GPS that downloads to PC

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Chuck Anderson, Mar 22, 2003.

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  1. A friend of mine actually gave me a hand held GPS (Magellan Sport Trak Pro).

    I've been excitedly reading the manual so that I'll know how to use it tomorrow to get data on my
    ride that I can download on the computer and learn to display graphically.

    Well, I've read the last chapter and I guess that's just not something it does.

    (What a useless little toy it now seems. A $250 compass and map.)

    But it has gotten my curiosity aroused. What GPS units can download their data to a computer - data
    that can be used in text form or graphically? Does anyone here use one that does that?

    Thanks.

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
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  2. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Chuck Anderson wrote:
    > A friend of mine actually gave me a hand held GPS (Magellan Sport Trak Pro).

    Sounds like a good friend. Does he have any others to give away?

    >
    > I've been excitedly reading the manual so that I'll know how to use it tomorrow to get data on my
    > ride that I can download on the computer and learn to display graphically.
    >
    > Well, I've read the last chapter and I guess that's just not something it does.
    >
    > (What a useless little toy it now seems. A $250 compass and map.)
    >
    > But it has gotten my curiosity aroused. What GPS units can download their data to a computer -
    > data that can be used in text form or graphically? Does anyone here use one that does that?

    Almost all of the current GPS receivers will do that, including the SporTrak Pro if you have the PC
    interface cable for it. An example of displaying a ride graphically is at:
    http://prathman.home.attbi.com/Image14.gif which shows a loop ride near my home with the average
    speed shown for each mile of the ride and an elevation profile at the bottom. This graph can also be
    superimposed on a street map of the area to see which specific roads were taken. You can get a text
    file with each point of the graph labeled with its lat., long., date, time, and elevation. The graph
    above was made using the GARtrip program which is available for download from www.gartrip.de
    (there's a free demo version, but to get full file-saving features you need to pay a $30
    registration fee). BTW, initially GARtrip only worked with Garmin units (hence the name), but it now
    also works with most Magellans.
     
  3. Peter wrote:

    > Chuck Anderson wrote:
    > > A friend of mine actually gave me a hand held GPS (Magellan Sport Trak Pro).
    >
    > Sounds like a good friend. Does he have any others to give away?

    :)

    He IS a very good friend (for over 35 years). It was a birthday present.

    > > I've been excitedly reading the manual so that I'll know how to use it tomorrow to get data on
    > > my ride that I can download on the computer and learn to display graphically.
    > >
    > > Well, I've read the last chapter and I guess that's just not something it does.
    > >
    > > (What a useless little toy it now seems. A $250 compass and map.)
    > >
    > > But it has gotten my curiosity aroused. What GPS units can download their data to a computer -
    > > data that can be used in text form or graphically? Does anyone here use one that does that?
    >
    > Almost all of the current GPS receivers will do that, including the SporTrak Pro if you have the
    > PC interface cable for it. An example of displaying a ride graphically is at:
    > http://prathman.home.attbi.com/Image14.gif which shows a loop ride near my home with the average
    > speed shown for each mile of the ride and an elevation profile at the bottom. This graph can also
    > be superimposed on a street map of the area to see which specific roads were taken. You can get a
    > text file with each point of the graph labeled with its lat., long., date, time, and elevation.
    > The graph above was made using the GARtrip program which is available for download from
    > www.gartrip.de (there's a free demo version, but to get full file-saving features you need to pay
    > a $30 registration fee). BTW, initially GARtrip only worked with Garmin units (hence the name),
    > but it now also works with most Magellans.

    Thank you, thank you. That makes it SO much more useful to me.

    Magellan ought to mention this in their documentation. I was thinking of telling my friend to return
    it. I mean. ..... $250 for something that tells you ... "you are here," seems pretty useless to me.

    (And now, the research begins. Here's another program, ... and it's free. I'll compare them.
    http://gpsinformation.net/main/g7to-mag.htm )

    Thanks for the tip. Yahoo!

