Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Saturday, September 15, 2012

GPS Waypoint Management - Dump the Junk

How do you manage your GPS waypoints --- hint: Keep your navigation really simple.  Fact --- it is easy to do!!!

Robin is one happy GPS user. He has owned his Garmin GPS 60 for two years. The Waypoint file is full of entries. He had recorded hunting trips, camping expeditions with the kids, a few geocaches, and of course the favorite fishing spot. His GPS receiver will hold 500 Waypoints and he has over 350 saved. What a collection of data. But is Robin really managing his Waypoints effectively?


Before getting to detailed lets understand just what a Waypoint is.  With your GPS powered on, the receiver in your hand receives position updates about once a second.  When you select "mark", that position information is automatically saved to memory.  This data is the latitude/longitude of your position, your coordinates. This position information is automatically tagged with a default number like 001.  Managing these tags is what waypoint management is all about.
Lots of things can happen to a Waypoint or data file. You can put data in. You can take data out. You can lose it (the GPS breaks or the wrong button entry is selected.) But be careful, far worse, too much data can make your navigation difficult.

In my land navigation class I stress keeping your navigation simple. Frequent and simple Waypoint management is essential to GPS use. When it’s time to return to the truck, it should be obvious what Waypoint to select.

Dump the junk before the start of a trip. As you leave the trail head your GPS should have only necessary data saved on your GPS. That Waypoint for the fishing hole is important but needs to be saved elsewhere.
To read the rest of this post go here.

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