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Jeremy

Caches Along A Route

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Routes when first uploaded will not be public. You can then set the flag to be public and assign keywords to them and give them a pretty description.

 

-Raine

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first off, I didn't read all the posts.

 

secondly its not that hard to do on a programming standpoint. All you would have to do is give the program a few main waypoints and a distance from the route.

 

using the waypoints you can generate a rough path (this rough path would be broken up into 5 or 10%increments or 10 mile increments if you weren't worried about processing time) and the distance would be enough to report back all the caches within that area. there will be duplicates if you search with each sub-waypoint so a remove duplicates function would have to be included to get a non-redundant list.

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It should be pretty easy. Open Google Earth, Type your start and end location and get the directions from them. Save the directions as a KML file and then upload that KML file to us. Viola! Select the route, give a description and some keywords for other people to find it with and then create a pocket query..

 

-Raine

 

Where would I need to send the KML file too? I have four legs for our vacation that I want to try out!

 

By the way, thanks to all who have contributed this discussion, I think this will be one of the more beneficial additions to Geocaching.com! Thanks!!!!

Edited by Oneyedjack

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Thanks for the help guys! This feature is awesome! It worked flawlessly and now I have plenty of caches for our vacation and only a few minutes invested in retrieving them. Great work! :laughing:

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We're still bug testing, but Raine is close to perfecting caches along a route. We already tested it with a small group and worked through most of the possible bugs and UI issues.

 

This is a short instruction on how you can create a route and generate a pocket query against it. Some points first:

 

1. This works anywhere in the world as long as you have a proper KML or GPX of routes/tracks.

2. We do not generate the routes themselves, but rely on outside tools like Mapsource and Google Earth to generate them.

3. However, we do plan to allow people to eventually click on a map to generate a route on the fly. I believe most will go the Google Earth route, however.

4. It only works with GPX 1.1 - not 1.0.

 

Here's the link:

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

 

1. Download/Install Google Earth (if you haven't already)

2. Click on the Directions tab in the upper left-hand corner of the page

3. Enter your start and end locations and click the button to generate your directions.

4. Scroll up the results with turns to the root (should have the start/end location)

5. Right click and choose "Save as"

6. Save as type (*.kml) and not (*kmz) which is the default.

7. Visit the geocaching link above.

8. Choose the tab "Upload GPX / KML"

9. Click Browse and find the file you saved from Google Earth

10. Click upload and after a short time it will show you the route in the window.

11. Check the box next to the name of your route and select the button "save selected routes." You can also click on preview to see it in the small map or double click on the route name to edit it before saving.

12. From here you can either click on the name to add more info, make it public, etc. Or you can create a pocket query with the "Create pocket query" link.

13. You should be able to follow the PQ creation process as it is similar to how it works using a point of origin.

 

We're looking for feedback, so have at it!

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Woo hoo! It's public!

 

I am just back from beta testing the feature on a 450 mile roadtrip over a 3 day weekend. The pocket query for my route worked great after a bit of tweaking on GC.com's part. I really appreciated the efficiency of a single query covering a long stretch of interstate between my home and the destination area, where I had a traditional pocket query. 40 or so caches found on this trip, and a very happy customer.

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Just to add to what Jeremy said:

 

I've been generating and testing routes with Google Earth, ExpertGPS, and Street Atlas 2003. For the latter, I convert the route to a GPX file and reduce the number of points using GPSBabel.

 

Then I've been generating PQs using the routes and previewing them to see how well they will do passing through densely-populated caching areas.

 

The system works great! For example, I built a route along I-5 from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Using a limit of 1 mile on either side of the route, the PQ returns about 350 caches. Previously, the exact same route required 6 pocket queries of 500 caches each. That's a major improvement!

 

If instead of building the route from Sacramento to LA, I build it from Tracy (about 30 miles south of Sacramento) to Valencia (about 30 miles N of LA), avoiding the incredibly highly-populated centers at each end, I can do 5 miles on each side and the PQ only returns about 250 caches.

 

I cannot express strongly enough how great a job Raine has done, and how grateful I am to Jeremy for choosing to implement this feature. It will revolutionize my use of PQs. You guys rock!

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I tried my hand at creating a PQ from a pre-defined route from Team GPSaxophone's (thanks), from San Francisco to Medford OR.

 

"Only" 438 caches within a mile from I-5. Checked their locations on a map, and it works. Very cool!

 

Thank you raine, for making this a reality. For me, the interface is intuitive and easy to use.

 

And thank you, fizzymagic, for already posting several routes that the public can use.

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Thanks Fizzy, great words of encouragement.. :unsure:

 

If you wanted.. I simply the route when you upload it so you can skip that part with GPSBabel if you want :laughing:

 

-Raine

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We're still bug testing, but Raine is close to perfecting caches along a route. We already tested it with a small group and worked through most of the possible bugs and UI issues.

 

This is a short instruction on how you can create a route and generate a pocket query against it. Some points first:

 

1. This works anywhere in the world as long as you have a proper KML or GPX of routes/tracks.

2. We do not generate the routes themselves, but rely on outside tools like Mapsource and Google Earth to generate them.

3. However, we do plan to allow people to eventually click on a map to generate a route on the fly. I believe most will go the Google Earth route, however.

4. It only works with GPX 1.1 - not 1.0.

 

Here's the link:

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

 

1. Download/Install Google Earth (if you haven't already)

2. Click on the Directions tab in the upper left-hand corner of the page

3. Enter your start and end locations and click the button to generate your directions.

4. Scroll up the results with turns to the root (should have the start/end location)

5. Right click and choose "Save as"

6. Save as type (*.kml) and not (*kmz) which is the default.

7. Visit the geocaching link above.

8. Choose the tab "Upload GPX / KML"

9. Click Browse and find the file you saved from Google Earth

10. Click upload and after a short time it will show you the route in the window.

11. Check the box next to the name of your route and select the button "save selected routes." You can also click on preview to see it in the small map or double click on the route name to edit it before saving.

12. From here you can either click on the name to add more info, make it public, etc. Or you can create a pocket query with the "Create pocket query" link.

13. You should be able to follow the PQ creation process as it is similar to how it works using a point of origin.

 

We're looking for feedback, so have at it!

 

I've used topo, manual editing, and gsak to do that in the past. I was just thinking of getting caches for my trip to Portland next week. This is great timing. I'm trying it.

 

The 'preview' in step 11 only works on Internet Explorer under Windows. It doesn't work using the Mozilla browser.

 

Nudecacher

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The 'preview' in step 11 only works on Internet Explorer under Windows. It doesn't work using the Mozilla browser.

 

Nudecacher

 

It should. Raine and I both use Mozilla as our primary browser. What version?

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Question -- Do I need Google Earth Plus to generate a KML track? (It looks like I do, but before I spend the $20, I wanted to verify.)

 

I tried uploading a KML track (but this is one I downloaded off the Internet, NOT one I created myself, so that is probably the problem), and I got this error message:

 

Server Error in '/' Application.
Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

Exception Details: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Source Error:

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

Stack Trace:

[NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.]
  Geocaching.UI.UserRoutes.cmdUploadGPX_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e) +8324
  System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.OnClick(EventArgs e) +108
  System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.System.Web.UI.IPostBackEventHandler.RaisePostBackEvent(String eventArgument) +58
  System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(IPostBackEventHandler sourceControl, String eventArgument) +18
  System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(NameValueCollection postData) +33
  System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain() +1330

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Can you send me a private message with a link to that KML file so I can take a look at it?

 

Thanks

-Raine

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Question -- Do I need Google Earth Plus to generate a KML track? (It looks like I do, but before I spend the $20, I wanted to verify.)

 

No. The free version is fine.

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Minor feedback/bug. The drop down list for Search on either side of the Route is 5 for both miles and kilometres. It should be 8 for the latter.

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:laughing: Wow, and simple enough for me - #1 technochallenged. Thank you so much. There's several trips in the near future and I've been compiling lists along routes. Christmas in June.

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The 'preview' in step 11 only works on Internet Explorer under Windows. It doesn't work using the Mozilla browser.

 

Nudecacher

 

It should. Raine and I both use Mozilla as our primary browser. What version?

 

I'm using Mozilla 1.7.12. Do I need something special, like "The DOM Inspector Sidebar is not currently installed." on the Advanced Prefences.

 

Nudecacher

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I'm using Mozilla 1.7.12. Do I need something special, like "The DOM Inspector Sidebar is not currently installed." on the Advanced Prefences.

