, 2012, 02:28:40 pm

 
Title: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: JHamelman on August 08, 2012, 02:28:40 pm
In a recent blog post (http://blog.adventurecycling.org/2012/08/how-do-you-use-our-gps-waypoints.html), we asked the question: How do you use our GPS waypoints?

As a department we are in the midst of designing a database for map creation and maintenance. Part of this includes our GPS waypoints. As we go along, we realize we really don't know enough about how you are using the waypoints. We want to make sure that what comes out of this process is at least as helpful as what is currently available and hopefully more so.

A few things we'd like to know about your use of the waypoints specifically include:

What would make them easier to use?

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

Do you like/use the sample routes provided?

Anything else we should know?


Routes & Mapping staff will be chiming in now and again throughout the conversation, perhaps asking more questions along the way. Your feedback will have an impact on what we do next so please help us help you.

.Jennifer.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: tsteven4 on August 09, 2012, 03:17:38 pm
I use the gps data, including the waypoints and routepoints, to create online maps and google earth files showing the ACA routes.  These are available at http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net (http://tsteven4.qwestoffice.net).  Personally I use these in the winter to get ideas about next summers ride.  Its nice to have the waypoint data so you can scan for campgrounds and imagine how the days might break up.  Once I have the ride selected then its off the the ACA store for good old paper.  No newfangled navigation for me on the bike!

My process for generating these files is up and running, so to make it easiest on me don't change too much!  Actually, if the waypoint + routepoint data is available I can probably adapt.

I don't care about the waypoint/routepoint names, rename them as you wish.  I don't rename them myself.

I certainly display the ACA routes using the routepoints supplied, but I am not sure if you mean something different by "sample routes".

Jennifer, enjoy your ride in Colorado.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: Pat on August 10, 2012, 12:40:22 pm
Jennifer,

The team at ACA does a great job pulling everything together.  For us, the routes have been reasonable and safe.  And the information provided for campgrounds, motels, etc, is a lifesaver - often considerably cheaper than the first place you come to down the road.  I really appreciate your efforts.

During the Spring we used the material from Pacific Coast Map 4 as field tests.  This summer, we did two, two week tours, one in Washington State, and the other in Oregon, using Maps 1 and 2.  We also used a combination of the maps and waypoint data.  We used the data in a combination of ways:

(1)  In the preps phase, I use GPSIES.COM to build routes to load into my Edge 705.  The routing waypoints are valuable in making sure I haven't misunderstood the maps (some of the Washington map segments were a little confusing).  Since I have trouble loading the non-route Waypoint into my Garmin, I make an Excel spreadsheet of the remaining data, and put it on our iphone and Kindle.  If the waypoints have contact information embedded in them, I have not found a way to unlock that.  The Waypoint segments don't line up with the Map segments, which makes a little extra work.  (For our in-route replanning, we work from the map segments to get the "next day" down).

(2)  During actual touring, we use the Garmin to figure out where we are and how much further we have to go (are we there yet?).  And the information on the back of the maps is very useful for locating phone numbers and which campgrounds and motels, etc.  The spreadsheet is handy to figure out end of day and other mid-day replanning.

If I were king for a day, I would hope to see the following:

(a)  Waypoint and Map segments aligned, with the same distances and same names
(b)  Contact information for Waypoints that are actual locations.

But, from a business model, I'm not sure how you make this data fusion work.  You charge, understandably, for the maps.  And you provide downloads of the waypoint data.  If you put all the requested data into the downloads, this would probably cannibalize the hard copy revenue source.

Happy Trails,

Pat
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz on August 10, 2012, 05:46:53 pm
... If I were king for a day, I would hope to see the following:

(a)  Waypoint and Map segments aligned, with the same distances and same names
(b)  Contact information for Waypoints that are actual locations.

But, from a business model, I'm not sure how you make this data fusion work.

Pat, this is excellent; exactly the kind of story we have been looking for. Thank you!