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  4. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Chuck Anderson wrote:
    > Peter wrote:
    >>Almost all of the current GPS receivers will do that, including the SporTrak Pro if you have the
    >>PC interface cable for it. An example of displaying a ride graphically is at:
    >>http://prathman.home.attbi.com/Image14.gif which shows a loop ride near my home with the average
    >>speed shown for each mile of the ride and an elevation profile at the bottom. This graph can also
    >>be superimposed on a street map of the area to see which specific roads were taken.
    ...
    > Thank you, thank you. That makes it SO much more useful to me.
    >
    > Magellan ought to mention this in their documentation. I was thinking of telling my friend to
    > return it. I mean. ..... $250 for something that tells you ... "you are here," seems pretty
    > useless to me.
    >
    > (And now, the research begins. Here's another program, ... and it's free. I'll compare them.
    > http://gpsinformation.net/main/g7to-mag.htm )

    Yes, I use the G7toWIN program as well. It's not graphics oriented, but is good for saving the
    tracklog (record of where/when you've been), waypoints (locations you have saved in your GPS), and
    routes (sets of waypoints that define a path you plan to follow) in files on your PC. Before GARtrip
    supported the elevation profile feature I used G7toWIN to save the tracklog data as a text file so I
    could import it into Excel and then generate my own elevation chart (example at
    http://prathman.home.attbi.com/Image8.gif ) as well as a graph of the ride. Another good program
    with graphics capability is OziExplorer at: http://www.oziexplorer.com/

    Have fun with your SporTrak.
     
  5. Eric

    Eric Guest

    Chuck Anderson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > Magellan ought to mention this in their documentation. I was thinking of telling my friend to
    > return it. I mean. ..... $250 for something that tells you ... "you are here," seems pretty
    > useless to me.

    Just wait 'til you use it for a while. Once you program a route and watch the arrow point right to
    your next turn, you'll never go back!

    {warning... going off topic} To me, GPS is just about the greatest technolgy ever. It finally
    resolved a fundamental problem of human kind, where the heck am I? Think about it: at one time, a
    king's ransom was offered to someone who could come up with an accurate way to compute longitude.
    The result (a decent chronometer) not only saved thousands of lives, but led to England's dominance
    of the world's oceans. Now we have the most accurate method for determining latatude and longitude
    in human history, and (except for the satellite parts, which aren't overly expensive on a per-user
    basis) is very cheap to boot.
     
  6. Eric wrote:

    > Chuck Anderson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > >
    > > Magellan ought to mention this in their documentation. I was thinking of telling my friend to
    > > return it. I mean. ..... $250 for something that tells you ... "you are here," seems pretty
    > > useless to me.
    >
    > Just wait 'til you use it for a while. Once you program a route and watch the arrow point right to
    > your next turn, you'll never go back!
    >
    > {warning... going off topic} To me, GPS is just about the greatest technolgy ever. It finally
    > resolved a fundamental problem of human kind, where the heck am I? Think about it: at one time, a
    > king's ransom was offered to someone who could come up with an accurate way to compute longitude.
    > The result (a decent chronometer) not only saved thousands of lives, but led to England's
    > dominance of the world's oceans. Now we have the most accurate method for determining latatude and
    > longitude in human history, and (except for the satellite parts, which aren't overly expensive on
    > a per-user basis) is very cheap to boot.

    Okay, I'll bite. So what does this do for me as I ride around on America's roads that are all VERY
    WELL documented in countless maps, and with reassuring landmarks almost always visible. Does it
    mater what my long. and lat. are? If I was an open water mariner, then I would appreciate it. But
    for landlubbers, it still seems like major overkill. A GREAT toy.

    I like the idea of it documenting my rides - showing me an elevation profile and distances between
    various points. I look forward to doing that (with my first ride today - almost 70º in Boulder
    today!), but I don't think I'll ever ride with it mounted on my handlebars (Magellan wants $24! for
    a handlebar mount - that alone is a turn off). It'll be in my pack or in a pocket, invisibly ticking
    away the data.

    It reminds of me when I quit bringing my camera with me on day wilderness hikes. I would end up
    looking at everything through a lens - framed - and I would miss half the experience of just being
    there. I think the GPS will be just as much of a distraction. I'd rather see and "feel" that great
    raptor circling over my head than know exactly what coordinates I was at at the time.

