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Messages - greenfrog5

I'll take a stab, though I'm no expert.

I don't use Base Camp either, I use Map Source, but I've tried Base Camp.  Are you loading the maps you download directly to the unit?  Does Base Camp allow installing maps 'into' the pc-side software? (or just reading them off the unit?)  If you load them into Map Source using MapSourceToolKit, you can still only view one map at a time, but you can view all the maps that you install (Garmin maps, overlays from here, maps you create yourself, etc).

From this, you can create Waypoints, Routes, etc. following the trails on the map.  If necessary, switch between maps, but you can view any map that will be installed on the GPSr unit.  I first create significant Waypoints, then create a route, making sure to click on map features for all intermediate points, and the major Waypoints.  (Clicking the map features prevents new intermediate waypoints from being created at insignificant points along the trail.)  Then when you navigate the route, it won't get stuck on an intermediate waypoint that you didn't get close enough to to 'pass', and will basically follow the major Waypoints.

On the Oregon, you have 'custom maps' which lets you upload geo-aligned image file maps to use on the unit.  You can use Google Earth to crudely align (overlay) images, and I believe KMZ files are compatible with the Oregon.  You can also use software (OziExplorer, GlobalMapper, others) to more precisely specify alignment points and georeference the images, ultimately transfering them to your unit.

Personally, my 'best practice' is:
I use what the Oregon calls Custom Maps to view a map in Map Source, create Waypoints and a Route.  I hike navigating the route and viewing the Custom Map on my GPSr eTrex, saving a Track and more Waypoints (gates, trailheads, water, etc) as I hike.  I save all this, and use my GPS-ed Waypoints to help improve the map alignment (replace the Google Earth visual-waypoints and re-align the map).  I do all that because I'm using the maps and data to create local trail maps to share with this community, but without the map-making part, you could relax the 'best' practice to suit your needs.

I hope that helps, because I've been searching for my own map-making 'best practices'.  Also, I keep a very organized folder structure to stay sane.

[EDIT: I just realized the Oregon's Custom Map feature probably isn't available in Map Source since this recent feature is likely only included in Base Camp.  I use MOAGU, which is an older program that 'hacks' images to work on many Garmin units and is compatible with Map Source.  (With some tweaking MOAGU can work with the Oregon/Map Source too)  But all of my general email should apply to maps available on this website, loading them into Map Source first, then using that to load them to the GPSr unit]

I know MapSource cannot display multiple maps at once.  I don't think BaseCamp can either?  The GPSr can, is there any other way to see how a transparent map will overlay over other maps (like it does on the GPSr)?

I'm making trail-maps, but don't need to waste time on certain things when other maps (California-topo) already cover dirt roads and some trails I might hike and add to my map?

I have quickly traced things off of maps in MapSource, then viewed these Routes/Tracks over my in-progress map, but this doesn't save much time.

Here is a link.  It lays a grid down and you click/download each individual map as you need them from within GE.  I haven't check on the alignment accuracy much, but the ones in my area seem well-aligned enough.
Thanks for the link.  My eTrex has WAAS capabilities.  Should I be enabling this when tracking trails for mapping purposes?  (Even though they'll get rounded by the file format)?
I was able to find the Map Features Test file which is a great reference for the MapEdit > MapSource icon relationship.  Is this really what I am limited to when making maps?

I have also figured out custom Waypoint Icons, and custom POIs (with custom icons).  This might be a good supplement to put custom/other icons with my maps.  Is there a way to embed these within the map like the Garmin CityNavigator maps?
I have noticed that some icons in GPSMapEdit display correctly (navigation ones, parking) in MapSource, and some don't (trailhead).  Even though MapSource HAS a trailhead icon...

I saw online there was a TestFile that used to be available that showed all the icons.  I cannot find it anymore.  I may make one of my own, but would rather not.  Does anybody know of one?

Any insight why something like Trailhead wouldn't transfer over the MapSource even though there is an icon for it?

Another follow-up questions while I'm at it.

Is there a way to 'shift' (translate and/or rotate) a track that I have traced in GE?  This would be to correct a traced track to match the map's updated GPS-ed position once I can properly calibrate it with some waypoints.  Or, would the corrected trails need to be re-traced using the correct map position?

