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Can we "fix" inaccuracies in Garmin maps?


bmirak
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I love my Garmin 60csx. The Garmin U.S. Topo 24k maps are another story. Elevations, features, and waypoints are fairly accurate, but the trails - at least in Rocky Mountain National Park - are way off.

 

The trails can be off by 300 - 500 feet, and this isn't a poor reception issue. I've come across many places in my hiking where Garmin has drawn trails on the wrong side of streams! That creates a couple of problems for me:

 

(1) It's tough to follow a "route" when Garmin thinks you're 500 feet off the trail. It keeps recalculating!

(2) When I really do depart from a trail to go cross-country, I'd like to be able to rely on the 60csx to navigate to another point on the trail. Can't do that if the trail is drawn in the wrong place. In the middle of the woods, it's not so easy to just look around and find the trail 100 feet away. The map needs to be right, darnit!

 

I've contacted Garmin - they admit there's a problem but have no intention to update their maps (and can I blame them? The Topo maps are probably less than 1% of the mapping software Garmin sells).

 

I like the Garmin topo data, and I sue don't want to go through the trouble of creating my own map from scratch. The question is, what can I do to fix the Garmin map? I know I can import and follow a track, but that doesn't fix the map. At the least, I'd like to redraw the trails correctly and - even better - make the correct trails routable. Can this be done?

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It has nothing to do with Garmin..... Garmin make GPS units, not maps. It is the source of the data that is the problem, which is probably the US government.

 

Really the only way to get decent trail data is a user based trail system such as what I run (see my sig). There are similar trail systems in the US.

Edited by Red90
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It has nothing to do with Garmin..... Garmin make GPS units, not maps. It is the source of the data that is the problem, which is probably the US government.

 

Really the only way to get decent trail data is a user based trail system such as what I run (see my sig). There are similar trail systems in the US.

 

Has anyone confirmed that it is a source map issue and not a Garmin issue? I know some also say that the roads are off on topo as well.

Edited by Maximus XX!V
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Really the only way to get decent trail data is a user based trail system such as what I run (see my sig). There are similar trail systems in the US.

 

Now we're getting somewhere. Are you telling me I can make a transparent map of just a trail system (created based on tracklogs) and lay that on top of my U.S. Topo 24k map on my 60csx? And I can make that trail map routable? How difficult is this to do? Please teach me your mapmaking wizardry!

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Now we're getting somewhere. Are you telling me I can make a transparent map of just a trail system (created based on tracklogs) and lay that on top of my U.S. Topo 24k map on my 60csx? And I can make that trail map routable? How difficult is this to do? Please teach me your mapmaking wizardry!

 

Yes, of course you can. As to how easy it is, everything is relative....... If you have moderate computer skills, it is pretty simple.

 

1) Use GPSMapedit to make and edit the map(s).

http://www.geopainting.com/en/

 

2) Put the map on Mapcenter in order to have it compiled into Garmin routable format.

http://mapcenter2.cgpsmapper.com/

 

3) Install to GPS using either Sendmap or use Mapsettoolkit to get it into Mapsource.

http://cypherman1.googlepages.com/

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Tell me more about how the routing works. Do I have to somehow incorporate my waypoints into the custom map in order to route to them? I hope not. Do my waypoints have to be right on the trail for the routing to work? Will my 60csx automatically route using the custom map as long as it is on top (as opposed to the topo 24k trails)?

 

I suppose the downside is that while the custom map is on top I won't be able to move my pointer to a contour line on the underlying topo map and have it tell me the elevation - but that's not a real big deal. Does adding a custom map slow performance of the unit? My custom map would probably be 100 square miles but it would only contain trail data (if, as I hope, that's all I need for routing).

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Tell me more about how the routing works. Do I have to somehow incorporate my waypoints into the custom map in order to route to them? I hope not. Do my waypoints have to be right on the trail for the routing to work? Will my 60csx automatically route using the custom map as long as it is on top (as opposed to the topo 24k trails)?

 

I suppose the downside is that while the custom map is on top I won't be able to move my pointer to a contour line on the underlying topo map and have it tell me the elevation - but that's not a real big deal. Does adding a custom map slow performance of the unit? My custom map would probably be 100 square miles but it would only contain trail data (if, as I hope, that's all I need for routing).

 

The routing works the same as with any Garmin map. You choose a waypoint or location to route to, it takes you along the trails to the closest point.