 

Nudecacher

 

That's probably it. The latest version of Firefox is 1.5.0.4 - we haven't tested it on 1.7 since it isn't the latest version out of beta.

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Can the name of the pocket query be changed? It looks like the pocket query takes the name of the route. I was looking at creating a couple of queries modified by the date created to get around the 500 cache limit.

 

On further examining it, it looks like the pocket query name is the route name as a default, but can be changed. Then the top label that says "Route Name:" is really just the same as the old "Query Name" and probably should be changed to "Query Name:" on the form.

 

Then, I was successful at doing a preview after renaming the "Route Name" on the User Route Pocket Query page.

 

Nudecacher

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I'm using Mozilla 1.7.12. Do I need something special, like "The DOM Inspector Sidebar is not currently installed." on the Advanced Prefences.

 

Nudecacher

 

That's probably it. The latest version of Firefox is 1.5.0.4 - we haven't tested it on 1.7 since it isn't the latest version out of beta.

 

Firefox 1.5.0.4 works correctly for me too. I'll play with the Mozilla 1.7.12 later.

 

Nudecacher

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Question -- Do I need Google Earth Plus to generate a KML track? (It looks like I do, but before I spend the $20, I wanted to verify.)

 

No. The free version is fine.

 

I generated one from the Bay Area to Tahoe using driving directions (Nice!). Is it possible to trace a KML file (say, along a trail) with the free version of Google Earth? If so, how?

 

By the way, this feature rocks.

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You can trace it then export it from KML to GPX via GPSBabel..

 

-Raine

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We're looking for feedback, so have at it!

 

Looks fantastic - seems to have worked just right to give me just what I want for the looong trip upcoming ... saves the game of plotting out ZIP codes, drawing circles, etc ... all in all a great addition to the service you offer Premium Members ... Thanks!

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I have been playing with the tool some and have run across an error. To create the error I chose to upload a file. On the next screen I chose to cancel the upload. I then browsed for another file. I chose a file created with GE. I repeatedly got the error when I retried. I did not try recycling the browser window first. When I clicked the upload button, I got the following

 

Server Error in '/' Application.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

 

Exception Details: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

 

Source Error:

 

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

 

Stack Trace:

 

[NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.]

Geocaching.UI.UserRoutes.cmdUploadGPX_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e) +8324

System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.OnClick(EventArgs e) +108

System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.System.Web.UI.IPostBackEventHandler.RaisePostBackEvent(String eventArgument) +57

System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(IPostBackEventHandler sourceControl, String eventArgument) +18

System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(NameValueCollection postData) +33

System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain() +1292

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After uploading the .kmz, I get this:

 

Server Error in '/' Application.

'', hexadecimal value 0x03, is an invalid character. Line 1, position 3.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

 

Exception Details: System.Xml.XmlException: '', hexadecimal value 0x03, is an invalid character. Line 1, position 3.

 

Source Error:

 

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

 

Stack Trace:

 

[XmlException: '', hexadecimal value 0x03, is an invalid character. Line 1, position 3.]

System.Xml.XmlScanner.ScanContent() +813

System.Xml.XmlTextReader.ParseRoot() +79

System.Xml.XmlTextReader.Read() +127

System.Xml.XmlValidatingReader.ReadWithCollectTextToken() +146

System.Xml.XmlValidatingReader.Read() +26

System.Xml.XmlLoader.Load(XmlDocument doc, XmlReader reader, Boolean preserveWhitespace) +80

System.Xml.XmlDocument.Load(XmlReader reader) +72

System.Xml.XmlDocument.LoadXml(String xml) +163

Geocaching.UI.UserRoutes.cmdUploadGPX_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e) +370

System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.OnClick(EventArgs e) +108

System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.System.Web.UI.IPostBackEventHandler.RaisePostBackEvent(String eventArgument) +57

System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(IPostBackEventHandler sourceControl, String eventArgument) +18

System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(NameValueCollection postData) +33

System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain() +1292

 

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:1.1.4322.2300; ASP.NET Version:1.1.4322.2300

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I have been playing with the tool some and have run across an error. To create the error I chose to upload a file. On the next screen I chose to cancel the upload. I then browsed for another file. I chose a file created with GE. I repeatedly got the error when I retried. I did not try recycling the browser window first. When I clicked the upload button, I got the following

 

Server Error in '/' Application.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.

