R1200GS Forum banner

41 - 60 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
614 Posts
As a career technology guy who spent a large part of my life designing human interfaces for complex things I feel like I have some perspective and expertise on the thing that is so frustrating to Dr. Strangelove and many of the rest of us. I agree with just about every complaint you've read on here about Basecamp except one. The fact is that at the end of the day, it's free and it works and gets the job done with any Garmin device within that device's limitations.

The difficulty I had with the user interface (and probably everyone else that hates this program) is that we were all well trained by Google, Mapquest, and others how a direct manipulation mapping/routing program should work. For whatever reason, Garmin decided to not follow that model and instead created a toolbox-centric implementation of their software.

The other difficulty we all have is that those other mapping apps are all web based in which the "current base map" and it's level of detail and accuracy are all managed outside of our view or concern. In Basecamp, this is not the case. We have to be concerned about things like being on the latest version of the software on the device and desktop and making sure when we update our maps that they are exactly the same between the device and Basecamp. A word of caution here - just because you've loaded the most recent maps doesn't mean you're using them in Basecamp. You should go into the "Maps" pull down and make sure the map selected is the one you want that matches the device.

I'm sure everything I just said is known to Dr. Strangelove and others but it helps to keep all of this in mind when wrestling with the "glitches" that visit our attempts to do something simple - like create a route in Basecamp and load it like we want it on the device. All those moving parts are not checked and balanced by Garmin and we're left on our own to make sure we've properly set the stage for a happy transfer. I think that's lazy and bad for Garmin and you can say "hey, it's a free app" but they lean on it pretty heavily in their marketing as the flagship product for desktop routing work so it should be a product that they are proud of - no?

Having said all that, if you do what I've done which is completely surrender to the experience, then Basecamp will do a powerful job of managing your routes, tracks, waypoints, etc. You just have to think like the software guy that designed it, organize your work in Basecamp like they intended, and if you can hold your nose long enough to do that, you can get just about anything out of it that you'll need. I've been using it now for 4 years and my Basecamp Fu is strong. But do I wish I had a better app to use? You betcha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
614 Posts
One tip I'll pass along for getting your routes on the device to match what's on the desktop is to include a number of via points on your route to make it work properly whenever it tries to recalculate your route. It'll do that for a lot of reasons while in route and it's helpful to know that it's going to get you back on your route the way you drew it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
765 Posts
HI, Graybeard, yeah you're probably right about all that and I defer to you on all that. If a user used it frequently, and knew the tricks and language, that would be helpful, but I'd bet most people make maps once or twice a year at most, so they are not going to remember the arcane processes from conscious thought to display on the device. And they probably give up and use a paper map, using the garmin just to see where they are.
Their software is user hostile. Can their engineers be so out of touch? Yes, they can, or they are pressured from some other part of garminland.

So, Garmin could likely save some money and expand their now-likely-happy user base by choosing not to reinvent the wheel and using a web based program that would allow a user to draw maps and download to their device, or save the gpx file on your computer. Right?

No more updating maps--oh wait, they sometimes charge for those, right, so increase the cost of the unit by $5 and let everyone use the current web based maps. Why would they choose not to do that unless its management is as anachronistic as it's products.

People, End users, buy technology so that they don't have to think like a garmin software engineer.

One thing that would be helpful, that again, garmin chooses NOT to implement, is a good user forum and quick response from knowledgeable techs on their phone lines. There's a lot wrong with this product and its support. They need some competition.

But, you're exactly right. When you use basecamp you are an alien on Planet Garmin.:grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
InRoute

I use InRoute on my iPhone to plan the route by selecting a start, finish, and waypoints in-between. From there, I export a GPX file, transfer it to my Mac, and import the GPX file into Basecamp (with my nav plugged in). This will import it as a track, which you'll need to convert to a route. Then transfer that newly created route (which will have a motorcycle icon next to it) to your Nav V. Finally, on your nav, you'll have to go to trip planner and import that route, at which point it will calculate it, then you're ready to go.

It's a very laborious process but I haven't found a better way. If there are any Garmin reps listening, PLEASE create the ability to transfer GPX files straight from the phone over bluetooth. Having to import them in Basecamp on the computer then to the Nav is an extra step that is completely unnecessary.

InRoute is a fantastic app, but I prefer to navigate preplanned routes with the Garmin as many times I'm riding out of cell range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
I use InRoute on my iPhone to plan the route by selecting a start, finish, and waypoints in-between. From there, I export a GPX file, transfer it to my Mac, and import the GPX file into Basecamp (with my nav plugged in). This will import it as a track, which you'll need to convert to a route. Then transfer that newly created route (which will have a motorcycle icon next to it) to your Nav V. Finally, on your nav, you'll have to go to trip planner and import that route, at which point it will calculate it, then you're ready to go.

It's a very laborious process but I haven't found a better way. If there are any Garmin reps listening, PLEASE create the ability to transfer GPX files straight from the phone over bluetooth. Having to import them in Basecamp on the computer then to the Nav is an extra step that is completely unnecessary.

InRoute is a fantastic app, but I prefer to navigate preplanned routes with the Garmin as many times I'm riding out of cell range.
I use BaseCamp to do all my routes. It's such a powerful program and it does have a bit of a learning curve. With a little perseverance, you can master it. Here's a great website to begin that process: http://www.newenglandriders.org/Learn_BaseCamp_MAC.pdf

I hope this helps.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I have been building GIS systems for over 25 years. I have been working with GPS for 30 plus years and have used Garmin products since the GPS45, if you know what that is. You may have liked MapSource but it had serious problems with routing from the time it was made. Don't know if any of you have been in the middle of nowhere and had your route blow up into jagged triangle. I have. Things got way better with BaseCamp and I also went through the turn the air blue phase trying to learn it. The problem with maps and routes is that every arc in a road has specific Garmin information attached to it and they have changed the format of that data multiple times. That is one reason you have to be so version specific. Additionally, the algorithm they use to make routes has also changed many times. Bottom line is if you are willing to to let Garmin, Google or God forbid, MapQuest automatically route you, stand by for disappointment. Having the box do automatic routing is right up there with rat in a maze predictions. I am VERY particular about my routes. I want the exact roads I want to be in my route. There is only one way to do that - plan it on a computer running BaseCamp and zoom in at the start point. Then you run the route making absolutely sure the route follows the road YOU want at all intersections. Sound hard, sound time consuming, yep it is. Just remember Garmin and all other route makers MUST have a set of rules they use to make the route. I guarantee that those rules will NOT follow what you expect or want at decision points. Complaining about the Nav V or BaseCamp won't get you perfection. If you want perfection you have to do manual overrides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I use BaseCamp to do all my routes. It's such a powerful program and it does have a bit of a learning curve. With a little perseverance, you can master it. Here's a great website to begin that process: http://www.newenglandriders.org/Learn_BaseCamp_MAC.pdf

I hope this helps.

Mike
Thanks Mike. I use BaseCamp as well, but prefer InRoute as I can do it while laying in bed after a long day of riding!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,923 Posts
Bottom line is if you are willing to to let Garmin, Google or God forbid, MapQuest automatically route you, stand by for disappointment.
Yet manual routing is equally disappointing, IMHO.

I create waypoints for each planned stop. Those waypoints are combined into a route. I add (sometimes dozens) of via points to get the route to go the way I want. When all is well I upload the route to my Garmin Montana.

* The GPS may route differently -- yes, I'm careful to use the same maps in Basecamp and on the GPS.

* The GPS ignores request to hide via points. I want to know the distance to the next turn, not the distance to some arbitrary spot in the road that I had to add to force the route in the right direction. Perhaps the V is better in this respect.

* If two waypoints are too close (and tight twisty roads sometimes do that... drive for 10 miles to wind up a couple hundred yards away but a half a mile higher) the GPS might decide to bypass a waypoint and insist I'm going the wrong way.

* I had to turn off automatic route recalculation. I want the minimum change to get me back to my planned route. The GPS will instead route me to the next waypoint which is rarely what I want.

* With auto recalculation off it is "pull over to the side of the road and concentrate only on the GPS" task to force a recalculation if that is what I want.

* And worse.... when the GPS loses signal it seems to assume you are continuing in the same direction and speed. That may work in Kansas. It does not work well in the passes of the Sierra Nevadas where you are pretty much guaranteed to switch directions and speed every 50 yards. The result is a funky track log and max speeds calculated on bogus distances -- from where the GPS though I might have been to where I actually was. At least that what it looks like to me.

Yet as much as I get frustrated with Garmin they are still the least troublesome units I've used on a motorcycle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
Making route planning easier

As others have said, perseverance is required for mastery. I still find it easier to use MapSource to pre-plan my routes. Basecamp appears a little messy. MapSource is easier with simpler menus and a cleaner look.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
As others have said, perseverance is required for mastery. I still find it easier to use MapSource to pre-plan my routes. Basecamp appears a little messy. MapSource is easier with simpler menus and a cleaner look.
MapSource is/was easier (for me) and I might go back to it if my computers didn't crash all the time while using it. Also, it hasn't been updated for years.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
This is a reply to two posts. One on manual routing and the other on using MapSource. As I mentioned in a previous post, each arc used to make up a street/road has formated information attached to it. When BaseCamp came out that information format changed. If you use MapSource to update a base map loaded after that point in time your unit will NOT load correctly and routes will NOT be the same on your unit like you made them in MapSource. That is straight from Garmin tech support when I questioned them on that specific question. It is at the heart of why you should always have the same map set in your unit and BaseCamp. There is also something else that is my personal believe which I have not confirmed. When you load a route you will notice that it gets compiled by the unit. I'm not sure all units compile the maps the same and that is why I keep my unit up to date with changes. A suggestion for anal route makers like me. Do your route in BaseCamp and make absolutely sure you have it the way you want it. Make sure BaseCamp did not do some trickery like send you through a town rather around a four lane bypass which is something it likes to do on mine. Load that route then check to see if your changes for a point you had to play with to get right. Hopefully, it will be the same in the unit as BaseCamp. Whatever you do, if you are following a route and you get off route, NEVER recalculate because when you do all bets are off. I've seen it come back to my original route and I've seen it change everything by going to automatic routing. Garmin routes are NOT perfect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
An exercise in frustration and illogic

HI, Graybeard, yeah you're probably right about all that and I defer to you on all that. If a user used it frequently, and knew the tricks and language, that would be helpful, but I'd bet most people make maps once or twice a year at most, so they are not going to remember the arcane processes from conscious thought to display on the device. And they probably give up and use a paper map, using the garmin just to see where they are.
Their software is user hostile. Can their engineers be so out of touch? Yes, they can, or they are pressured from some other part of garminland.

So, Garmin could likely save some money and expand their now-likely-happy user base by choosing not to reinvent the wheel and using a web based program that would allow a user to draw maps and download to their device, or save the gpx file on your computer. Right?

No more updating maps--oh wait, they sometimes charge for those, right, so increase the cost of the unit by $5 and let everyone use the current web based maps. Why would they choose not to do that unless its management is as anachronistic as it's products.

People, End users, buy technology so that they don't have to think like a garmin software engineer.

One thing that would be helpful, that again, garmin chooses NOT to implement, is a good user forum and quick response from knowledgeable techs on their phone lines. There's a lot wrong with this product and its support. They need some competition.

But, you're exactly right. When you use basecamp you are an alien on Planet Garmin.:grin2:
Like many of you in this thread I find Base camp extremely difficult to use. I have persevered as suggested, I have tried swearing but to no avail. I find Basecamp archaic, non-user friendly, the maps full of errors and the route determinations illogical and difficult to achieve. As Dr Strangelove says above, I am not a programmer and I'm certainly an alien on Planet Garmin. There is probably some logical reason why it can't be done but, if Google maps can find me a route from A to B via C, D, E, F, etc without having to coax, cajole and question the software engineers' family linage, then why can' a company like Garmin do something similar?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I read what you said NaBRide so I thought I'd just give Google Maps a shot. If you plan to ride a precise route exactly the way you want it, it sure looks like you are going to have to spend the time, JUST LIKE BaseCamp to learn the program and manipulate the route. If you don't care, and are willing to go the way the wind blows just about anything is OK. When I don't care about a precise route, all I do is put some points of interest in the GPS and just ride. When I decide to actually go to a specific place, I just chose the POI and tell it to take me there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I too found Basecamp hard to use! The best alternative I have found is www.furkot.com.

It's free, but if you join you can save your trips on their cloud. You can export the trips in pretty much any format.
This. Furkot continually updates and improves their mapping program. It is free. They have just recently (week or 2) done an update that will seamlessly integrate with the Nav V. Seamless means - like Basecamp, without the bs. Draw your route, export it properly, and that's it.

They have 2 threads over on another GS Forum. If you want to build your own route, and have your Nav V follow it, this is a good way to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
341 Posts
........ If you use MapSource to update a base map loaded after that point in time your unit will NOT load correctly and routes will NOT be the same on your unit like you made them in MapSource. ........
You are correct describing that the route on the GPS can vary from the planned route in MapSource. The true route can be forced in MapSource by using many waypoints/routepoints to create the route. Discounting the variance in the route, this makes MapSource a simpler tool for learning how it's all done before stepping to Basecamp or other mapping programs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Tyre Tyre

Best most simple & logical mapping there is imo.
But you need to set up an API license with Google but for personal use you never use enough data to be charged.
Read the info on the link above
 

·
'14 R1200 GS Adv "Freya"
Joined
·
104 Posts
Tyre Tyre

Best most simple & logical mapping there is imo.
But you need to set up an API license with Google but for personal use you never use enough data to be charged.
Read the info on the link above
Absolutely correct - much simpler and easier to use.
 
41 - 60 of 61 Posts
Top