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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
 
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Default GPS Tracks and Google Earth

Wondering if anyone knows why I can't download tracks from my Garmin eTrex Vista H GPS to Google Earth. I'm able to download waypoints and they show perfectly but when I try to import tracks it says none found. There is another great tool that I found that does a similar thing called Expert GPS (it sells for $80 or so). http://www.expertgps.com/





This is a track that shows up in Google Earth using the Expert GPS software:

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:06 AM
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maybe you are going too fast [)]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 11:07 AM
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Do you have Garmin Mapsource? Normally I just download my tracks to that program and then go "View in Google Earth"
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Steventy

Do you have Garmin Mapsource? Normally I just download my tracks to that program and then go "View in Google Earth"
That looks like a good program - only thing though is that it seems to be only available if you purchase any map product which I haven't yet. Just have the GPS - been reading quite a few reviews that say the TOPO Canada maps for example have lots of errors. I guess that I'll have to buy some map product though to get that software:

http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/cac...ware/mapsource

On another note, anyone know if Google Maps is accurate as far as coordinates. I transferred my waypoints to Google Earth - almost all of them good except that my Garibaldi Outhouse Junction and Black Tusk/Panorama Ridge waypoints show up in the lake lol I know these waypoints were taken at the right locations so either the GPS or Google Earth is incorrect. Perhaps the answer is in how Goole Earth stitches the various maps together. Or perhaps the actual GPS satellite that day was off when I marked them. Any thoughts? It's funny - not sure if it's more accurate in the city. At the office today I took an outside reading just a few meters apart and was able to pick up the difference when I plotted them in Google Earth.

Found another pretty cool tool which seems to be similar to Google Earth/Maps Street View which allows you to easily transfer a point on the map to your GPS as a waypoint:

http://www.bing.com/maps/default.asp...689462.6842358







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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ubishops

Wondering if anyone knows why I can't download tracks from my Garmin eTrex Vista H GPS to Google Earth. I'm able to download waypoints and they show perfectly but when I try to import tracks it says none found. There is another great tool that I found that does a similar thing called Expert GPS (it sells for $80 or so). http://www.expertgps.com/





This is a track that shows up in Google Earth using the Expert GPS software:

Try moving the file from your garmin to your computers hard drive and then importing into google earth.

Never used to work right of the unit for me but no problems from the hard drive. The file(s) I had to transfer were .gpx files and I assume yours would be the same.

Edit -> If i recall you can drag your .gpx file from windows explorer into google earth as well.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:05 PM
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A couple items:

Garmin's Topo Canada as based on the NTS maps, as of the last couple years. So, where there are issues in the NTS maps, there will be in the Topo Canada map.

Also, I thought that Mapsource came with all the GPS units (without maps, of course) so that you could organize waypoints and routes. Perhaps you didn't receive everything you should have?

Your issue with waypoints in a lake could be a number of reasons. Firstly, handheld GPS devices are good, at most, to +/- 3m, is WAAS is enabled, and you get a good number of satellites. Secondly, the Google Maps (or Bing Maps) overlay satellite imagery over a rough elevation model, stretching the photos to match up with significant features and marked points. Usually, errors are greatest when there's significant elevation differences. If your waypoint is within a few metres of where you think it should be based on the satellite imagery, that may be as good as it gets. In my experience (in Edmonton and in the Rockies), where there is good imagery available in Google Maps, the locations tend to be within a few metres... And that's all you should likely expect.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 01:50 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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A trick around this ubishop is installing the garmin fitness watch software which you can download for free. This then allows you to download and install mapsource. I have used this trick on a friends PC and it works. I found that info on the internet.. try to google it.

Or I'm not sure if you can just download basecamp as that is the newest software.

Bottom line if you need anything please contact me directly as I have all the software. As well TOPO canada and TOPO USA

Cheers
C

I found it
http://forums.gpsreview.net/viewtopic.php?t=4802



Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ubishops

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Steventy

Do you have Garmin Mapsource? Normally I just download my tracks to that program and then go "View in Google Earth"
That looks like a good program - only thing though is that it seems to be only available if you purchase any map product which I haven't yet. Just have the GPS - been reading quite a few reviews that say the TOPO Canada maps for example have lots of errors. I guess that I'll have to buy some map product though to get that software:

http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/cac...ware/mapsource

On another note, anyone know if Google Maps is accurate as far as coordinates. I transferred my waypoints to Google Earth - almost all of them good except that my Garibaldi Outhouse Junction and Black Tusk/Panorama Ridge waypoints show up in the lake lol I know these waypoints were taken at the right locations so either the GPS or Google Earth is incorrect. Perhaps the answer is in how Goole Earth stitches the various maps together. Or perhaps the actual GPS satellite that day was off when I marked them. Any thoughts? It's funny - not sure if it's more accurate in the city. At the office today I took an outside reading just a few meters apart and was able to pick up the difference when I plotted them in Google Earth.