Oh, something I just thought of:  The USGS Topo plugin for Google Earth places aligned USGS quads as overlays.  Are these likely to be more accurate than the Google aerial images?  At least worth using them to double-check overall alignment issues.

Thanks, this map-making stuff is really awesome.
Thanks, very helpful.  Is there anything else to know about the limited resolution of the IMG format (aside from 'it is limited')?  Specific things to do to optimize it?

Another question: is there a good way to tell what trails I have put into my map are already represented in other maps like My Trails?  I know MapSource can't do it, is the best way to take my traced/GPSed tracks (before converting them into Maps) into MapSource so I can cycle through my maps and see what overlaps?

How do you go about de-duplicating trail data?

As I mentioned, I'm planning to regularly send you new data for My Trails from around the Bay Area, CA.
Thank you to all who helped me get the complex series of steps that is Garmin-Map-Making working on my Mac/PC.  I have graduated from the Map Making Support Forum to this General Discussion one.

I have taken maps of local parks and visually aligned them in Google Earth.  I traced the trails as tracks/waypoints and generated Garmin-maps for immediate use.  I have then tracked and waypointed some parts with my GPSr.  I then use 3 waypoints to re-calibrate the park map.

The first map I did, my initial 'Rough' version was generally within 30ft - surprisingly good.  I have done a second one, but haven't tracked/waypointed it yet with the GPSr.  I'm wondering what the best way is to merge/update/refine these trails, ultimately to have them added to the My Trails maps?

I have an eTrex HCx, and even with the most frequent track point setting, the tracks are somewhat jagged.  Also, I'd like to avoid retracing the trails on the corrected map if possible.  I haven't tried GPS Trackmaker yet.

Some Specific Questions:
When I'm tracing in Google Earth, I often can see the trail in the Google imagery.  How accurate is this?  Obviously I'm aligning the map to it, so adjusting my trail from what the map says to match Google Earth is probably good, right?  Is the final geoTIFF significantly more accurate?

How accurate are my GPSr-tracks vs Google Earth?  They are close to both the aerial imagery, and my original rough-tracks (immediate use map).  I know the GPSr is +/- 30ft or so.

How should I take this data and improve its accuracy for a distributed map like My Trails:
Original traced trails (immediate use map)
Google Earth imagery
GPSr tracks & waypoints (sometime multiple)
GPSr-waypoint calibrated raster maps

What is considered the best way of refining GPS maps?

I am happy to report, I have resolved all issues to my satisfaction!  I create the MP file, then export the IMG as 8-digit name (not in the final /Map Set/ folder).  I run MapToolKit on this IMG, and point it to the final folder, where it creates everything that does work.  I think some of the time early-on in my trials, I was creating working maps, but with poorly set layers, and I was zooming in on the map-area (being displayed as a trail) looking for more detail when it was elsewhere in the region.

Then, I had no idea about the 'MapSource Select Area' which isn't mentioned in the tutorials I was reading.

Anyway, everything works from Google Earth down to the GPS, I am now able to refine the graphical appearance and display of the trails I make.  jbensman, when I accumulate a handful of trails, I send them to be added to MyTrails.

Thanks everybody!
So, I have the map essentially working in MapSource with the switch-a-roo described above.  However, I cannot select the map with the map tool to send to my GPSr.  I cannot find anything about where you specify the region name(s) or boundaries.  In MapEdit I set the bounds of the map, which come in as the rectangle of its region.  I am unable to select it.  I know I can send the IMG files to the GPSr in other ways, but I want to combine them with other maps into a single IMG using Map Source.

Thanks, I'm getting close
OK, so I tried to incorporate your last round of suggestions:
Points - Level 0
Polylines - Level 0-1
I put the IMG from MapEdit into the final Garmin/Map Set/ folder, but now MapSource crashes whenever I load the map.  I tried doing it my 'old' way with the original IMG in a separate folder, still crashes.  Any new map I try to compile/install crashes MapSource (old installed maps work fine).  Seems to be something ToolKit is doing, but I cannot read the cGPSMapper comments fast enough before it finishes and quits.  Is there file log or something?

ToolKit an IMG in the final Map Set folder "Map Set".  MapEdit won't open it saying something about 'unexpected format and empty'.  The original IMG is also in the folder with the 8-digit title needed for ToolKit

Renaming the 1234568 (original) IMG to overwrite the 'Map Set Name' one, everything works fine.

Why?  I need to use the 8-digit name for ToolKit, but it for some reason creates an empty/not-working IMG with the correct final name.  Is this typical?  Should the Map Set one work?  If I have multiple maps with multiple IMG files, I foresee complications.  Any thoughts?
You are correct that I was compiling the IMG from MapEdit into the same directly the previous files were in (Waypoints, Tracks, MP file, Ozy-MAP file, etc).  Then I created a separate Map Set folder (in Garmin/MapSetName/) and ran GPS ToolKit, pointing it to the 'working' IMG, but directing it to place things in the new Map Set folder.  It created various support files, as well as IMG files name the 8-digit name, as well as the Map Set Name.  I thought this was adequate, but it now makes sense the original IMG I generate should go into the Map Set Folder before running ToolKit.

Does ExpertGPS do a similar thing that I'm doing in OzyExplorer (pick alignment points, and set them to a GPS-coord, or Waypoint)?

Thanks for the explanation of the POI and levels, I was not aware how this worked.

I intend to 'pre-trace' trails of areas I plan to visit (around the Bay Area where I now live, and anywhere else I travel).  Generally, this is to supplement trails and forest roads already on the various maps I have from this wonderful site, including MyTrails.  I'll GPS-track my hikes, and refine/improve the traced trails, creating more accurate maps.  As I mentioned, I'd be happy to regularly contribute these to MyTrails.

Is there somewhere specific you could point me for info on the custom-display typ file?

From OzyExplorer (or ExpertGPS, or other), is there a way to align an image-map, then transfer this to Google Earth?  GE's alignment is obviously pretty crude.

Also, the program Moagu converts raster-images to vector maps that can be used on older Garmin units, but it requires a Geo-TIFF input.  I originally tried OzyExplorer in hopes of generating this, but then moved on to tracing my own vector maps and haven't finished trying Moagu.  What is the best way of taking a park map, and aligning it into a file that can be used for Moagu?

Thanks so much for all your help.  You have gotten me over the issues that I never would have figured out on my own.  (And I consider myself pretty tech-savy too).  I look forward to returning the favor with detailed maps of the parks and trails I explore for your MyTrails map.

jbensman, thank you for your advice I will try incorporating it into what I'm trying.  I though my trails and POIs are in both Levels 0 and 1.  Or should they (trails too?) be in just a single level? (and will automatically show in all levels below).  POIs in just level 0 will show at farther zooms?  I know they are all cities, this was just what I chose to be quick.

Transparency is easy enough - again I was just taking shortcuts to be quicker when I had to repeat things over and over.

I have your My Trails map, it is actually what inspired my endeavor.  I am looking for a way of calibrating a printed map (like a local or regional park map from their website), and tracing trails that aren't in MyTrails yet, then using these on my own.  I am also interested in tracking my own trails (and verifying my traced trails by tracking them), and eventually would be happy to contribute to your MyTrails map as well.

Any idea about why the IMGs that come out of MapToolkit don't work correctly, but the input IMG does?
The IMG file exported from MapEdit works on my GPS.  The IMG files generated by GPS MapToolkit DON'T.

I was keeping the 1st working IMG in my 'working' folder, and generating the MapSource set from there, into the /Garmin/ (MapSource) folder.  MapToolkit does copy IMG files for both the original (8-digit) filename, as well as the Map Set Name.  However, these files didn't work on my GPS.

Running MapToolKit to generate the accessory files, and edit my registry, then REPLACING the IMG files that it generated with the single one exported from MapEdit finally worked.

Should I export from MapEdit directly into the final Map folder and run ToolKit from there?  Is Toolkit supposed to generate the final IMG files (break the map up into multiple IMGs?).  Does MapManager do the same thing?  Better?

I'm so close, but very pleased to see my trails on the screen.