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  1. #1
    Senior Member Steve in MA's Avatar
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    Question Importing Routes to Garmin Nuvi 500

    I've posted this issue to a couple of GPS forums with no responses, so figured I would try here. I have a Gamin Nuvi 500, which I bought specifically because it has different modes for use in your car and on your bike. For bike use, I want to be able to create routes (on mapmyride or similar tools) and download them into the unit.

    I've followed the (lousy) Garmin instructions as well as instructions from several forums, and can create a route and move it to the Garmin\GPX folder on the unit itself. However, I'm supposed to then go into the MyData item on the menu and choose "import." I have the latest version of the software (updated it twice yesterday to make sure), but there is no "import" choice under My Data or anywhere else in the menus/sub-menus.

    Does anyone have experience with this unit? Any suggestions? I'll try contacting Garmin during business hours on Monday, but from what I hear that will pretty much be a waste of time.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I have the Nuvi 550 - which is pretty much the same as the 500. I bought mine primarily for use in the water on my Waverunner, but it also gets use in my vehicle. Not so much on the bike however, I have a Garmin bike specific computer with the cadence/HRM and all that stuff. I like all that stuff, even if I really do not "need" it.

    Anyway, it is fairly simple to add waypoints and create a route.

    1. Enter bicycle mode. All this really does is create navigation routes that keep you off as many major roads as possible (when you ask the GPS to get you from point A to point B it will not select a route that takes you on an interstate highway for example). But you have a bicycle mode so why not use it.

    2. From the main screen, select tools then custom routes

    3. Say yes to create a new route

    4. select "add new start point". Then add a start point using any of the icons (address, home, points of interest, recently found, favorites, intersection, etc). The most useful way to build a route is by selecting "browse map" or "coordinates", so lets just assume you will be using "select map".

    5. The map will pop up on the screen. Touch the location of where you wish to start. Then press "select".

    6. You now see a screen that shows the waypoints selected for the custom route. right now there should only be three things there, "add new start point", the point you just selected, and "add new end point". Your route contains one waypoint at this location.

    7. At this point, there are two options. Each does the same thing. You have a start point, so now you need an end point. Select "add new end point". Now is where the two options come into play.

    Option A is to select the nearest desired waypoint as your "end point". Lets say that is an intersection a block away. Select it. You will now be back to the screen that shows all your waypoints. You will see two selections. The start point is on the top, the end point is on the bottom. The red square deletes a waypoint, the green arrow inserts a new waypoint. Ignore the green arrow for now.

    Your "end point" is now close to your start point, so simply add a new end point. Select "add new end point" and using the browse map feature, select your next waypoint. This becomes your new end point. Now you have three waypoints loaded, the start, the first waypoint, and the end. Keep adding a new end point, one intersection at a time. Then build your desired route. You do not need to add every intersection you pass through, typically you only add the turn points.

    Option A builds your route from the start to the finish, with each waypoint in order.

    Option B pretty much does the same thing, only you select your start point and then the ACTUAL end point. You use the green arrows to "wedge" in a new waypoint. So you have the start and the end. You select the green arrow that points between the start and end, then insert a waypoint. Now there are three waypoints, and two green arrows. "wedge" in another waypoint, then keep going till your route is complete.

    Option B builds your route by selecting the start and end points first, then filling in all the details one at a time. I find this to be a little more confusing, so I would just go by option A.

    There is free software you can get that works with a bunch of different GPS units called "Easy GPS". What it does is allow you to use your computer to create routes, then upload or download them to your GPS unit. For GPS units that are not touch screen this software really helps. For touch screen GPS units, it still speeds up route creation and waypoint entering if you use coordinates. You can also remove (and save) waypoints and routes off your GPS to reduce clutter - then when you want them back just hook the GPS up to the computer and upload them. You get Easy GPS at www.easygps.com

    The best way to go about this is to try to create a simple route just in your neighborhood. Start off with something like a 4 point route around your block. Then start making larger routes. Try using the "add new end point" and also use the green arrows. See what happens to the route each time. You will get the hang of it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve in MA's Avatar
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    Seagull - Thanks for the detailed reply, but it doesn't really address my issue. I'm very familiar with route mapping software on the PC, and also have downloadable routes in GPX format for many of the club rides or events that I plan to do this year. My issue is that my particular Garmin seems to be missing one of the menu options that it's supposed to have (per Garmin's instructions), even though my software is completely up to date. I've run across a few other people on GPS forums who have a similar issue, but noone has found a resoltion that I've been able to find. (And since most of Garmin's development staff will no longer be with the company, there probably won't be anything forthcoming from them...).

    Wish I had bought a less expensive GPS for car use only, and saved up for an Edge 705.

