Recent diary entries
Strange how when you buy a new toy, the old one unit you have loved and used and got to know so well quickly goes in to the ' I won't need that again ' drawer.
So I bought a HCX for the ability to cache straight to the micro SD card for days on end, even when caching at 1 second intervals. My old Garmin Legend ( such an improvement on by original orange Etrex ) has been idle for a month.
My HCX was given to a colleague ( thanks Michael ) on Thursday who is going to be doing a bit of driving around Bangladesh. All I showed him was the 'ON' switch and a Car Cigarette adaptor to USB power lead which will power the Garmin so he doesn't even have to worry about batteries.
But I want to walk Dhaka tonight I'm bored, so it took a couple of hours to work out how to upload a map to my old Garmin Legend ( blue ) - easy when you know how - EXPORT an OSM from the web page tab - convert with MKGMAP and upload to the Garmin using MAPUPLOAD.
What was a little odd was that the first two attempts I naturally used JOSM (1607 ) to download a couple of areas, merge these areas into a single layer and save that layer as an OSM to then convert. Didn't work - well not properly. The Garmin would only see the last area downloaded - bit of a puzzle but then JOSM is map editing tool - not a dedicated Import / Export utility - any clues anyone ? Cheers Bri
Dhaka is a big city often with roads or residential streets less than 3m wide which posed a challenge to my trusty Garmin Legend. I had also decided that the 10000 tack point limit was a problem especially if I was giving the unit to inexperienced users to track their long distance road journeys through Bangladesh, the dilemma being leave the unit on Auto and have low waypoint count or leave it logging at a point every 3 to 5 second and have maybe one or two days of capacity.
Bought a new Garming Legend HCX - fitted with a 1GB Micro SD. Initial results promising especially as the unit will log all the track point data to the memory card that you install. This means a day of logging at 3 second sample intervals would take about 2M Byte. Dragging and dropping the GPX file from the memory card to JOSM is easy - you still have to use GPSBabel or equivalent to get your Waypoints which is trivial ( in Windows using the current 221 driver ).
One mild annoyance - the HCX still has a track log of 10000, so you can potentially run out of memory in a day. The Garmin SAVE option will compress your original Trackpoint data to an averaged route, this does NOT affect the GPX file on your memory card so this is an irritation rather than a show stopper. You do wonder why the Garmin could not use the vast memory of the micro SD card to cache or certainly have this as an option ( Garmin ?? )
When logging details in the city I just let the Garmin auto increment the waypoint counter as I log them ( eg street names ) and use my phone's document writer to enter the data - much quicker than trying enter data into the GPS which has no alpha numeric keyboard.
Took me two days to work out how to convert an OSM map in JOSM into the Garmin IMG format - it is easy when you know how ( and this is just one free method of many ).
Download into JOSM the area you are working on or wishing to update or just want to have a map of in your Garmin. Export the area as an OSM file. Use Mkgmap to convert the OSM into a Garmin IMG file and copy the IMG file onto the GARMIN Micro SD Card:\garmin\gmapsupp.img ( Windows users ).
This allows you to have the current OSM basemap of the area that you need in your Garmin so that you can see what has and more importantly what has yet to be logged in your area - especially in towns and cities which are a challenge.
Take care - you can wipe pre configured Garmin maps that you have bought and paid for - best bet, just buy a blank Micro SD card and experiment.
Good luck everyone
PS - I don't work for GARMIN I am just an enthusiastic OSMer who needs good affordable tools for the job!
My friend and colleague, Engineer Mosaddique, the chief engineer of Channel I television station told me he was heading to his village home on Tuesday. I promptly handed him my Garmin Legend set for 3 second updates.
Mosaddique was very curious to see his house on the map and I was keen to add a little more to Bangladesh's road map. I haven't traveled much lately except to Srimongal ( again! ) and added some more of that in detail.
We have added some country roads west of the Ferry Crossing Daulatdia north of the Dhaka - Jessore road.
Thinking of taking the train down to Chittagong and mapping that with my new Garmin Legend HCX. I bought it really so I could cache for days to the memory card - was just given a 1GB micro SD and am curious to see how long that will last on 3 second sampling.
Will give you a better review of the new toy when I have played with it a bit more..
A Couple of my colleagues were interested in the range of the Bangladesh Betar
3KW transmitter that re broadcasts BBC World Service material across Dhaka. I tagged along for the day as we drove under my guidance around Dhaka and outlying areas logging as we went.
We drove 36K line of sight north from the TX and reception was still pretty good.
The next day they drove to Mymensingh and Bogra - not yet mapped. A quick lesson to my colleagues on how to turn on my Garmin Legend and two sets of spare batteries later has given us two new trunk roads in Northern Bangladesh.
Thanks to Michel and David
2003 - I had a Garmin eTrex yellow original. Took me a year to work out that it could store tracks - then what to do with them??
Messing about I played with the data downloading the UTM data with ExpertGPS and putting that into Autocad - building up a map over the next two years.
Then Openstreetmap came along - and here was all this old data that I could upload - check out Ado Ekiti - Kabba, Jos - Zaria, Zaria - Kano, - Kano - Bauchi, Kaduna - Abuja - and lots of Abuja - all with the Garmin Etrex.
The Garmin Legend for me is a huge improvement with programmable logging ( I use 3 second samples ) and WAAS - no complaints. Maybe a HCX next time with an SD card to improve the memory from 10000 track points to unlimited
Regards to all the Bangladesh / Nigeria mappers out there
My colleague Sonia was showing her parents around Bangladesh last week. Before she left I gave her my old Garmin Legend and asked here to just switch it on when heading to Sreemongal. I had mapped Dhaka-Sreemongal back in October ( road and Rail ) but I knew there were other link roads.
Luckily Sonia remembered and the batteries held out. 3 samples / second seem to work well for road ( comments please ) and we got a good main route Sylhet - Sreemongal.
Lots more of Bangladesh to map - I am doing my best but am limited to the opportunities that work present which are sadly becoming fewer.
regards to the BD mappers
Bangladesh - Main road added from Daulatudia Ferry ( Western side ) through to Khulna and Barishal - trips I made back in July but it has taken me this long to work out how to use JOSM - looking forward to the server update - now to add some tracks I have of Nigeria that I collected in 03/4/5!