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post #1 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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GPS using fully custom planned route

Hello all,

I have searched this site as the all the full interwebs looking for a good answer with no real success. The multiple definitions of "customized routes" also does not help! To me "customized routes" means picking the entire route. not just choosing to avoid the slab or have more twisties. I also seem to want more control than most GPS's seem to offer. I am used to paper maps and printing sections of printed Google Maps, but with the moto, I need an actual GPS and I know little about them...except the seemingly simple stuff I want to do isn't as basic as I thought.

I enjoy using Google Maps on my computer to plan rides; to know the exact mileage, stop by points of interest and street names for turns. I would like to be able to use a GPS to help me navigate the exact route I have mapped out on my computer. It seems as thought some GPS's will do this with computer software but you need to make lots of waypoints and some users say this still doesn't always work at the very end on the GPS at times. Not very user friendly. I haven't read multiple reviews of any product yet that does this well.

I do not need to use Google Maps specifically, but it is what I have mostly used in the past and I enjoy it except for my new need of downloading the exact route onto a GPS. I just want to be able to plan a ride on my computer (a Mac if that makes a difference) and be able to have a GPS guide me on the moto on that exact route.

More specific, I am looking to do some rides though southern Miami and South Florida which includes urban and rural riding and I want to pick the entire route myself to include parks, food and sights.

Any suggestions? And thank you for any advice.
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post #2 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 12:46 PM
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You need conversion software to move from Googlemap to a format GPS programs understand.

This looks like what you need GMapToGPX | Communications From Elsewhere

GPSBabel: convert, upload, download data from GPS and Map programs

Google Maps to GPX or MotionX GPS

You'll have to do some homework and it's a moving field

I like MotionX stuff
Importing & Exporting | MotionX Support

Use your iphone for navigating. Works the charm

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post #3 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 12:52 PM
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I've been using a TonTom with Tyer software that uses google maps or google earth for years. You pick every waypoint up to 99 total and then you can add a second route connected to the first for another 99 waypoins and so on. The only thing the imbedded software does is get you from waypoint to waypoint so you can pick any and all roads you want.
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post #4 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 01:01 PM
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I use a program called Tyre, which is available on the web for free. It uses Google Maps as its source, and you can generate custom routes in a GPX format. You can choose your route by waypoints (meaning you can make the route go anywhere you want), or you can just add your destinations and the program will figure out your route. The Tyre program is designed to work with Garmin and Tom Tom gps units. I don't know anything about the Tom Tom units, but if you have a Garmin, and it has the "trip planner" feature, you can input custom routes directly from the program into the Garmin (I have a Garmin Nuvi 2455). I used this program to plot a custom route to Nebraska and back (and I definitely didn't take the most direct route LOL), and it worked great. The only drawback to the program was that, because it uses Google Maps, you need to have an internet connection to plan your routes.

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post #5 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 01:15 PM
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I have never been able to get conversion software to work perfectly

a couple times when turn by turn instructions and fuel stops were important to me (IBA rides) I manually input the route and stops into my Zumo, it was flawless with one exception after over 1500 miles it had me exit the highway 1 exit before my final destination, loop around all 4 clover leaf loops, ending up back on the highway in the same direction

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post #6 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 01:35 PM
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Check out the Harley ride planner, it operates very similar to google maps and let's you export direct to gps from it. It is very easy to use.

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post #7 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 01:45 PM
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I tried the Harley trip planner. What I didn't like about it was that it only allows a limited number of waypoints; I think it was something like 18 total, if I recall correctly. It works good for relatively straightforward routes, but I found it kind of limiting for a cross country route with lots of route changes.

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post #8 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 02:28 PM
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I have used Tyre and the Harley program. Both are good for what they are.

Mainly I draw the route on Google maps then manually build the route in Mapsoure and transfer to the GPS via Mapsource.


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post #9 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 02:36 PM
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Conversion software often drives me nuts.
I like to use maps, colored markers, googleearth, googlemaps, sometimes Garmin MapSource ( BaseCamp sucks) , word of mouth, ideas and suggestions from locals along the way.
But for a long trip combining and integrating all the ideas into a gps route that is easily modified at a coffee shop or around a campsite picnic table, WITHOUT A COMPUTER, is imperative for me. I use a Garmin Zumo 550 and my best solution to date is to build all my routes directly on the handheld unit. It does work, although maybe seems crude to some of you, I've been doing it for years. To share gpx routes and files with others I must use a computer.

I've only a bit of experience with Tyre.

Be sure, that whatever gps you buy, that it will allow you to build and store multiple routes directly on the unit.

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post #10 of 53 Old 07-07-2015, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies. I checked out the links provided and saw that many people were having issues with several of those programs. Oy! The H-D Ride Planner program worked up to 20 waypoints and seems to be what I am looking for. Now, once loaded on the GPS with the GPX export, will the GPS use those waypoints for the exact route I saw on my computer or maybe use other routes between the same waypoints?

I will play around with more of the linked programs.

Seems as though my next decision is just picking a GPS unit that can have routes uploaded.

Using my iPhone as suggested absolutely does not work. I can only program the start and finish and have no control over the route, which was the whole point of my post. I also read and agreed that a phone should be on my body in case I have a get-off and need to call for help.

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