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Garmin BaseCamp

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Captain Paul,
I hunt public property and use my Garmin Oregon 450t constantly. I have the map provided from the management area pamphlet overlayed on my unit, but only main trails are shown on it. After a few years of scouting, I finally have every trail possible on my gps saved as tracks. I remember what I named each track, but I share these with my dad. I would like to clean these tracks up and combine them all so that there is one 'squiggly line' representing the trails of the entire piece of property. I am using BaseCamp to manage all of my gps data. I'm having a great deal of trouble creating one continuous track. My first issue is that the software uses a 'directional sense' of which way you were walking when it recorded the track.. I am aware that directions can be inverted, but this feature doesn't always solve my problem when it comes to combining tracks. My second issue is that it appears that you cannot combine one track to a midpoint of another track. Only end points can be connected.
Is there any way to resolve these problems I am encountering in BaseCamp? If not, I am willing to use other software etc to accomplish this.
Thanks
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GARMIN'S BASECAMP CAN DO THE JOB
~ Captain Paul's response to: ~ Basin Buzz ~

The Garmin Oregon 450T is a very nice unit. It should serve you well into the future. The BASECAMP software will certainly do, but you will need a little explanation.

I will answer your question, but first let me explain how to get the most our of your GPS unit while using the FREE Garmin Base Camp (http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=4435) data transfer software.

As you noted the GPS is capable of guiding you to your various hunting or fishing locations by satellite navigation with a accuracy of within 10 feet. It sure beats following marking tape or reflector thumb tacks to get to you stand, but it needs to be used properly.

Following TRAILS or Bread Crumbs as some manufacturers call the trail feature, is NOT designed to be used over and over again in negotiating to a specific location. To get a better understanding you should know the difference between WAYPOINTS, TRACKS and ROUTES, and how to use them.

WAYPOINTS

Waypoints are positions that are stated in what ever Position Format as Garmin calls the locations or Location or Grid Format as some other manufacturers call the setting, for a particular location on the face of the earth. They are usually stated in Latitude~Longitude but can be in several other grid formats.

Ways to enter a Waypoint into your GPS unit.
These WAYPOINTS can be entered by having the GPS at a location and SAVE or MARK the location. This will allow the GPS unit to capture the position where the GPS is located and store it as a numbered waypoint. The unit will save the waypoint as a sequential numbered waypoint and continue for each position. Your unit can hold up to 2000 waypoints, but you would not want a series of numbers from 0001 to 2000 in your unit. Remember that it is saved as a numbered name, such as 009, or higher if appropriated. I recommend that you rename the numbered waypoint to an alpha-numeric name that is something similar to the name of the location where you are located. For instance a waypoint that is around a creek named Sandy Creek could be named Sand 1 and another named Sand STND for a Sandy Creek stand. They can be renamed in the GPS unit or at a later time in the BaseCamp program.

These waypoints can be captured as stated above, entered by manually by entering the specific coordinates in the GPS unit, and or downloading them from the BaseCamp data transfer program. However, it is much easier entering the waypoints by a mouse click or using the keyboard in the BaseCamp program and then transferring the waypoints to the GPS unit than trying to enter each waypoint directly into the GPS unit. The CAPTAIN PAUL’S FISHING EDGE OF GPS WAYPOINTS is a program that is loaded into the BASECAMP software, and then transferred to the GPS unit. A hundred or so waypoints can be so transferred in a matter of a minute.

ROUTES

Routes are made of a series of two or more waypoints that are connected in series via a course or bearing line from one waypoint to another. The Garmin Oregon series of GPS units can store up to 200 routes with an almost unlimited amount of waypoints per route up to the 850 mb of available memory.

You MUST have at least two waypoints already saved in the unit or in your BaseCamp data transfer program to make a route from your waypoints.
However, the Oregon unit can configure a route while you are on the course or trail by selecting the ROUTE PLANNER >< CREATE ROUTE and the Select the First Point (waypoint) to begin making a route while under way. See the complete instructions on pages 14 and 15 of your Owners Manual.
Routes allow you to use the GPS unit to follow its course. When navigating a route, the GPS unit will give you a heading, course and distance to the next point in the route. By having turns marked as waypoints in a route, the path or course is determined by the GPS unit. It lets the GPS to the “figuring which way to go” instead of trying to walk the path while looking at your GPS unit. It is much easier walking for 200 feet at a bearing of 30° than trying to follow a faint track trail on the screen of the GPS unit while walking in the woods.

TRACKS

Tracks are a recording of your path as per the setting you select in your GPS unit. You can select Distance, Time or interval and Auto settings. These settings let you configure the active track in a way that will be the most advantageous for your type of activity. Most users use the default Auto setting which allows the unit to select when to record the position. Your unit can store up to 10,000 points in up to 200 saved tracks. The unit does NOT give you any guidance or navigation tools when trying to rerun a recorded track. You are on your to attempt to negotiate the course by viewing the track points and attempting to duplicate them during your present course. Here in lies the deficiency in using a track to get to your destination. As you maneuver over the track, your present track broadens the existing track line, and as you can never exactly travel over the existing track line, the track becomes broader and broader and sometimes covering the body of water you are traveling. I have had questions about a track line completely covering a bayou that the user was trying to travel. An on the land trail traveling by foot could cause you to completely cover the topographical features on your map.

I recommend that my users clear all tracks when leaving the dock or point of embarkation that day and later convert those days’ courses that were recorded as a track to a ROUTE. After saving each of the tracks separately and downloading them into your BASECAMP software you can use the BASECAMP software to easily make a route of the existing track. Using the BaseCamp “New Route” tool which is found in the toolbar, click over the existing recorded track from the start to the finish that you will later navigate. Then name the route using an Alpha-numeric designation, save it as a leg of your trip.
To specific answer your question, you can use the BaseCamp software to separate tracks, or routes, by opening the existing Library file where are located and one at a time create a new track or route over an existing path and saving that one track or route to a separate file. You would have to do this for each track or part of a track that you want to make. For each new track or route, open the main file, remark the new track and or route and save that new part to a separate file. The New Track icon is shown in the toolbar as footprints. You can use it to mark a new route and saving it as stated above.

Yes there are more sophisticated mapping and data transfer programs that will do the job a little easier, but they will set you back about $300 plus.
The free BaseCamp program will do the job.

If you have any additional questions, get back with me and I will try and answer your concerns

Captain Paul
Thanks
Thanks for the answer. I can tell that took you quite some time. My main goal was to combine all my tracks into one track that my dad could show on the map and hide quickly without needing to know what I named each track and what trails are represented by that track.. It is better for him to see the entire system of trails so he can go where he wants without asking me what I named the track or forget to make one visible. It took me a lot of time and around 25 tracks to cover all of the trails. That is a lot of tracks to show/hide as you need. We somewhat misuse the features of the GPS. I show a track on the map and follow it on my own, rather than using the 'where to' and having my gps show me. BaseCamp is geared towards the where to function which pays attention to which way and how you went in. This is what caused my problem. I had a lot of overlap and some slight inaccuracy I needed to fix. I wanted to be lazy and select all the tracks I needed and have it combine them as is. It turns out BaseCamp isn't a fan of that. It would only connect my tracks at end points and would make some meaningless connections to get to where the start of the next track is. I needed to make some midpoint connections that it wouldn't allow. I ended up displaying all the tracks necessary to show the trail system and tracing them with the track function in BaseCamp to make one continuous track. My traced track is not precise by any means, but close enough to get the job done.
Thanks again
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More info
Then leave the tracks showing and make the ROUTES as a secondary way to mark the trails.

For instacne I have one route from Lafitte to Grand isle. I named it LAFITT_GI. I have that as a main stem for the entire way, and several branches that join the main route. One branches to the east near the top of Barataria Bay to the east and another to the west. Farther south, I have another branch to the west and again the east going to different locations. I use the first route as the trunk of a tree and the sub routes as branches that join the main route. I assigned the branches as GI- neast, GI South E, etc.

Try it to see if it will work for you.
Captain Paul
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