Like Tree3Likes

Thread: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 58
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,127

    Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    I got so excited about the .img file installation proof-of-concept, I literally ran out to get the fenix at my local shop.
    Umm, "Honey, about the credit card bill… remember all those times I saved $20 by changing my own oil?..."

    After waiting what feels like a decade for useful ABCHR watch with GPS, now I have two!

    I can't yet tell if the fenix & Ambit will be like my children and I'll keep both, or if they be like my other past watches and one of them will be on Craigslist in 6 months. I can tell it's going to come down to two factors

    1. How good is the fenix vs ambit tracks & sensor data in the real world of my hikes and jogs and vacation-wear?
    2. How good is the November Ambit update? I'm excited about that too.
    3. Is one of them better enough at one activity type or usage-model or the other to keep both?

    (ok. 3 factors)

    Anyway, back to the Trails "map" installation

    ************ WARNING: Do At Your Own Risk of turning your fenix into a paperweight ********************

    1. I copied the original gmapbmap.img from the fenix/Garmin folder to another folder on my PC for safe keeping.
    2. I used Garmin Map Install
    3. Selected the fenix.
    4. Message: "all my maps won't fit"
    5. So I chose just Washington and Oregon from Northwest Trails
    6. Installed it. Took about 2 minutes.
    7. It placed a second .img file in the Garmin directory of the fenix, called Northwest Trails.img
    8. I deleted the original gmapbmap.img
    9. I renamed the Northwest Trails.img to gmapbmap.img


    Voila!
    The original basemap .img file is about 558kB.
    The new .img file is 4590kB. (about 1/4th of the fenix capacity) and has essentially every known trail in a 500mile by 300mile 2-state area.

    Awesome!
    Way way more useful to me than the Garmin Basemap.

    This is super helpful to a hiker… so I'll have not just my planned route in the fenix, I'll see all the other intersecting trails, and can identify their names. In the watch. It's that extra bit of back-up and confidence, yep, I've had paper maps blow away, and yep, I've had dead batteries in my handheld. Never at the same time though. . Plus I can impress my friends with 1-inch 70x70 pixel black&white trail maps. Priceless.

    Here are images:
    Northwest Trails overview in Basecamp - it has a bajillion trails. Make a donation, it's worth supporting.
    Name:  NW Trail overview.jpg
Views: 11084
Size:  72.1 KB

    Northwest Trails zoom-in in Basecamp. What you'd typically use to map/overlay your Route Waypoints.
    Name:  Northwest Trail zoom.jpg
Views: 11075
Size:  43.8 KB

    A place I've been: my existing Waypoints from Basecamp are in the fenix along with the NW Trails. (Key point = those are not GPS tracks, those are the network of trails from the .img file… aka the Background Map.
    Name:  bluehole.JPG
Views: 11079
Size:  44.2 KB

    An arbitrary trail crossing seen in the map mode of the fenix. Note the crosshairs.
    Name:  Crossing Trails.JPG
Views: 11171
Size:  46.8 KB

    In the Orange menu you can "Select Pt"
    Name:  Select Point.JPG
Views: 11044
Size:  49.1 KB

    And depending on what your crosshairs are pointing to… you get the underlying information (e.g. could be trail name, or POI details. In this case the Pacific Crest Trail.
    Name:  Trail Label.JPG
Views: 11022
Size:  47.7 KB

    (p.s. I like Demo Mode.)

    Running
    And I did go for an hour run with both the fenix and ambit. Both on 1sec tracks. Verdict = No verdict yet.
    • The HR graphs are identical.
    • Tracks on map are very similar. No wildly phubar points. SportTacks-computed distances are within 0.01miles. Ambit "in-watch"/summary distance is 1% shorter. And the truth is out there somewhere.
    • The elevation graphs match. (baro-based I presume)
      • However the Ascent/Descent in Details seems quite (2x) wrong in the fenix… maybe GPS-based?

    • "In-watch" real-time Paces matched pretty close, by GPS standards: e.g. +/- 10 seconds.
      • Fenix Current Pace is not really instantaneous, it's doing some default smoothing I guess. It lags the Ambit by a few seconds when coming to an abrupt stop. Like the jump stop my basketball coach taught me in high school.

