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Thread: GPX storage

  1. #1
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    GPX storage

    I recently purchased a 60CSx and I have some questions regarding the storage of the .gpx files. I've been using it on my local rides and have been resetting most of the data before each ride so I can get an idea of the miles and vertical ascent of each ride. I've used the default reset options. These are reset: trip data, odometer, max speed, elevation data, max elevation, and the track log is cleared. By default, these are not deleted: tracks, waypoints, and routes.

    So, all of this is fine; here are my questions: I didn't delete the tracks (I have set up the 60CSx to save tracks to my 2 GB card, not the internal memory), but when I navigate to the track menu, I can't view, or load up my non-deleted tracks. I can only set up a new one. However, when I remove the 2 GB card and install it on my PC, I see all of the non-deleted .gpx files.

    I'm going on a month long mountain biking vacation and want to track every ride and want to make sure I don't delete the prior ones. I won't be traveling with a lap top, so I won't be able to check my actions on the road. Also, will I have to burn the data to disc after I have 20 saved tracks, the supposed limit on my unit? This limit doesn't make sense to me because it's a 2 GB card and the topos take up about 1 GB, so that should leave a gigabyte for saved tracks (which are very small file sizes).

    Sorry for rambling, just making sure I'm prepared for my trip!

  2. #2
    NEPMCPMBA President
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    The 20 track limit is for the integrated memory (the tracks listed under the "tracks" icon). You can store as many tracks as you want on the memory card. I'm not really sure if you can display them, though.

  3. #3
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    I have an etrex vista I am pretty sure this will apply to the 60CSx. The etrex can only read tracks stored in the internal memory rather than the SD card. The etrex records tracks in the internal memory in the proprietary garmin format with a limit of 500 data points per track. The etrex also has a setting to record a duplicate copy of the track to the SD card however this is saved in the GPX format which the garmin unit cannot read. The good thing about the GPX file is that there is no limit to the number of data trackpoints in the file so you can get alot more detail and data points than the same track stored in the internal memory. Since the garmin unit cannot read GPX files this is why you cannot see the tracks on the SD card and you will only see the ones in the internal memory on your GPS unit. However you can download the GPX files off your SD card and edit them on your computer with whatever program you like. You can then downaload them back to your Garmin unit in the internal memory using Mapsource or any other compatible program. before you uplaod to your garmin unit remember to edit the file so that you do not exceed the maximum number of points in the track (500 in my case) or else your GPS unit will not display the whole track.

    As long as you are recording tracks to the SD card you don't have to worry about clearing the tracks on your internal memory, as a more detailed copy will be stored on your SD card which you can download and edit later. 1GB of space is heaps of room for your 1 month trip so you don't have to worry about running out of space on your card.

    Generally I store all my tracks on my computer and before a trip I will clear the internal memory on my GPS unit (tracks, routes, waypoints, POIs) and then only download the ones that I want for that particular trip. I record everything to the SD card and when I get home I will download all my new tracks off the SD card to my computer for editing and saving.

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    Thanks for your responses, Roy and bingo. So, I'm just going to clear the track log after each ride, knowing that this only removes it from the internal memory, but leaves the .gpx files intact on my memory card for checking out and sharing at home later.

    Can I preload the few planned rides I have .gpx files for in order to help navigate the trail, while simultaneously tracking my own ride (which would only differ from the preloaded track if I take some side trips, etc.)? Then, clear all the data I mentioned in my original post (knowing the track has been saved to my memory card) so when I start my second ride, the odometer and elevation gained will read zero, but the second track will be on my GPS for me to view? This should work for up to 20 tracks, with no more than 500 points per track, right?

  5. #5
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    Yes that's correct and exactly what I do.

    As long as your GPS is set to record tracks to the SD card and the "record track log" function is turned on then your GPS unit will record all your movements to both the internal memory and the SD card regardless of whatever else you do (i.e. even if you are navigating another map stored in the internal memory). You can feel free to clear the track log as there will be a copy stored on your SD card in GPX format, however the copy on your SD card will not be available for viewing immediately as it is in GPX format that your GPS unit cannot read. If you want to see a track immediately on your GPS unit and it is still in your track log you can save the track log to your internal memory before you clear it. Your GPS unit will automatically crop the track to less than 500 data points.

    Yes you can also preload files to your GPS unit that you can use to navigate (subject to the 20 track internal memory limit) however remember that the GPS unit cannot read GPX format so you have to save it to a Garmin format first (GDB I think) with fewer than 500 points per track before you upload it to your garmin unit. After uploading to your GPS unit you should see it in the list of tracks available to view or navigate.

  6. #6
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    Thanks again for your suggestions, bingo. The Garmin owner's manual does not really elaborate on these issues.

    I think when using Mapsource, .gpx files are automatically converted to GPS viewable .gdb files. I just downloaded two .gpx files of the Colorado trail from a link at the "endurance racing" forum (http://www.climbingdreams.net/ctr/). I opened them up using Mapsource and sent them to my unit, where the tracks are viewable. One of them was edited to 500 track points. The one that wasn't stopped at Dillon Lake, track point 500, thereby confirming your earlier mentioned 500 track point limit.

