Garmin BaseCamp Software Review

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caprihorse
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Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:31 pm

In last days I did install on my PC (i7x64) the latest contribution from Garmin for mapping software.
It installed well, as I had previously installed MapSource with Middle East Maps, so there were no issues to recognize already installed maps.

The user interface looks friendlier comparing with MapSource and it has Activity Profile selection to change the routing between Direct, Automotive and others.

What is the great advantage, it is that it can import kml/kmz saved files from Google Earth, when you design your own track. And this is the greatest improvement that Garmin ever made. There is no need for additional software to transfer the data between device and Google Earth.

For a fee of $29.90 annual subscription you can get BirdsEye Imagery, which will convert your flat map into a 3D territory view.

It is featuring a Library, where you can keep all your data in very nice visible format, organized by Lists or Folders. The filtering option allows you quickly to see what you want.

At connecting your device, it does immediately display all your data, but it does not allow doing any modifications directly.

I tried this software with my unit GPSmap 276C. I easily transferred all my data into temp folder in the Library and played with separating recorded tracks, deleting unnecessary information and again joining the tracks. All was working just fine, as I needed, without any issues. The software has some shortcuts, they call it hotkeys, to easily select appropriate tool. However for joining the tracks there is no shortcut and you have to select Advanced Features, which I think is needed to be added.

There is a new feature, to convert a track to the route with a simple click. It is a benefit as my unit can accept only 15 tracks and 50 routes. So to convert a track to a route gives me more storing options. I’m sure that more current units can accept more of both.

So this was regarding the editing and cleaning existing stuff.

Now, as I had my waypoints, tracks and routes properly sorted in BaseCamp, the next step would be to transfer it back to the unit.
The instructions are saying, select the folder in Library and send to your unit. The folder will create a new category in your device, so you can later easily delete what you don’t want there.

And the problems started at transfer from Library to device. If you have the waypoints with the same name, it will not overwrite some information, like ‘Comment’, but rather keep the original data.

It did not create Category as promised, but rather Category remained as ‘Unfilled’. This was not what I wanted, because I need in many cases to delete easily, by category, what I sent to device, not to click on unit for several hours.

In many trials here and there, my device was in the mode of ‘Receiving Data’, just hanging, so only Power Off, could stop a fake transfer.

So to find the way around with the situation of transferring the data, there is an option to export the data from BaseCamp as gdb file, so I could transfer my work to MapSource. In MapSource I can easily set the categories option for all the points and the transfer to device is piece of cake.

BaseCamp is definitely an improvement to the previous MapSource, but based on my experience you need to have installed both.

At the moment I would give the rating 5 out of 10 points to the current version. Let’s see with what will Garmin come as next.
Paul
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Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:23 am

Hi Capri

Thanks for the review.

I thought i would give this new software 'one last chance' on my mac.....
It loaded first time and works!!!!!

Previously, i had issues with the mac software and had resorted to using my windows net book. The small low res screen made looking at the maps horrible.... so i never bothered. All i did was updates for the gps and bought the lifetime UAE map.

Now with everything working on my BIG Mac screen, this is going to be fun and something new to fiddle with.
I now have a map with squiggly lines all over it..... where do i start!!!!

Thanks for the info.

Regards
Paul
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caprihorse
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Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:31 am

pwood;10162 wrote:Hi Capri

Thanks for the review.

I thought i would give this new software 'one last chance' on my mac.....
It loaded first time and works!!!!!

Previously, i had issues with the mac software and had resorted to using my windows net book. The small low res screen made looking at the maps horrible.... so i never bothered. All i did was updates for the gps and bought the lifetime UAE map.

Now with everything working on my BIG Mac screen, this is going to be fun and something new to fiddle with.
I now have a map with squiggly lines all over it..... where do i start!!!!

Thanks for the info.

Regards
Paul
Can you post a screenshot? With me the map looks normal ...
Paul
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Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:32 pm

Hi

Yes the map looks normal.... it has just the last few months driving all over it!!!!!
It has save the trails on the dates and i would like to save them for future use.
I am sure i will figure it out.

