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Track log / bread crumbs with Garmin nuvi 750?

Started by jpcamb, November 13, 2009, 07:27:45 PM

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Hi newbie here and i'm piecing together info from various threads here and else where. I managed to upload the New England Topos from the site and have figured out how to show my track log on the unit. I hope to use the topos to record trails when I go off road on my jeep.  I cant find individual / dated track logs on the nuvi 750. I only have 2 files in the GPX folder; current.gpx and position.gpx

Is there a way for me to parse the gpx files to get the parts I want? I assume if I clear the trip data at the start that will help some but Im not sure if I need to create a "route and save a point at the start and end or what. any help or advice is greatly appreciated!


Current.gpx will contain all your tracks, any favorites (aka waypoints) which you have saved, and any routes which you have created. Open it in Mapsource and each of these items will be listed under the tabs in the lefthand pane.

The Nuvi doesn't have any track management features. It is always recording track and cannot be disabled. All you can do is clear the log and choose whether or not to show it on the screen. Furthermore, it's a one-way feature. You can send tracks from the GPS to your computer, but not the other way around. You cannot send a tracklog to the Nuvi and have it displayed on the screen.

I was just playing around with an old copy of Current.gpx I have on my computer and there are indeed multiple dated logs in there. This is what I see in the left-hand pane in Mapsource:

ACTIVE LOG: 17 DEC 2008 08:01 1352 12/17/2008 9:01:12 AM 9:22:04 153 mi 94.2 sq mi 16 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 18 DEC 2008 05:25 526 12/18/2008 6:25:40 AM 1:52:39 60.7 mi 106 sq mi 32 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 18 DEC 2008 14:50 392 12/18/2008 3:50:37 PM 1:18:32 50.1 mi 4.2 sq mi 38 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 19 DEC 2008 06:04 374 12/19/2008 7:04:05 AM 1:15:02 48.0 mi 26.6 sq mi 38 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 19 DEC 2008 11:23 472 12/19/2008 12:23:07 PM 2:13:59 45.8 mi 86.0 sq mi 20 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 20 DEC 2008 10:14 607 12/20/2008 11:14:54 AM 9:14:03 52.9 mi 4.6 sq mi 6 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 21 DEC 2008 09:30 398 12/21/2008 10:30:06 AM 2:46:30 30.9 mi 12.9 sq mi 11 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 23 DEC 2008 05:36 500 12/23/2008 6:36:24 AM 1:52:38 68.2 mi 335 sq mi 36 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 23 DEC 2008 15:40 462 12/23/2008 4:40:29 PM 1:36:48 50.7 mi 7.7 sq mi 31 mph
ACTIVE LOG: 24 DEC 2008 10:36 430 12/24/2008 11:36:39 AM 2:47:57 46.5 mi 45.1 sq mi 17 mph

Are you not also seeing this? There is no user control as to when to start or stop the tracklog. I assume it starts a new log everytime you turn the unit on and off, so I guess that would be one way to influence the recording. I have a Nuvi 5000 which is a similar vintage to the 750 so I would expect this to be the same. The Nuvi 5000 doesn't have a battery, so it shuts down everytime I turn off the car.

Routes are completely unrelated to tracks. Tracks also have nothing to do with the map itself - they are completely separate entities which can be displayed on any map (or no map at all). However,  if you are hoping to save tracks of your trails and then display them on the Nuvi, that is not so easy. As mentioned above, you cannot load a saved track on the nuvi. You would have to actually make a transparent map and convert the tracks to "roads" if you want to display them on the map.


thanks Boyd I've been playing around some more and went to and found the multiple files like you mentioned in the post above.   Using the parser there I split them into a few track logs by date. It seems the nuvi creates a log based on turning the device on and off which breaks the tracks into segments.  Is there an explanation on how to "make a transparent map and convert the tracks to "roads" if you want to display them on the map."

this would be a very cool feature to use and may be worthwhile for me. I have a camp up in ME and the road that its on is a fire road and doesn't show up on the map...

thanks again!


I think others will point you to some tutorials.... can't put my finger on them at the moment. But I suspect the easiest way will be to use Mapwel. It is the most user-friendly Garmin mapping application and it can do everything. Import your .gpx file, tweak the appearance, and then compile it as a map and send to the GPS.

Most people on this site use a combination of multiple programs for this sort of thing, creating an intermediate file type (.mp) which is sent to cgpsmapper to compile. This works very well also, but is more complicated. I like Mapwel a lot because it does everything in one program. Downside is that you must purchase in order to upload the completed map (price is reasonable IMO), and it is not compatible with Mapsource. Check it out though. The free download has full features on your computer but strips out some details when you upload the map to the GPS.

A big plus for Mapwel is the WYSIWYG display of the map on your computer - no other software can do this. It also allows you to customize the appearance of the map with a powerful editor for custom line/point/shape types. You can create transparent maps by simply choosing that option in the program.


Yeah as soon as I posted how do I do that I figured I should re-pharase it as to what steps in the tutorial do I need to do... :)

did i misread or did you say the mapwel output files are not compatible with mapsource? if so how do i load the map to my garmin?

thanks again!


The basic version of Mapwel sends the file directly to your GPS, and can only be used with that specific GPS. The advanced version (which I have) can do this too, but will also save the .img files to your computer and they may be used on any GPS. The company also has a free utility for sending files to the GPS.

I know there are lots of Mapsource fans around here, but I'm not really one myself. My work with Garmin maps has involved heavy customization with my data types. Mapsource won't display these properly, although they look very nice on the GPS itself. Mapwel also shows them correctly on my computer.

You need to jump through a bunch of hoops to install maps into Mapsource. I would probably be more inclined to use it if you could just open any desired map file like you can in any other modern piece of software. Instead, you need to go through a whole process to install maps. And I also don't understand why Mapsource cannot display a map such that it looks just like the same map on your GPS.

Garmin is an enigma, as always...  :)


Quote from: jpcamb on November 14, 2009, 08:01:10 AMIs there an explanation on how to "make a transparent map and convert the tracks to "roads" if you want to display them on the map."

Just remembered this. I have not tried myself, but it might be an easy way to do what you want:


just downloaded the above program and got error Input data error E024 top layer detail too high to cover entire map decrease detail level use higer level number"

anyone happen to know how to adjust this setting?