Complete Novice Question ... Waypoints?-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ottoreni's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Complete Novice Question ... Waypoints?

    Wanting to get a GPS for my bike this Xmas.
    Here is my question,
    Waypoints....Garmin cycling specific units I have looked at have 100-200 waypoint max. Hiking ones have about 10x as many.
    I know a waypoint is a longitude/latitude intersection.
    So do I use waypoints to map my ride?
    BUT, if I download a route someone else has created, it uses memory on my GPS unit, not waypoints?
    I have read NateHawks sticky and a few other online resources. I want to get this unit to do 100 mile plus rides...
    thanks ....
    You cannot go against nature, because when you do, its part of nature too.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    a waypoint is a point that you (or someone) flags as important in a file. It might be a turn, water supply, Etc Etc. You will not be using waypoints to map your rides. You will simply turn the unit on, ride and let the unit record your route. If you come to somwhere you want to call attention to you can make it a waypoint. Now you can export the file that you just made as a gpx and someone else could view it on thier unit. The GPX would contain thousands data points but only 1 waypoint. There are limits to how big of files the GPS unit can handle. You might want to check the specific unit before you buy, but I have not had any problem uploading 100 mile MTB routes to my garmin gps units.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

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  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Waypoint, Track, Route. These are the terms you need to know.

    Waypoints save a single point. A trailhead, a water stop, campsite, etc.

    Tracks save your travels. They are a series of points connected to each other, and the interval between those points can be changed with most GPS receivers (not the Edge 200) depending on the trail and what you're doing.

    There is an absolute limit to the number of each that a given device can store in its memory. But for practical purposes, you do not want to approach that limit with tracks. History with many people over many years on a lot of different models shows that if you let your track log fill up, your device will get slow and buggy. You don't want to keep more than a handful of tracks on it at once. It is possible to save tracks onto the external memory (if your device has it), and this doesn't affect the device the same way. These files are also not accessible the same way, however.

    Few people actually use routes on the trails. Routes are better used when you are navigating and each point indicates a turn. In theory, you could use a route to help you navigate a trail network, by setting points at each intersection, but it doesn't always work out so cleanly. It's better for road use where gaps between route points are mostly straight lines.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Ottoreni's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    Confirmed ... plus ...

    Thanks to you both!

    You confirmed what I thought....

    I was also looking for a GPS book for Dummies, but the one I came across had a copyright date from a few years ago....not good.

    I did find another one, title / amazon page is saved in the favorites of my work computer. Particularly liked this one because it has a section of the book on how to navigate if your GPS goes up in flames.
    You cannot go against nature, because when you do, its part of nature too.

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