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I can be a little thick sometimes. I've got the book that came with the software, but, am having a hard time creating routes. Is there a good online tutorial, or a book you could recommend? Is there sucj thing as Mapsource for dummies? I saw the one on garmins site, but, it's not enough. Like I said, I'm pretty thick.




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Not a specific answer to your question, but if you can give us more details as to the problem with Routes you are having, there is a lot of MapSource expertise here.

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first you must enter waypoints that you want to use in your route

then you press control-R...

that will open the route planning menu

then highlight the waypoint you want to use first.....

"add to route"

add waypoints in the order you want to reach them

then, at the end.... "create route"

it should work fine

but, to make sure you have a reasonable route, i always go down to street level

ie., 0.2 - 0.3 miles and WATCH THE ROUTE carefully to make sure it went where i wanted it to go


download BOTH the waypoints and route (make sure both boxes are checked on your screen) into your garmin unit (not onto the memory card)

and you'll be all set



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thanks very much. That should really help. I'll check it out tonight when getting home. Sounds simple enough.


I wasn't entering waypoints first. I thought I'd be able to just tell mapsource freeways to take. for example, I live in Rhode Island, and have a friend in Baltimore that I ride to a couple times per year. I like to bypass NYC, so, I have this weird route on small highways through Ct., then around the city, taking way longer than really necessary smirk.gif I guess I can just make a spot on the freeway a waypoint? It's not necessarily an address...

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you can pick any spot as a waypoint.

i often map a route IN MY MIND first... then add waypoints that take the route over the roads i desire

but, again.... i always go over the route that mapsource has made for me with a fine tooth comb before downloading it into the unit.

i do it this way so that i can concentrate on my ride but see the roads and places i desire.


the program is very powerful and simple, but, like anything else, only after you get used to it.... which you will quickly, i have no doubt

let me know how it goes

i would be happy to help you anytime

you could PM me here

or to my normal e-mail




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Routing is in fact poorly documented in Mapsource, in lieu of that here is a quick primer that will show you some of the better tricks and timesavers.


First of all, get the settings to the default. The minor-major roads slider sometimes gives good results, sometimes not. Your results will vary. For the purposes of this exercise, let's keep that in the middle. I prefer "Faster Time" as it forces me to plot more via points. Not to do more work, but it will tend to better inform recalculations while on the road.




Diving right in, with the route tool selected and starting at Brewster NY I will plot a destination across the Hudson.






Now we want to lose the route tool, and add some via points, which the route tool won't do. Right click and cancel:




The disadvantage of using waypoints as routing points is that they're interpreted as "semi-destinations" and called out on the GPS. Since we're using these points more for guidance and less (really not at all) for anything at their locations, this is a less than ideal solution. Fortunately, the solution proposed here doesn't result in vias being called out.


The next step is to select the arrow tool and change the map scale to Highest, this second point is critical.




Now to add a via, select a point in the body of the route with the arrow tool and you now have the insert tool.




If you switch to the magnify tool, when you come back to the arrow tool the insert is live ... which is a nice function for what we have to do next.




Here you need to be very, very careful not to do this...




...and that is plot your southbound travel on the northbound leg.


Back on the right side of the median, the route snaps like this:




And finally:




Now you can use the arrow tool to insert via points, or add via points to the beginnings or ends of routes. The route tool itself is really only used to get things "started", by plotting two points. Once those points are down, the arrow tool is used for the rest of the editing.

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oh. One other thing. I've got a Garmin GPS V, and it takes FOREVER for the maps to load. Is this normal? Is there a setting I can change? I'm clearly a newbie when it comes to GPS!!!


FWIW, I've got a fast computer, so, it's not that..

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you mean to load them onto the gps itself?

if that is what you mean.... that unit has a slow interface..

that's why the 2610, etc.... where you can load onto a data card..... or the X76 series.... with the CF cards... you can loads the maps a relative lightning speed



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Matt -


Thanks very much for the tutorial - it's excellent! I've been using Mapsource for years and have plotted routes using just the route tool to create vias as I go. This can get tedious because, to get it right, you have to keep changing the scale of the map as you proceed. The proceedure that you outlined should be a lot easier.