Could you clarify "segment" for me, please? We divide each cycling route into sections and print a paper map for each. The Pacific Coast route contains five sections. Section 1 contains 13 maps, along with the narratives, service directories, road conditions, etc. You will see the number printed in each map: Map 1, Map 8, Map 13.

I suspect "map segment" means either a section or a map.

The GPS data include waypoints and GPS routes--not to be confused with the cycling routes. Some of the waypoints mark the GPS routes, while others mark points of interest along the way. Most of the latter come from the service directory on the printed map.

I suspect "route segment" means a GPS route.

The GPS routes are indeed named for the section and map that they cover. We encoded the names to fit within the six-character limit on route names of low-end GPS devices. http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10775.msg54521#msg54521 (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10775.msg54521#msg54521) describes the coding.

Some receiver limitations affect how we set up the GPS routes. Many of them limit the route to 30 waypoints and can store no more than 50 routes at once. Therefore, many short routes or a few really long ones are not practical. A few maps in urban areas need more than 30 waypoints, so we use two or more GPS routes.

That said, we could probably adjust the starting and ending waypoints of most GPS routes to coincide with map boundaries. This would reduce the average number of waypoints per route somewhat, meaning you would need to reload the receiver a bit more often. If this idea gains some traction, it would not be hard to do when we make a new edition of the maps.

On the matter of contact information, beyond the business model there are some limits in the GPX file format. Garmin has made some extensions to the standard for such data, but I do not know if other vendors support them.

Thanks for the suggestions!

Fred
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: Pat on August 10, 2012, 07:55:30 pm
Jennifer,

Yes - segment = section = map panel
Yes - route markers (waypoints?) and points of interest which may / may not be on the route

I wish you the best,

Pat
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz on August 10, 2012, 09:41:30 pm
One more try, please, Pat. Is your "segment" what we call a section, hundreds of miles long, or is it a map, one of the dozens of little maps printed for each section and 30 to 50 miles long?

Thanks,

Fred
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: Pat on August 11, 2012, 02:02:09 am
Sorry for the confusion - A segment is one map - as in Oregon has 27 maps, and each is 25-35 miles long.  Pat
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz on August 11, 2012, 06:22:54 am
Got it! "Adjust the starting and ending waypoints of GPS routes to coincide with map boundaries wherever feasible" will be the first on the list of suggestions we are gathering. Some maps will require more than one GPS route if we keep the limit of 30 waypoints per route. There would be more routes to load into the receiver.

Comments about this from anyone else who has tried it?

Fred
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: mdxix on August 14, 2012, 12:01:13 am
Jennifer & team, thank you for making the map data available electronically. They have been essential for my trips.

I use them differently on each trip, depending on my technical skills and the tools I am using. These are ever changing, as the technology advances and GPS units get more capable. There are also many ideas on this forum how people use these maps—there seems to be endless creative ways.

In that light, the maps are easiest for me to use when they are open & accessible.

You are already using an open GPX file standard that has worked for me with any unit & software. It almost always require me to process it manually in three ways:

Good luck with your new adventure.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz on August 14, 2012, 07:58:51 am
Thanks for the good suggestions, Rami. I think we could manage most of them. Comments and a question follow.

  • Separate the routes from the waypoints. As Fred and I discussed earlier (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10888.msg55101#msg55101), the GPX file contains both waypoints and routes. I prefer to keep and manage them separately.
  • Coincide the routes with paper map sections, as Pat suggested earlier (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10941.msg55307#msg55307).
  • Calculate the route to follow intended path as compared with the paper map. Many (not all) ACA GPX files have routes that are straight lines between marked route points. Some GPS units can calculate the route internally and some others (like my current Edge 705) cannot. Either way, there is a chance that the calculation will not follow the intended route. Besides, this calculation depends on the map set being used, which may not have all roads, and likely do not have off-road trails.
    I am not sure why ACA has some routes with all their details (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10482.msg53052#msg53052) and others without. I hope that the move is in the direction of more details, not less.

