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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I've got the new patch for the Garmin Mapsource program that allows you to link saved tracks to Google Earth, REALY COOL STUFF! In the prosess of looking at my saved tracks I've noticed alot of other trails in the area. Is there any way to trace those trails on Google Earth, then transfer them to my Garmin Etrex Lergend C? Preferably using Mapsource.
 

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screamingbunny said:
Ok I've got the new patch for the Garmin Mapsource program that allows you to link saved tracks to Google Earth, REALY COOL STUFF! In the prosess of looking at my saved tracks I've noticed alot of other trails in the area. Is there any way to trace those trails on Google Earth, then transfer them to my Garmin Etrex Lergend C? Preferably using Mapsource.
I'm assuming you are seeing trails on the satellite photos that you want to trace. I know of no way to draw trails in Google Earth or MapSource, but it's easily done in TopoFusion or USAPhotoMaps. It would be easy to transfer them from TopoFusion since it shares .gpx compatibility with MapSource. There may be a couple of extra steps involved in getting it from USAPhotoMaps.

HTH

Rich Owings
www.MakeYourOwnMaps.com
www.GPStracklog.com

"We were desert mystics, my friends and I, poring over our maps as others do their holy books." - Edward Abbey
 

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screamingbunny said:
Ok I've got the new patch for the Garmin Mapsource program that allows you to link saved tracks to Google Earth, REALY COOL STUFF! In the prosess of looking at my saved tracks I've noticed alot of other trails in the area. Is there any way to trace those trails on Google Earth, then transfer them to my Garmin Etrex Lergend C? Preferably using Mapsource.
If you find a how-to on this subject I would like to hear about it. I picked up a Vista C a few weeks ago with the bike mount and think its great. I use it to track all my rides and when I set it to big numbers mode I use it like a cyclo computer. I have Google Earth Pro but I want to pickup up a copy of Topo! CA. I think you can map out a trek in that and upload it to the Garmin. I will check back to see if any new information is shared.
 

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NappyT said:
If you find a how-to on this subject I would like to hear about it. I picked up a Vista C a few weeks ago with the bike mount and think its great. I use it to track all my rides and when I set it to big numbers mode I use it like a cyclo computer. I have Google Earth Pro but I want to pickup up a copy of Topo! CA. I think you can map out a trek in that and upload it to the Garmin. I will check back to see if any new information is shared.
Oh man, people are gonna think I paid you to say that :D, because that's exactly the kind of thing my book (GPS Mapping) gets into! I did 99% of my field reserarch for the book on a mountain bike, so it is definitely written from a biker's perspective.

You can transfer waypoints and routes to your Garmin from National Geographic TOPO!, but not maps. What you can do (it's actually easier with the programs I previously mentioned), is draw in trails (tracks in GPS speak), and transfer those to show on your GPS screen. Unfortunately, it's not possible to extract tracks from NG TOPO, so I would definitely suggest using a different program, though you can produce great printed maps for field use with TOPO. Clear as mud, huh?

Here's a post on my blog on that may give you further insights... creating maps from tracks

Rich Owings
www.MakeYourOwnMaps.com
www.GPStracklog.com

"We were desert mystics, my friends and I, poring over our maps as others do their holy books." - Edward Abbey
 

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Try Waypoints Too

When I'm navigating on trails, I prefer to make a route using waypoints rather than folow tracks. I especially put waypoints at the trail junctions, and add more at places like at a corner turn on a trail, even if there's no branches to get lost. I then use the navigation compass to see when I'm getting close.

I also modified one of the four sub-displays on the "odometer" screen to show distance to next waypoint so I can see it counting down as I move to it. A great motivator and help to go in the right direction. (I also display altitude, speed, and trip miles on that screen.)

I tended not to use tracks to indicate trails as it's too hard looking at the screen all the time (and hitting a rock or big log). Almost always, you can make out the trail, especially if it can be seen from space by a satellite. More important is to make waypoints on critical turns to keep you in the right general direction and let you know when you need to turn.

Nevertheless, I have been on overgrown trails where having the detailed track from someone else would have helped get through to the other side. That happened at Henry Coe two weeks ago. But I had someone's National Geographic files of the trails with all the tracks (where they're called routes).

My problem was I couldn't figure out how to get his "route" out of National Geographic and onto my Garmin eTrex Vista. I was about to look in Rich Owen's book that I own (which is EXCELLENT) but he just answered that it can't be done. What about saving the NG route in a csv or text file and importing into Garmin's MapSource some way?
 

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You can transfer "routes" from NG Topo to your GPS, but they won't end up in your GPS looking like routes. NG Topo forces you to convert a tracklog or route into a series of waypoints before it'll upload it to your GPS.

You can trace a route in mapsource and upload it to your GPS, but I don't use Google Earth (thanks for tipping me off to the mapsource update, though...I was still using version 5.4), so I'm not sure how the two programs work together. I am sure that there is another program that'll let you do it if the mapsource/google earth interface doesn't work the way you want.
 

