This is the first post in the newly added Garmin Edge category. There are a lot of people out there that are of the mistaken belief that the Garmin Edge 205/305 supports maps, it doesn’t. It doesn’t support auto routing or postcode navigation either.
Do not be under the illusion that you can download the digital mapping products into your Edge, you can’t. Garmins high end devices store their maps using a vector format while the digital mapping software uses raster scanning. The two are not compatible.
All is not what it seems with the Digital Mapping Software producers either.They are great for uploading your tracks to view on your PC but they have difficulty with the Edge as they don’t support Garmin Edge Courses. The only software that supports courses for the UK Ordnance Survey Maps is Tracklogs.
The problem with uploading your ride onto Digital Ordnance Survey maps is that they save your track or breadcrumb trail as Waypoints. a Garmin Edge 205/305 has 13,000 trackpoints but only 100 Waypoints. A ride of 5000 trackpoints that you want to save to your Edge as a Course gets converted to waypoints and 5,000 into 100 just doesn’t go.
Just to clarify the differences between a Route and a Course that a lot of first time Garmin Edge users struggle with.
- Route. 100 Waypoint limit. You Navigate a Route, Edge bleeps when coming up to a waypoint and gives a 10 second countdown. A Route is a collection of Waypoints. Compass points to the next waypoint. Naming your Waypoints as turn directions gives you a clear concise direction at a junction.
- Course A track or breadcrumb trail of up to 13,000 points. You Do a Course. Turn direction Waypoints can be added to a Course in Garmin TrainingCentre but it is crude. Otherwise no turn direction. You are warned when you go off Course and when you rejoin the Course. You can race against yourself or someone else on a Course as this is where the training partner resides.
It is important to know the differences between the two methods as it has a bearing on your pre ride route planing. I tend to use Routes for special events where I just want the turns indicated as I come up to them. If you get lost because you deviated from your route you will have the compass pointing to your next waypoint.
Riding a Course means you have to be within about 25 metres of the entire course otherwise the Garmin Edge is going to be continually warning you that you are off it.
For most of the time I just use the Edge 305 as a logging device. It’s nice to go out do a ride and then upload it onto whatever package you decide to use. I’m using TraningCentre, Motion Based and exporting ride to Google Maps as well asusing Digital Mapping Software such as Tracklogs. Tracklogs supports Garmin Edge Courses and that is the reason I have purchased it.
With the new Edge 605/705 with maps hitting the streets soon it looks like I am going to have to get aquainted with the Garmin Mapsource products as your not going to get very far with Garmins Basemap.
More posts on other Edge features to come, I’m still wondering if there is a need for a Course planning tutorial possibly using the Google map based sites.