Creating a useful tracklog
Tracklogs are very important and useful to mappers
It not only helps to add new roads to unmapped areas but also assist in calibrating existing maps and re-align the roads in the current maps.
However, to be useful and accurate, it's essential to have a very accurate tracklog.
Getting an accurate GPS tracklog
- If possible, set your GPS unit to record 1 sec tracklog or if using distance - 1 metre interval.
- If this is not available on your unit, just use the "Most often" option.
- If you have an external antennae and able to use it, that's even better for accuracy and robustness of signal.
- Do not save the tracklog
- ie leave it as active tracklog as it will be left in it's "Raw" state.
- My understanding is when you save an active tracklog, Garmin GPS units generalises the points and removes the details when saving to compress file size which defeats the purpose of 1sec or 1m tracking.
- If you have a "X series or Extreme series" Garmin GPS unit like the Garmin 60 0r 76 Cx/CSx or the eTrex X series or HcX series units, set your unit to record tracklogs directly to your micro SD card.
- On a Garmin GPS 60 or 76 X series GPS, go to TRACKS page:-
- Click on Setup button which will take you a new page
- Click on Data Card Setup button which will yet again take you to another level
- Click/Tick the box "Log Track To Data Card"
- Ensure that "Lock on Road" setting on your GPS unit is set to OFF.
- I recommend that you leave this setting permanently as this will keep logging tracklogs to your card rather than the more limiting internal memory
- Extract/download this data from the card into your computer using the "USB Mode" and zip it then upload it here directly (it should be in a gpx format).
IMPORTANT UPDATE AND CAUTIONARY ADVICE ON USING 1 SEC TRACKLOGS
A word of caution is necessary here when using 60 and 76 Extreme series models and invoking 1 sec tracklogs...
As you know, these units only save a limited number of points to the internal memory (10,000 points - I think). Once filled, the display on your GPS screen either stops dead or "wraps around". The latter means that earlier points are simply overwritten by latter points.
If you have enabled saving tracklog to card it doesn't really matter as once at home you can retrieve the gpx file from the unit.
However, if for example you're in the bush (uncharted routes) and rely on tracklog to "back track" to earlier point or intersection etc, if you had a very long tracklog, you may find that earlier points alarmingly disappear off your screen if you had used 1 sec tracklog and have had the unit on for several hours. It may be impossible to find the earlier points or your way back !
I have had one person reporting this situation to me resulting in an uncomfortably cold night out in the bush!
A workaround that I use in these situations is:-
- Turn off 1 sec tracklogs when arriving at beginning of the track/route and use a "least often" or similar method of recording and/or
- Mark important intersections with waypoints while on the track
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