Found another pretty cool tool which seems to be similar to Google Earth/Maps Street View which allows you to easily transfer a point on the map to your GPS as a waypoint:

http://www.bing.com/maps/default.asp...689462.6842358







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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by nomsha

A couple items:

Garmin's Topo Canada as based on the NTS maps, as of the last couple years. So, where there are issues in the NTS maps, there will be in the Topo Canada map.

Also, I thought that Mapsource came with all the GPS units (without maps, of course) so that you could organize waypoints and routes. Perhaps you didn't receive everything you should have?

Your issue with waypoints in a lake could be a number of reasons. Firstly, handheld GPS devices are good, at most, to +/- 3m, is WAAS is enabled, and you get a good number of satellites. Secondly, the Google Maps (or Bing Maps) overlay satellite imagery over a rough elevation model, stretching the photos to match up with significant features and marked points. Usually, errors are greatest when there's significant elevation differences. If your waypoint is within a few metres of where you think it should be based on the satellite imagery, that may be as good as it gets. In my experience (in Edmonton and in the Rockies), where there is good imagery available in Google Maps, the locations tend to be within a few metres... And that's all you should likely expect.
Thanks for the info. I'll check the box but I'm pretty sure that it didn't come with a CD. The two waypoints I was referring to seemed a few hundred meters so something not right there. I don't think Canada has any WAAS stations so I don't have that enabled. In the city it seems to be bang on. Mapped my bus route today from home to the office and was almost exact. Will need to experiment more with the backcountry waypoints/tracks. Thanks again
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. I tried the link you provided but seems to be compatible only with the following devices:







When I install it and try to detect my device I get the following message:




I installed the update that is suggested in the blog as a second step but received this message as it appears that you need a previous version:

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ubishops
I don't think Canada has any WAAS stations so I don't have that enabled. In the city it seems to be bang on. Mapped my bus route today from home to the office and was almost exact. Will need to experiment more with the backcountry waypoints/tracks.
It's not the base stations that the GPS receiver communicates with - it's three specific geostationary satellites. Namely, numbers 46 48, and 51. If you enable WAAS on your Garmin unit, and you connect to one of these three satellites, the bars should show a 'D' on them indicating that the WAAS is working. From what I've read, the USA positioned the geostationary WAAS satellites so that almost everywhere in their country is covered. Since Alaska is northwest, us in western Canada consequently benefit. WAAS works for me most of the time in Alberta as long as the southern horizon isn't too obstructed.

That being said, being off by two hundred metres sounds more like a Google Map projection issue than a satellite reception issue.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 03:14 PM
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There's workaround for this posted on several websites, eg. this one. Follow the steps and you'll be able to install the newest MapSource without a previous version.

Once you've got MapSource installed, upload your GPS track to MapSource and save it to a file (gdb or gpx). Then in Google Earth use the "Import from file" option instead of the "Garmin" option.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 05:06 PM
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Check your box. It's got to be in there!

I don't know why they don't just allow anyone to download and install the software for free. If you don't pay for the base maps then it's only useful if you have a Garmin GPS unit.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Steventy

Check your box. It's got to be in there!

I don't know why they don't just allow anyone to download and install the software for free. If you don't pay for the base maps then it's only useful if you have a Garmin GPS unit.
Wishful thinking but my box lists the following contents to be included

eTrex Vista H
Lanyard
USB cable
Owner's manual
Quick Reference Guide
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 07:12 PM
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Interesting that they would choose to not include the CD.

This is similar to what camshaft suggested:
http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/tutorial...with-your-gps/

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post #15 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by RamblingBull

There's workaround for this posted on several websites, eg. this one. Follow the steps and you'll be able to install the newest MapSource without a previous version.

Once you've got MapSource installed, upload your GPS track to MapSource and save it to a file (gdb or gpx). Then in Google Earth use the "Import from file" option instead of the "Garmin" option.
Thanks for that Took me a little while to figure out how to extract an .exe file but I found that out using software found here:

http://legroom.net/software/uniextract

Thanks again
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