I agree also with your point that waypoints should be used in a route principally as stopping points rather than as a means to direct the route.


Good stuff! Thanks again.



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  • 2 months later...

Just thought I'd relive this topic. I never really tried out the tips, but, now I have a new 276c and am eager to learn! What I can't figure out is how to "snap" the map. What you describe makes perfect sense, I just can't figure how to move the map from one route to another with the same starting points using the arrow tool..



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If you're talking about the Mapsource software, when you have the map up on the screen, just make sure you get the cursor in select mode. You do this by pressing the icon next to the route tool (tool tip will say "Selection Tool"). Once that's active you take the cursor and pick on your route along a section you want to modify. The route will become a "rubber band" and you can move over the desired route and "drop" the route by clicking again. The new route will be automatically calculated.


Just an aside, I've found that it's quite easy to drop the route on a divided highway on the wrong side (east instead of west for instance). If you're zoom level is such that this doesn't show up, you'll find the route calculates some odd turnarounds to get you going the right direction again. This has happened using the auto route feature as well but it is rare. I now always inspect the length of the route at a zoom level that lets me visually inspect it.

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When you click on a route using the selection tool ( arrow ) the route has the start and end points connected with a line at the cursor. The cursor should change shape and include the route tool symbol. At this point click and hold the arrow on the route and drag the route to the road you wish to use, then release. The route should then 'snap' to the new routing with a new viapoint added to the route properties.

It takes 2 mouse clicks - one to select the route and one to adjust the route.

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Bob and Albert,

thanks very much. Exactly the info I was looking for! Garmin really needs to come up with a useful Mapsource guide. I learn this stuff and all I can think of is what else am I missing?!!




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I too have been pulling my hair out trying to figure Mapsource out. If you look closely at my pic you'll note I don't have much left to go! Question once I establish a route in Mapsource what is the best way to save it? I've been doing file save as then naming the route and downloading to the device as needed. Once I have a saved file I'm having problems deleting it. HELP!

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When you save the route see were the program saves it. I save all of mine in my documents folder. Once I no longer need the route I go into my documents, right click, and delete it.

Good luck

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Let's take for an example, we are going to Gunnison for 4 days, and each day will be a different ride route, can you set routes by number or name?

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What I would do in a case like this is as follows:


Put in a waypoint for Start and end of each day. Make sure that you load all the maps you need for your 4 day trip.

At the start of the first day just go to routes and waypoint on your Gps Unit and select waypoint. Then select navigate to that waypoint.

This should work depending on your GPS Unit.


You can also set waypoints for were you will spend every night. Then use the route tool to put them in order. Your GPS will Navigate from waypoint to waypoint.

To set routes see top of post

Hope this helps

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I am using a Garmin 276-C. My thoughts, more clearly, are, KOA as a base camp and four days of riding loops in the Gunnison area. One day heading in each direction N-S-E-W. Also, can this be done on the fly using vias instead of waypoints, or is this to be done on the computer before leaving on the trip?

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This is really helping thanks much. In my frustration I called Garmin for help at 'Up In Smoke's suggestion and they said I needed to dnload the nRoute program and plan routes on it. Being techno impaired I haven't had much luck doing that has anyone else?

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I usually plan my routes on the computer in MapSource, then label each route with the start and end names of the cities or places,(Jax-Boone)for example. Or sometimes I lay out several different routes to the same destinations. This will let me choose a route depending on mood or weather. I will add either numbers (1,2,3, etc.) or use extensions like slow, southloop, northloop, fast etc.

Then I will upload these routes to the GPS and then they are ready to use whenever I leave on the trip, or I can select them from the route list in the GPS when I get to the area of the start. It is quite simple, just make sure the version of you Mapdata, like City Navigator V7 or V5 is the same on your computer and your GPS. thumbsup.gif

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This is really helping thanks much. In my frustration I called Garmin for help at 'Up In Smoke's suggestion and they said I needed to dnload the nRoute program and plan routes on it. Being techno impaired I haven't had much luck doing that has anyone else?


Hey Joel, I just hope you figure it out before leading Brynda off on another wild goose chase again. dopeslap.gif


Sorry, I can only offer sarcasm since I'm sort of techno impaired as well. thumbsup.gif



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