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Old 07-21-2016, 06:57 PM   #57
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There seems to be some confusion concerning Garmin Basecamp.

In simple terms, it is a PC based product (Windows or Apple) which compliments a Garmin GPS. If you own a Garmin GPS, you are not taking advantage of the full power the GPS has to offer if you don’t utilize Basecamp (my opinion).

A GPS (including cell phone GPS apps) is a great navigation tool. That is, a device which tells you when and where to turn while you are driving. However, as a planning tool, it has limitations due to the small screen size and the imperfect means of providing data entry and route optimization. If you want to just go from where you are to a specific destination in either the fastest way or the most direct way, then there is little planning involved and a GPS alone will suffice.

However, if you want to plan your two month long trip from Chicago to the west coast to know where attractions and diversions may be on your route or know if a day’s travel leg exceeds your max travel time, then Basecamp is what you want to use. It lets you see the big picture and manipulate your route in ways not easily possible on a GPS device.

As I said in the second sentence, Basecamp is a planning product which compliments a Garmin GPS. In fact, without owning a Garmin GPS, the mapping data detail which comes with the Basecamp download is useless for planning purposes. Basecamp is strictly a planning tool. It cannot be used as a navigation tool; you cannot attach a GPS device to your laptop running Basecamp and watch your travels on the computer nor will Basecamp provide you with real-time navigation directions as you are driving. It will provide you with a turn by turn listing which you can download and print, if you like those types of directions.


Basecamp is designed to use the same mapping data that your GPS uses. In fact, Basecamp can use the data from your GPS when the GPS is attached to the computer. This is not the optimal way to use Basecamp, as the data transfer rate is slow through the USB connection and both devices (GPS and computer) must be present and attached. However, some have leveraged this feature when they don’t have their computer handy, by installing a backup copy of Basecamp on a flash drive. In that scenario, they can go to a library, insert their flash drive and run Basecamp, attach the GPS and viola, they are back in business. Not a common usage but one which can be used in a pinch.

It is more common for Basecamp to use mapping data stored on your computer after is has been downloaded using Garmin Express. In this case, you can plan while your GPS remains in the car. However, you will still have to attach them when you want to transfer data between them.

I plan all my trips in advance using Basecamp when I know my destinations in advance. It lets me modify routes so that I am not tied to fastest or most direct (I like secondary roads and scenic routes). It lets me retrieve and store tracking data from the GPS to show me where I have been, in case I want to revisit or avoid a certain road or location. The mapping data from Garmin is extensive but is not all inclusive. With Basecamp, I can import data from other sources, such as POI Factory. An example would be that you wish to visit all of the places from the Man Vs Food TV show near where you are camping. POI Factory has a GPX file that you can download and import into Basecamp which has each restaurant’s location which you can transfer to your GPS. I can see how long each days leg is in miles and time and adjust my plans accordingly. It provides a means to organize and store places you want to visit or have visited to make future planning to those locations easier. If you own more than one Garmin GPS, it is really to only practical means to easily transfer data from one to the other. And best of all, it provides a place to back up data you may have in your GPS in case it gets stolen, broken or you upgrade to a newer model.

Some have said they do the bulk of their travels spontaneously but given that Basecamp is free (except for the disk space it uses) and the benefits it can bring to enhance your travels, I would suggest you give it a try. Nothing ventured…

Hope this helps. And yep, I’m a Basecamp fanboy.


Greg
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:16 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by greghoro View Post
It is more common for Basecamp to use mapping data stored on your computer after is has been downloaded using Garmin Express. In this case, you can plan while your GPS remains in the car. However, you will still have to attach them when you want to transfer data between them.
I realize BaseCamp is a powerful tool but I've struggled with using the software. When I initially loaded Garmin Express I was not prompted to install the same map on my PC - the map only installed on the 760LMT. After reading your comments I went back to Garmin Express and have been unsuccessful installing the map on my PC - I just don't see that option. I've looked under tools, maps, FAQs and anything else I can find and nowhere do I see a choice to put the map on my PC. Yes, I have a lot to learn and I hope to be proficient someday but this software is not intuitive in my opinion.

Watching BaseCamp videos on YouTube has been helpful and I've spent over two hours doing that and practicing and transferring to and from the GPS. I'm beginning to think I need an auxiliary memory card in the GPS so the folder structure I create in BaseCamp will be available on the GPS. Otherwise, all my routes seem to show up as one list - no folders or subfolders. I've created several routes for an upcoming trip and it's difficult to keep them organized on the GPS. I hope a memory card will help me in that regard. I'm into this so deep in $$ and time I feel compelled to make it work at this point but it's not painless.
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Old 07-21-2016, 10:57 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
When I initially loaded Garmin Express I was not prompted to install the same map on my PC - the map only installed on the 760LMT. After reading your comments I went back to Garmin Express and have been unsuccessful installing the map on my PC - I just don't see that option.
I'm not a big fan of Garmin Express and use an older means to download maps and update GPS but that mode is no longer prompted by Garmin.