 

It chooses the map to route with based on which road you are closest to at the time. If you are near roads on both maps, the transparent map takes precidence. See point #6 in my FAQ, http://www.calgarycachers.net/trailmaps/faq.htm

 

You can still pan and see contour information or any other information on the "normal" map. The transparent map in no way affects the underlying map. The only thing to watch is that if you use polygons (lakes, vegetation, parks, etc..) in the transparent map, they block the view of the underlying map. "Transparent" is not really the best word. It is more like an "Overlay" map.

 

There is no change in performance.

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It chooses the map to route with based on which road you are closest to at the time. If you are near roads on both maps, the transparent map takes precidence.

 

I hope the transparent map really does take precedence because my custom trails may be very close to the Garmin trails in some spots.

 

Are you making full-blown topos for Calgary, or just trail overlays like we're discussing here?

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I hope the transparent map really does take precedence because my custom trails may be very close to the Garmin trails in some spots.

 

Are you making full-blown topos for Calgary, or just trail overlays like we're discussing here?

 

Yes, it does take precidence. That is sort of how it becomes an overlay. Basically....when compiling, cgpsmapper does not include a background colour and sets that map to the highest precidence thus it draws last.

 

I'm just making the trail overlays. Topo maps for the whole country (Canada) are available free from Ibycus, http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustopo/ I'm always amazed nobody has down this for the States....

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Well, I'm going to start a site like yours for Rocky if I can make this work. It's a great idea!

 

As people send you new tracks, do you just roll them all into one map? How does that work? Do you keep some sort of master template for editing in GPSMapEdit, and then just re-compile each new version with Mapcenter?

 

Are these free programs? If shareware, what are the limitations?

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Well, I'm going to start a site like yours for Rocky if I can make this work. It's a great idea!

 

As people send you new tracks, do you just roll them all into one map? How does that work? Do you keep some sort of master template for editing in GPSMapEdit, and then just re-compile each new version with Mapcenter?

 

Are these free programs? If shareware, what are the limitations?

 

"Rocky". Where is that? There are some trail mapping project in the US.

 

Yes, I make a single map and release new versions every few months. If I was covering the whole country, I'd make separate regional maps.

 

They are free. There is a shareware version of GPSMapedit that adds a few nice features, but it is not needed.

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I'm just making the trail overlays. Topo maps for the whole country (Canada) are available free from Ibycus, http://www.ibycus.com/ibycustop

I'm always amazed nobody has down this for the States....

Well, we're working on it one state at a time... Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana are done. California, Arizona, Washington, Idaho and Oregon are being worked on...

 

bmirak - My next revision of Colorado will have the trail data available from the NPS included, I don't know how accurate the data is but probably a good start.

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Well, we're working on it one state at a time... Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and Montana are done. California, Arizona, Washington, Idaho and Oregon are being worked on...

 

bmirak - My next revision of Colorado will have the trail data available from the NPS included, I don't know how accurate the data is but probably a good start.

 

LOL ;) I know.... It was just a friendly poke. You are doing an amazing job. The data for the US is not in nearly as easy to use a format as we have up here. We have shape files for all of the data.

 

It will be great to see a combined package for the US some day.

 

Back on topic.... The trail data up here is very poor as well as it is based on topo maps that are 20 to 40 years old and was never intended to be drawn at a GPS level of accuracy, thus why my project is a godsend when out in the bush.

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Now we're getting somewhere. Are you telling me I can make a transparent map of just a trail system (created based on tracklogs) and lay that on top of my U.S. Topo 24k map on my 60csx? And I can make that trail map routable? How difficult is this to do? Please teach me your mapmaking wizardry!

 

Yes, of course you can. As to how easy it is, everything is relative....... If you have moderate computer skills, it is pretty simple.

 

1) Use GPSMapedit to make and edit the map(s).

http://www.geopainting.com/en/

 

2) Put the map on Mapcenter in order to have it compiled into Garmin routable format.

http://mapcenter2.cgpsmapper.com/

 

3) Install to GPS using either Sendmap or use Mapsettoolkit to get it into Mapsource.

http://cypherman1.googlepages.com/

 

So if you upload the maps to mapcenter 2 they will autoroute??? Do you have to do anything else to the source file other than just importing the tracks. I use mapcenter 1 all the time and really like it. I've had all kinds of trouble figuring out mapcenter 2. Nothing makes since and they have no help. I tried emailing them asking for directiosn but got no response. One thing I don't like about mapcenter 2 maps is the map has free map from mapcenter on it. Is there anyway to avoid that? Is there any place that has directions on how to do maps on mapcenter 2?

 

Thanks

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So if you upload the maps to mapcenter 2 they will autoroute??? Do you have to do anything else to the source file other than just importing the tracks. I use mapcenter 1 all the time and really like it. I've had all kinds of trouble figuring out mapcenter 2. Nothing makes since and they have no help. I tried emailing them asking for directiosn but got no response. One thing I don't like about mapcenter 2 maps is the map has free map from mapcenter on it. Is there anyway to avoid that? Is there any place that has directions on how to do maps on mapcenter 2?

 

Both mapcenters make routable maps. Mapcenter 1 is closing down, you are not supposed to use it.... I'm not sure of your problem with mapcenter2.

 

You need to check the box for "routing" and you need to add routing nodes. GPSMapedit has an automated facility for adding routing nodes at any coincident points. Depending on your data, you may need to fix some things up after that. It certainly adds more work to make it routable, but not a lot.

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Do you know if there are directions for uisng mapcenter 2 anywhere?

 

automated facility for adding routing nodes at any coincident points

 

Where is it and how does it work?

 

Thanks

 

Ummm, you just upload an .mp file and away it goes....

 

Within GPSMapedit... Tools/Generate Routing Graph

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Ummm, you just upload an .mp file and away it goes....

 

There are all kinds of things you have to select and fill out. Most make no sense and there is no explaination or help. For example there are two fields for map ID. Why are there two fields and what do you put in them? What do you do with Existing archive or do you creatre one? There is all kinds of stuff like this with no explanation. How do you figure out what you are supposed to put in it? I tried two maps. One worked one did not. I got an error message of ERROR: Resulting IMG file '11000187.img' not found Which goes back to the issue of what you put in the map ID.

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There are all kinds of things you have to select and fill out. Most make no sense and there is no explaination or help. For example there are two fields for map ID. Why are there two fields and what do you put in them? What do you do with Existing archive or do you creatre one? There is all kinds of stuff like this with no explanation. How do you figure out what you are supposed to put in it? I tried two maps. One worked one did not. I got an error message of ERROR: Resulting IMG file '11000187.img' not found Which goes back to the issue of what you put in the map ID.

 

This has turning into a bit of a thread hijack. Instead of hijacking it more, I'd suggest asking at the Mapscenter group, http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/map_authors/

 

The IMG ID is the unique map ID number. It should match within the MP file whatever you choose at Mapcenter. It needs to be a 8 digit (total) number. As to whether you want a new or existing archive, that is your choice.

Edited by Red90
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HI... I read this thread and am very curious about making a map that has routing. I have found the mapcenter 2 to be very difficult to use. I am not sure what I need to input to get a output that would have routing, etc.

 

I am wanting to modify a Local US county Map (Tiger Shapefile and DBF) to change the addressing from the old county road to the new E911 addressing as Navteq for Garmin has not picked up the new E911 addressing even though the county has been E911 for 3+ years.

 

I have posted on another thread with RWS and he has been very helpful but looking to other too that may point me in the right direction.

 

I've been able to modify the dbf changing the old county names to the new e911 but I'm not sure how to get from that to the end state to where I can load it on to my garmin and see if it works and routes.....

 

Any help would be GREATLY apprecaited.

 

There are all kinds of things you have to select and fill out. Most make no sense and there is no explaination or help. For example there are two fields for map ID. Why are there two fields and what do you put in them? What do you do with Existing archive or do you creatre one? There is all kinds of stuff like this with no explanation. How do you figure out what you are supposed to put in it? I tried two maps. One worked one did not. I got an error message of ERROR: Resulting IMG file '11000187.img' not found Which goes back to the issue of what you put in the map ID.

 

This has turning into a bit of a thread hijack. Instead of hijacking it more, I'd suggest asking at the Mapscenter group, http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/map_authors/

 

The IMG ID is the unique map ID number. It should match within the MP file whatever you choose at Mapcenter. It needs to be a 8 digit (total) number. As to whether you want a new or existing archive, that is your choice.