Regards
Paul
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caprihorse
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Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:42 am

pwood;10166 wrote:Hi

Yes the map looks normal.... it has just the last few months driving all over it!!!!!
It has save the trails on the dates and i would like to save them for future use.
I am sure i will figure it out.

Regards
Paul
Now I understand. Your Garmin is recording all your movements. So the logical thing would be retrieve the data, clean it in BaseCamp and store into Library, into different logical folders. Then clean Garmin and send the cleaned data from Library to Garmin. Don't forget to create categories in Garmin, for easy waypoints maintenance and removal.
My 276C has a limited space for tracks, so I need to remove the tracks and download new, based on the territory, where we are planning to go. Eventually sometimes I'm converting tracks into routes, as storage capacity is higher.
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Wed May 02, 2012 9:37 am

I just installed basecamp on my mac and it work perfectly.
Since I bought a used gps (nuvi 255w) off ebay so it means i can mess around with it :005:

One important tool that you need is Garmin Webupdater (it will give you the list of all the updates available for your gps and you can select and install them) I just updated the software since the old software was like 2 years old. I can feel a better boot-up and response time now.
You can download it from http://www8.garmin.com/products/webupdater/

Also some other handy tools are Garmin MapInstall and Garmin MapManager.

You can download all these handy tools for MAC from http://www8.garmin.com/macosx/ and http://www8.garmin.com/support/mappingsw.jsp
Thanks capri for the initial post about the basecamp, it really helped me start playing with the gps :045:
Darshan
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Wed May 02, 2012 4:53 pm

Capri: I always enjoy your tips on GPS stuff. Earlier i never understood what you were talking about, but now i am upto speed and everything makes sense now.
So now we no longer have to use babel to convert tracks? This can be done easily on Basecamp? Good info, i guess i need to give basecamp a whirl.
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Thu May 03, 2012 8:33 am

I used it for bird eye images and transferred to Montana, it is amazing
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Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:26 pm

Garmin released version 4.0.1. for BaseCamp.

Change History

Changes made from version 3.3.3 to 4.0.1:

