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Following gpx track that crosses over itself in many places

I create a gpx track (I normally use MapMyRide and export the gpx.
In my eTrex 30 I can follow the gpx track on my cycle. Sometime the gpx crosses over itself several times on-route and this is confusing for me to follow as I get no indication of which branch I should follow.
How should I set the eTrex up so that it shows direction arrows on the gpx track or shows a turn indication as I near the crossover, so that I charge off in the correct direction.
What am I missing here?
Should I be creating something other than a gpx track to follow or are there some setting I am getting wrong.
Nev newby 


  • sussamb 798 Points
    I agree it can be confusing, I have similar issues when I'm walking, but AFAIK there is no way to achieve what you ask. On the other hand it is possible when using routes to get turn by turn directions, but that requires an appropriate routeable map.
  • nevw 38 Points
    I tried using a 'turn' data field but it remained blank whilst navigating. I have routeable Garmin and osm maps so I will try this again tomorrow (and reread the Garmin docs again)
  • nevw 38 Points
    From my reading of the Garmin docs, if I choose where to? and select a gpx track to follow, then to get turn directions whilst following the track, it seems I must change my profile to automotive.
    Is this correct?
    i.e. It will not give turn directions in recreational mode.
    If my gpx route follows a footway away from the road, I assume the guidance could get a bit crazy as it tries to route me by the nearest automotive road instead or does it just guide me along the gpx track as expected.
    I have 2 small data fields enabled - will this hide the the turns in the text bar along the top of the map. Should I instead select no data fields?
  • sussamb 798 Points
    You don't have to select a different profile, but you do need to go to Setup, Routing and set Guidance method to 'On road' or 'Prompted' (if set to Prompted you'll be asked what setting you want when you select a route and then Go).

    Now, having done so the Etrex will route you along the routeable trails/tracks/roads in whichever map you have selected. How exactly that will work will depend on the map.

    You'll also need to ensure that in Setup, Map you have Guidance text set to 'When navigating' if you want TBT directions.

    What's confusing a bit is your terminology as you switch it seems between track and route, so my instructions above refer to what you need to do to follow a route. If that's not what you're after ask again :-)
  • nevw 38 Points
    Yes, I am unclear of the difference between track and route.
    I have marked the route out using MapMyRide and it gives the option to "Export this route (gpx or kml)"
    I then select gpx, and get the following message...
    "GPX eXchange Format, or GPX, is a common file type when importing and exporting GPS data. The route you export will only have lat and lng points."
    I then transfer that to the etrex.
    So in this format on the gps, it may be a track I guess?

  • sussamb 798 Points
    I suspect not, it should be a route, but you'll know as it will either appear in Track or Route planner depending on what it is.
  • nevw 38 Points
    many thanks sussamb :)
    will see how it all goes tomorrow and will also brush up on track v route.
  • nevw 38 Points
    I found the 'route I exported to gpx' appeared under tracks and not routes so I will do some more reading.
    I also found that I can turn a track into a route using Basecamp....{9f8cc6b0-f5d4-11e0-73d0-000000000000}
    and here the differences between tracks and routes...{67ef9980-50c4-11dc-4ec8-000000000000} ...Oh same as above :)

  • DaveM 159 Points
    There are 2 problems with using Routes. You said you use a footway unless it's routeable on your map a route won't follow it. Also the route that the Etrex creates might be different then the one on your computer and could change as you ride. With the Etrex 20 and 30 you can't turn off auto recalculate. When I use routes to bike I make a route so I can get turn by turn directions. I also make a track and display it on top of the route so I can see if the route changes and then follow the track.

    I assume that the crosses are that you go one way on the first part of your ride and the other later in your ride. If this is correct and you use a track you could make one for the first part and a second one for the last part of your ride. In BaseCamp you could change the color of one of them. Then display them both on your map. You could then follow one color on the way out and the other color on the way back.
  • nevw 38 Points
    edited April 2014
    Good suggestions, thanks Dave.
    I have a better idea how routing works now.
    Different colours for different parts of the planned ride will work well for me.
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