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I'm not sure how to answer the previous post because I'm using GPSMapEdit to create .mp (polish) files which I then compile using mapcenter2.

 

But, I do have my own questions about how to use mapcenter2:

 

I think I've figured out my problem with routing. The routing works great when I test in GPSMapEdit, but doesn't work after I compile and import to MapSource. The problem (I hope) is that I've been using MapSetToolKit to install my compiled .img file to MapSoure. To do this, MapSetToolKit is first converting my map to a mapset using the free non-routing version of cGPSMapper. Thus, when I convert my compiled map into a mapset, the routing is destroyed.

 

So, apparently, I need to use mapcenter2 to create a mapset (using "Add new mapset"), not just a map.

 

Question 1: Do I need to compile the map before creating a mapset, or do I just create the mapset from my .mp file, the same as if I were compiling a map?

 

Question 2: How do I fill out the fields in the "Add new mapset" form?

(a) "Mapset name:" will be the same name I specified in the properties of my .mp file.

(;) "Description:" is a description of the mapset.

© "Family ID:" can be anything as long as it doesn't conflict with the family id of an existing mapset I have installed, such as City Navigator?

(d) What do I use for "Map ID:"? The ID of the map I already uploaded to mapcenter2 and compiled?

(e) Does the archive matter? Should I create a new archive, or use the same archive I previously used to compile the map that I am now trying to make into a mapset? If I select the existing archive, do I need to upload a new source file?

(f) Is "Source filename:" my .mp file?

(g) "File to upload:" is just the .mp file zipped up? Do I have to upload anything if I select an existing archive?

 

Question 3: Once mapcenter2 compiles the mapset, how do I install it to MapSource?

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I'm not sure how to answer the previous post because I'm using GPSMapEdit to create .mp (polish) files which I then compile using mapcenter2.

 

But, I do have my own questions about how to use mapcenter2:

 

I think I've figured out my problem with routing. The routing works great when I test in GPSMapEdit, but doesn't work after I compile and import to MapSource. The problem (I hope) is that I've been using MapSetToolKit to install my compiled .img file to MapSoure. To do this, MapSetToolKit is first converting my map to a mapset using the free non-routing version of cGPSMapper. Thus, when I convert my compiled map into a mapset, the routing is destroyed.

 

So, apparently, I need to use mapcenter2 to create a mapset (using "Add new mapset"), not just a map.

 

Question 1: Do I need to compile the map before creating a mapset, or do I just create the mapset from my .mp file, the same as if I were compiling a map?

 

Question 2: How do I fill out the fields in the "Add new mapset" form?

(a) "Mapset name:" will be the same name I specified in the properties of my .mp file.

(:( "Description:" is a description of the mapset.

© "Family ID:" can be anything as long as it doesn't conflict with the family id of an existing mapset I have installed, such as City Navigator?

(d) What do I use for "Map ID:"? The ID of the map I already uploaded to mapcenter2 and compiled?

(e) Does the archive matter? Should I create a new archive, or use the same archive I previously used to compile the map that I am now trying to make into a mapset? If I select the existing archive, do I need to upload a new source file?

(f) Is "Source filename:" my .mp file?

(g) "File to upload:" is just the .mp file zipped up? Do I have to upload anything if I select an existing archive?

 

Question 3: Once mapcenter2 compiles the mapset, how do I install it to MapSource?

I suspect sendmap (from cGPSMapper) would be capable of sending routable maps to your GPS. Otherwise, you have to modify the registry to get the maps into MapSource, or use a tool such as MapSetToolkit. It's possible the mapset that you will download from MapCenter will have the .reg file that you need in order to make it work with MapSource.

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I can shed some light on the orginal subject. I just got back from Rocky MT NP and I made a custom trail map and used NPS data. http://mapcenter.cgpsmapper.com/maplist.php?id=10788

 

As far as I can tell, the NPS data is veryt accurate. It appears to have been GPSed. I included many things on thier GIS web site besides the trails. They have a file with every building in the park. Everyone I check was dead on. They have the location of all the back country campl sites too.

 

I also went to Black Canyon NP which is in Garman's 24K NP topo. The topograpghy was right on. The roads were in the neighborhood. But the trails, boundary and many POIs were mostly off. In fact, it looks like Garmin got the datum messed up which caused the inaccuracy. On the other hand, the data I got from the NPS's GIS site was very accurate.

Edited by myotis
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