  7. #7
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    Ok, I'd been watching this thread because I'm interested in the same thing. It looks like I have my Vista HCx setup to record track files to the card...I can go in the menu and actually see the file names (based on dates) there. Of course, I can't view the files on my gps, but here's the part I'm having trouble with. How do I access these files on my computer? I plug in the gps, and no matter what program I use (mapsource, topofusion, easygps) I can't seem to figure out how to retrieve these files.

    I know it must be something simple, but I just can't figure it out.

    TIA.

  8. #8
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    There are three ways to do this:
    1. In mapsource go to the top menu and select "Transfer" and then "Receive from Device". Your GPS needs to be plugged into the computer via the USB cable and connection setting on your GPS unit set to "USB (Garmin Data Format)" rather than "USB Mass Storage".
    2. Another way is to connect the USB cable and select "USB Mass Storage" on your GPS unit your computer should then recognise the SD card as if it was in an SD card reader and you should be able to see the GPX files.
    3. The last option is to take out the SD card and put it into a card reader.

  9. #9
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    Got it! Thanks much.

  10. #10
    GeoMan
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    Excellent information. Thank you all for clarifying.

    GeoMan
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  11. #11
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    I was bumping into the 500pt issue and bumping my head against the wall because I didn't know about it... the Vista user's manual should describe this limitation!!! So I did an mtbr search and found this fine thread.

    Anyway, I wanted to mention that inside the MapSource software you can right-click on a diaplayed track, select "track properties", and select "Filter" to automatically reduce the number of points in the track to 500. You'll be presented with various options, so just choose "Maximum Points" and enter 500.

    This is very cool because the software will put the points where you need them (like at turns in the trail), but not where you don't (like in straight sections). Then you can upload this edited route into the GPS.

    Problem solved (at least it's good enough for me).

    EDIT: I just bought my Vista HCx on Friday and took it on a 27mi ride yesterday. I edited the route that I uploaded to it manually not knowing about the 500pt limit... I simply thought I wasn't using the MicroSD card memory properly or something... turns out that you don't use it anyway except for when saving routes (i.e. write only... is this true??).
    I read that on the internet.

  12. #12
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    The GPS unit actually reads maps stored on the SD card. For tracks and routes you are correct the SD card is only for writing data as GPS unit cannot read these directly from the card.

  13. #13
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Can you "re-link" uploaded routes within the GPS?

    Quote Originally Posted by bingobong
    The GPS unit actually reads maps stored on the SD card. For tracks and routes you are correct the SD card is only for writing data as GPS unit cannot read these directly from the card.
    Got it, thanks.

    Would this work... is this possible? If I have a route that's say 2,000 points long and split it into four separate 500pt routes using MapSource, and then upload all four of them to the GPS, can they all be displayed at the same time and followed like they were the original route?? Can they be linked back together, or at least just displayed like the original??

    Yes, I could probably spend a lot of time figuring this out, but it would be much easier if someone already knows the answer... thanks.
    I read that on the internet.

  14. #14
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40hills
    Got it, thanks.

    Would this work... is this possible? If I have a route that's say 2,000 points long and split it into four separate 500pt routes using MapSource, and then upload all four of them to the GPS, can they all be displayed at the same time and followed like they were the original route?? Can they be linked back together, or at least just displayed like the original??

    Yes, I could probably spend a lot of time figuring this out, but it would be much easier if someone already knows the answer... thanks.
    Hi there,

    You might try TopoFusion for doing this kind of thing. It has a function that will split a large file into 500 point chunks. I do this often for very long tracks (~20,000 points). First I simplify down to 10,000 points (=500 x 20), then split into 500 point chunks.

    Upload to "saved tracks" and then you effectively have a 10,000 point detailed line to follow on your map screen. There will be a break between each of the 20 chunks, but I rarely notice them.

    For a lot of the routes I do, 500 points just doesn't cut it.

    (To simplify and split tracks, right click on the track line in the map and choose "simplify/split/spline").
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  15. #15
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    I know you can do split it for tracks however I've never done it for routes but it should still work teh same. If you have a 2000pt track just copy and paste 500 points each into 4 separate files and upload to the GPS. They should all appear on your GPS at the same time and hence should look like one single track. Only issue I can see is that you can only route or trackback one file at a time but I don't usually use this function as I just follow the line on my GPS instead.

  16. #16
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by bingobong
    I know you can do split it for tracks however I've never done it for routes but it should still work teh same. If you have a 2000pt track just copy and paste 500 points each into 4 separate files and upload to the GPS. They should all appear on your GPS at the same time and hence should look like one single track. Only issue I can see is that you can only route or trackback one file at a time but I don't usually use this function as I just follow the line on my GPS instead.
    The only problem is that you'd run into the maximum waypoints (500 or 1000 on many units). So routes don't make much sense for long 'tracks.'

    I'd stick to tracks, especially if you just use them to follow the line (that's how I use them as well).
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

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