Step-by-Step Procedures for Garmin/Mapsource


Before we get into the step-by-step procedures, let's clarify the differences between tracks and routes. It's easy to say that routes consist of waypoints and that tracks consist of trackpoints, but that doesn't help you and me understand how we experience those differences at our computers and on our bikes. The following does, and after you read it, you'll understand why the procedures below focus on tracks, not routes...

At the Computer...

In Mapsource, it's easy to create a new route with the Route tool, or a new track with the Track Draw tool.

You can distinguish one track from another on your computer screen by selecting a different color for each track in the file. You cannot colorize routes.

It's easy to determine the total distance of a track or route, or the distance between one trackpoint and another, but not easy to determine the distance between one waypoint and another.

It's easy to edit a route by moving the waypoints to a new location, but you can't move trackpoints, so it's more difficult to edit a track. TopoFusion does not have this limitation.

It's easy to adjust the number of trackpoints in a track to accomodate the maximum for your gps, but not easy to adjust the number of waypoints. You have to split large routes into two or more smaller ones, or delete the waypoints sequentially, in groups or one by one.

You can't (easily) convert a route to a track or a track to a route, but Topofusion easily does both.


On the Bike...

Most gps units can store 10 times more trackpoints than waypoints. The eTrex, for example, can store 10,000 trackpoints, but only 500 waypoints. It's usually better, therefore, to use tracks rather than routes for long rides, or for rides with lots of intersecting roads and trails. You can break the ride into several tracks without exceeding the maximum for your gps, and still have relatively small distances between one point and another. That means you can stay closer to the intended course, and not miss turns.

Trackpoints do not clutter the gps display -- waypoints do.



1 - Somebody sends you a fun course and you want to check it out this weekend

Launch Mapsource and open the gps file you plan to use for your ride

Compare the total distance of the route to your bike's range

Compare the total number of waypoints to the maximum for your gps

Use the map tool to select the map quadrants that cover your route

Transfer the route, waypoints and map quadrants from your computer to your gps

Mount the gps on your bike, turn it on, then wait for it to lock onto the satellites

Turn on your tracklog function and set it to every 0.1 miles

Setup your gps so your current direction of travel is up

Press ENTER on your gps and store your position as CAMP

Activate the track, and set it for navigation to the end

Select COMPASS mode, and follow the big arrow blindly... :)

Or Map mode and follow your course in relation to map details

Monitor trip distance, speed and next waypoint while you ride

Try different ZOOM IN/OUT settings as you approach and exit turns

Continue following the track to its end, then stop navigation

Transfer the tracklog of your ride from your gps to the computer

Compare the tracklog of your ride to your original route

Attach your ride to an email and share it with your other gps buddies

2 - You’ve scouted a fun course and want to make a track from the tracklog

Connect your gps to the serial or USB port on your computer

Launch Mapsource, click Transfer, then Receive

Click the Tracks tab, then double click the tracklog name

Click Filter on the Track Properties box, then click Max Points

Enter 250 (or the max for your gps) and click OK

Right click tracklog name, then click Track Properties

Click Track Name, insert a name you'll remember, and save

3 - You want to retain the resolution of the original tracklog

Do not save the tracklog as a saved track in your gps!

Download it from your gps, but do not filter it!

Rename it to something like Fun-Ride-Log

Split log into two or more tracks with 250 trackpoints each...

Method 1 =>

Click Tools => Track Split, then click anywhere on the track

Move pointer to first place where a split is to occur, then click

Continue selecting split points along the path of the route

Save each with a name like Fun-Ride-1, Fun-Ride-2 and so forth

Method 2 =>

Double click Fun-Ride-Log and note total number of trackpoints

Click the first trackpoint in the list

Press and hold Shift, click 250th trackpoint, then OK

Right click your mouse and select Copy

Click Edit => New Track => End

Right click mouse and click Paste

Name the new track Fun-Ride 1

Repeat for next 250 trackpoints and so forth

4 - You have an idea for a fun ride, and want to create a new track

Click Track Draw

Move mouse pointer to first point along your new course and click once

Repeat until entire track is drawn

Press ESC on your keyboard

Right click track name (default = Track 001)

Change name to something you'll remember

5 - You found a new way back to camp, and want to modify your track

Method 1 =>

Laydown a new path using the Track Draw tool

Move the pointer to where the old track should change

Delete trackpoints from that point to the end of the track

Copy the new trackpoints onto the end of the old one

You can edit a track internally, too, but it's more difficult

Method 2 =>

Save the file in the gpx format, then open it in TopoFusion

Move trackpoints to their new location and save

6 - You've got the gps for a fun ride, but it's a route, not a track

Mapsource (the hard way)

Click Tools, then Track Draw and laydown a new track using the route as a guide

Move mouse pointer to first point and click (once)

Repeat until entire track is drawn, then press ESC

Find Track 001 in the list, rename and save

TopoFusion (the easy way)

Open the track in Mapsource, save in the gpx format, then open in TopoFusion

Click the Profile-Playback tool, then click anywhere on the route

Wait for the Profile dialogue box to appear, then cancel it

Right click the highlighted track, click SAVE AS, and save with a new name

7 - You found a new way back to camp, and want to modify your track

Method 1 =>

Laydown a new path using the Track Draw tool

Move the pointer to where the old track should change

Delete trackpoints from that point to the end of the track

Copy the new trackpoints onto the end of the old one

You can edit a track internally, too, but it's more difficult

Method 2 =>

Save the file in the gpx format, then open it in TopoFusion

Move trackpoints to their new location and save

View attachment: At the Computer.jpg

View attachment: On the Bike.jpg

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