    We'll see ........ Perhaps on tour - in unknown terrain - it will be more useful.

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  7. Jim Spencer

    Jim Spencer Guest

    On Sun, 23 Mar 2003 20:37:36 GMT, Chuck Anderson
    >... Okay, I'll bite. So what does this do for me as I ride around on America's roads that are all
    >VERY WELL documented in countless maps, and with reassuring landmarks almost always visible. ...
    The roads may be well documentented but from my experience when you get on some of the back roads
    they aren't always well marked. I don't know where you ride but don't find reassuring landmarks
    always visible.
    >

    > ... I think the GPS will be just as much of a distraction. I'd rather see and "feel"

    Actually when you are following a cue sheet the reverse is true. I did a cross state ride last year
    which had a very large number of turns to keep us on the less traveled back roads. Trying to keep up
    with the cue sheet while riding(especially if you need reading glasses like me) and worrying about
    missing a turn is to say the least a major distraction. With the GPS it's just an occasional glance
    at the GPS(big numbers don't need glasses) to see how far the next turn is. When the display changes
    form miles to feet then I know it's time to pay attention for the next turn.

    However as much as I like the GPS I don't use it on my daily rides in familiar territory.
     
  8. Jim Spencer wrote:

    > On Sun, 23 Mar 2003 20:37:36 GMT, Chuck Anderson
    > >... Okay, I'll bite. So what does this do for me as I ride around on America's roads that are all
    > >VERY WELL documented in countless maps, and with reassuring landmarks almost always visible. ...
    > The roads may be well documentented but from my experience when you get on some of the back roads
    > they aren't always well marked. I don't know where you ride but don't find reassuring landmarks
    > always visible.

    Ha! :) I live along the Colorado Rockies front range. I ALWAYS have landmarks visible.

    > > ... I think the GPS will be just as much of a distraction. I'd rather see and "feel"
    >
    > Actually when you are following a cue sheet the reverse is true. I did a cross state ride last
    > year which had a very large number of turns to keep us on the less traveled back roads. Trying to
    > keep up with the cue sheet while riding(especially if you need reading glasses like me) and
    > worrying about missing a turn is to say the least a major distraction. With the GPS it's just an
    > occasional glance at the GPS(big numbers don't need glasses) to see how far the next turn is. When
    > the display changes form miles to feet then I know it's time to pay attention for the next turn.
    >
    > However as much as I like the GPS I don't use it on my daily rides in familiar territory.

    Yes. I will be tracking and mapping my favorite local rides. I'm even considering preparing them for
    publication.*

    I have yet to tour with GPS, but I do see how it could be very useful and reassuring in that mode. I
    will give it a real chance this summer when I get out on the road somewhere (I'm thinking of Glacier
    to Boulder - with a stop at a choir festival in Missoula. I've never seen Glacier Nat'l Park and the
    famed "To the Sun" ride.)

    Maps have always worked great for me, although I must admit to having twice turned the wrong way at
    an intersection. But I keep a compass in view, so that let me know in less than a mile that I had
    done so. With a GPS, I suppose I'd do even better. Keeping batteries in it seems like a downside. 2
    AA's every 15 hours (without using the backlight). Still, it'll be fun to give it a whirl later
    this summer.

    (* re: book on local rides: And then I could post a newsletter here every week telling people how
    much JOY there is in bicycling and life and being reborn and .... and please buy my book.)

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  9. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    ...

    > Maps have always worked great for me, although I must admit to having twice turned the wrong way
    > at an intersection. But I keep a compass in view, so that let me know in less than a mile that I
    > had done so. With a GPS, I suppose I'd do even better. Keeping batteries in it seems like a
    > downside. 2 AA's every 15 hours (without using the backlight). Still, it'll be fun to give it a
    > whirl later this summer.

    I wonder if you could rig a generator light to recharge batteries for the gps? It would add some
    resistance to your ride, but it might not be significant if you are already carrying a full load.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  10. archer wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says... ...
    >
    > > Maps have always worked great for me, although I must admit to having > twice turned the wrong
    > > way at
    > an intersection. But I keep a compass in view, > so that let me know in less than a mile that I
    > had done so. With a GPS, I > suppose I'd do even better. Keeping batteries in it seems like a
    > downside.
    > > 2 AA's every 15 hours (without using the backlight). Still, it'll be fun to give it > a
    > > whirl later
    > this summer.
    >
    > I wonder if you could rig a generator light to recharge batteries for the gps? It would add some
    > resistance to your ride, but it might not be significant if you are already carrying a full load.

    Well, ... yes; there is a circuit layout floating around the internet for turning a bicycle
    generator into a battery charger (designed for or AA's, but will charge C's).

    Let me see now, where is that? . . . . . . . . . . .

    Here we go: If you know how to do this:

    http://phred.org/~alex/pictures/bikes/bikecurrent/BDGT_BCR.JPG

    Read this:

    http://briandesousa.com/bicycling/bikecurrent/bbcr.htm

    (Or read it anyway to get the concept.)

    I've yet to find anything like this commercially available (where's Ron Popeil when you need him?).
    But if anyone does, or is talented enough and willing to make them and sell them for a profit,
    please let me know.

    (Back in my "ute," I switched from a ee degree to cs because I HATE soldering little things!)

    I would love to use my own human power (and downhills) to charge AA batteries. I mean all the time,
    like around town, too. Batteries for my digital camera, my GPS, my mini-mag flashlights, CD
    walkman, .......

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  11. Eric

    Eric Guest

    Jim Spencer <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > On Sun, 23 Mar 2003 20:37:36 GMT, Chuck Anderson
    > >... Okay, I'll bite. So what does this do for me as I ride around on America's roads that are all
    > >VERY WELL documented in countless maps, and with reassuring landmarks almost always visible. ...
    > The roads may be well documentented but from my experience when you get on some of the back roads
    > they aren't always well marked. I don't know where you ride but don't find reassuring landmarks
    > always visible.
    > >
    >
    > > ... I think the GPS will be just as much of a distraction. I'd rather see and "feel"
    >
    > Actually when you are following a cue sheet the reverse is true. I did a cross state ride last
    > year which had a very large number of turns to keep us on the less traveled back roads. Trying to
    > keep up with the cue sheet while riding(especially if you need reading glasses like me) and
    > worrying about missing a turn is to say the least a major distraction. With the GPS it's just an
    > occasional glance at the GPS(big numbers don't need glasses) to see how far the next turn is. When
    > the display changes form miles to feet then I know it's time to pay attention for the next turn.
    >
    > However as much as I like the GPS I don't use it on my daily rides in familiar territory.

    I'm not all that familar with the Magellan units anymore, as I use a Garmin e-trex vista. It has a
    trip computer page that can be customized with different trackable items, such as altitude, trip
    timers, odometers, etc. I usually have it on that page to augment my cyclometer. I don't really seem
    to have much of a problem being distracted. And, on my normal ride-around-town days it gives me
    something to look at from time to time (not all of us have the flatirons to look at every day). :)

    But, I'm a gadget geek. Eric
     
  12. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    Chuck Anderson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > Okay, I'll bite. So what does this do for me as I ride around on America's roads that are all VERY
    > WELL documented in countless maps, and with reassuring landmarks almost always visible. Does it
    > mater what my long. and lat. are? If I was an open water mariner, then I would appreciate it. But
    > for landlubbers, it still seems like major overkill. A GREAT toy.
    >
    > I like the idea of it documenting my rides - showing me an elevation profile and distances between
    > various points. I look forward to doing that (with my first ride today - almost 70º in Boulder
    > today!), but I don't think I'll ever ride with it mounted on my handlebars (Magellan wants $24!
    > for a handlebar mount - that alone is a turn off). It'll be in my pack or in a pocket, invisibly
    > ticking away the data.
    >
    > It reminds of me when I quit bringing my camera with me on day wilderness hikes. I would end up
    > looking at everything through a lens - framed - and I would miss half the experience of just being
    > there. I think the GPS will be just as much of a distraction. I'd rather see and "feel" that great
    > raptor circling over my head than know exactly what coordinates I was at at the time.
    >
    > We'll see ........ Perhaps on tour - in unknown terrain - it will be more useful.

    For familiar roads, probably not much value. For unfamiliar roads, more value depending on the
    circumstances. Even in the US not all roads are well marked (gasp!). When visiting some relatives in
    Kansas the direction to get to their place was to go out a certain road, around the bend, go about a
    certain distance, take a right, go about a certain distance, take a left, go through the creek bed,
    around the bend ..... and so on. Not a single marking or name, and the distances to drive between
    points were approximate. With relative presise coordinate and mapping software I can waypoint the
    destination and create a route that I can download to the GPS, keeps me better informed and helps me
    choose which of those unmarked farm roads on which I should turn left.

    Found it even more useful in Italy where the road markings are not all that good and there were a
    lot of complex intersections. Knowing I should go to the right at a certain point is not all that
    helpful when there are 3 roads to the right at an intersection. Again, mapping a route which I
    downloaded to the GPS helped me decide which of the three rights was correct for me. And when we got
    caught in heavy thunderstorms I was able to navigate by the GPS and not have to refer to the paper
    map (paper does not hold up well in heavy rain for some reason ;) ). It helped navigate complex
    inner city streets to locate the hotels (had the hotels set as waypoints), and at a time when the
    weather was so bad that we needed a train to return to out hotel I was able to quickly look up the
    two closest train stations and set routes to them on the fly.

    There are only two reasons I ride with it locally. 1) I am mapping some local rides including
    locations of water, restrooms, etc. Being able to mark a waypoint at a water source is easier than
    trying to locate precise location on a topo map and helps me do this task quickly without
    interfering with the ride, and 2) I ride with it on occasion just to maintain familiarity.

    - rick -
     
  13. Rick Warner wrote:

    > Chuck Anderson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > > Okay, I'll bite. So what does this do for me as I ride around on America's roads that are all
    > > VERY WELL documented in countless maps, and with reassuring landmarks almost always visible.
    > > Does it mater what my long. and lat. are? If I was an open water mariner, then I would
    > > appreciate it. But for landlubbers, it still seems like major overkill. A GREAT toy.
    > >
    > >
    > > We'll see ........ Perhaps on tour - in unknown terrain - it will be more useful.
    >
    > For familiar roads, probably not much value. For unfamiliar roads, more value depending on the
    > circumstances. Even in the US not all roads are well marked (gasp!). When visiting some relatives
    > in Kansas the direction to get to their place was to go out a certain road, around the bend, go
    > about a certain distance, take a right, go about a certain distance, take a left, go through the
    > creek bed, around the bend ..... and so on. Not a single marking or name, and the distances to
    > drive between points were approximate. With relative presise coordinate and mapping software I can
    > waypoint the destination and create a route that I can download to the GPS, keeps me better
    > informed and helps me choose which of those unmarked farm roads on which I should turn left.
    >
    > Found it even more useful in Italy where the road markings are not all that good and there were a
    > lot of complex intersections. Knowing I should go to the right at a certain point is not all that
    > helpful when there are 3 roads to the right at an intersection. Again, mapping a route which I
    > downloaded to the GPS helped me decide which of the three rights was correct for me. And when we
    > got caught in heavy thunderstorms I was able to navigate by the GPS and not have to refer to the
    > paper map (paper does not hold up well in heavy rain for some reason ;) ). It helped navigate
    > complex inner city streets to locate the hotels (had the hotels set as waypoints), and at a time
    > when the weather was so bad that we needed a train to return to out hotel I was able to quickly
    > look up the two closest train stations and set routes to them on the fly.

    I've been looking for some elementary GPS education, and there is so much out there - the gps
    newsgroup is SO active - the forums so full. Do you mind if I ask for some very basic help here?

    When you say - set waypoints - waypoint the destination - let me see if I understand you right.

    Can I build a list of waypoints using other software (e.g., GARtrip), and then load that list into
    the GPS unit? Or actually, I suppose you use the unit specific mapping software (like MapSend - for
    Magellan) to do this? Can I create my own waypoints with a graphical interface on my computer, and
    then load them into the GPS?

    I assume that the train stations in Italy were in a set of maps you bought and loaded into the gps?

    How did you waypoint the hotels? Search for addresses (on a GPS screen) and Mark those points?

    I'm not looking for laid out, step-by-step instructions. Just let me know if my generalizations are
    in the right direction.

    It's beginning to seem that I will not be happy until I buy a set of maps for my unit. The
    preinstalled maps have nowhere near enough detail. I will not get much use out of it until I buy the
    maps. Right?

    > There are only two reasons I ride with it locally. 1) I am mapping some local rides including
    > locations of water, restrooms, etc. Being able to mark a waypoint at a water source is easier than
    > trying to locate precise location on a topo map and helps me do this task quickly without
    > interfering with the ride, and 2) I ride with it on occasion just to maintain familiarity.

    So, you take your normal ride, but you stop at certain points and enter a waypoint into your unit.
    You get home, download it into your favorite software, create a graphical map, save the track data
    and waypoints lists. Then you can erase them from your GPS unit because you can reload them at any
    time using your the same software.

    And can you share this data with someone who owns the same brand unit?

    Any smidgen of help will be greatly appreciated. I'd like to know how to use this thing when I need
    it. It's all still a bit vague to me.

    (Here is one specific question. Can you separate tracks in the GPS unit. Like, the other day we
    drove to the zoo (24 miles) and then spent the afternoon walking around the zoo. I left the GPS unit
    on so I could see a map of the zoo when I got home (we walked on every path). I would have preferred
    to separate the tracks (insert a break?) when we parked the car and got on foot. Is there a way to
    do that, or does that require other software (GARtrip for me, as of now)?)

    TIA, either way.

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  14. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Chuck Anderson wrote:
    > I've been looking for some elementary GPS education, and there is so much out there - the gps
    > newsgroup is SO active - the forums so full. Do you mind if I ask for some very basic help here?
    >
    > When you say - set waypoints - waypoint the destination - let me see if I understand you right.
    >
    > Can I build a list of waypoints using other software (e.g., GARtrip), and then load that list into
    > the GPS unit?

    You could, but you would first need to scan a very detailed map into your PC and calibrate it with
    GARtrip. Another way to get lat/long of locations is to use internet map sites. Unfortunately some
    of them no longer support this feature, but www.mapsonus will still let you display the lat/long of
    a point you point to on their maps or of turns in a calculated route. (I believe registration is
    required for the latter feature.)

    > Or actually, I suppose you use the unit specific mapping software (like MapSend - for Magellan)
    > to do this? Can I create my own waypoints with a graphical interface on my computer, and then
    > load them into the GPS?

    You can find many locations directly with MapSend Streets&Destinations (restaurants, hotels, tourist
    attractions, etc.), select them, and then download to your Magellan GPS (MapSource MG does the same
    for Garmin).

    > It's beginning to seem that I will not be happy until I buy a set of maps for my unit. The
    > preinstalled maps have nowhere near enough detail. I will not get much use out of it until I buy
    > the maps. Right?

    It does make the units much more versatile - and not just for bicycle touring. Last year my daughter
    was looking at various colleges so we took some extended drives across the country. Besides helping
    us find the way to go, the GPS came in very handy for finding places to eat, motels & campgrounds,
    grocery stores, etc. Unfortunately the Garmin maps didn't have libraries which are handy for
    checking email while traveling. But it did let us enter an address from phone books and then showed
    the direction and distance to that address and pointed it out on the internal map.
    >
    >>There are only two reasons I ride with it locally. 1) I am mapping some local rides including
    >>locations of water, restrooms, etc. Being able to mark a waypoint at a water source is easier than
    >>trying to locate precise location on a topo map and helps me do this task quickly without
    >>interfering with the ride, and 2) I ride with it on occasion just to maintain familiarity.
    >
    >
    > So, you take your normal ride, but you stop at certain points and enter a waypoint into your unit.
    > You get home, download it into your favorite software, create a graphical map, save the track data
    > and waypoints lists. Then you can erase them from your GPS unit because you can reload them at any
    > time using your the same software.
    >
    > And can you share this data with someone who owns the same brand unit?