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NateHawk said:
You can transfer "routes" from NG Topo to your GPS, but they won't end up in your GPS looking like routes. NG Topo forces you to convert a tracklog or route into a series of waypoints before it'll upload it to your GPS.
Yea, what a pain. It uses up all your waypoints if you want detail. My eTrex can store lots of tracks with 750 track points each. But using 750 waypoints for one track eats up all my spare waypoints and more. It also clutters the screen badly with waypoint names so it has to be turned off somehow.

But the NG allows you to make a number of waypoints that define the track (or what NG calls "route"). Right click on the NG "route" brings up the dialog where you can select the "GPS Route..." button. A number of waypoints are made to map the route. I find the option to "Match the shape of the freehand route.." to be pretty good as a piecewise linear approximaton to the track as you suggest over 30-50 waypoints (say 1 or 2 per mile) for most reasonable tracks. And that waypoints every half mile or so isn't too cluttered on the screen. NG will also string these waypoints, that can be defined with a simple prefix and enumerated suffix, into one single Route that can be downloaded to the GPS and used for navigation routing. So the NG "route" (what everyone else calls track) then indeed generates a "Route" between waypoints on the GPS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanx for the info, I'm quessing the TopoFusion program has the same photo fidelity as Google earth? If this is the case I suppose I will have to see what Santa brings (Google Earth is free). The Motion Base link you included was excellent, thanx, however I didn't see anyway to down load the tracks to a GPX file or anything.

Has anyone on this site given any thought to adding GPS data to the trail review section, or maybe a GPS/Travel/Trips discussion section where you can upload/download data?
 

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screamingbunny said:
Has anyone on this site given any thought to adding GPS data to the trail review section, or maybe a GPS/Travel/Trips discussion section where you can upload/download data?
Love that idea. Especially since it would make Pete scream (but not like a bunny). I think it would also help a lot of people find trails. Not only for navigation on the trail, but also getting to new places and obscure trail heads on the road. GPS are pretty cheap these days.

We'll have to suggest that to the administration. It may be hard to integrate data files transfers into the web, especially with possible security issues. I'd say only 10% of the MTBR folk use GPS today, and most never will, but it's increasing with the variety of GPS available today (like the Foretrex and new Edge cycle computer.) So the administration may not see a mandate for that feature. They're just trying to get valuable things like Calenders working. For now, you just PM someone and ask for an email of data file if you know they have one. Seems to work now and then. Not as good as your having the data posted for all to get easily, as you suggest.

We'd have to suggest a format that's somewhat universal. Mostly that's been National Geographic TOPO! files for lack of a better standard. Maybe Rich Owings can suggest something that's more universal with simple translations to other formats.
 

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I think the logistics of something like this would be pretty hellish, because there isn't a lot of file format continuity in the world of consumer level GPS units. Waypoints are one thing...geocachers have settled on the .loc format, which can be converted to lots of other formats for compatability. Because tracklogs aren't treated the same by all programs, or even all GPS units, managing a database of them would be tough.

The motionbase website is collecting a database of tracklogs from folks, but they're not really freely downloadable at this point. That is supposed to change when Garmin releases its new Edge cycle computer units, and their functionality will be essentially integrated into motionbase, where you can compare someone else's "course" (tracklog including elevation and speed data) with yours ON the GPS during your ride.

I have absolutely no idea what format these files will be in, what programs will be able to read them on a computer, or anything like that. And then, there is a question as to whether other GPS manufacturers will continue to keep their units compatable with motionbase b/c Garmin now owns motionbase.

This is probably more than MTBR can chew at this point, although it would be awesome if it could be done (especially if mtbr could integrate the feature with google earth to display maps).
 

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Hi guys. Just getting back to the boards. I had a blog post on some upcoming Garmin receivers with expandable memory and SiRF chipsets that got picked up by Engadget, so I'm getting well over a thousand page views a day :D , and I've been busy on some blog changes as a result.

Comments on some of the things mentioned on this thread:

The best way to get tracks out of NG TOPO is to convert it to a route (as Big Larry mentioned), and send those waypoints to another program via your GPS. Then trace the track. I like using TopoFusion for this because I can toggle between aerials and topos.

The rumor mill has it that NG TOPO will be releasing a new version this year that will embrace .gpx, so we will (hopefully) finally have a way to get our track data back out of it.

As far as TopoFusion resolution, it is actually better than Google Earth in many cases. These are TerraServer images, and they are used to feed TopoFusion, USAPhotoMaps, ExpertGPS and Quake Map. The aerial photos go down to 1.0 meters/pixel, except in color urban imagery, which goes down to 0.25 meters/pixel. For a free look, check out TerraServer or USAPhotoMaps.

There are already lots of places to download GPS data. NG TOPO has it on their website, and MotionBased is another. I would suggest the .gpx format for anyone doing this on a new site. I keep threatening to do a post on these resources, but have yet to find the time. You can always search for a place / park name and include gps, gpx or waypoints in the search criteria.

BTW, the previously referenced
MotionBased post tells how to extract .gpx files. Be sure to read Mike Maxson's comment on the post for more info.

Whew, busy day...gottta go!