  • Added Garmin Adventures, including; authoring, publishing, online search, downloading, playback, and transfer to supporting devices.
  • Added arrival, departure, and layover times for route via-points.
  • Added a context menu on the map for the hand and selection tools.
  • Added support for waypoint creation date, which will not be changed when updating the waypoint.
  • Added a list in the waypoint properties dialog to display which routes a waypoint is used in.
  • Added ability to collapse folder groups (like 'My Collection' or 'Devices').
  • Added support for temperature and pressure in track statistics and graphs.
  • Added support to delete waypoints that are included in a route.
  • Added Basestation mode for compatible Astro, Rhino, and Alpha devices.
  • Added more columns to the data view for Waypoints, Garmin Custom Maps, GeoCaches and Photos.
  • Added support to enter position using alternate grid/datum on the 'Recenter Map To' dialog.
  • Added option to save original track when filtering it.
  • Added display of the 'placed on' date for GeoCaches.
  • Added intersection search when using the 'and' or '&' keywords.
  • Added ability to bulk-edit more fields for waypoints.
  • Added ability to create waypoint from find results on the map.
  • Added ability to transfer subscription-based BirdsEye imagery that contain failed downloads.
  • Added ability to toggle the visibility of all toolbars.
  • Added display of postal code in address search results.
  • Added a read-only 'Unlisted Data' list that contains all items that are in no other lists.
  • Added ability to create a route from a named trail.
  • Added ability to import into folders and lists (and not always import into My Collection).
  • Added header for the folder data list.
  • Added ability to duplicate geotagged photos.
  • Added link the BaseCamp license agreement in help menu.
  • Added ability to undo/redo on supported devices.
  • Added ability to drag and drop folders from the file system to BaseCamp (when supported data is present).
  • Added ability to accept Google Maps coordinate format when centering map at position.
  • Added new dog icons.
  • Added waypoint creation date to the waypoint properties dialog.
  • Added option to encourage the user to recalculate a route when the map that the route was created with isn't found on the device.
  • Added prompt when duplicating a route if BaseCamp should also duplicate the waypoints used in the route.
  • Added zooming via Alt/+ Alt/- keys. This is a coarse zoom which zooms in or out a number of zoom levels.
  • Added toolbar and menu for simpler device transfer options.
  • Improved display when many photos are at the same spot on the map.
  • Improved XML processing (so it should now be possible to import and export larger gpx files than previously).
  • Improved the measurement tool's display of measurement information.
  • Improved behavior when importing data into an already selected list or folder.
  • Improved behavior when double-clicking on a list. BaseCamp will now zoom to the data contained in that list.
  • Improved default file name for backup. The default name now contains the current date.
  • Improved the validation of map coordinates in the Recenter dialog.
  • Changed the simple route dialog to transition into the route properties so the route can be edited further.
  • Changed icon for gas stations with convenience stores to be the gas station icon, not the shopping cart.
  • Clarified the find options (Center of view, Center of selected items). Added hint text to make usage more clear.
  • Cleaned up toolbar, hide tools that are used less often by default, always show waypoint, route & track tools.
  • Cleaned up route options, made it easier to create custom route settings.
  • Fixed the long find toolbar initialization delay after starting BaseCamp or switching to a new map.
  • Fixed an issue where a device's SD card would not always be recognized by BaseCamp.
  • Fixed numerous issues with finding addresses.
  • Fixed an issue where the toolbar would not display the same way after restarting BaseCamp.
  • Fixed an issue where the find toolbar would always be displayed after restarting BaseCamp, even though the user chose to hide it.
  • Fixed area calculation for tracks.
  • Fixed an issue where you could not rename an item from lower case to upper case (like renaming 'washington' to 'Washington').
  • Fixed issue where the Geocache symbol was not consistent with found status when importing or adding a geocache.
  • Fixed an issue where the preferences dialog would not remember the last sub-selection.
  • Fixed an issue with remembering the data filters when switching between app modes.
  • Fixed an issue where turning off the display of points would leave a lot of 'shopping cart' POIs on the map for certain map products.
  • Fixed an issue where the selection was lost when left-clicking on the map with the hand tool.
  • Fixed issues with route/track creation and joining.
  • Fixed issues with deleting data on devices.
  • Fixed issues with creating routes from tracks.
  • Fixed issue when BirsdEye selection box was dragged too far North.
  • Fixed issue with displaying custom maps on devices.
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:19 am

Garmin released version 4.0.2. for BaseCamp

Changes made from version 4.0.1 to 4.0.2:

  • Added smoothing of speed and heart rate graphs.
  • Improved Track Join inside of an Adventure
  • Change to not show the 'Filter Results' option in the find results if there are no results to filter.
  • Fixed layout not being remembered properly between application runs.
  • Fixed an issue with some card products not being recognized. Unfortunately this requires re-indexing all card products.
  • Fixed layout being different after exiting from Adventure playback.
  • Fixed an issue with the 'References' tab page not being properly updated when changing selection.
  • Fixed an issue with route shaping point info being lost when erasing points from a route.
  • Fixed an issue with track color being changed when tracks are filtered.
  • Fixed an issue with not updating the summary in the route dialog when points are unselected.
  • Fixed some issues with login and re-login for MyGarmin services
  • Fixed doing an undo while drawing a route ending the route. Now only the last via point is removed.
  • Fixed an issue when importing photos with invalid time EXIF data.
  • Fixed text messages from Basestation devices being repeatedly notified
  • Fixed an issue with route join
  • Fixed an issue with the route divide tool
  • Fixed an issue with duplicating routes
  • Fixed an issue with adding waypoints into routes in an Adventure
  • Fixed an issue with line breaks being repeatedly added to GPX files
  • Fixed an issue with click & drag on the map hiding properties dialog
  • Fixed an issue with importing KML or KMZ files that had downloadable content.
  • Fixed an issue with creating a waypoint via the map context menu when a list folder is selected
  • Fixed an issue where the waypoint ordering was not updated when changing the main track in an Adventure
  • Fixed an issue when clicking on the 'X' to remove a tag from the References tab page.
  • Fixed an issue when changing map detail level before putting focus into the map views.
  • Fixed an issue where the creation date of a photo waypoint didn't match the creation date of the photo's EXIF data
  • Fixed an issue with waypoints sometimes not being shown on the map
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