Creating, Using and Living with ITN and GPX Routes and Tracks - Getting Straight
Much of this is in my opinion down to manufacturers like Tomtom creating the confusion with ambiguous implementation supported by ambiguous manuals and forums with misleading advice on topics that probably confuse most of us - that's my rant over.
Whilst I have owned a Rider 450 for some time I have never really understood it. So I am now spending a little time unravelling the uncertainty and ambiguity.
So this post is my understanding and it is not complete so I'm looking for any other learned (Factual) wisdom.
I am still not 100% certain about the difference between tracks and routes on the Tomtom device so if I have this incorrect please correct me, but this is based on what I think my experience has been.
There are two file formats that can be loaded to a Tomtom.
1) The ITN format for routes 2) The universal .gpx file format (1.1 is current I understand).
Then we have "how does Tomtom use these files?". This is my understanding after some work this last week or so and from some on the road experience:
So, the usual issues and questions are:
(1) What's the difference between a route and track and how to deviate from a route and then get back to the route
i.e. you are following a route and deviate for some reason and then want to
continue with original route. The answer is "it depends"!
1.1 If it's an .ITN
- -- It will show all the waypoints
- -- the Tomtom will take you to the next way point by the best re-calculated route (so you have no control it will tell you the best route according o the calculation algorithm for your selected choice (windy/fastest etc.)
I 'think' the following is true:
(Note - when you load a .gpx file it will be loaded as two files, both a Route and a
Track. Both have a dotted arrow icon but I think the difference is as per below
(although some people swap these around and I'm still not clear on which way round
is correct in Tomtom!). I have not used recorded Tomtom tracks so have no idea if
they are the same. I am currently exporting from Myroute-app for the below
- All .gpx files: Waypoints are not displayed. It only has "trackpoints" (points to make up the track to follow)
word "Track-" at the beginning of the name then it is a fixed route and it will take you
back to the next plotted track-point, even if you are already past it. No calculation
here except getting back to the track where you left it.
i.e. it will not miss a track point even if you have past it. This is because the Tomtom device will not calculate the route and will follow your track points doggedly (as it should)
(1.2.2) .gpx TOMTOM Route-if it's a .gpx shown in Tomtom with the word "Route-" at the beginning of the name Tomtom will still route you back to the track but will pick up at the next logical point (I think) along the track. This is because the Tomtom device does calculate if you follow a track as a route. One to watch here as it also means it may deviate the route slightly if it calculates a better route using selected calculation algorithm. You won't see this so easily as you won't have any waypoints.
(2) How to add a stop into a route
I think with an ITN route you can add a stop by clicking on the map.
(3) How to stick to a desired route (force Tomtom to follow your route)
Either use enough Waypoints to force the route or use a track and select to follow as a track (as per above 1). Note with a track if you do this and the Tomtom can't map through a road (as it doesn't have it for example) you may get a re-route (that's my experience - very annoying when you know the road is there!) or a 'can't route' error - it may depend on the Route- or Track- file as per above in 1.1.1 and 1.2.2)
(4) How to join a route part way through
(4.1) If it’s a .gpx track- OR route- then I don't believe you can
(4.2) If it's an ITN route you go to Myroutes and click the route to load it
Then quick click on the nearest/desired "Waypoint" and click the 3 dots
Click start Route from here
If you need more control the moral in general is to have many waypoints (OR split the route into smaller routes) to both control the route and enable you to join a route where you choose. On the other hand if you have long routes for a trip that may mean a lot of waypoints (whcih may not be an issue for you?) so you may opt for a track - or you could load both to the device and choose the one you need at time!
My experience with trying most of these on the device is mixed and I'm still working it out fully so happy to be corrected.
I'm learning preparation is key and my best experience is with Myroute-app web that I am trying out now. It can show you the difference between a Tomtom map and a google map route (for example) - Tomtom maps often miss information or won't route down a perfectly acceptable road so it's good to know in advance!
I'm interested in any confirmed corrections to incorrect items above or the leftover ambiguity of course (but please don't if you don't 'KNOW')!
Hope this helps someone.