Tracks or Routes?

Discussion related to the Garmin GPSMAP 66 series GPSr
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robert
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Tracks or Routes?

Post by robert » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:25 pm

In the hills where routable data is either not there or less than perfect. Is it better to use Routes with Direct Routing or Tracks when creating a Route to design on Base camp and download to GPSr to follow when on the ground.

I keep swaying from one to the other. What are the pros and cons? Or does it make no difference?

gpsrchive
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Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by gpsrchive » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:58 am

1. A tracklog consists of an ordered sequence of GPS coordinates that may also contain additional information such as time, elevation, temperature, heart rate, speed and cadence data.

Tracklogs can not be fabricated manually on the GPSr, but they can be created using any number of external software titles and transferred to the GPSr afterward, for future navigation. Tracklogs can not be edited on the GPSr in the field should 'plans' change.

When navigating a tracklog, the GPSr does not offer any guidance information other than a visible 'trace' on the map screen, leaving it completely up to the operator to determine what and when changes in direction are required to 'stay on track'.

Most modern GPSr allow for tracklogs consisting of tens of thousands of individual track points, providing an exceptionally detailed record of travel.

2. A route consists of a pre-defined sequence of GPS coordinates with a starting point, a destination point, and may include any number of additional points in between.

Routes can be created on the GPSr as desired in real time, or using external software titles before transferring to the GPSr. Routes can also be edited on the GPSr should 'plans' change in the field.

When navigating a route, the GPSr can provide information like distance, time and elevation change between the operators current position and the next route point, or the route destination, as well as alert the operator about upcoming changes in direction required to 'stay on route' as well as providing alarms when straying off route.

Most Garmin GPSr will only provide detailed 'on-road' guidance for routes of 50 points or less, which is actually quite sufficient for most purposes.

Thus....

In my opinion, tracklogs are best stored and used strictly as historical records of when and where an event occurred, and then later analyzed and edited before being converted into a route for future navigation guidance purposes.

More info about Tracks and Routes can be found at GPSrChive > How To...

robert
Posts: 64
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by robert » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:56 am

Thanks for the feedback. My draw to Tracks has been from spending a frustrating amount of time trying to get a Route to route across a map with less than perfect routing data in the map. It always seems that you are so close by fiddling with avoidance setup and switching maps to get more rout-able information. It always feels like a battle. And that battles solution may work well for the Route being worked on but may break a Route already planned if it uses the same settings. I want to be able to have a single work process I can rely on to get me from A to B rather than have to play with the settings for each Route.

Also I have noticed that when a Route is downloaded to the GPRs it seems to have the exact route that was seen in Basecamp even if the map and the settings in the GPRs are different than that in Basescamp. And will this Route stay fixed or could it be messed up by an Off Route Re-Calculation by the GPRs in the field?

Is there a way to have direct routing but just between two points rather than on the whole route? I guess not today?

Thanks again for your expert knowledge.

gpsrchive
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Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by gpsrchive » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:35 pm

robert wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:56 am
Is there a way to have direct routing but just between two points rather than on the whole route? I guess not today?
No, because the GPSr or BaseCamp (etc.) are actually doing the routing calculations, not the route itself, which is just a sequence of points.

However, you could break a larger route into smaller routes such that the intended segment was sent to the GPSr with direct routing while the other were using whatever other routing method you desire.

I generally send my routes from BaseCamp twice, one with intended routing method, and another with direct routing. The reason for this is only the Direct Routing route can be edited on the GPSr.

Thus, a second option for you would be to send the entire route to the GPSr from BaseCamp with direct routing enabled. Then, on the GPSr, you can choose any routing method you like for the first portion of the route, and when you arrive at the first of 'xy' points you wish to route as 'Direct', you can change the routing on the GPSr to Direct until such time you desire yet another routing method for the remaining route, and change it again then.... etc. etc.

robert
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by robert » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:42 pm

Technically is should be possible for Garmin to support different routing strategies on different Route segments, but this is probably a feature too far.

Just tried a couple of simple routes set with Direct routing which Route fine on Basecamp but when they are loaded into the GPrs the GPRs initally shows the direct but then recalculates a much longer and contrived route. This is with the same map enabled on both systems. No setting I try on the GPRs seems to stop this re-calculation.

I think for my own sanity I will need to stick to either Pre-Routed Routes on Basecamp or Tracks.

robert
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by robert » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:12 pm

Ah selecting Direct Routing as the Activity in Settings->Routing stops the re-calculation. I think I was getting confused with the Activity Type setting in the Recording section which has no material effect.

robert
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by robert » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:55 pm

I assume there is no control of the settings which make up the other Routing Activities so they could be mapped to those in Basecamp and then hopefully come up with the same route?

gpsrchive
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Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by gpsrchive » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:14 pm

Each routing method on the GPSr remembers the unique settings you configure by profile. I have not compared them to what BaseCamp offers, but since BaseCamp is no longer supported while new GPSr models are released regularly, it seems reasonable the two will only grow apart over time.

CowboySlim
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Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by CowboySlim » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:30 pm

I prepare tracks instead of routes for 4WD sightseeing tips on unpaved trails in the Mojave Desert of CA and similar country in AZ and UT. I click along trails and paths shown on USGS Quads (3TDQ) and Aerial Imagery maps.

robert
Posts: 64
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Location: United Kingdom

Re: Tracks or Routes?

Post by robert » Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:36 pm

It looks like you can have different routing for different segments in a Route. This is done by editing the Via Point. See attached picture if anyone needs this.

I have decided however that isn't the way to go for me as the routes I want to use include a lot of off trail segments and the complexity of mixing and matching routing is just too much effort. I think I will stick to Direct Routed Routes in Basecamp and have the GPrs set to Direct also
Attachments
Basecamp Via Point Routing.JPG
Basecamp Via Point Routing.JPG (77.8 KiB) Viewed 67 times

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