At this point, you want to do the following:
- Connect your GPS to the computer
- Run Garmin Express
- Select your GPS
- It should say you are up to date and show the map which is installed on your GPS. Underneath the map version is a link to Map Options, click that link.
- You should now be given the option to install the map to your computer.
This is how I see it on my computer. If you don't see the same thing, you need to give Garmin a call.

Next time you update your map, make sure you do the following. At the point you are told there is a new map and to install it, click on the link below it which is labeled View Details. In the next window, you will be told which map version will be installed and below that will be a link labeled Installation Options. At that point you will be able to tell Garmin Express to install on the Computer and Device. Agreed, not very intuitive.

Hope this helps.


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Old 07-21-2016, 11:18 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
I'm beginning to think I need an auxiliary memory card in the GPS so the folder structure I create in BaseCamp will be available on the GPS. Otherwise, all my routes seem to show up as one list - no folders or subfolders. I've created several routes for an upcoming trip and it's difficult to keep them organized on the GPS. I hope a memory card will help me in that regard. I'm into this so deep in $$ and time I feel compelled to make it work at this point but it's not painless.
I feel your pain. Any new technology is going to be overwhelming at the start. I was a long time Microsoft Streets and Trips user and the transition from it to Basecamp was a struggle.

Sorry to tell you that the GPS does not share the same folder structure as Basecamp, so a memory card will not help. Realize that not very many people use Basecamp and adding folder structure to the GPS where the typical user may have two or three routes at most would not make sense and would complicate things. So all routes in the GPS are in one place. Same with Waypoints, although if you assign a Category to a Waypoint, it will group all Waypoints from the same Category together. Sometimes. It's not consistent in that way, which drives me crazy.


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Old 07-22-2016, 02:15 AM   #61
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One more strength of BaseCamp: I put my planned trips into the Garmin Cloud. I then take them from the Cloud into my laptop, which travels with me. I also have BaseCamp and the maps on my laptop so that as we progress on our travels and want to change the trip, I make the changes on my laptop, connect it to my GPS and presto! As was said, it is much easier and quicker to make route changes in BaseCamp than on the Garmin device.

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Old 07-22-2016, 07:30 AM   #62
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For me personally BaseCamp is the most aggravating piece of software I have used. If I wrote code like that I would no longer be employed. Not too mention their maps are out of date before you update them and that by at least by one year. I recorded my entire trip and sent in the logs as well as all of the corrections to Garmin and didn't even get a reply. That was the final straw. I returned it. I will never use this piece of junk again. What good is a GPS that tells to you to take a road that doesn't exist. And that was a major highway. I would rather go with paper which is a lot more accurate. I can print out all of the maps the and instructions off google if necessary, but if I have cell signal I will just use the phone. The issue is that I travel in areas that are not well traveled and there is little to no cell signal so paper is a good option. If I want to have a GPS that is mediocre then I can just use CoPilot for $15 and save the hundreds on a device that doesn't really work anyway. My cars also have GPS built in, but I'm not paying hundreds on map upgrades that aren't going to accurate either.
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:01 AM   #63
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Amen, Brother!
Preach!
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Old 07-22-2016, 10:12 AM   #64
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Nah! My experience with BaseCamp is very positive. One trick I had to learn was to select Automobile instead of RV if I wanted BaseCamp to route me on questionable roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway. None of the GPS algorithms for routing are perfect if you want to wander the back roads but my Garmin has served me well getting me to my destination anywhere from Georgia to PEI. Perfect? No, but I cannot look at paper maps while I am driving.
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Old 07-23-2016, 06:31 PM   #65
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I stand corrected. Yes, Garmin has Base amp and I use it on my mac for hiking purposes.


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Old 07-26-2016, 07:50 AM   #66
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When this thread was started I had just purchases a Garmin RV 760LMT GPS hoping it would be the best available product for our needs. I was (and still am) less than impressed but I have become familiar with its limitations and committed to working with it on our next trip. At this point I've only used it for some relatively "local" drives of 100 miles or so and we were not towing the trailer.

