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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Be forewarned if you watch this you may want 3 minutes of your life back. However, someone who has done some map creation for their Garmin GPS might find this interesting. I figured out how I could make my custom trail maps routable on my GPS. Creating custom maps is rather easy, making them routable is a bit more complex. I used to be a programmer for the gov't in a past life; working with map editing software is like jumping back 15-20 years to how things use to be done (i.e., text files, dbf database files, command-line compilers). It's been a fun week of learning.
While the maps look basic, the final result is what is shown on the topo (green inset below).


Picture below is the complex trail (Banner Forest WA) routing with turn by turn instructions. A post below shows the GPS actually routing.
 

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There's no way I'm even going to attempt watching it. I am not remotely that directionally challenged to want my GPS to tell me when to turn.

Half the fun of being in the woods is navigating. When I hike, I commonly will leave the GPS off buried in my pack and work the map & compass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
NateHawk said:
There's no way I'm even going to attempt watching it. I am not remotely that directionally challenged to want my GPS to tell me when to turn.

Half the fun of being in the woods is navigating. When I hike, I commonly will leave the GPS off buried in my pack and work the map & compass.
No problem, I knew I was only targeting a small group of people; however the tool I used to make the video is kind of cool. You can get it here for free;
http://www.smallvideosoft.com/ (freez screen video capture).
 

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MarkHL said:
No problem, I knew I was only targeting a small group of people; however the tool I used to make the video is kind of cool. You can get it here for free;
http://www.smallvideosoft.com/ (freez screen video capture).
Ah, you made that? I thought it was something you found because you were looking for routable trail info. That explains why that insane trail network looked familiar.

I really ought to dive more into just creating transparent .img maps of my local trails. It would make it easier with regards to showing lost riders where they need to go. I've encountered that pretty often lately and all I've been able to show them is a track of where I've been.
 

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NateHawk said:
Ah, you made that? I thought it was something you found because you were looking for routable trail info. That explains why that insane trail network looked familiar.

I really ought to dive more into just creating transparent .img maps of my local trails. It would make it easier with regards to showing lost riders where they need to go. I've encountered that pretty often lately and all I've been able to show them is a track of where I've been.
Pretty cool feature you figured out there! Don't think I'll take things to that level, but...

Gotta say thanks for putting up the video. After looking at a couple steps, I finally realize how to create a custom map from gps data. And actually did make something from some tracks for a course I created. Just a bit of overload when you think of all the steps needed to make a complete topo map from the steps outlined on gpsfiledepot!

Don't know how I missed it so long ago, but while working on this I went back and read the tutorial on loading maps and figured out the mystery to getting multiple maps loaded on the gps unit simultaneously!

Now, I do still have one question: How do you actually get your custom map to overlay your base topo map when you have them both loaded on the gps unit? Unfortunately I can only see my custom course map when I hide the larger 'base' topo from view! You can make the custom map 'transparent' so that you can see your trail network, then still see the topo, road, water, etc... data underneath it, right? Played around with some settings in mapset toolkit, but it just isn't doin'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I use GPSMapEdit (free) to author my maps: http://www.geopainting.com/en/

See the image below. It allows you to specify "transparent without a background" which will let your custom maps show through.

Here's an example (Oregon 450) of one of my maps with Garmin's 24K Topo "underneath" it. (Note, the green tracks are actual tracks from my GPS that I used to make the map, I didn't re-trace them.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
It works!

Here's a screen shot of the Oregon routing on one of my local trails. The yellow and brown trails are my map, the black trail is the track I'm currently laying and the purple trail is the route. Notice the route is tracking on my map. Non-routable maps will not do this. Additionally, it is telling me to turn right at the next intersection with an arrow pointing the way. Once again, only a routable map will give these types of instructions.
 

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Mark,

Are you using the $40 version of cgpsmapper or the free version. I am able to make and install my map with the free version but I cannot get it to route.

Ted
 

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Great job MarkHL. I've made a few maps successfully using the same tools you did a couple years ago. I played with making them routable but I gave up after a little while. I think maybe my version of cGPSmapper was wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Ted said:
Mark,

Are you using the $40 version of cgpsmapper or the free version. I am able to make and install my map with the free version but I cannot get it to route.

Ted
You have to purchase the $40 "Personal" version to make routable maps. I think spending the money gave me the initiative to figure it out.
I'm using GPSMapEdit to edit the source files and compiling them using GPSMapper.
Routing is a bit of a complex process. I attached a picture of what a typical routable map directory looks like. The directory uses the same format that the instructions/examples use.
The end result is the bottom five files and the map image files stored in the .\IMGS directory.

My routable map looks simple in the video but when compiled with all the other available information into a final version, it looks like this.
The green lines are the trails, the yellow ones are service roads and the black dashed ones more primitive trails. Also notice all the streams, marshes and lakes are displayed.
 

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