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GPS routing question


JayW

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I just got back from a 2000 mile ride, and my R12RT did great (love that Cherohala Skyway!). This was primarily a pleasure trip, and I wanted to make sure I stuck with satisfying roads, even if they lengthened the trip.

 

I chose my route each evening and entered my whole next day's ride in the BMW Navigator II from my hotel room, with the unit plugged into the wall in "indoor mode". I started by entering my start and end points in "new route" mode, then chose towns along the way as "vias" in order to force the unit to keep me on the roads I wanted. This had to be done carefully because otherwise the unit might try to get me from one via to the next on a boring shortcut road. Also, even if the town looked like it was exactly on said road, sometimes the GPS would try to take me a mile or 2 off the main road into town. I had to purposefully ignore several of these detours each day. I also had some diffuculty if there was no town at one end of a preferred road.

 

This approach worked pretty well, but was time-consuming and forced me to enter a lot of vias in order to make sure I didn't stray from the best roads, even if the road itself kept the same route number. Is there a better way to do this? I don't see an option to choose a specific route to get from via to via. There is also an "intersection" option, but I didn't have much luck getting it to recognize 2 route numbers.

 

Thanks.

 

Jay

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I just did the same thing returning from Vermont. I discovered you must chose a point carefully ON the road and not down an exit ramp or down a driveway, otherwise the GPS want to run you down the ramp or driveway. I also had lots of via point and the gps (quest2) locked up a couple of times in the first few miles. I put it on the "detail" screen instead of "Map" view and that seemed to cure it. I'm guessing there is less computer overhead in that condition.

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I tried to do what you did and was not satisfied. I could look at the road map and see how I planned to go, the GPS can only utilize the maps programmed into it, and it's logic is often not as good as yours. I found that the best way to travel was to lay out my route on a map and then use the gps to confirm my heading. This method also takes a lot less time and doesn't inhibit your freedom

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This approach would certainly be simpler, and confirms my findings that GPS, as handy as it is, is not going to replace paper maps anytime soon. Next time, I think I am going to write out my route numbers and significant vias sequentially on a piece of paper and keep that on my tank bag, together with a paper map handy. I can then use the GPS to confirm that I am on the right track and play with when I get bored.

 

Jay

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Aluminum_Butt

I would highly recommend that you get the Garmin Mapsource software. I think it's a real shame that they don't include it with the GPS's that come with all the detail maps preloaded.

 

What you described trying to do is exactly what I do, but it's infinitely easier on the PC. The screen is obviously bigger so you can see more area without scrolling around, it's easier to zoom in and out, the mouse is easier and more accurate than the touch screen...it's hard to tell you just how much more efficient route planning is on the PC versus the GPS.

 

What you described is basically the right method though. You tell the GPS you want to go to/through a set of points by creating waypoints, then let it calculate the route. For me, this usually means I want to hit certain roads and segments of roads. I'll put waypoints on all the places I want to pass through, and let the GPS do the rest.

 

The other advantages to having the Mapsource software is that you can save the routes you create on the PC, and share routes with other riders (.gdb files). I have tons of routes from my riding buddies. When I want to plan a ride, I'll pull up their files and use what appear to be interesting route segments.

 

The software can be had for about $120.

 

Just my $0.02.

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I second MadDawg's recommendation of using the MapSource software with a City Navigator package. I've mapped stuff out with the GPS by itself too and it can be a major pain in the arse, plus you can never "save" those routes for future use. However, using MapSource/City Navigator on your computer is not only very easy, it's a heck of a lot of fun. I discovered I can spend hours mapping out routes for one of my next adventures! smile.gif

 

It is too bad that Garmin doesn't just supply this with all GPS units, however, that would make them cost more and the initial price wouldn't look so inviting. It's called marketing, I think. Nevertheless, I assumed this prior to my purchase and just bent over and paid the $120 for MapSource/City Navigator v7 and justified it as a "motorcycling sunk cost," no different than any other gear I've coughed up major dough for. grin.gif

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That is favorite way to plan trips and routes also. But you better be careful after you transfer them to the gps. I was following my preplanned route to Vermont and some let the GPS lead me onto a one lane gravel road going over a gap between VA and WVA. It went OK, but I did not enjoy riding a fully loaded RT on a one lane dirt road up and down a mountain with switchbacks and no way to turn around.

I guess I needed the experience. dopeslap.gif

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Jay W: Yes, same thing happens to me. I frequently use the marker for the town center as a way point when it appears to be right on the route I'm traveling. Often they are off the route by several feet or a block or two. But on my GPS, when I approach these ways points, they appear as "Middlebury Twn" (for example) so I know to ignore any immediate directions to turn, and stay on the main route.

 

By the way, if you plan your route on the PC, you can skip the whole process of entering way points, and create via points by dragging and dropping your route onto a new road. It's much quicker, and when you're driving it, it won't announce a bunch of way points which are kind of artificial to me (and interrupts my music). If you use this drag and drop method, you need to be careful when, on your PC, you recalculate long routes, because the recalculation might still force you through a via point that no longer makes sense. And you might miss this detail if you're zoomed out too far.

 

Bernie: Yeah, I've been burned by this in the opposite way. I planned my route on my PC to be back roads but when I went off route, my Quest recalculated and used highways. I think you need to set the "Road Slection (prefer minor roads/prefer highways) on the GPS to be about the same on the PC. Just my theory. Have not tested it.

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Please forgive me, don't want to hijack this thread, you all seem knowledgeable. Can I upgrage my ver.5 City Navigator to current ver. 8 and will the new version work with a SPIII?

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