1. Some of the waypoints in the ACA files mark the route and some mark points of interest like campgrounds, museums, and motels. We have discussed separating these, and could do it easily.

The Garmin mapping software and most GPS receivers--but not the Edge series--when told to navigate by following roads, will calculate additional intermediate routepoints to show the path along the roads. I do not know any way to separate these routepoints from the waypoints except the manual editing of the GPX file that you described earlier. If you know a program that can do this, please let us know too.

Which of these do you mean by "separate the routes from the waypoints"?

3. The inclusion of routepoints or not in the published files is a matter of accident. It depends on whether the Garmin software is set for straight-line or follow-the-road navigation when we prepare a file. The question never came up until you alerted us to the road-following limitation of the Edge. I think we can arrange to include routepoints in future additions of the files.

For those considering a new GPS receiver, we continue to recommend the models intended for long-distance navigation (Vista, GPSMAP, "Western states") rather than those intended as training aids (Edge). Their larger capacities and ability to follow roads when navigating off the prepared routes make them more useful for touring.

Fred
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: tsteven4 on August 14, 2012, 09:07:40 am
Fred,

Let's talk about an example from AC01v007.gpx.    We have wpt elements from the gpx schema.   We have rtept elements from the gpx schema.  The rtept elements may contain RoutePointExtension elements, defined in the GpxExtensions schema.  The RoutePointExtension elements may contain rpt elements from the GpxExtensions schema.  I believe by
Quote
additional intermediate routepoints
you mean the rpt elements from the GpxExtensions schema, show as gpxx:rpt below.

Code: [Select]
   
<rtept lat="44.4350200" lon="-68.9465600">
      <name>A012C0</name>
      <cmt>US 1 &amp; SR 3 bend</cmt>
      <desc>US 1 &amp; SR 3 bend</desc>
      <sym>Waypoint</sym>
      <extensions>
        <gpxx:RoutePointExtension xmlns:gpxx="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3 http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3/GpxExtensionsv3.xsd">
          <gpxx:Subclass>000000000000ffffffffffffffffffffffff</gpxx:Subclass>
          <gpxx:rpt lat="44.4350504" lon="-68.9464883">
            <gpxx:Subclass>0600c39c4000a56001002116000086040c00</gpxx:Subclass>
          </gpxx:rpt>
          <gpxx:rpt lat="44.4352770" lon="-68.9466763">
            <gpxx:Subclass>0200c39c4000be5301001f06010015f5b801</gpxx:Subclass>
          </gpxx:rpt>
          <gpxx:rpt lat="44.4349766" lon="-68.9485216"/>
          <gpxx:rpt lat="44.4349337" lon="-68.9489079"/>
          <gpxx:rpt lat="44.4345474" lon="-68.9515257"/>
          ...

As you indicated we also have wpt elements from the gpx schema that are used in two different ways.  A012E0 is used to mark a point of interest, while A012C0 is used to mark a turn on a route.  Note that the previous example had a rtept A012C0 corresponding to the wpt A012C0.

Code: [Select]
  <wpt lat="44.4350200" lon="-68.9465600">
    <name>A012C0</name>
    <cmt>US 1 &amp; SR 3 bend</cmt>
    <desc>US 1 &amp; SR 3 bend</desc>
    <sym>Waypoint</sym>
    <extensions>
      <gpxx:WaypointExtension xmlns:gpxx="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3 http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3/GpxExtensionsv3.xsd">
        <gpxx:DisplayMode>SymbolAndName</gpxx:DisplayMode>
      </gpxx:WaypointExtension>
    </extensions>
  </wpt>

  <wpt lat="44.4295910" lon="-68.9739490">
    <time>2011-03-28T17:28:58Z</time>
    <name>A012E0</name>
    <cmt>Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort CG</cmt>
    <desc>Moorings Oceanfront RV Resort CG</desc>
    <sym>Campground</sym>
    <extensions>
      <gpxx:WaypointExtension xmlns:gpxx="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3 http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3/GpxExtensionsv3.xsd">
        <gpxx:DisplayMode>SymbolAndName</gpxx:DisplayMode>
      </gpxx:WaypointExtension>
    </extensions>
  </wpt>