    • Can't review the HR and speed summary in the fenix. Huh?
    • Trending to give a slight nod to the Ambit for Training, for me. But also have no doubt that the fenix + Garmin Connect will be more than fine for the 97%.


    Oh, and one more thing:
    No fenix Automatic mode switching between Altimeter ("Variable") and Barometer ("Fixed")? If true that'll be a bummer.
    Last edited by or_watching; September 18th, 2012 at 20:38.
    martowl likes this.

  2. #2
    Ahg
    Ahg is offline
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    43

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    or_watching
    Nice thread!
    I am still with doubts about Ambit or Fenix, and your answers to the three questions can help a lot.
    This map issue is one point in favor of the Fenix, same way as possibility to handle gpx files and be able to manage it as a hard drive without any associated program. From what I red, it fits also better to smail wrist like mine
    I find th Ambit looking better, but that's very personal, and I am afraid that the Suunto will have many more features upgrades than the Fenix, if we beleive on past behaviour of both brands, and this is what really keeps me doubting.
    Any additional thoughts on this comparison will be very much appreciated

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    Posts
    546

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    Very cool! Nice loading of the maps, I think that is great. Do you notice any speed issues with the fenix? I notice when placing a very large Ambit track on to the fenix that it takes a while to load it up, but seems to work fine. Does loading the large base map show any slowness at various places? Does the pan and zoom of the map seem usable?

  4. #4
    Member as4tik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Ukraine, Lugansk
    Posts
    30
    or_watching, you are a grate man! your experiment is a first in the world with a map of Garmin fenix. And thank you for your experience.
    Last edited by as4tik; September 18th, 2012 at 18:29.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,127

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahg View Post
    or_watching
    Nice thread!
    I am still with doubts about Ambit or Fenix, and your answers to the three questions can help a lot.
    This map issue is one point in favor of the Fenix, same way as possibility to handle gpx files and be able to manage it as a hard drive without any associated program. From what I red, it fits also better to smail wrist like mine
    I find th Ambit looking better, but that's very personal, and I am afraid that the Suunto will have many more features upgrades than the Fenix, if we beleive on past behaviour of both brands, and this is what really keeps me doubting.
    Any additional thoughts on this comparison will be very much appreciated

    Thanks
    Hi. Thanks.
    There are many ways to slice/dice a recommendation. From the 20,000 meter viewpoint, they both seem great.
    Here's my attempt at helping with a decision...

    Reasons to have/buy...
    Ambit fenix Both Neither
    You want a simpler in-watch "menu experience"
    You want ~every conceivable GPS/HR/Nav menu item and option in the watch, and you want it now.
    You have $900
    You want to see what Sunnto delivers in Sept/Nov, and promises for 2013.
    You are willing to pay $100 premium - IMHO for the higher-touch post-sales support
    Basecamp Route Planning and Review: You don't mind paying for Garmin maps and/or installing the free/donation-request maps.
    You have a credit card and no self control
    You want to see the 'final' verdicts on track quality, distance accuracy, ABC sensor data accuracy for both watches
    You don't mind being tethered to an online PC for synching and Profile creation
    You think Clouds should be where the rain is kept, not your data.
    You are just a runner
    You want the Training and Review features in the watch (HR/Speed/RecovTime)
    You are mostly interested in Hiking/Climbing/Geocaching
    You are just a biker
    You'd rather have Recovery & Training Effect vs. Flashlight & Sight 'N Go
    You'd rather have MOB and Anchor drag than Automatic Alti-Baro option and

    You want your watch battery to last 1 year, not matter what.
    You like the Suunto 'aesthetic' (looks, screen sharpness, and simpler menu system)
    You are already in the Garmin world for maps, Basecamp, Garmin Connect, and you want the commonality between the fenix and your handheld.
    You are a hiker happy with an ABC and a map.
    Foot pod (Nov), Fusedspeed Vibration, Tempe, Bluetooth future, 1000 waypoints, Infinite Alarms





    You like Suunto, and don't like Garmin You like Garmin, and don't like Suunto.
    You like Suunto and Garmin
    You don't like Suunto and don't like Garmin