 

Exception Details: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

 

Source Error:

 

An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.

 

Stack Trace:

 

[NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.]

Geocaching.UI.UserRoutes.cmdUploadGPX_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e) +8324

System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.OnClick(EventArgs e) +108

System.Web.UI.WebControls.Button.System.Web.UI.IPostBackEventHandler.RaisePostBackEvent(String eventArgument) +57

System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(IPostBackEventHandler sourceControl, String eventArgument) +18

System.Web.UI.Page.RaisePostBackEvent(NameValueCollection postData) +33

System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain() +1292

 

This is a known issue for a KML file that was created by using the route tool.. you can only use the Direction tab to create the KML file for now.

 

-Raine

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We're looking for feedback, so have at it!

 

Looks fantastic - seems to have worked just right to give me just what I want for the looong trip upcoming ... saves the game of plotting out ZIP codes, drawing circles, etc ... all in all a great addition to the service you offer Premium Members ... Thanks!

Just what I was going to say, works great!!!! :blink:

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I ran a trip from Salina, KS to Little Rock, AR last night. Worked Great. This is going to be so much fun!!! :blink:

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Im not able to save the uploaded route. It shows in the list but when I check the box and hit "Save Selected Routes" nothing happens. Im returned to a page with just the Browse and Upload buttons and it says "No routes found..."

 

I get the same results with a 15 mile route (3 points) or a 300 mile route (125 points).

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Here's the link:

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

 

[...]

 

We're looking for feedback, so have at it!

 

To put it simple: This rocks.

 

I was just putting together the PQs needed for a car trip through germany, when HHL pointed me to this feature. So, just used my already prepared route from Google-Earth (quite a complex one, with > 200 turns) and uploaded it. Worked like a charme.

 

Thanks, this saved me about 10 PQs and filtering everything not needed out with GSAK afterwards.

 

Nils

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Im not able to save the uploaded route. It shows in the list but when I check the box and hit "Save Selected Routes" nothing happens. Im returned to a page with just the Browse and Upload buttons and it says "No routes found..."

 

I get the same results with a 15 mile route (3 points) or a 300 mile route (125 points).

 

Could you PM me with step by step instructions if you can reproduce this?

 

-Raine

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Im not able to save the uploaded route. It shows in the list but when I check the box and hit "Save Selected Routes" nothing happens. Im returned to a page with just the Browse and Upload buttons and it says "No routes found..."

 

I get the same results with a 15 mile route (3 points) or a 300 mile route (125 points).

 

Could you PM me with step by step instructions if you can reproduce this?

 

-Raine

 

I had the same problem when my route had " " or <i> <i> in the name. Renamed the kml file to remove and the file uploaded just fine.

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Since the subtitle of this topic is "a technical discussion:"

 

Technically speaking, YIPPIE! This is so much simpler than the way I've been doing it (which involved several feet of string, a spotter, some vitamin c and a bucket of thumbtacks). You guys rock - I'm gonna go recruit some strangers.

 

THANKS!

Edited by groovetopia

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… Thanks, this saved me about 10 PQs and filtering everything not needed out with GSAK afterwards.

 

Nils

enhancement request:

let us put the corridor’s size as a free value and we get what everybody wants: rectangle pqs. (ie a horicontal or vertical route containing only two points) that would reduce circle overlapping a lot and saves numbers of pqs.

 

pqkreise.jpg

 

pqrechtecke.jpg

 

Happy hunting from hamburg – the old fashioned way (trads only, exceptions may appear)

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I had the same problem when my route had " " or <i> <i> in the name. Renamed the kml file to remove and the file uploaded just fine.

 

Good catch webscouter. I renamed my routes before saving and it works. :blink:

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Raine, Jeremy

 

 

THANK YOU - some kinks and hiccups for some but works perfect for me. This will greatly simply the process and save me a ton of time. THANK YOU

 

 

 

(I have, in the past, promised extra funds for this feature - Will buy 2nd Premium account and more merchandise as a thanks)

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This is minor, but pocket queries don't seem to work quite right when generated from a route. It doesn't always save the settings of what cache types you want to see.

 

pq-bug.jpg

 

Steps to reproduce problem:

Generate a PQ from a route, make no modifications, save it.

Modify the PQ to specify cache types, save it.

