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Tech Day - GPS usage

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What type of issues would you most like to see addressed

Tech Day - GPS usage Vote_lcap33%Tech Day - GPS usage Vote_rcap 33% 
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Tech Day - GPS usage Vote_lcap22%Tech Day - GPS usage Vote_rcap 22% 
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Tech Day - GPS usage Vote_lcap33%Tech Day - GPS usage Vote_rcap 33% 
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Total Votes : 9
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Tech Day - GPS usage Empty Tech Day - GPS usage

Post by Alan Coles Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:06 am

Tech Day - GPS usage

We are looking at putting together a Tech Day that would deal with route planning on the Garmin GPS units.

The BMW Navigator (V and VI and previous) series are made by Garmin and are very similar to their Zumo series units. The Garmin auto-based units, Nuvi and DriveAssist, etc., also have sufficiently similar interfaces to their motorcycle offerings to be able to be included in this type of session. The session would deal with the BMW Navigator and Garmin units as their competitors, TomTom and Magellan are used far less, especially now that they apparently no-longer offer life-time map upgrades.

Please complete the poll in this thread to give us an idea of what you are most interested in.

The easiest way to plan a route is on the GPS itself using the embedded program in the "App" section called Trip Planner.
The harder method, that people have used for years is a piece of Garmin software called BaseCamp for route planning. It is extremely powerful but has a steep learning curve and Garmi support for it hand the associated apps has virtually disappeared.

A sample of things that might be covered if desired:

  • Setting up your GPS to give you the best chance of success - which defaults to keep and which ones to change
  • Routes versus Tracks
  • Via Points (aka Way Points)
  • Shaping Points
  • Which Coordinate Formats to use (h ddd mm ss.s or h ddd mm.mmm or MGRS etc.)
  • Using Coordinates from Google Maps, etc.
  • How to use Google Maps and other
  • Off-Route Recalculation - Automatic, Off, or Prompted (pluses and minuses of each)
  • Difference between planning a 1-day route vs multi-day routes

Depending on the interest, the session could be held at someplace like the Parkside Pub meeting room at 14 Highfield Park Drive (we used this as a pre-Tech Day meet for our Wethead Tech Day and folks seemed to like it). If the group was smaller it could be held at a smaller location.

Also, please post your thoughts here so that we can better tailor the session to what is of most interest to the majority of folks.

Some useful links:
Dan Townsley and the other forces behind GlobeRiders have some great info: GlobeRiders Articles
Dealer Database Updates:
Newest User Manuals:
Alan Coles
Alan Coles

Number of posts : 627
Location : Bedford, Nova Scotia
Registration date : 2013-03-31

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Post by Red Rider Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:35 am

I think this is a fabulous idea!  

I had a lot of trouble with the routes I planned in basecamp this summer with the Nav VI running out of memory to be able to continue to compute my route. Silly me, I made the mistake of doing one long route to Lebanon, TN instead of breaking into a bunch of smaller routes.  I prefer basecamp for the BIG picture, combined with for it's suggestion of good motorcycling roads.
Red Rider
Red Rider

Number of posts : 70
Location : HRM
Registration date : 2007-11-18

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Post by Alan Coles Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:29 am

Marilyn, we can look at your unit to see if there are issues there, and that could be part of the session or separate, depending on what unfolds.

Certainly, there are a number of files that can be removed from the Nav-VI to gain additional space, but that really shouldn't be needed. My suspicion is that the issue is most likely the process that is being used to set up the route itself.

As you mentioned, doing one long route, for a multi-day trip, creates problems. I have moved away from that. I stopped using BaseCamp when they had several issues with the release of v4.7.x.
Craig G. has a pretty good handle on BaseCamp but for me, every time I didn't use it for a month or more it seemed like I had to re-learn things. It was like many European/German-based software programs that I have encountered, they seem to use a significantly different logic than I do (not saying one is correct over the other) and I don't find them very intuitive.

I have used Furkot some but also haven't been able to find a satisfying way to adjust my routes without it creating issues. It seems that many of the available programs, Furkot, Rever, etc., etc., give me about 50% of what I'm wanting but I run into issues with each one, especially BaseCamp. For me, one of the biggest frustrations is having my route get messed up if I make any changes mid-day on a trip using any of these programs. I like to have the flexibility to change my plans mid-stream and not have to lose what I've done, or find that it does not reliably re-route me and has me going through places I never intended after one simple change.

Something many folks don't know and some (those that love to hate H-D) is that Harley Davidson provides quite a bit of help for their touring riders (as many of us know some H-D riders to major touring miles). H-D actually provides far more tools than BMW does for touring.
H-D Plan Your Ride overview page
H-D Phone App for Android & iO App links
H-D Online Trip Planner
H-D Road Trip Tips
As you can see, H-D actually takes an active roll in helping their touring riders. The routes you can create on the H-D site can be saved to an SD card and inserted directly into the H-D GPS units (Garmin) on their new bikes with great ease, or transferred over to our Nav-VI units etc.

For longer routing I now use the following structure:

    On my computer:
  • plot out a rough route with Google Maps (significant limitations for routing anything detailed)
    On my GPS:
  • generate a separate route for each day
  • if the day is complicated or possibly problematic, I break the day into two (AM and PM)
  • name each trip (day) by the date such as "2020-01-02 - Bedford to Hermit Island" - easier to find and can be renamed with ease
  • edit each day route so that Via points (Way points) that are not an actual stop but simply a point to plot my desired course, are changed to Shaping points (see below)
  • add my desired time points: stop durations (gas, food, etc., set a rough idea of your stop-over duration), then set departure or arrival time (whichever is your priority - set one and the GPS calculates the other) If you don't follow this sequence the system will change some of your time settings so you need to double-check

FYI - in Trip Planner, a Trip can have only 29 Via points (intermediate destinations within a trip), but you can have up to 125 Shaping points between each Via Point. That is 3,625 specific points entered in one route! So, great depth available.

Think of Via (Way) points as destinations/stops and Shaping points as routing spots (keeping you off I-95 between Skowhegan and Agusta, etc.)

I think I'm getting too detailed here and should leave this for one or more Tech Sessions (hard to believe of me, isn't it). ;-)
Alan Coles
Alan Coles

Number of posts : 627
Location : Bedford, Nova Scotia
Registration date : 2013-03-31

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Tech Day - GPS usage Empty Links - Useful links BMW Navigator GPS & general navigation

Post by Alan Coles Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:50 am

Lance M., reminded me that Garmin provides a fairly extensive Support Section for the BMW Navigator series. I will place the link for that section here and use this post to hold links that might be helpful (when I get the time). I've got a lot of them so I'll try to be selective. If you don't see what you are looking for let me know, I might have it floating around.

BMW Navigator Links

  • BMW Navigator VI Support Page - Your GoTo page (Thanks for reminding me Lance)
  • BMW Navigator VI Downloads (Dealer Database Updates, User Manual, General Info, Specs, etc.)
  • Newest User Manuals
Alan Coles
Alan Coles

Number of posts : 627
Location : Bedford, Nova Scotia
Registration date : 2013-03-31

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