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I finally got a decent GPS (Zumo 595LM) so that I can create routes on my computer and upload them to my GPS. Will I now need to get a dedicated mapping program such as Basecamp, or can I use something as available and simple as Google Maps?
 

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I’ve used google maps and converted route to gpx file and transfer to my 595 and basecamp which I prefer because more waypoint options.
 

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It kind of depends on how many capabilities you'll need/want in a mapping program and alternatively what your pain threshold is.

Google Maps works particularly well with a bit of Freeware I use called "Route Converter". The main objection I have with Google Maps is that if a road is "Closed for the Winter" Google will not let you use it in any route you're trying to put together when the road is "supposed" to be closed. A real pain if in March you're trying to put together a route to be used in August.

I also use another Freeware program that isn't as sophisticated as BaseCamp, but is also much easier to use when new to this game. It's called "Tyre". Tyre also has it's "issues" and "quirks" like randomly deciding that it knows and furthermore it may insist on using a particular "road", even if you are well aware that a better one exists and/or even if the road it wants to use is a long closed logging road or hiking trail. This is rare, but it does happen.

Then of course there's "BaseCamp". Base Camp an extremely capable bit of software. However it's one which I found about as frustrating as the use of a Texas Instruments calculator when I first encountered it. The bane of additional features being complexity.
 

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I use Harley Trip planner. It allows you to set way points etc, then export it as a GPX File.
 
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Then of course there's "BaseCamp". Base Camp an extremely capable bit of software. However it's one which I found about as frustrating as the use of a Texas Instruments calculator when I first encountered it. The bane of additional features being complexity.
When I was reading the part of about calculators, my first thought was the HP handheld calculators we used in the early-mid seventies which used Reverse Polish Notation for entry. When the TI calculators came out, I went right out to Sears and bought one. It was expensive but much easier than the HP to use. But that was me then.
 

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I prefer Mapsource which was the main mapping software that came with the older Garmin GPS units. I still have it installed from my Streetpilot III days. The current units no longer come with it. Basecamp is a free download available from Garmin. When you update via Garmin Express, you can choose to download the update to your computer and then Basecamp will work off of the same maps that your GPS does. It then gives you the option of uploading the route(s) you created to your GPS. Now I could be wrong but I thought I read that if you have Basecamp and the maps loaded on your computer, you can search the Garmin website for the Mapsource update and download that. Supposedly instead of an update, it will install a fully functional version of Mapsource. I always found Mapsource easier to work with than Basecamp.
 

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When I was reading the part of about calculators, my first thought was the HP handheld calculators we used in the early-mid seventies which used Reverse Polish Notation for entry. When the TI calculators came out, I went right out to Sears and bought one. It was expensive but much easier than the HP to use. But that was me then.
My bad. Age must be catching up with me. Yes, the "Reverse Polish Logic" was how I knew it at the time . . . probably around 1972 or so. I presently have a T.I. Graphing Calculator that uses the same process. Essentially enter data and then entering the operations to be performed on the data. Much like writing code was at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the suggestions. I just downloaded Garmin Basecamp, thinking that would work well with a Garmin GPS, and I find that the comments about complexity are so true. It is not an easy-to-use software. I may try a few others. Thanks.

Glen
 

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Glen, try the New England Riders Tutorial. Follow it from the very beginning, don't skip around and most folks learn Basecamp in a few hours. It's really important to start at the beginning and don't skip sections though.

I've taught many people to use BC in classes. In my experience where most people get hung up is with the database nature of the information in BC. You have to get a handle on how you want to set up your collection of data. How you organize your lists and list files is really important to get a good start. After that it's no more difficult than the other routing programs and way more powerful and flexible.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions. I just downloaded Garmin Basecamp, thinking that would work well with a Garmin GPS, and I find that the comments about complexity are so true. It is not an easy-to-use software. I may try a few others. Thanks.

Glen
Take a look at Cruiseman's Garage YouTube videos on how to use BaseCamp.
 

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I ran the 680t with basecamp. Will use it due to being used to it so much. Buddy was telling me about a new Tom Tom app that works with apple play as well. We are going to try that but hard to dump something that been working. Plus I have close to a year of saved routes in there.
 

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Glen...

Try this - a couple hours a day for about a week & you'll get there.

https://www.newenglandriders.org/GPS/Learn_BaseCamp.htm
Thanks Ken. I had unsuccessfully searched for a Basecamp forum, and this may be ever better. However, I'm not nearly as smart as I look, so don't get your hopes up!

Glen, try the New England Riders Tutorial. Follow it from the very beginning, don't skip around and most folks learn Basecamp in a few hours. It's really important to start at the beginning and don't skip sections though.

I've taught many people to use BC in classes. In my experience where most people get hung up is with the database nature of the information in BC. You have to get a handle on how you want to set up your collection of data. How you organize your lists and list files is really important to get a good start. After that it's no more difficult than the other routing programs and way more powerful and flexible.
Thanks Breezly. I'm going to try this. I freely admit to being the Fred Flintstone of technology but I want to give this a shot. I appreciate your help.

Take a look at Cruiseman's Garage YouTube videos on how to use BaseCamp.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJTgzYTtMH0
I didn't know Cruiseman had this available. I'll check it out too.

Help like all these replies is one of the reasons I really enjoy this forum and the people on it!

Glen
 

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I wish Microsoft had continued supporting Streets and Trips, that was very easy to use and intuitive. I still use the last version they sold, works well and converts routes to GPX files easily, however all of the information is not always up to date, sometimes the Garmin corrects the issues while on the route.
 
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Thanks Ken. I had unsuccessfully searched for a Basecamp forum, and this may be ever better. However, I'm not nearly as smart as I look, so don't get your hopes up!
There's a Basecamp email list, but nearly no traffic on it.

As I've mentioned more than once - where I had to get sorted with the NE Riders tutorial was I wasn't familiar at all with the places they were trying to map to.

Which made some of my initial questions be things like "Why would you do that??" :mrgreen:

Now, this was when I was planning my 48 State ride from last year, so I did have some incentive to get to know it good enough to be able to make daily routes for the bike's GPS.
 

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One other quick point... searching for waypoints using BC is the worst thing.

Search elsewhere, then import the data to BC, much easier!
 
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