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HELP - soldier needs information.


Desert_Warrior
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Friends. I am on the road and cannot give him an answer - perhaps someone here may.

 

My son James (PROFILE) is out on a patrol at NTC. He is a scout-sniper-paramedic in the cavalry. He needs to know if there is a way to convert a track-log to a route. He has a laptop computer with Mapsource TOPO and a Garmin GPS-map60CS. No internet access so if it cannot be done with what he has - then it cannot be done.

 

Anyone have an answer for him? I can call him with an answer any time - scouts don't sleep much.

 

Thanks y-all.

 

Mike.

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Yes, there is this free program called GPS Trackmaker. Once you have a track loaded into Trackmaker double click on the track to select it (it should show a line of dots when selected). From the menu select Tools->Tracklogs and Routes->Tracklog Reducer->Create a Route.

 

Please read the OP message........... The person in question has Mapsource and no internet access to load any OTHER programs...........

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Yes, there is this free program called GPS Trackmaker. Once you have a track loaded into Trackmaker double click on the track to select it (it should show a line of dots when selected). From the menu select Tools->Tracklogs and Routes->Tracklog Reducer->Create a Route.

 

Please read the OP message........... The person in question has Mapsource and no internet access to load any OTHER programs...........

Ooops, guess the eyes were a bit sleepy late last night :) .

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He cannot DL anything - no internet access in the field.

 

I can't explain why a track-back isn't good enough - but it looks like it will have to do. Any number of programs could do it, but not Mapsource, and that is all they have.

 

Well - at least nobody's life is depending on it - yet. That is what NTC is all about.

 

Thanks for the replies.

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I can't explain why a track-back isn't good enough - but it looks like it will have to do. Any number of programs could do it, but not Mapsource, and that is all they have.

Red90's other suggestion of drawing a route over the track in MapSource should work I think; its just not an automatic conversion of the track to a route. I've never tried downloading a route like this to the GPSr myself and using it to navigate, so don't know how well it works, but its definitely worth a try.

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First off, I will say that TracBack is a great feature but I find it really annoying to use on "saved" tracks. It seems it was really designed to get you home using the "active" log, and that TracBack feature works well.

 

I use Mapsource to make a routable track. Here's what you have to do (I have assumed he already has a series of tracks he'd like to turn into a routable track). Bring your tracks into Mapsource and use the track edit tools (cut and join tracks) to create a "single" track that represents the entire route you would like to take. Make sure you "filter" the track before saving it so that you can control the reduction of track points down to the magic number of "500" max pts). Save the track and upload it to your GPS... you can now use the TracBack feature on the GPS by selecting the saved track (and press enter and then select TracBack). This will allow you to navigate the saved track. If you don't want to reduce the track to 500 points you can rename it to "active log" and upload it to the GPS and use the TracBack feature on the "main track page" to navigate the active log (remember though... that the active log points will eventually be overwritten).

 

You "can" navigate multiple track logs with TracBack (without joining the track logs in Mapsource) but you will have to select each saved track in the appropriate order and make sure your destination is on the selected track (you will get a straight line route if you pick a point that's not on the selected track). When you reach the "first" destination you will have to select the next track and create another TracBack route to the next destination (on the selected track)... this is really a pain! It's much easier to prep them first in Mapsource!

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First off, I will say that TracBack is a great feature

 

 

But aren't you messing up the time sequence among the track points? Drawn tracks don't have a time stamp. How does app know "when" back is?

 

Yes editing (joining) tracks removes all of the timestamps but the GPS doesn't use the timestamp to navigate on a TracBack it uses your current position and the coordinates that make up the track that you have selected. If you are not on the beginning of the track that you are going to navigate, you will get a straight line to the beginning of the track and then the route will follow the track to your destination. This generally isn't a problem when I create a routable track because I always make sure I have a trailhead marked at the start of the route (an actual point from my track log where I will be starting my hike). Then you just select your destination point (again, this must be a point on the track or you will get the straight line thing happening) and the GPS will take you there via the track.

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Yes editing (joining) tracks removes all of the timestamps but the GPS doesn't use the timestamp to navigate on a TracBack it uses your current position and the coordinates that make up the track that you have selected. If you are not on the beginning of the track that you are going to navigate, you will get a straight line to the beginning of the track and then the route will follow the track to your destination. This generally isn't a problem when I create a routable track because I always make sure I have a trailhead marked at the start of the route (an actual point from my track log where I will be starting my hike). Then you just select your destination point (again, this must be a point on the track or you will get the straight line thing happening) and the GPS will take you there via the track.

