John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Fenix 3 and waypoints

One of my readers contacted me with questions about how Garmin handled waypoints and it got me thinking, ya I struggled with that too … maybe others are … Thus this post. Waypoints are a remembered location. A waypoint can be obtained from other people, or can be created on the Fenix. If created on the Fenix the naming process on the device is a tad clumsy. I created a naming convention where the first three letters are used for the location. So if I’m out at Palgrave mountain biking for example all of the waypoints for their start with PAL. This can be helpful in grouping them. Although, Garmin on the Fenix, do not allow you to sort your waypoints alphabetically they are ONLY sorted by closeness to your current location. This is a real problem if your trying to work with your waypoints on the Fenix not at the location. Other Garmins did have sort alphabetically, no idea why Garmin didn’t include this on the Fenix.

Ok so you now have waypoints on your Fenix now what … Well shockingly the waypoints are not handled on Garmin connect web site or the connect app. Managing (delete, add, rename etc) and backing up waypoints is done on Garmin Basecamp on your PC/Mac or on the Fenix.

Waypoints can be used to navigate distance/direction from your current location (as the crow flies). This to me is a SUPER hugely important feature. How to get back to that sweet single track you found, or more importantly how to get back to your car. The fenix 3 doesn’t have maps on it, so of course there could very well be a deep ravine between you and where you wanna go … so you have to keep that in mind. The other thing you can do is make a “course” on your Fenix or on basecamp that takes you from waypoint to waypoint. You will not get a map of how to get there, but you will know the distance/direction to the next waypoint. And it will complete and move onto the next waypoint automatically. This can be problematic if the waypoints are tightly packed together (close to each other).

Basecamp, is also how I took my existing waypoints from my previous Garmin onto the Fenix. It worked pretty well. Basecamp can be downloaded from the Garmin website and is free. Editing, renaming, deleting etc is all best done on Basecamp.

This current situation (Garmin Connect ignoring waypoints), has been this way a LONG time. I’m not sure it will change, so the best we can do for now is understand it …

I also have another post on Navigating with the Fenix 3.

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May 8, 2018 Posted by | GPS Stuff | Leave a comment

Workoutdoors app mini review

I recently discovered a new app for my Apple Series 1 Watch WorkOutDoors. This app bring full vector maps to exercise tracking. You can pan and zoom around the map as well as see bread crumbs of were you’ve been exercise.

At the end exercise you get a terrific summary of the workout. In my case it was a hike and I got a summary of distance, number of steps, heart rate etc. Even apps like Strava don’t give you a map like this! The app on a series one (which does not have a GPS) uses the GPS on the phone. Quite impressive.

Comparing the distance with another exercise app called RunGPS it is 8.3 Vs 8.13km, within 2% of each other, which is quite good. RunGPS track of the same exercise.

Once complete you can export the exercise as a GPX, that can be then imported into Garmin connect or Strava. I tried Garmin and it came through ok, but the walk got interpreted as uncategorized. Here’s the workout on Garmin connect.

When Garmin in turn linked in with Strava it came over as a ride.

Imported directly into Strava the app gives you the opportunity to change it from a ride.

All in all the app works well, but the exciting thing about this app is what is coming. I spoke with the author of the app and he tells me he is adding waypoint and navigation support. This would be game changing and it would be the only app on an Apple watch capable of that. He also said direct export to something like Strava is also on the todo list.

May 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment