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user compliant GPS routing

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  • sussamb 813 Points
    Dilbert said:

    yup. you can't make everyone happy.
    but imho, it's a major failure to think how GPS units/functions are used.

    and I don't object to having to place waypoints 'tweaked' to work IF one could select a route. bottom line, waypoints are not bi-directional, and the work around of multiple routes technically exists but is not usable.

    Well waypoints are bi directional, but not on divided highways and I've already given one example of why that wouldn't/shouldn't work. I can think of numerous others. But really without some examples from you we can't help further and you seem to insist it's not a problem of your making. Even now you seem intent on placing waypoints at intersections of multi-lane highways when I've never needed to do that, there are other ways to achieve the routing you want instead of making life difficult. Inverting routes has again never caused me an issue, although there is occasionally the need (not always) to move a point because it's on a divided highway.

    You say when you invert a route it all 'falls apart'. If so it's likely you're using too many waypoints and/or placing them poorly (eg in the middle of intersections).

    Shaping points should help, but you say on your routes they don't, again pointing to possibly incorrect placements.

    There are numerous folks here saying it's not an issue and we could help IF we knew more detail but you appear reluctant to provide it. Unless you can I can't see how I can help further.



  • privet01 221 Points
    Underneath the text box there is a line that says "You can use Simple Html in your post" The "Simple Html" part of that line is a link that opens up a window with examples of code you can use.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    I wonder if there are a few basic principles we can all agree on...

    • GPS devices create "routes" which are based on at least two waypoints, a starting waypoint and destination waypoint.
    • GPS devices are primarily designed to help you get from your current position to your destination when you are unfamiliar with the route.
    • GPS devices will never choose the "best" route every time because the criteria for "best" will be different for everyone and GPS devices can't predict the future. (And other factors as well.)
    • We often want the GPS to help guide us "via" a certain waypoint for one reason or another.
    • A route cannot be "reversed" or "inverted". A new route, with the same waypoints in reverse order will instead be calculated. This is due to one way streets, divided highways, turn restrictions, other "rules of the road" and other factors.
    • GPS devices are essentially tiny computers, and like computers cannot typically read your mind. Therefore they will take a literal interpretation of what it has been given. For example if you are traveling primarily south and add a waypoint on a northbound lane (or reverse the order of waypoints from your northbound route) then it will take you south, then make you loop to catch the Northbound lane, then resume South... Just as it was instructed to do.
    • Most people just enter a destination, somewhat fewer people would like the ability to add waypoints to their route, and even fewer people would like those waypoints to have a certain "fuzziness" or diameter to allow the reversal of order of the waypoints without moving certain waypoints so that those waypoints not be taken so literally.
    • Other people would prefer those waypoints be a singular point because they really do want the GPS to take them to that specific spot regardless if it causes "looping".
    • Very few GPS devices have ever included a way to make "fuzzy" waypoints.
    • Everyone one of us can think of a feature we would like to see included in GPS devices, the overwhelming majority of those features are things GPS companies have already thought of, but have made decisions not to include for reasons we may or may not agree with.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    I agree ;)
  • alanb 539 Points
    I agree as well. I have always been impressed how capable the Garmin routing is for such an underpowered computer.

    It is interesting to see how Google handles this on their Google Maps web site. Even with the full resources of their powerful servers, they essentially do the same thing when a route is reversed. If you create a "soft via" by dragging the route, it of course puts it in the correct lane for the direction of travel. If you then reverse the route, you lose the via. If you create a soft via, then right click on it to make it a destination (hard via), then reverse the route, you get the same kind of backtracking that you get with Garmin. I tried to move a via between the lanes of a divided highway to see if you could have a "fuzzy" via as Tim coined it, but it wouldn't stick.
  • Tim 1480 Points
    And while we're talking terminology here... "dragging" a route like you do with the mouse at Google Maps is known as "rubber band routing".
  • sussamb 813 Points
    edited January 2015
    Which is also available in Basecamp for those who are unaware.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Good list. I would add one other point though.

    • You don't have to blindly obey the GPS when it tells you to do something.

