Map Installation: PA Trial, Treo 650, Mac OS X, GPSBabel

Forum for questions and problems regarding PathAway GPS 4 SE for Palm OS

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markgill
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:16 am

Map Installation: PA Trial, Treo 650, Mac OS X, GPSBabel

Postby markgill » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:25 am

I'm testing Pathway4 using a Treo 650, Mac Mini with OS X 10.4 and GPSBabel.

I think I'm missing something very basic. I see no default map when I start Pathway4 on my Treo 650. Perhaps there are no maps with the trial version. That would explain it. Is there a default map in the registered version of PA4 for Mac OS X?

I've tried transferring the map data that I got with GPSBabel to PA format and installing the result on an SD card in the Pathway folder, but I see no maps. For instance, I translated Illinois_(state).txt to pathway format and put in on my SD card, then started PA4 on my Treo. There are no maps to select.
Attachments
17-Illinois-(State).txt
Sample state data from GPSBabel.
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Dodger
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:54 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby Dodger » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:44 am

Markgill:

There are no "default maps" for Pathaway - You create (or find and download) and install your own maps as required. Pathaway is a "raster mapping" GPS program - It uses digital photos for its maps (that's why it is such a wonderful program for hiking, fishing, geocaching, etc... You can load any kind of map you like - Topographical, satellite images, scanned paper maps, whatever. You just need to calibrate them properly to use them in Pathaway. Map calibration instructions are in the Pathaway manual)

Unlike the "vector" style of GPS programs like TomTom and MS Streets & Trips and the like, the map details used in PathAway are not contained in a database that holds all of the street names, cities, addresses, etc. Raster type programs like Pathaway simply display a calibrated photograph of a map on the screen, then move that photograph around based on your GPS position. That's why you can't do things like address searches or address to address routing in this type of program. On the other hand, in most cases you can't use vector programs like TomTom to find your way through forest trails or across a lake, because they don't contain topographical information - Just streets and cities, etc.

The GPSBabel program you're referring to is not for creating maps. Its purpose is to convert "tracks", "routes" and "points" for use between all of the different types of GPS programs and utilities. For example, if you use your GPS (or Pathaway) to record a hike or bicycle trip, you can then download that recorded "track", convert it to a Google Earth .KML file using GPSBabel, which you can then use to display your path in Google Earth. (That's just one example - There are hundreds of other uses)

The bottom line - For maps for Pathaway, you can use any digital image. (Heck, you could scan a hand-drawn map from a napkin if you like...) As long as you use the correct calibration process on whatever map you choose, Pathaway is one of the best raster PDA-based GPS programs out there. There are scores of places on the Internet to find free map images that can be saved and calibrated for Pathaway. You can even use a screen-shot from Google Maps or Mapquest if you like.

Dodger

markgill
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:16 am

Postby markgill » Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:46 am

I'm having difficulty finding the formats for maps that Pathway4 accepts. I use MacENC, which can view NOAA maps, but these are not compatible. I installed a JPG image of a map, but I could not see it in the folder in PA4. I'm just shooting in the dark. If I knew what the format needed to be and where it needed to be stored, I might make some progress.

My goal is to have nautical maps on my Treo 650. I've been all over the forum and documentation, but I can't get started.

Dodger
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:54 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby Dodger » Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:49 am

Markgill:

As per the Pathaway user manual... You start out with a map as an image in BMP format. (You can use Jpg as well I believe). Before it can be used in your GPS, it has to be converted to PRC format so that the Palm device can use it. You load the graphic image into the Pathaway Map Manager (a Windows program that is included in the Pathaway distribution downloaded from here) to do the calibration and conversion.

The pathaway Map Manager allows you to calibrate the map using one of 4 different methods as described in the user manual. Calibration involves assigning longitude and latitude values to various points on the graphic image.

You can either provide the long/lat for the top left and bottom right of the image, or you can click a couple of known points on the image and enter the lat/long for those points, or use one of the other two available methods for calibrating the map.

Once you've provided the appropriate calibration info, you then save the map as a Palm PRC file. Map Manager will do the conversion for you, converting it from a graphic image to a file that can be used by your Palm. You can then either hotsync the file to your palm, or do as I do - Simply copy the converted file (the PRC) to the "Maps" folder I have created on my Palm's SD card.

Then all you need to do is "register" the folder where your maps are located in Pathaway. That tells Pathaway where to look for all your map files when it starts up. If you've done the calibration correctly, the map will appear under your little "I am here" cursor when you connect to your GPS.

I have a number of maps of various resolutions, all of the same 30-mile section of river near my cabin. They are loaded in Pathaway on top of one another in "layers" - Pathaway automatically displays each map and will allow you to "zoom in" or out by choosing each lower or higher resolution image as you desire - For example, my highest resolution image is a satellite photo of the river. Then I have a number of maps of the same area, each with a somewhat lower resolution that cover a larger area. That allows me to switch to the satellite image if I need detail, or the lower resolution map if I need to see a larger area at a time.

Dodger

markgill
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:16 am

Map Manager is the key to maps on PathAway

Postby markgill » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:43 am

It's becoming clear now. One must use Windows to get started because one must use Map Manager. I was hoping that GPSBable could replace Map Manager. Is there no Linux, UNIX, or OS X program that can do what Map Manager does?

Dodger wrote:
As per the Pathaway user manual... You start out with a map as an image in BMP format. (You can use Jpg as well I believe). Before it can be used in your GPS, it has to be converted to PRC format so that the Palm device can use it. You load the graphic image into the Pathaway Map Manager (a Windows program that is included in the Pathaway distribution downloaded from here) to do the calibration and conversion.


Dodger

Dodger
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:54 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Postby Dodger » Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:20 am

There is a version of the Map Manager for Windows and Mac. The Mac version is here: http://www.pathaway.com/prerelease4/PWMacMapMan.html

Dodger

markgill
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:16 am

Postby markgill » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:50 am

Dodger wrote:There is a version of the Map Manager for Windows and Mac. The Mac version is here: http://www.pathaway.com/prerelease4/PWMacMapMan.html

Dodger


Thanks for this information. The software (Map Manager for OS X) works fine with jpeg. Mac users can't easily create BMP images, which is typical on Windows.

The software did not quibble when I fed it a tiff file until I tried to export it. It wouldn't do it. It seems if you follow a few rules, it will work for you.

In my case, I have MacENC for my computer and laptop. It can use NOAA maps (vector or raster). I can export these maps as tiff and conver the tiff to jpeg to feed to map maker. I can get the lat/lon from the MacENC software. It turns out to be a good companion to PathAway.


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