At this point I find RV mode is probably not that helpful. We can tow our trailer almost anywhere a car can go. I don't want this electronic thing thinking for me in that regard. Only once in our thousands of miles of towing without a GPS did we encounter a bridge that we were not able to go under. We can make U-turns where a large motorhome cannot although we prefer to avoid those situations. We have been known to drive several miles down the road to find an appropriate place to turn around. I may change my opinion when we begin using the Garmin while towing but for now we plan to use "car" mode.

BaseCamp is interesting and useful to a degree after finally learning how to put the map into BaseCamp so I don't need to have the GPS connected to the computer.

I don't like the fact that waypoints, routes, etc. simply download from BaseCamp to the GPS as a series of entries rather than allowing some sort of sub-folders or other means of organizing. Am I missing something here? I planned a trip with dozens of stops and used some waypoints to force BaseCamp to follow certain routes. On the GPS that translates into lines and lines of scrolling to locate entries and it's difficult to know what's what. How do other people handle this? I was hoping to have several trips loaded on the GPS but now realize that is not useful as the second trip simply clutters the information I need for the first trip. I hope there is something I'm overlooking.

The videos and tutorials referred to in one of the earlier posts (#43) have been very helpful.

I like the idea of a handheld GPS for hiking, bicycling, kayaking, etc. The DeLorme inReach handheld has the added feature of being able to text even when there's no cell phone signal. Now that Garmin owns DeLorme I wonder if BaseCamp will integrate with the inReach product line? Anyone have experience or knowledge on this?

It seems each system has it's limitations - whether it's screen size, feature resolution, lane guidance or some other annoying "feature" so I'm sticking with the Garmin for now. I hope I don't regret that at some point.

The idea of a better mousetrap still interests me. As you see other products with improved operation and software don't hesitate to post the information here.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:53 AM   #67
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You know, once the waypoints are in there, I never need to mess with them so I do not know how convenient or inconvenient they might be. I have found, though, that it is better to create as Routes rather than Trips. Once you create a Trip and download, there is no changing it on the Garmin. Not so for Routes.

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Old 07-26-2016, 12:19 PM   #68
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I have found this discussion on GPS and navigation to be very helpful, as I am most certainly not in the computer technology geek level of knowledge. I have the GARMIN RV 760, and am just learning, (and I use that term loosely) to use it.

As some have indicated, it appears one must immerse yourself in the process until it begins to make sense!

I have found the need to keep and use, memorize routes via RAND McNALLY map books, as the ultimate backup tool., in addition to a GPS. The GPS unit in my Interstate, which I believe uses Google, has tried to take me on back roads, into farm and ranch roads, which I know not to take, after consulting the map book (RAND Mc). It appears to me that for trip planning as well as navigation....all come into play. I will continue following this thread, as it is very informative and instructive. Thank you all! Evelyn.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:10 PM   #69
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You correct, you must never place all of faith in your GPS. You need to know where you are going and have an overall view of how to get there. No GPS is perfect, that is to say the map database and the routing algorithms are not perfect. I always have paper maps available as a backup but a GPS sure is nice 99% of the time.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:55 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
I don't like the fact that waypoints, routes, etc. simply download from BaseCamp to the GPS as a series of entries rather than allowing some sort of sub-folders or other means of organizing. Am I missing something here? I planned a trip with dozens of stops and used some waypoints to force BaseCamp to follow certain routes. On the GPS that translates into lines and lines of scrolling to locate entries and it's difficult to know what's what. How do other people handle this? I was hoping to have several trips loaded on the GPS but now realize that is not useful as the second trip simply clutters the information I need for the first trip. I hope there is something I'm overlooking.
No means to organize waypoints on the GPS as you can in Basecamp. The majority of GPS users do not use Basecamp and have no need to organize their waypoints. Typical user doesn't store waypoints on the GPS and those that do only have a couple. And most users would be overwhelmed if presented with any type of organizational decision to make. However, if you assign Categories to waypoints, they will be grouped together under the Category heading on the GPS. But not always and I can't figure out when and why.

When searching through your Saved waypoints on the GPS, consider typing in the first few letters in the search box rather than scroll through the list.

To alter a route without adding a visible waypoint, use the Insert tool. When you want to adjust a route, select the Insert tool, touch the route at or beyond the point where you want to alter its direction and click the mouse, drag to the point you want to to pin the altered route to and click the mouse again. Some refer to this as creating a "shaping point". Takes some practice. It's best to create a shaping point at an intersection. Note, be careful when doing this on a divided highway, you must place the shaping point accurately in the correct lane based on your route direction. There is a difference between northbound and southbound when placing a shaping point.



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