    Yes, but also with someone with a different brand. For example, files of waypoints/tracks/routes
    generated with the free g7toWIN program work with a pretty wide variety of GPS receivers. There are
    some compatibility issues due to differences in numbers of characters in waypoint names, etc. but
    you can agree to a minimum set that almost all units will support.

    >
    > Any smidgen of help will be greatly appreciated. I'd like to know how to use this thing
    > when I need
    > it. It's all still a bit vague to me.
    >
    > (Here is one specific question. Can you separate tracks in the GPS unit. Like, the other day we
    > drove to the zoo (24 miles) and then spent the afternoon walking around the zoo. I left the GPS
    > unit on so I could see a map of the zoo when I got home (we walked on every path). I would have
    > preferred to separate the tracks (insert a break?) when we parked the car and got on foot. Is
    > there a way to do that, or does that require other software (GARtrip for me, as of now)?)

    This depends on the specific GPS unit. The Magellan SporTrak only supports a single tracklog. I
    think the most recent software allows it to be split up if there is a substantial (> 4 hr ??) time
    gap, but I don't have one so don't really know. Most Garmin units let you save up to 10 tracklogs
    and they will split up the current log whenever the unit is turned off (so you don't get a line from
    where you stopped to somewhere else where you turned it back on again). The saved logs have somewhat
    less detail and no timestamp information. The Magellan Meridians allow the most flexibility since
    you can save the tracklog to the flash memory card. Lowrance iFinders let you save 10 tracklogs like
    Garmin, but they are of full detail and have far more points.

    BTW, saved tracklogs are a nice way to display features like bicycle paths and hiking trails that
    don't otherwise appear on the maps for these GPS receivers.
     
  15. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    Chuck Anderson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Rick Warner wrote:
    >
    > > Chuck Anderson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    >
    > When you say - set waypoints - waypoint the destination - let me see if I understand you right.
    >
    > Can I build a list of waypoints using other software (e.g., GARtrip), and then load that list into
    > the GPS unit? Or actually, I suppose you use the unit specific mapping software (like MapSend -
    > for Magellan) to do this? Can I create my own waypoints with a graphical interface on my computer,
    > and then load them into the GPS?

    There are a number of ways you can create waypoints. A waypoint is just a set of coordinates. I do
    not know GARtrip, just downloaded it the other day, but it looks like it can be used to create lists
    of waypoints and download them to the GPS. There are a number of freeware and shareware programs
    with similar functionality. Commercial products like Garmin's MapSource series or the National
    Geographic Topo! series can be used for this purpose, too. I suppose MapSend, MickeySoft's product,
    etc. can all do this. The protocols are well documented so there are a wealth of programs out there
    to help do this.

    > I assume that the train stations in Italy were in a set of maps you bought and loaded into
    > the gps?

    Garmins MetroGuide series has maps with a database of locations of things like hotels, service
    stations, airports, car rental agencies, train stations, etc. Once you download a map segment into
    the GPS you can query the GPS for locations of such destinations, and then tell it to navigate to
    that location. I have the MetroGuide Europe, and would keep the one or two map sections for the area
    I would cover each day loaded in the GPS.

    > How did you waypoint the hotels? Search for addresses (on a GPS screen) and Mark those points?

    I would get addresses then query the GPS to locate the address. I would then have it set that
    location as a waypoint and use the name of the hotel for the name of the waypoint. This was for
    hotels not already in the MetroGuide database. Address lookup is another feature of MetroGuide.

    > I'm not looking for laid out, step-by-step instructions. Just let me know if my generalizations
    > are in the right direction.

    You're getting the idea.

    > It's beginning to seem that I will not be happy until I buy a set of maps for my unit. The
    > preinstalled maps have nowhere near enough detail. I will not get much use out of it until I buy
    > the maps. Right?

    I think that depends on you. There is a lot more information in some of the add-on map sets, the
    question is do you need or want that information and/or functionality?

    > So, you take your normal ride, but you stop at certain points and enter a waypoint into your unit.

    Yep; easy to do on the eTrex models. Just press in on the little joystick.