    So, maybe in short:
    • Ambit: a bit simpler + leans toward training
    • fenix: menu-palooza + as many features as a hiker's handheld with a 1-inch screen
    • Accuracy, bugs, data quality: needs a month or two for a real verdict


    And loads of folks will just need to try them on and see how they feel. The watches aren't monstrous, but they aren't small.
    Last edited by or_watching; September 18th, 2012 at 22:37.
    martowl likes this.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,127

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    Quote Originally Posted by cobrapa View Post
    Very cool! Nice loading of the maps, I think that is great. Do you notice any speed issues with the fenix? I notice when placing a very large Ambit track on to the fenix that it takes a while to load it up, but seems to work fine. Does loading the large base map show any slowness at various places? Does the pan and zoom of the map seem usable?
    Hi.
    Well, I did my first run as-bought. I got the Saving Track message which took a minute+, it seemed. Kinda of surprised me. I have GPS/FIT selected so maybe that adds time.
    Since I put the Trail map on next, I don't really have much before/after comparison to make.
    I do get the 'pending' icon (circle arrows) for a split-second pretty often - upon Orange button press. No idea if that's normal.

    Pan/Zoom usable? Sure, it works... but the trails/tracks are just a pile of squiggles on top of more squiggles... so adding Trails is not for the general user, like a nice color topo map with an overlay is. In the woods, the basemap would present a nice clean (empty) background so you can see just your GPS tracks.

    -edit -> After unplugging from the PC, the fenix 1st displays a screen saying "Loading Tracks, Waypoints, Routes" (or similar)... that can take several moments to a minute-ish. then it displays "Loading Maps". With my 5MB Trails loaded, that splash screen takes about 1-2 seconds.
    Last edited by or_watching; September 19th, 2012 at 06:55. Reason: map loading time comment...

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    Posts
    546

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    I see that 'pending' graphic as well when pressing the orange button. So, we'll call that normal, although I find it odd for displaying a menu...

    How long was your run (time wise) and was it 1 sec sample data? The route I loaded from an Ambit track was over an hour at 1 sec, so loading it taking a while didn't surprise me. The xml file was over 700k, so maybe I should be impressed the fenix didn't explode on that. 30 sec to a minute of load time isn't so bad.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    3

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    Quote Originally Posted by or_watching View Post

    ************ WARNING: Do At Your Own Risk of turning your fenix into a paperweight ********************

    1. I copied the original gmapbmap.img from the fenix/Garmin folder to another folder on my PC for safe keeping.
    2. I used Garmin Map Install
    3. Selected the fenix.
    4. Message: "all my maps won't fit"
    5. So I chose just Washington and Oregon from Northwest Trails
    6. Installed it. Took about 2 minutes.
    7. It placed a second .img file in the Garmin directory of the fenix, called Northwest Trails.img
    8. I deleted the original gmapbmap.img
    9. I renamed the Northwest Trails.img to gmapbmap.img
    Thanks for the tip,
    I do the same on my fenix but
    not the same way


    1. I copied the original gmapbmap.img from the fenix/Garmin folder to another folder on my PC for safe keeping.
    2. I used Garmin MapSource
    3. Selected an usb key.
    4. no message
    5. So I chose 3 map around my house
    6. Installed it. Took about 20 secondes.
    7. It placed a second .img file in the Garmin directory of the fenix, i kept the original name gmapsupp.img
    8. I kept both files the original gmapbmap.img and the new
    9. I reboot the fenix


    At low zoom level it is the original map file wich is displayed,
    and at high zoom level it is the new map with all details.



    Name:  548591_345645345527390_182714195_n.jpg
Views: 12310
Size:  49.8 KB

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    869

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    All the above does seem like good fun but, really, trying to squeeze this all on a low res screen that small is a bit...well....pointless?

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,127

    Re: Fenix: Replacing the fenix basemap with a Trail network map

    Hi.
    Guilty re: the fun part.

    But I'll stick to my 'mod' since a background of every known hiking trail squiggle within 200 miles of my house is less useless to me than the pre-installed Garmin basemap.
    gaijin likes this.

Page 1 of 6 123456 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •