Definitions and Frequently Asked Questions
- Route – A route is simply a collection of waypoints linked together for navigational convenience.
- Waypoint – a location or point-of-interest that is given a name or street address.
- Track – or “track log” is a breadcrumb trail consisting of many points. A route may consist of a few waypoints or perhaps a couple dozen. But a track may consist of hundreds of points.
- GPX – GPS Exchange Format. An XML file used for sharing routes and tracks between devices.
There are many factors that affect the accuracy of determining your geographic position. Chiefly among those factors is your hardware (phone, tablet, GPS device) your device’s access to the sky, and your proximity to cell towers or Wi-Fi. The most accurate method available to us uses the series of GPS satellites. To get the best accuracy, your device needs a good view to the sky. Lacking that, a device may use “Assisted GPS” which attempts to position you based on the cell towers and Wi-Fi hot spots in your area.
Where can I find and share routes and tracks?
The following sites also allowed me to search and download interesting routes. I could look for routes and tracks by location. Their downloaded GPX were read by Route Planner 8 just fine. Of course, the quality of the route will vary depending on the source. some will include valuable comments, tips, and points of interest.
- MapMyRide.com – easy navigation and searching
- GoBreadCrumbs.com – free sign-up
- WalkingEnglishman.com – many free routes and tracks for hikes in the U.K.
There are popular sites that provide for competition and sharing with friends. These sites often have a “freemium” model. It appears you may have to be a premium member to get all the benefits such as downloading interesting routes. This type of site includes:
I’m not sure how to use a route from MapMyRide. Could you give me an “idiots guide”?
Here are the steps to import a MapMyRide route.
For Route Planner 8, you do not need to rename the GPX file downloaded. Simply save the downloaded GPX file to your favorite Routes Folder (specified in configuration / settings.) The next time you start Route Planner 8, the GPX file will appear as one of your routes.
From your desktop PC:
On the MapMyRide web site there is a menu bar near the top of their web page.
Click Routes and Search Rides (http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/?)
Enter search criteria: for example Chicago, at least 10 miles, checked box for notes and GPS Tracks.
Click “Search” button.
Scan the list for a route for an interesting one.
Click a route name.
A map of the track is shown with a chart of elevations.
Just below the map and elevation graph is a link “Export Map Data”.
Click Export Map Data.
Click “Download GPX”.
For Windows Phone, once downloaded, rename the file and add “.TXT” to the end of the file name so that the file name ends with “.GPX.TXT”.
Upload the renamed file to the root (top level) directory in your SkyDrive cloud storage.
On your phone:
Tap the menu bar (…) to show menu choices.
Tap “import route”
If you have not already signed into SkyDrive, tap the Sign In button and enter your sign in data.
Once signed in, a list of “.GPX.TXT” files in your SkyDrive root directory are displayed in a list box.
Tap the one you just uploaded.
Tap the “Check Mark” button on the app menu bar to start the download to your phone.
A message is shown once the import is complete — tap OK.
Tap “X” to close the import.
Now, any waypoints in the imported route are shown on the app’s route page. The GPS Track imported is shown on the map as a colored line. Waypoints, if any, are shown as flags in the map.
Remember that you will find a wide range in the quality of routes. Some people add points of interest as waypoints and enter notes about sites or possible obstructions for each waypoint. If there are notes, you will see them on the route page or by tapping a map pin.