    > You get home, download it into your favorite software, create a graphical map, save the track data
    > and waypoints lists. Then you can erase them from your GPS unit because you can reload them at any
    > time using your the same software.

    There are products that allow you to make your own graphical maps for display on the computer, but
    not for download to the unit. I download into several programs depending on what I want as an end
    product. I am going to make maps, paper and JPEGs to share, of popular local rides annotated with
    locations for things like where to obtain water, food, where restrooms are located, etc. For this I
    download the data into Nat. Geo. Topo! and then do my annotations - a waypoint for a location with
    water is marked with a symbol of a water fountain, etc. Actually, the latest version of Topo! allows
    for photographic annotations, so I might add some digital photo segments of particuarly interesting
    but overlooked things riders might want to know about.

    If I wanted to share data with other GPS users I would save it in one of the generic formats for
    interchange with GPS units. I think it would be cool if organized rides distributed routes as GPS
    data rather than having paper cue sheets as the only option.

    > And can you share this data with someone who owns the same brand unit?

    Or other units, depending on how you save the data.

    > (Here is one specific question. Can you separate tracks in the GPS unit. Like, the other day we
    > drove to the zoo (24 miles) and then spent the afternoon walking around the zoo. I left the GPS
    > unit on so I could see a map of the zoo when I got home (we walked on every path). I would have
    > preferred to separate the tracks (insert a break?) when we parked the car and got on foot. Is
    > there a way to do that, or does that require other software (GARtrip for me, as of now)?)

    This is really two questions: 1) can you do separate tracks in the GPS, and/or 2) can you separate a
    track log into two logs later. The answer to the first question is, I believe, that it depends. My
    eTrex Legend can save a number of track logs; I am not positive of the number but I have never
    exceeded it. In Italy last fall I kept the entire tour in track logs. Each day I would save that
    days track log and reset wiping out the active (but not the saved) tracks. One day we did two
    segments, and I saved those logs separately. I mean it is rather easy in the Legend to save a track,
    and then once I saved it I would reset all the values thus wiping out all current data (active
    track, odometer, etc.). As far as separating a track later, it is easy of you can identify the point
    at which you want to split the track. If I wanted to do this and my unit would not let me save and
    reset like it does, then I would keep one track log and set waypoints at the locations I wanted to
    do the splits. Later, I would download into the software and manually split the track at the
    waypoints I had set.

    Enjoy,

    - rick -
     
  16. Eric

    Eric Guest

    Chuck Anderson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Rick Warner wrote:
    <<big snip>>

    > (Here is one specific question. Can you separate tracks in the GPS unit. Like, the other day we
    > drove to the zoo (24 miles) and then spent the afternoon walking around the zoo. I left the GPS
    > unit on so I could see a map of the zoo when I got home (we walked on every path). I would have
    > preferred to separate the tracks (insert a break?) when we parked the car and got on foot. Is
    > there a way to do that, or does that require other software (GARtrip for me, as of now)?)
    >
    > TIA, either way.

    Depends on the unit. I know with the e-trex units you can, but there is a memory limit. Also, Street
    Atlas and TopoUSA seem to run them all together with huge jumps between them.

    Check out http://gpsinformation.net/ for just about everything you'll ever need to know about GPS,
    including a comprehensive review of every consumer receiver out there. Joe Mahaffey (the guy who
    runs that site) also spend a lot of time in the sci.geo.satellite-nav newsgroup, much like Jobst
    Brandt in the bike world.

    Eric
     
  17. Thanks for all the useful information.

    This (GPS) is a whole other ball game.

    For now, I'm having fun creating tracklogs of my favorite bike rides in Boulder County.

    I've learned how to use GARtrip to give me a basic log:
    http://www.cycletourist.com/Miscellany/llama_ride/tracklog.html

    I'll hold off on map software. Who knows, the price could come down?

    Thanks all.

    (Oh, and it is my impression that the Garvin is probably a superior unit - at least for my taste -
    multiple tracklogs - various alarms and timers ... But, ... I'm not looking a gift horse in the
    mouth. This Magellan Sport Trak Pro is a lot of fun - will be very useful when loaded with detailed
    maps, and it is one of the fastest and most accurate.)

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
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