Friday, July 17, 2009

Waypoints, Via Points, Signs and Symbols

Lee did a great job of plotting out our route for the Great Lakes Tour on which we are about to embark. In trying to avoid a few uncertainties of last year, I’ve made an extra effort in trying to understand how Lee uses his GPS. This caused me a certain amount of angst last year and a few words between us that bordered on less than civil. I begin my question and answer session as soon as I received the file to be sure I understand fully just where we are going and how we are getting there. It results in a few surprises.

First, we both use the same software, MapSource, which is the software used by Garmin GPS units. I examine the file closely. I see the route; I examine his waypoints and ask my questions. So far so good. Then I transfer the file to my Garmin Quest. I select the route and press the button to “show on map.” Good. The purple line indicating the route is showing nicely. Lee calls to discuss the route.
“You’ll notice how I’ve named the waypoints” he says.
I pick up the Quest, and select waypoints. Nothing! We have a go and back conversation about it, the end of which makes me feel yet again like I’m lacking some brain cells.

Back at the office, I shirk my duties, open the laptop and begin again to download the file. There is the route. Now select waypoints. Still nothing. I repeat this process a few times. Same result. I decide to examine the route option more closely on the GPS unit. When I select the route, a list of “via” points shows in the window. A HA!

I call Lee, and walk him through my finding. Lee’s unit does not respond in this way. He has a Nuvi 550. When the route is downloaded, he can select any waypoint and route to it. I practice with the Quest. I see that I can select a via point and route to it. Why the Quest doesn’t add these to the waypoints selections I have no idea.

We have a few more conversations about our individual GPS units, and one thing has helped tremendously; understanding that GPS units, while of the same make, operate differently model to model. I’m pleased to have this bit of knowledge under my belt as it is one less thing to mess up a good vacation. Lee has quirks with his own GPS he is getting used to. As long as we can both manipulate the devices we own we should be fine. Understanding we each have idiosyncrasies with our GPS units will help keep our heads cool too. (OK, my head.) Now if I could only climb into Lee’s mind to understand the reasons he selects the symbols he does. Or maybe that is a good thing?

1 comment:

mq01 said...

i think thats very cool that you are using and sync'ing gps. i cant tell you how many times one particular friend and hog road capt would screw up the route and our whole group would be trying to u-turn in road construction, lol. have a great weekend and ride safe.