  4. #4
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    Got me then. I guess you could just create your routes manually, but that would be time consuming. I really do not use my 550 on the bike, I bought it mainly for use as a backup to my chartplotter on my boat, and as the primary means of navigation on the Waverunner. I plan to do some long distance rides on the Waverunner (Miami to Binini in The Bahamas comes to mind). I also use the 550 in the vehicle.

    I have also noticed that the tide prediction does not work on my 550, even though I have the Bluechart data loaded.

    Anyway....

    For now I suppose you will just need to create it all manually. Uploading GPX files would be a whole lot easier however

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve in MA's Avatar
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    No problem...thanks again for offering suggestions! If I eventuall get a solution out of Garmin or on the GPS forums I'll post back here with the info.

  6. #6
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    Steve, did you ever find a solution to this? I have tried multiple tools and suggestions from many forums without success. Usually the Nuvi 500 complains I have too many waypoints, other times it complains my data is invalid. It also just flat out fails to see the file I copied. I may have to save my shekels and buy something more capable.

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    ...hmmm...I wonder if I'd have the same problems if I tried to use my nuvi 770 for this...

  8. #8
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    Use Garmin Map Source

    I was able to create map and send to my Nuvi 1490 using MapSource from Garmin. Import showed in the My Data menu once I transferred the file. After I imported, route showed up under Routes.


    MapSource comes with Garmin map when you order map on CD/DVD. If you don't have MapSource which I got with my Edge 305, you can buy Waypoints and Route transfer program from Garmin.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steve in MA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by csi56 View Post
    Steve, did you ever find a solution to this?
    Why yes, yes I did....I leave the Nuvi in my car, and I got an Edge 705 for my bike.



    Seriously though, since they market the Nuvi 500 as being multi-function and having a "bike mode," it shouldn't be that much of a PIA to get it to work as advertised. And I must have traded a half dozen emails with their customer support, and they had no idea how to make the thing work as anything other than the normal car-style GPS.
    Last edited by Steve in MA; 10-11-10 at 10:32 AM. Reason: add more commentary

  10. #10
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    Bought a Nuvi 550 about 2 weeks ago, and had the same issues as mentioned here - until - I downloaded the map update. After the download I had City Maps & MapSource. Just open any GPX file in MapSource hit the route button create a few way points, save the route. Or create your own route from scratch, similar to Bikely, MapMyRide, etc, etc. Upload to the the Nuvi - and the Import selection is now there. Hit import and the route in now in my custom routes "folder" <?>.

    Now, once in the Nuvi it is what it is, if you want to run the route backwards or start in the middle, haven't found a option for that on the Nuvi. You can do what ever you want to the route in MapSource, but once on the Nuvi it is what it is.

    It is a bit large for the the handle bars but very easy to read (reading didn't used to be a issue.....).

    @ this point - I'm very happy, I've got the Edge 305 for data and the 550 for navagation. It does everything I want, a route on the bike and can use it in the truck to get there. In fact if you select your route and your 100 miles away it will ask you if you want to navigate to the beginning of the route. Pretty cool.

    Marc

  11. #11
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    I tried using a Nuvi 205 on the bike. The battery just doesn't have enough capacity to be useful. I guess an Edge 705 is the right way to go. Or maybe just a map.

  12. #12
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    Red face Solution: How to import custom routes to a Garmin Nuvi

    Symptoms: You transfer a custom route to your Garmin nuvi but it doesn't appear in the Custom Routes list.

    Cause: Garmin forgot to mention that you need to "import" the transferred file before you can use it.

    Solution:
    1. Get the route on your PC. Either download a GPX file or create your own custom route using a tool like Garmin's BaseCamp (replaced MapSource in 2012). Free download here: http://www.garmin.com/en-US/shop/downloads/basecamp
    2. Using BaseCamp, transfer the custom route to your GPS. You can save it to the devices internal memory or to a SD memory card in the device.
    3. On the GPS device, click Tools > My Data > Import Route From File. Select the route(s) you transfered in Step 2 and click Import. Your route(s) is/are now ready to use via the Where To? > Custom Routes feature.


    Enjoy!!


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in MA View Post
    I've posted this issue to a couple of GPS forums with no responses, so figured I would try here. I have a Gamin Nuvi 500, which I bought specifically because it has different modes for use in your car and on your bike. For bike use, I want to be able to create routes (on mapmyride or similar tools) and download them into the unit.

    I've followed the (lousy) Garmin instructions as well as instructions from several forums, and can create a route and move it to the Garmin\GPX folder on the unit itself. However, I'm supposed to then go into the MyData item on the menu and choose "import." I have the latest version of the software (updated it twice yesterday to make sure), but there is no "import" choice under My Data or anywhere else in the menus/sub-menus.

    Does anyone have experience with this unit? Any suggestions? I'll try contacting Garmin during business hours on Monday, but from what I hear that will pretty much be a waste of time.

    Thanks!

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