    I let the GPS calculate its own route to the destination. Then if I don't agree with its choices, I just go my own way and let the GPS recalculate.

    I also have the device muted. If you are listening to the spoken directions, maybe it's harder to just go your own way since it will "nag" you to go back to its chosen route. No offense, but I wonder if some people have been conditioned to do whatever the device says as the result of years driving with a nagging spouse.? >:)
  • Tim 1480 Points
    Boyd said:

    I also have the device muted.

    I tend to do the opposite... voice on, screen off.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    See, I guess this is just my issue. I don't like anybody telling me what to do…. especially a robotic voice from a dumb computer. I'm like "shut up and leave me alone, if I want to know something I'll look at you". :>
  • sussamb 813 Points
    I like both ... so I can choose ;)
  • DaveM 159 Points
    sussamb said:

    I like both ... so I can choose ;)

    I agree. Sometimes I know where I'm going so mute it. Sometimes I don't know so have the sound on. Sometimes I know the area but not the location so I mute it until I'm close. The same thing is not always best in every case or for everyone.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Garmin announced new Dezl devices today. One of the new features is described as

    "Easy Route Shaping lets you easily change your route to include preferred roads or cities, just by touching the screen."

    I wonder what that means and whether it will be implemented on future Nuvi models?

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/on-the-road/trucking/dezl-570lmt/prod162979.html
  • sussamb 813 Points
    That would be a useful feature ... let's hope it makes the nuvi line up also.
  • >> just by touching the screen.
    Garmin has not implemented that functionality using 64-bit computers with 12 gb of RAM and a mouse, a six inch screen is not likely to solve their failure to think.

    >>You've still not given us any real examples that can be checked to see if your experience can be duplicated. In most cases there shouldn't be any need to put waypoints where you seem to be doing so, but without some concrete examples or screenshots it's impossible to see what you are doing wrong.

    I have established waypoints only when the routing software takes me in directions/places I don't want to go. and keep in mind, the Shortest/Fastest options are completely blind to the fact that the DC loop at 5pm is problematic. in such picky cases it can actually occur that neither the fastest (as per speed limits and distance) nor the shortest route (as per road miles) is the best route. sometimes of the day it pays to avoid super-congestion - and the GPS is completely unable to cope with such circumstances.

    as to the theory I'm an idiot for putting a waypoint in an intersection or dangling in mid-air between bridges of a cloverleaf, kindly read the messages. I put them in such idiotic places only in my failed attempts to eliminate the Garmin insistence I go to the next exit and turn around fourteen times so I can drive over the 2 sq feet in the other lane.

    waypoints per by the Garmin software cannot handle "route via intersection of Main and Maple" without regard to whether you're heading north or south. or eats or west - unless the intersection is of two, two lane, undivided highways.

    as implemented in the Garmin software any waypoint must be driven through _exactly_ and that sends you on crazy loops miles and miles out of the way. and the 'steering point' does nothing but suppress the voice prompts. perhaps I should send you my dear wife and you can teach her which idiotic loop around she should not take based on not knowing the "proper" route? how does one do that?

    as the need to create/tweek a route based on forward/reverse of origin & destination, I actually have no big problem with such a "restriction" - except for the overlooked fact: on a Garmin, you cannot directly select a "route" and when the Garmin displays a route for "selection" the detail level is insufficient to identify the proper route. it is not non-trivial that one, once having left "home" should desire to return "home"

    if one could directly select "(route to) son's house via I66 southbound" and when going home directly select "Home via Fredrick northbound" - that would not be an issue. but you cannot do that on a Garmin. it displays all user defined routes in both directions and in a detail level such that you cannot pick the southbound route via I-270 & Father Hurley Blvd or the northbound route via I-270 & Father Hurley Blvd.

    on trips south to VA, everything from I-270 & Father Hurley Blvd to the last half mile is four lane (or more) divided highway - and, as numerous have identified, and as the Garmin software has demonstrated, single waypoint/steering points do not work in a "here to there" and a "there to here" situation - and, the Garmin does not have any option to select a route "by name"

    bottom line:
    - routes are not reversible
    - one cannot select a route "by name"
    - using only the graphic representation, one cannot pick&click on the route of preference
    i.e. non-functional in real life.
    I suppose we could petition Garmin to have all roads reduced to two undivided lanes so they would function with the software, eh?

    >>A route cannot be "reversed" or "inverted". A new route, with the same waypoints in reverse order will instead be calculated. This is due to one way streets, divided highways, turn restrictions, other "rules of the road" and other factors.
    this is semi-incorrect. the reversed route will send you to the Arctic Circle so you can make a u-turn and go back through the _exact_ way point established for the non-reverse direction of travel. if one establishes a route from A to B, and one reverses the route B to A, nothing new is created in terms of route, no waypoints are moved based on A to B being in "the other lanes" - what happens in the B to A reversal is you are directed to pass the waypoint, make the next u-turn point, then back in the A to B direction, through the not-moved waypoint, then drive further in the wrong direction to a point where one can make a u-turn and resume the original route to the destination. and, given the "NO UTURN" signs at intersections, you have to check you fuel level before following the GPS recommendations because you could be setting off on a long and fruitless journey.


    >>I tried to move a via between the lanes of a divided highway to see if you could have a "fuzzy" via as Tim coined it, but it wouldn't stick.
    my experience also. given fact - using mouse and max magnification, still not able to "guarantee" the placed way point is _exactly_ in the middle. when considering the distance of a point to two other points, there's three possibilities: greater than, less than, equal to. the Garmin doesn't do the "sorta equal to or 'within real or theoretical resolution' " case. does not do it, does not work, does not approximate, it only does black&white, just plain old bad thinking / programming.

    > You don't have to blindly obey the GPS when it tells you to do something.
    if you know where you are, and you know how to get there, the above is valid. in which case, why the GPS? except for driving into the river, etc....

    but if you do not know the area, and you do not know how to get there, either follow the GPS directions or get a map. there's no sanity in "the GPS says but I think....." as so many have said, the chosen GPS route can be a bit quirky - if you know the area, perhaps not how you would choose to drive. but, if you're a lost babe in the woods, follow the GPS quirkies or do something else.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Dilbert said:

    if you do not know the area, and you do not know how to get there, either follow the GPS directions or get a map.

    You may be missing my point. The GPS is a map. If you set it for North Up and zoom out, you can see the pink route line that the gps suggests. You can then use you own preferences and common sense to either follow that suggestion or go your own way.
  • you have missed the original issue.

    I do not wish to follow the Garmin suggested routes. there are issues with the Garmin suggested routes way far and past the original issue, but that's not the discussion.

    having established at great pain and detail, using billions and billions of waypoints, a route the Garmin GPS will follow - one cannot 'invert' that route.

    so, accepting that Garmin does not have via points, and accenting that one can at great pain and detail, invert, rename and modify a route to 'go home' from the 'go there' position, one cannot select that go home route except by an extremely small scale on screen map display which does not provide the detail level to click on a magenta line.

    plain and simple: it does not work. it is not a capability by design or accident of the Garmin system.

    one can tweak a route to anywhere - but you cannot get a sensible 'go home' routing from there.

    go try it; stop telling people who are attempting to do stuff it can be done unless you have tried it and succeeded.


  • sussamb 813 Points
    We all have tried it and succeeded. We'd help you IF you gave us an example route. Your comment above about way points proves to me you're doing it wrong. Give us a start point and end point. Tell us the waypoints you added to get it to go the way you wanted. Then and only then can we explain to you an easier way.
  • pick any starting point, pick any destination point.
    establish two routes between the start and destination.
    attempt to choose a route between those points by the route name you created in BaseCamp.
  • using the GPS unit.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Easy ... I do it all the time. So I'm now really confused as to what your problem is?
  • been offline - "Insert bootable disk" - gotta luv it.....

    here's the problem
    (1) I want to establish a specific route for a stranger to follow using the GPS - this means the concept of "just ignore the GPS and go they way I told you" simply does not apply. I can drive the route without a map or a GPS; my wife has never driven the route - so every single turn on the route needs to be correct.
    (2) the route(s) is(are) not the fastest or the shortest - as the GPS calculates things. however it is the fastest route in real life.
    (3) in order to force the GPS along that route I need many waypoints.
    (4) as everyone has pointed out and as proven by trial and error, four lane / divided highways / highways that split around 'something' / cloverleafs / etc make using 'the same' waypoint impossible for both directions.
    (5) this means I need many many more waypoints - some for going northbound and some for going southbound.
    (6) that many waypoints really clogs up the selection screen on the GPS; I need to experiment with different directories and/or downloading just the destinations and routes - perhaps the waypoints will be embedded.
    (7) one cannot select a named route. in some cases the route varies so drastically one can select it from a small scale map; not always.

    as inferred above - it's routes comma plural - realistically two routes southbound, but three routes northbound depending on day/time/ie traffic congestion. that's five routes which share only a few common waypoints.

    this is my problem -
    - too many waypoints - which makes things cluttered but doable - altho BaseCamp will sort by flag then by name, the GPS does not do that.
    - no way to select a named route.

    when I have a few more hours to waste, I'm going try setting up a different destination - like the house number next door - to see if that will 'force' a one-one relationship of route to destination.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    Well maybe it's me but I'm still confused. You shouldn't need 'many many more waypoints' to create routes. You may need some strategically placed but on routes hundreds of miles long I've rarely needed more than a few waypoints. As for selecting a named route, of course you can. Routes, or rather trips, appear under Apps. Named as you either named them in Basecamp or on the nuvi itself.

    Rather than generic examples, give us a start and end point, and the route you want to take ... that way we can explain how you could be doing it more simply.
  • "Route appear in Apps" aHA! found them. thanks for that tip - not exactly an intuitive place to find them but whatever.

    so I cleared the GPS and downloaded just the Route(s). all the waypoint came with the download; (sigh) makes for utterclutter on the GPS which apparently does not have the option to sort by type then alpha?

    working on renaming things-I-want-at-the-top-of-the-list so the alpha sort presents useful points and all the waypoints are buried at the end.

    as to just obscenely adding waypoints willy-nilly-for-no-good-reason, just not true. I put in the origin, I put in the final destination, then I add waypoints only as required to force the GPS to follow the route I want. what you may be overlooking is the GPS calculates/re-calculates the route every single time I put in a waypoint. so when I'm driving south on MD 28 and get to Mt Airy / I-70 and the GPS wants m to turn east and drive back to the Washington, DC loop, no - not going that way, need to put another waypoint in... and so it goes, over and over until finally the GPS sees fit to go my way.

    I was thinking to use the "print route" option so I could copy / paste the route in for your examination. because I'm not going to take the time to hand enter / retype the data, that's why. that seems to print the map, it might print the details/driving directions but I didn't get that far.

    any number of users have commented that waypoints / steering points are not reversible. I'm not sure how many limited access highway junctions exist along the route where I am forced to put in 'the next' waypoint to avoid being taken in directions I don't want to go by the 'auto' GPS routing. I would have to count them.

    but, bottom line is, pretty much all those kinds of waypoints need to be duplicated for "going south" and "going north" - and as to clever suggestions on how to avoid putting in so many waypoints and I'm doing it wrong - that why I put them in the middle of the road at a 4 lane divided highway and a 2 lane not divided highway. because that "location" will work as a waypoint going both north and south. it's strictly empirical - I put the waypoint somewhere, if works going south, I reverse the route, and if it works going north then it is useable as a single way point. if it does not work, need more waypoints.

    don't get me wrong - I don't object to the "work" of establishing them. it's Garmin's silly failure to think about how people use the device, but it is what it is. Microsoft has issues as well and we all live with them.

    what I have issues with is the dozens of waypoints cluttering up the GPS screen / internal listing - because time to time I actually need to do a destination 'on the fly' programming the GPS unit "installed and operating" in the car.

