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  1. #1
    Ted
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    A Question About GPS Trails

    I have not jumped on the GPS bandwagon yet but am looking at it. It seems to me that it is possible to download a track of someone elses ride and then follow that track. In reviewing the online sites there are many of these tracks available. My question is: Why not consolidate those tracks into a trail map? You could then load this map into your mapping GPS and change your trail choices as you ride. Is this possible? Available anywhere?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted
    I have not jumped on the GPS bandwagon yet but am looking at it. It seems to me that it is possible to download a track of someone elses ride and then follow that track. In reviewing the online sites there are many of these tracks available. My question is: Why not consolidate those tracks into a trail map? You could then load this map into your mapping GPS and change your trail choices as you ride. Is this possible? Available anywhere?
    Loading tracks is easy stuff. Making a map out of multiple tracks that you can then load into your GPS is significantly less easy, but it's doable. Search the sites for DIY garmin maps and you'll turn up some sites that handle similar sorts of projects on a regional basis, but I don't know if they're even attempting to include trail data.

  3. #3
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    It is pretty simple. Here are some trails that I rode, tracked with the GPSr and then placed onto the map. Works quite well and is easy to do.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    trail rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by benjamin921
    It is pretty simple. Here are some trails that I rode, tracked with the GPSr and then placed onto the map. Works quite well and is easy to do.
    That is a gorgeous map. What GPS do you have and how do you load that map back into the GPS?
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  5. #5
    Masher
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    I recognize the DeLorme TOPO7 so it must be a PN-20...!
    The collected track data can be overlaid onto the DeLorme map data as a draw layer, or over USGS quads, or aerial imagery, and they can all be loaded onto the PN-20 as separate layers so you can switch on the fly. I use one too.
    Last edited by fishbum; 04-28-2008 at 07:51 AM.

  6. #6
    Masher
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    Another example:
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    • File Type: jpg bb.jpg (129.9 KB, 263 views)

  7. #7
    Prez NMBA
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    the idea behind keeping the tracks seperate from the maps is that you can use the tracks on anybody's unit. garmin uses one type of map and delome another. so you already have the maps on the unit then overlay the track

  8. #8
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    What you are looking to do is kind of a "holy grail" to me - and looking back, this response is probably a lot more than you want or need, but in the spirit of saving you some pain, here goes....

    You can download and/or create a full "trail network" from all these tracks with something like Topofusion and then upload that into your gps as a single file. This would seem like a pretty easy solution.... but there are issues:

    Since these 'network' files will consist of multiple trail segments - they will not be like a standard track where you start at one place and end at another. Problems with these arise in 2 ways: the file size or number of track points are too large and your gps (like a lot of garmin units) will simply truncate these files. Magellan units on the other hand, can't seem to correctly handle these multipart track files, and will connect all the "hanging" track segment ends with nice ugly lines shooting to and fro on your map because it thinks it should be all one connected track.

    Ideally for this, as mentioned, you would want to create your own basemaps. There are 3rd party hacky software solutions to do this out there, but in the past year or so we have seen a few GPS's come out that can handle things like this natively - namely the Delorme PN20 and the Magellan Triton series. I don't have any experience with the Delormes, but I do have a Triton 500 and I can't say I really recommend it. Regardless, using NG topo, you can overlay your gps data on real raster topo maps and upload them to the Triton - so you get a real raster topo basemap with your gps tracks "burned" onto it. Which if you ask me, is perfect.

    Unfortunately, these units are flaky, riddled with software bugs, and you have to drop a fair chunk of change to purchase the NG Topo software. They do have potential though.... I think....
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishbum
    I recognize the DeLorme TOPO7 so it must be a PN-20...!
    The collected track data can be overlaid onto the DeLorme map data as a draw layer, or over USGS quads, or aerial imagery, and they can all be loaded onto the PN-20 as separate layers so you can switch on the fly. I use one too.
    Ayup! Love it. There is sooo much that this little thing can do, it is incredible. Basically, what you see on you map on the PC is what you see on your PN-20 (of course a much smaller screen. Using XMap, I can bring in free aerial imagery (.sid files) and have the same overlay and see that same image on the PN-20 as well. Attached is a screen shot from XMap on the PC and actual screen shot from the GPSr.
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  10. #10
    GPS_dr
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmba guy
    the idea behind keeping the tracks seperate from the maps is that you can use the tracks on anybody's unit. garmin uses one type of map and delome another. so you already have the maps on the unit then overlay the track
    Most units severely limit the number of tracks you can display.
    That being said, Garmin is far ahead of Magellan since many of the Garmin color handhelds
    can display 20 tracks. Sadly their latest units (Colorado ) only display one track at a time. Magellan limits you to one, Lowrance allows 100.

    The PN-20 only displays one track - however you can make the tracks part of the basemap and even make them routable on the PC. The DeLorme Topo USA software imports/exports GPX files and tracklogs. I've used it for years with various Garmin Units and the PN-20 more recently.
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