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transparent overlays - tips and a question


gcfishguy
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This is sort of a 2-fold post.....a helpful hint, and a question... It's about loading 1000's of tracks/trails on your GPS and having them overlay the map (a transparent overlay) and not being bound to the 20, 100, 200, or whatever limit your unit has on the amount of tracks it can work with. If that doesn't interest you, you might as well stop reading here. :-)

 

I use my Oregon 450 for ATVing, and geocaching. I often don't know which direction I'll be going in when I leave the house...so I like to have ALL the trails I have collected on my GPS. That number works out to be thousands.

 

With my 60CSx I used Mapsource and GPX2IMG. I'd save a GPX with a butt-load of trails in it, open it with GPX2IMG, it makes a transparent layer and installs it in Mapsource as a map product, then transfer the map to the GPS and it overlays all the trails on top of whatever map product I have enabled (City navigator north America, TopoCanada, etc)

 

if you've never used GPX2IMG, get it. Awesome awesome stupid-easy way to make a transparent overlay. And you can specify a different colour and thickness for whatever tracks you like.

 

I recently switched to an Oregon 450 and the newer units don't play well with Mapsource so i made the switch to Basecamp. The process is essentially the same...export a 'list' of trails from Basecamp as a GPX, open the GPX with GPX2IMG, it installs as a map in Basecamp, transfer to the Oregon.

 

Something super cool, or super annoying that I found out is that you can send the GPX2IMG map to the GPS, then rename it from the default name it gives a map image to whatever you like.....but once it has a unique name, you can repeat the process with another GPX, and another, and another.... Just rename them after sending them to the unit, or card.

The cool (or not cool) thing is, say you send 5 (or whatever) .img's to the GPS and rename them all to something different.....the GPS will display ALL of the tracks in ALL of the GPX2IMG images that sit in the /garmin/GPX folder. The irritation is that in the enable/disable list, it only 'sees' one GPX2IMG map, so you can't enable/disable them independently. The work around for that is to create a folder called 'Disabled GPX2IMG Maps' (or whatever you like) and move the transparent overlays you don't want to see into that folder.

 

I ride year round, and if you're not on a groomed train in the winter, you're up to your neck in snow....there's also groomed trails in the winter that cross miles of bottomless bog that are impassable in the summer, so the trails you can run in the summer are different from the trails you can run in the winter. There are 5 club trail systems within an hour of me, so I can have an overlay for each of the club systems, or one overlay with all combined. Then I can have another overlay with each clubs groomed trails in it, or have one with ALL the groomed trails in it, etc etc.... I can have the groomed trails blue, and the summer trails red....or assign a different colour to trails belonging to each club, and so on.

 

Then, I can drop the .imgs into the GPX folder or the 'Disabled' folder, depending on which ones I want to see depending on the time of year. I can also take my 'All Trails' .img and move it to the 'Disabled' folder once the snow lays in, and just leave img's that contain groomed trails in the active (/Gpx) folder.

 

You could also use this system to hide the thousands of tracks you may not want cluttering the map up....say, hide all the ATV trails if you're out for a day of hiking, etc...

 

Hopefully that yammering might plant a seed for someone......I know I struggled for ages with trying to have all the trails in my area on my GPS, and fought with complicated ways of making a transparent overlay out of them. A while back I found GPX2IMG and holy crap.... all I can say is, get it. In all honesty, GSAK and GPX2IMG are the only two programs I've ever shelled out money for. I believe the free version of GPX2IMG will do everything that the paid version will do, except being able to load multiple GPXs together and build a Garmin map out of them. This is a non-issue, because you can just combine everything you want and export it all in one GPX in the first place. regardless, it was a life saver so I paid the creator the $16 or whatever it was. Another cool think it will do is include waypoints in the overlay it creates, if you have waypoints in your GPX that you feed to it. This is great if you have a bunch of waypoints that never change and you just like seeing them on the map...warming shelters, park and drop areas, rest stops, etc. They become part of the overlay and live in the map, and not in your actual waypoints list on the GPS.

 

I have no ties to GSAK or GPX2IMG, but both are awesome pieces of software.

 

Now, my question..(for any of you that are still awake after that snoozefest)....for those of you that use GPX2IMG already...have you found a way to have it build mapsets that the Oregon (likely all the recent models of Garmin handhelds behave the same) recognizes each map as a different map in the enable/disable screen? If so, please share. :-)

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Thanks for the interesting tutorial. To answer your final question both my Colorado 300 and 400t, and 62s recognizes each map as a different map in the enable/disable screen. I create transparent may layers using GPSMapEdit and Img2gps from my hike tracklogs and have many many individually named mapsets. Not sure why the Oregon models don't have that utility?

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I'm using GPX2IMG (not IMG2GPS)....just to clarify.

 

I'm not sure if it's the way the Oregon works, or if it's the way that GPS2IMG installs the map into Basecamp. But like I say, it'll generate a transparent layer, and I can go onto the card and rename it, then generate another one, rename IT, etc etc.... I thinks it's because of the way that GPX2IMG installs them as a map product with some ID tag or something, they all have the same 'tag', so the Oregon thinks it's one map, and only shows 1 GPX2IMG map in the enable/disable list, yet displays ALL the tracks from the several GPX2IMG-created imgs sitting in the Gpx folder.

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The Oregons do that as well. Not sure what is being done wrong as I do not use that method.

Hey there, I havent' loaded maps into my GPS in ages. I'm travelling to Nevada and need those maps. How do I do that. If you would like to correspond privately, it might be easier. Thanks Suzanne (sakidoo.consulting@rogers.com)

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