    life is a bowl of comprised cherries. I'm working on work-arounds.
  • sussamb 813 Points
    edited January 2015
    A simple start point, end point and a description of the way you'd like to go is enough for anyone to look at it to see if they can advise a better way of doing what you're struggling with ...
  • thanks for the offer.
    seems a number of other users concur on how waypoint/steering points work.
    you are citing this thread as a problem possibly solved by 'new' Garmin features - so meratherthinks you're quite keenly aware of the limitations.

    we could spend months debating the best place to site a waypoint on a given route.
    which only solves the issue for that one single route. should it be necessary to submit every route to the online expertise here to make the Garmin a viable navigation tool?

    my needs are obviously different that what Garmin thinks user needs are.

    as I said earlier - Garmin needs a "go via junction of" thingie. fuzzy logic and all that.
    and, what would be nice, embed all those weirdo waypoints in the route itself so they do not appear on the GPS unit itself.

    BaseCamp can manage separation of points - different folder, all the useless 'other side of the road' waypoints stored there.
    but downloading the same physical route north-south and south-north results in a GPS unit screen cluttered with absurd use "waypoints"

    I personally accept that technology has limits. some technology is more limited that other technology.
    Garmin, as currently implemented, has limits which preclude convenient or elegant solutions to my routing problems. not sure why you insist it can all be solved by more intelligent placement of waypoints on a single route, but that's just me.

    so, working within the limitations as established by Garmin, I'm creating 'work-arounds' to meet my needs.
    I hope you don't have a problem with that.
  • privet01 221 Points
    You've been mighty "secretive" about giving us an example that we can try to emulate and try to understand your issue. Though in your last response you sound like your needs are not the "simple" routing that we believed in the beginning of this thread.

    I and others have been following this thread as we are interested in where routing is going so horribly wrong for you. Might be the particular areas you travel or maybe a simple misunderstanding of how a feature is really intended to work, which in fact has been many of my issues. And for certain, my issues with GPS routing are mainly my preference for travel and own navigational skills/knowledge.

    So please...... give us a start point and end point then we can all compare results and understand better the issues you have.
  • no. questions about that?
    it is not a secret, it's just not worth the time or effort.

    I put in a start point, I put in an end point, and when the GPS 'auto routing' function makes me go somewhere else I put in a way point to make it go the way I want.

    that is it - that is all - I keep adding way points until it uses the route I want to go.
    then, I have to double check to make sure the GPS still goes the same route if it is set on fastest route or shortest route. and yes, had to add a few more way points because of that issue.

    then, having gone there I have to return. but of course, way points are not bi-directional when it comes to long stretches of divided highways. so, there's another batch of added way points; check return trip for fastest/shortest auto-routing and badda bing badda boom, couple more way points.

    and that does not even begin to address the GPS sending me three right turns around the block to travel straight through an intersection - where I could have made a left turn on a protected arrow from a protected lane. does the "map" have an error? well, the left turn arrow has been there decades prior to GPS mapping - and there has never been a no left turn provision. I have three Garmin units all of which send me a different route through that center of town - all different map dates, all different models - there's a logic flaw there.

    if you did not read the priors, "my route" is neither the fastest or shortest because there is such a thing as traffic congestion. the GPS's insistently demands I "return to the interstate" at every possible intersection - NOT gonna go sit in three hours of Washington DC loop traffic thank you - I'll go the longer and in reality faster back roads.

    it does not explain why, on a divided highway I need on way point to go south and another way point to go north - that is without the GPS telling me to make a u-turn so it can traverse the opposite direction way point.

    what Garmin needs is a function "drive through the intersection of I-70 and US-15" and which is oblivious to direction of approach or departure. the Garmin does not have that capability - you need a way point on the I-70 ramp southbound to US-15 and another way point headed north on the US-15 ramp to I-70. go try it.

    and no, you can't just move the way point 'down/up the road/ a bit because everything between there and the prior/next junction is a divided highway where you badda bing badda boom need north and south bound way points.

    "...understand better..." have you ever done this or are you operating out of theory?

    I very happy for you folks who are blessed by the GPS calculated routes.
    but it is not working for me on my desired route, and no - I'm not changing my mind about the route to accommodate "software with limitations"
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