If I go to modify the PQ a third time, I see the behavior above.

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Great feature! I just compared the results from my Google earth pan and pick method for a route were going next weekend and compared to the new method, I have twice as many caches to choose from now and in half the time, Thanks!!

 

One Question (maybe more of a Google earth question) Is there a way to edit the routes to create an alternate direction from the suggested route? Mapping directions don't always go the right way.

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Awsome job y'all! Just ran a route from Clinton, MS to Nashville, TN. Worked great!! Thanks....

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Excellent idea! I'm going on a road trip of 300km tomorrow. The query results in 35 caches within visual range of the highway. I look forward to testing the results!

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This is more of a mapsource issue than a GC issue.

I'm trying to save my routes in mapsource as a gpx file but it seems that this is not possible. It just saves a route that would be as the crow flies.

If I save it as a mapsource file the entire route is saved. I guess its just inexperience on my part since you said it was possible to use mapsource. I have the latest version... but I don't really use Google Earth because it runs too slow on my comp.

 

ben

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This is more of a mapsource issue than a GC issue.

I'm trying to save my routes in mapsource as a gpx file but it seems that this is not possible. It just saves a route that would be as the crow flies.

If I save it as a mapsource file the entire route is saved. I guess its just inexperience on my part since you said it was possible to use mapsource. I have the latest version... but I don't really use Google Earth because it runs too slow on my comp.

 

ben

 

I use Mapsource too and it seems to work okay, so it's definitely possible. Are you using the Route Tool to create the route or are you just making waypoints? When you save the file are you saving as a .gpx file? What is it that makes you think the route is just as the crow flies (I'm not doubting you, just curious at what point you're seeing the problem that makes you think it's because you're saving it as a .gpx)?

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This is more of a mapsource issue than a GC issue.

I'm trying to save my routes in mapsource as a gpx file but it seems that this is not possible. It just saves a route that would be as the crow flies.

 

I think you have to use http://www.gpsbabel.org/ to convert the mapsource file to a GPX

 

Modern Mapsource (remember, updates to Mapsource are free) will save routes as GPX 1.1.

 

The routes are "as the crow flies" between turn points and this is true whether the routes are GDB, MPS, or GPX. This won't matter for most cases as you normally have turn points where the road turns, but as graphically described at http://www.gpsbabel.org/tips/arcmap.html you can see that for some roads that fails. You don't actually turn on I-69 where it does that wierd kink just north of Indy, so the programs won't insert a turn point there, but it makes a good example of how "crow fly" paths between turns can sometimes get you in trouble. Solution: insert interim stops or turnpoints.

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Yes I'm using the route tool haha.

The route works fine... I tried saving a garmin database file and a gpx file. The I closed the program and opened them up again. The garmin file still had the route but the gpx was just a straight line between the waypoints.

I tried converting the garmin file using gpsbabel but it won't output a valid GPX file. Is GPX XML the proper output type?

 

ben

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I had an issue...

 

I created a route in Streets and Trips, marked over it with the 'freeform' tool, saved the file, and converted it to a gpx with st2gpx. This file works for arc/poly filters, but when I try to upload it I get 4 routes with 0 points in them...

 

What's wrong?

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I created a route in Streets and Trips, marked over it with the 'freeform' tool, saved the file, and converted it to a gpx with st2gpx. This file works for arc/poly filters, but when I try to upload it I get 4 routes with 0 points in them...

st2gpx predates GPX 1.1. Either use GPSBabel (which, in the newest versions, will read est and axe) to do the conversion directly or use GPSBabel to convert st2gpx's GPX 1.0 output to GPX 1.1

 

Do note that GPSBabel defaults to writing GPX 1.0 - ironically, that's mostly becuase Groundspeak's private namespace is GPX 1.0. Fortunately, getting 1.1 is easy:

 

gpsbabel -i msroute -f "Triple P Day 1.est" -o gpx,gpxver=1.1 -F blah.gpx

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I have a large arc filter that covers a big trip we're taking in a few weeks. I've already pulled large pqs and run the arc filter the gpsbabel and I have two 200 cache gpx files taken up to 9 miles off the route. I converted the arc filter to gpx and tried to upload it as a route and got "There was an error in the loading of your GPX/KML File. Please check the format and try again." Any clues?

 

This route was too complex to use Google Earth.

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