It would be easy to separate all the wpt elements from all the rtept elements.  gpsbabel can do this, or it could be done with a xslt processor.
It would be easy to delete the rpt elements with a xslt processor.
To separate the two usages of wpt elements, we would need to make some assumptions about how to distinguish them, e.g. the included sym element is either Waypoint or something else. Note the sym element is optional.  You indicated you have a way to do this, but I am not sure what you had in mind.

Given this example, can you reword your question to include the specific element types you would like to separate?
Quote
The Garmin mapping software and most GPS receivers--but not the Edge series--when told to navigate by following roads, will calculate additional intermediate routepoints to show the path along the roads. I do not know any way to separate these routepoints from the waypoints except the manual editing of the GPX file that you described earlier. If you know a program that can do this, please let us know too.

Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz on August 14, 2012, 01:34:16 pm
Sure. I do not care, but I do care what elements Rami wants to separate. 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.

As I wrote above, we can easily separate 1 from 2 and 3 by their symbols, creating two files: (1) and (2,3).

Rami, do you want to separate 3 from 1 and 2? If so, yielding what files containing which elements?

And how do Jenn and the crew do this in a production environment? "With an xslt processor" will not cut it. They need a maintained, documented, supported program to perform the task every week.

I do not understand why one would want to extract just the routepoints (3) from a file that contains (2) and (3). Can an Edge not use the combined file?

Perhaps some of the few who want to use Edge models for long distances can undertake this task themselves, separating the published ACA files for whatever reasons they wish. Would that be practical?

Fred
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: tsteven4 on August 14, 2012, 02:00:46 pm
Quote
And how do Jenn and the crew do this in a production environment? "With an xslt processor" will not cut it. They need a maintained, documented, supported program to perform the task every week

If this becomes desirable I can set the crew up with a maintained, documented and supported xslt processor, and the transform that does what they need.  There are many freely available, they may already have one installed and not know it, e.g. xsltproc is in included in mac os x snow leopard and many other linux distributions.  I would need to know what operating system(s) they use.

A disadvantage of including
Quote
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.
may be the gpx file size.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz on August 14, 2012, 02:13:03 pm
Sounds good. Jenn uses a Mac and also runs some PC stuff under Boot Camp. By the time she gets back from her bike respite, we may have sorted out just what the Edge users need or want.

GPX file size should not be a problem. They contain so much repetition that they Zip down really well.

Thanks!

Fred
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: mdxix on August 14, 2012, 10:59:31 pm
I really think it is about consistency, reliability, and usability of the routes. I think it is to the users advantage to have the full route details (breadcrumbs or extensions), in addition to the route points.

It provides the following several advantages:
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: mdxix 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 (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10888.msg55101#msg55101).

As we reviewed earlier (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10888.msg55094#msg55094), 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 (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10941.msg55375#msg55375). Users can choose to use one or both.

The method for separating them depends on the tool you are using. Manual separation (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10888.msg55103#msg55103) was quick and reliable. I often use online tools like GPSies.com & RideWithGPS.com. I think they all yield the same result.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz 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
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: mdxix 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 (http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=10888.0). 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:

With that in mind, it seems that the ACA GPX file is mixing two data sets that are not related in one file:
Each of them is very useful for the trip and needed along the way. I just manage & view them differently.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz 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
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: mdxix 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.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz 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
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: Jesterrider 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. 
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz on August 16, 2012, 02:35:19 pm
Hi Jesterider. Did you get the GPS Data User Guide (http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/GPSUserGuide07.pdf)? 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/ (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
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: JHamelman 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:


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.

Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: tsteven4 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
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: mdxix 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.
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: FredHiltz 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
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: newfydog 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
Title: Re: How do you use the Adventure Cycling GPS waypoints?
Post by: JHamelman 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.