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Ian 17 Nov 2001 20:39

GPS Software
In a way it's equipping the bike...

Any reccomendations for software you can use for quickly loading waypoints into your GPS?

Thanks in Advance

wbagwell 19 Nov 2001 04:20

Did your GPS not come with software to do this with? I was under the impression that all GPS's came standard with this software, my Garmin eMap did.

If you maybe bought it second hand, contact the manufacturer about getting a new copy.

Wright Bagwell

A.B. 30 Nov 2001 03:48

Not all GPS units come with software. In fact few do, you must have got a bundle or something.

There are many different types of software for use with GPS.

If you just want to enter a big number of points or backup the points stored in your GPS to disk then a simple upload download software like Way Point + will do just fine. Search for it on the net and download it for free.

There’s also software that displays maps and shows you where those waypoints are on the maps. These are very useful for planning as you can figure out the missing points along the route from the maps. There are 2 types of programs in this category:

The first works with ‘Vector’ maps. These are digital maps that only include roads, streets and building. These are useful if you’re traveling on road only since no topographic (land features) data is available. Some of them can even upload these maps to the GPS if it has the capability to display maps. Look for Map Source for Garmin GPS units.

The second type of software uses ‘Bitmap’ maps, which are basically scanned topographic maps. If you travel off road then that’s the type you need since you can see all the landscape features on the map and figure out your routes. Look for Ozi Explorer, the most user friendly or Quo Vadis, the most powerful and feature oriented.

If you want mapping capabilities on the road then check out the Windows CE version of Ozi Explorer. You can mount a PDA on the handle bar next to the GPS and have a full real-time map navigation capability. Very Cool http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif.

Let me know if you need more detailed help on the subject.


PanEuropean 4 Jan 2002 10:43

Garmin makes an excellent program called 'MapSource' (currently at version 4.06), which they supply free when you purchase any of their cartographic data on CD format.

You can use MapSource on its own, as a stand-alone PC application, and view maps, create waypoints, and create routes with it. How much you can do is governed by how much cartographic software you have purchased.

You can also use MapSource to transfer maps, waypoints, track logs, and routes to and from most Garmin GPS units (I believe this includes almost all of the GPS receivers Garmin have made in the last 3 years, anyway).

What kind of software you would want for your PC depends a lot on the amount of RAM memory your GPS receiver has. Until about 2 years ago, most GPSR's shipped with only one meg or so of memory. This didn't allow for uploading of much map information - users were pretty much restricted to whatever basemap was burned into the EPROM of the GPSR at the time it was manufactured.

The newer GPSR's being sold today by Garmin come with a removable memory chip (about the size of a small chocolate) that can be up to 128 MB in size. As a rough rule of thumb, you need 1 MB to store a complete load of street level data, including street numbers and autorouting data, for each million people living in the area (1 MB = 1 million people population).

If you have an older GPSR that has limited memory, you would probably be better off using a shareware application for waypoint management. There are quite a few available. If you have not yet purchased a GPSR, then consider getting one that has the largest chip you can afford, especially if you plan to do international travel or if you live in a heavily populated country.

Two good sources of information are Garmin themselves, and Joe Mehaffey's Website. For information specific to GPS software, try GPSy

[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 04 January 2002).]

PanEuropean 11 Jan 2002 10:49

To give you an idea of what kind of coverage is available from Garmin's "WorldMap" cartographic product, here is a screenshot showing the data available for Algeria, south of the Atlas mountains. Ouargla is at the bottom centre of the map, and Hassi Messaoud (labelled as 'Oued Irara', which is the name of the airport at Hassi Messaoud) is at the bottom right. At the far upper right, you can see the border of Tunisia. The picture shows an area 400 km wide by 300 km high.

The major roads and airports, cities, etc. are all there, and all accurate. The currency of the smaller tracks is uncertain, because the cartographic data is about 5 years old. By this I mean the roads were all there 5 years ago, some may have been abandoned, and other may have been added since.

Note carefully that 'MapSource' is the name of the application (executable) provided by Garmin to view their cartographic products. MapSource itself does not provide you with any cartographic data. MapSource is supplied free of charge with the purchase of most Garmin GPSR's, or with the purchase of any Garmin cartographic product (WorldMap, MetroGuides, etc.)


[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 28 January 2002).]

Mombassa 3 Dec 2002 12:35

I am trying to get an abundance of tools to work a solution that some of you may have figured out yet, and frustration is getting the better of me. Here's what I currently have:
Garmin III+
MapSource (US Road and Rec CD + Canada Road and Rec CD)
OziExplorer (shareware version)
Microsoft MapPoint 2001

I am trying to get the Garmin to accept a set of waypoint or a route from either of these programs. As far as routing is concerned, nothing beats MapPoint, but it seems to have no output capability, except that it will export waypoints to Excel. However, if I make a route in MapPoint, it is generally sufficient to enter a start and end point and have the route drawn pretty much the way I want, without forcing a Stop to force it along a certain route. Hence it only produces one or two waypoints for a trip from Vancouver, BC to Death Valley, for instance. The other option is to use the route tool in MapSource and patiently click a number of waypoints, which is painful and very laborious. I've got OziExplorer, but haven't figured out whether it will do the job, nor do I feel inclined to spent $75 for the full license.

I know the Garmin III+ won't do turn by turn routing or "rubber banding", but I was hoping to find an intermediate solution by either creating a set of waypoints in another software package (see listed), export them to a file and then upload them to MapSource, from where I could load them into the GPS. I've been experimenting with a number of "hops" between the packages, exporting and importing, but I can't seem to get it to work. Nor does MapSource seem to have a function (and correct me if I am wrong) which allows you to define a start and end waypoint and for the software to draw the route (shortest, fastest, most scenic etc...) and take a rough number of waypoints to upload to the Garmin III+.

So now I am wondering how the people without a Garmin V make a decent route when you are planning something out. Is it really the painful way, using the route tool, zooming in and out of maps to mark a number of waypoints that subsequently become part of the route, or am I missing something completely here?

Thanks for any info.




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