 

That's very intriguing...but still hard for me to picture. I will need to check it out in the field. In the meantime I have a couple questions/issues.

 

For the sake of conversation, lets assume a track in the shape of a circle with 00:00 the start of trail and 12:00 the end of trail and traveling clockwise

 

I read the manual. It says the tracback feature takes you back to the "oldest stored tracklog point." If its a saved track and there is no time stamp, how does it know the oldest point...........wait a minute....the track points are indexed! I forgot about that. haha. Or no? How does your waypoint fit in?

 

So suppose you are standing at 10:00 and you want to travel to 11:00. How would you create the shortest route if you will be going from an older to a newer trackpoint?

Edited by Hiker2008
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That's very intriguing...but still hard for me to picture. I will need to check it out in the field. In the meantime I have a couple questions/issues.

 

For the sake of conversation, lets assume a track in the shape of a circle with 00:00 the start of trail and 12:00 the end of trail and traveling clockwise

 

I read the manual. It says the tracback feature takes you back to the "oldest stored tracklog point." If its a saved track and there is no time stamp, how does it know the oldest point...........wait a minute....the track points are indexed! I forgot about that. haha. Or no? How does your waypoint fit in?

 

So suppose you are standing at 10:00 and you want to travel to 11:00. How would you create the shortest route if you will be going from an older to a newer trackpoint?

 

Remember that there are two tracBack features, one on the main track menu page that deals with the active log. That one may use time stamps (I've not looked at it that closely, I just know that it works). What I've been discussing is the TracBack option that you get when you select a saved track. I edit all of my tracks and upload them to the GPS so none of my saved tracks retain their time stamps (some are created in OZI Explorer). The GPS simply uses the coordinates that are stored for the track, to find a route to your selected destination. If I have walked a trail that is a closed loop and have previously walked a sections of trail that joins into the loop, I just cut the loop where it meets the side trail and join them together. This allows me to save the entire segment as a new track and I can navigate the entire saved track. You could also navigate on the two tracks without joining them but you'd have to create the first TracBack to take you to where the side trail intersects the loop trail and then you'd have to select the side trail (the saved track for that trail) to create a new TracBack to the destination you want to go to on the side trail. I don't like doing this because I find it hard to identify the various saved tracks while they are on the GPS... it's much easier to just make a single new track on "the big screen" in mapsource.

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Remember that there are two tracBack features, one on the main track menu page that deals with the active log. That one may use time stamps (I've not looked at it that closely, I just know that it works). What I've been discussing is the TracBack option that you get when you select a saved track. I edit all of my tracks and upload them to the GPS so none of my saved tracks retain their time stamps (some are created in OZI Explorer). The GPS simply uses the coordinates that are stored for the track, to find a route to your selected destination.

 

Yes, as I realized while writing previous post.

 

What I am saying is all the points are indexed as you can see in Track Properties. So a 500 point (saved) track has 500 lines of data (including lat, long, etc.), numbered 1 to 500, in track properties. This is the only way I can see how to get direction in a track (you really don't need time stamp). In my example point 1 would be 00:00 and point 500 would be at 12:00 (and same lon/lat, but we can put a little distance between them to avoid confusion)

 

If I have walked a trail that is a closed loop and have previously walked a sections of trail that joins into the loop, I just cut the loop where it meets the side trail and join them together. This allows me to save the entire segment as a new track and I can navigate the entire saved track. You could also navigate on the two tracks without joining them but you'd have to create the first TracBack to take you to where the side trail intersects the loop trail and then you'd have to select the side trail (the saved track for that trail) to create a new TracBack to the destination you want to go to on the side trail.

 

I am still confused. Sticking with my example, suppose you did a circular clockwise hike from point 00:00 to point 12:00. How do you go about creating a route from point 10:00 to point 11:00 without going through points 9:00, 8:00, 7:00.....etc? Intuition tells me that a trackback route would do just that, no?

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National Geographic Topo which would be loaded on his laptop has a feature that converts tracks to routes. He would connect his GPS to his laptop, download the tracks to NG Topo, convert the track to a route, and upload the route's waypoints to the GPS. Then he follows the route in his GPS.

 

NG Topo allows conversion in three ways:

 

1. A waypoint every mile.

2. Free hand style that reflects the way the track was at the "slight" turns. You select the quantity of waypoints you want.

3. Equal distance between waypoints. You select the quantity of waypoints you want. The program than places those equidistant from each other.

 

I've found that #2 is the best as it picks the spots where you would be turning a little or a lot. You can pick the max quantity of waypoints for a route that your GPS allows. For example, 50 waypoints if that the max. Although for shorter tracks, that actually may be too many waypoints - clutters up the screen. NG Topo allows you to prefex the waypoints. For example, ROUTEA or TARGETD. Then if you selected 20 waypoints, the Route's waypoints would be labelled ROUTEA-1 through ROUTEA-20 or TARGETD-1 through TARGETD-20 or F1 through F20 whatever name you like. Or it will asssign the number if no prefix selected such as 001-020. A second route would start at 021 through 040.

 

NG Topo allows real time tracking on your laptop or with NG Pocket Topo, you can load their maps into a Pocket PC (PPC) and real-time track on the PPC.

 

Send me your email if you'd like me to forward some screens shots.

 

Edit: NG Topo state series has to be bought state a a time. Howwver, the routing feature should work regardless of the state you have in case you're out in another state. You just won't seee the 24K topo maps.

 

Alan

Edited by Alan2
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I am still confused. Sticking with my example, suppose you did a circular clockwise hike from point 00:00 to point 12:00. How do you go about creating a route from point 10:00 to point 11:00 without going through points 9:00, 8:00, 7:00.....etc? Intuition tells me that a trackback route would do just that, no?

 

The coordinates in your track will be used to calculate the route, not the index numbers. Remember that your GPS does all of it's calculations on a well known coordinate system (mapping grid) and it's a pretty simple algorithm that calculates the shortest route between "A" and "B" using the coordinates in your track.

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Lots of good suggestions on the mapsource. I will call him and try to explain it.

 

He tried to call me on Father's day. AT 0500 !!!!! I was sleeping in a motel in Rio Rancho NM. My cell phone was off. So I tried to return his call later. It rang and rang and rang. I was about to hang up when he answered. I heard the roar of a diesel motor and the squeek and clatter of tracks. He shouted into the phone "I don't know who you are and I couldn't hear you anyway... I am driving my Bradley in convoy right now - goodbye. I smiled and hung up. I still miss it.

 

He will not have the opportunity to download anything - and there isn't any easy way to send him a CD. Kinda funny - but it was easier to get things to him in Iraq than it is at Ft. Irwin. Unless they blew up the mail - it happened a few times.

 

NTC is pretty realistic and intense training. He has had two combat tours, but there are many new soldiers in the unit and they need to get up to speed. And he can always learn something new too.

 

Next time he gets home I will have to make sure he has some other software too.

 

Thanks Y-all for all the great suggestions. As a dad and a retired soldier myself - I cannot express to you what it is like to be out in the field and needing something that you don't have. But even the littlest things mean a lot.

 

Thanks again.

 

Mike.

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Lots of good suggestions on the mapsource. I will call him and try to explain it.

 

He tried to call me on Father's day. AT 0500 !!!!! I was sleeping in a motel in Rio Rancho NM. My cell phone was off. So I tried to return his call later. It rang and rang and rang. I was about to hang up when he answered. I heard the roar of a diesel motor and the squeek and clatter of tracks. He shouted into the phone "I don't know who you are and I couldn't hear you anyway... I am driving my Bradley in convoy right now - goodbye. I smiled and hung up. I still miss it.

 

He will not have the opportunity to download anything - and there isn't any easy way to send him a CD. Kinda funny - but it was easier to get things to him in Iraq than it is at Ft. Irwin. Unless they blew up the mail - it happened a few times.

 

NTC is pretty realistic and intense training. He has had two combat tours, but there are many new soldiers in the unit and they need to get up to speed. And he can always learn something new too.

 

Next time he gets home I will have to make sure he has some other software too.

 

Thanks Y-all for all the great suggestions. As a dad and a retired soldier myself - I cannot express to you what it is like to be out in the field and needing something that you don't have. But even the littlest things mean a lot.

 

Thanks again.

 

Mike.

ExpertGPS and GPSBabel are two programs that will always come in handy. I realize he doesn't have access currently, but they are good to have right there with mapsource.

 

Brian

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I am still confused. Sticking with my example, suppose you did a circular clockwise hike from point 00:00 to point 12:00. How do you go about creating a route from point 10:00 to point 11:00 without going through points 9:00, 8:00, 7:00.....etc? Intuition tells me that a trackback route would do just that, no?

 

The coordinates in your track will be used to calculate the route, not the index numbers. Remember that your GPS does all of it's calculations on a well known coordinate system (mapping grid) and it's a pretty simple algorithm that calculates the shortest route between "A" and "B" using the coordinates in your track.

 

So what you are saying is Tracback will take the shortest route? This was not mentioned earlier. I thought, typically tracback will take you back the way you came while converting the reverse track to a route.

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