Rich Owings
www.MakeYourOwnMaps.com
www.GPStracklog.com

"We were desert mystics, my friends and I, poring over our maps as others do their holy books." - Edward Abbey
 

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You kill me, dude...a 60CS with the SiRF chipset and expandable memory?! I have to update my wish list now.

Hmm, I will be anxiously awaiting updates to NG Topo. I got to looking closely at Mapsource today in my area (Pittsburgh), and became sorely aware of how out-of-date the map data is.

Redwoods Mtn Biker said:
Hi guys. Just getting back to the boards. I had a blog post on some upcoming Garmin receivers with expandable memory and SiRF chipsets that got picked up by Engadget, so I'm getting well over a thousand page views a day :D , and I've been busy on some blog changes as a result.

Comments on some of the things mentioned on this thread:

The best way to get tracks out of NG TOPO is to convert it to a route (as Big Larry mentioned), and send those waypoints to another program via your GPS. Then trace the track. I like using TopoFusion for this because I can toggle between aerials and topos.

The rumor mill has it that NG TOPO will be releasing a new version this year that will embrace .gpx, so we will (hopefully) finally have a way to get our track data back out of it.

As far as TopoFusion resolution, it is actually better than Google Earth in many cases. These are TerraServer images, and they are used to feed TopoFusion, USAPhotoMaps, ExpertGPS and Quake Map. The aerial photos go down to 1.0 meters/pixel, except in color urban imagery, which goes down to 0.25 meters/pixel. For a free look, check out TerraServer or USAPhotoMaps.

There are already lots of places to download GPS data. NG TOPO has it on their website, and MotionBased is another. I would suggest the .gpx format for anyone doing this on a new site. I keep threatening to do a post on these resources, but have yet to find the time. You can always search for a place / park name and include gps, gpx or waypoints in the search criteria.

BTW, the previously referenced
MotionBased post tells how to extract .gpx files. Be sure to read Mike Maxson's comment on the post for more info.

Whew, busy day...gottta go!

Rich Owings
www.MakeYourOwnMaps.com
www.GPStracklog.com

"We were desert mystics, my friends and I, poring over our maps as others do their holy books." - Edward Abbey
 

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Redwoods Mtn Biker said:
Oh man, people are gonna think I paid you to say that :D, because that's exactly the kind of thing my book (GPS Mapping) gets into! I did 99% of my field reserarch for the book on a mountain bike, so it is definitely written from a biker's perspective.

You can transfer waypoints and routes to your Garmin from National Geographic TOPO!, but not maps. What you can do (it's actually easier with the programs I previously mentioned), is draw in trails (tracks in GPS speak), and transfer those to show on your GPS screen. Unfortunately, it's not possible to extract tracks from NG TOPO, so I would definitely suggest using a different program, though you can produce great printed maps for field use with TOPO. Clear as mud, huh?

Here's a post on my blog on that may give you further insights... creating maps from tracks

Rich Owings
www.MakeYourOwnMaps.com
www.GPStracklog.com

"We were desert mystics, my friends and I, poring over our maps as others do their holy books." - Edward Abbey
I just ordered this book. It's here but I haven't sat down with it yet. It looks like it might answer a lot of my questions. I've got a lot of issues with the NG Topo software, and I am hoping to understand the other options better with the help of the book.

formica
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Redwoods Mtn Biker said:
Hi guys. Just getting back to the boards. I had a blog post on some upcoming Garmin receivers with expandable memory and SiRF chipsets that got picked up by Engadget, so I'm getting well over a thousand page views a day :D , and I've been busy on some blog changes as a result.

Comments on some of the things mentioned on this thread:

The best way to get tracks out of NG TOPO is to convert it to a route (as Big Larry mentioned), and send those waypoints to another program via your GPS. Then trace the track. I like using TopoFusion for this because I can toggle between aerials and topos.

The rumor mill has it that NG TOPO will be releasing a new version this year that will embrace .gpx, so we will (hopefully) finally have a way to get our track data back out of it.

As far as TopoFusion resolution, it is actually better than Google Earth in many cases. These are TerraServer images, and they are used to feed TopoFusion, USAPhotoMaps, ExpertGPS and Quake Map. The aerial photos go down to 1.0 meters/pixel, except in color urban imagery, which goes down to 0.25 meters/pixel. For a free look, check out TerraServer or USAPhotoMaps.

There are already lots of places to download GPS data. NG TOPO has it on their website, and MotionBased is another. I would suggest the .gpx format for anyone doing this on a new site. I keep threatening to do a post on these resources, but have yet to find the time. You can always search for a place / park name and include gps, gpx or waypoints in the search criteria.

BTW, the previously referenced
MotionBased post tells how to extract .gpx files. Be sure to read Mike Maxson's comment on the post for more info.

Whew, busy day...gottta go!

Rich Owings
www.MakeYourOwnMaps.com
www.GPStracklog.com

"We were desert mystics, my friends and I, poring over our maps as others do their holy books." - Edward Abbey
Wow almost missed that tip! Just spent an hour downloading everything with in an hour of Denver, AWSOME! Still looking for a seamless way to trace satilite photos, topo fusion looks promising but I'll have to buy it to see around the big "Demo" graphics.

thanx again for all the help
 
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