Trip Planner - intermediate locations - what's the point?!

Having Garmin zumo XT problems? there is loads of help and advice in this forum
Posts: 1
Joined: 27 Sep 2020 16:12
Great Britain

Trip Planner - intermediate locations - what's the point?!

Post by macleodal »


Having completed my first trip with the Zumo XT, I have to ask the forum: what on earth is the point of the option to put intermediate waypoints into a trip using the Trip Planner app?

Here's why I ask:
- I created a trip, let's say, from A to B
- Rather than default to the fastest etc trip I wanted to take a more specific route, generally via (let's say) X, Y and Z.
- So I created the trip by inputting A and B as start and destination, then I tried to input waypoint X
- When I input X, the XT reported something like "This will create a stop at X, would you like to bypass it instead?" (or something like that)
- I assumed, naturally I think, that this was the difference between adding a non-stopping shaping point versus actually creating a stop
- Completed inputting the route, in each case saying yes, please, do not add an actual stop
- Blow me down, when finished, the XT calculated the fastest route from A to B completely ignoring the waypoints!

Here's why I think it's weird:

1. I do understand that a stop is a stop i.e. if you input the location and ask to stop there, it works fine.

2. Seems to me however that there is no point in the system even asking you whether or not you want to make an actual stop because, if you say no and it completely ignores the waypoint, then what's the point of having it there in the first place?! Surely if there isn't a second case - EITHER you make a stop there OR you make a close pass to the waypoint but don't stop - then better to just not even ask, assume it's a stop and mark it as a stop (with a flag) or, alternatively, tell you "in which case I will remove and ignore this waypoint".

3. Even weirder, it's clear the XT understands the concept of shaping points because once you've input a trip, you see it on the map and there are some shaping points which, I guess, it's possible to drag to the route you want. So clearly the underlying functionality to have shaping points is in there, but the opportunity to add them when planning the trip doesn't work.

What I wanted (and I am quite sure I'm not the only one) is to be able to say "Go from A to B via X, Y and Z" but what I really mean is that X, Y and Z are passthrough locations to "shape" the route, but (e.g.) if X is a town centre and there is a ringroad, just take the ringroad.

Anyway. What am I missing here? The waypoints seem to be either actual stops, or utterly pointless not-stops and the latter just seems weird to me.

Thanks in advance,

Posts: 33
Joined: 23 Jul 2018 15:36
Has liked: 5 times
Been liked: 8 times
United States of America

Re: Trip Planner - intermediate locations - what's the point?!

Post by Exurban »

Curious, I created a route in Trip Planner. Present location to a hotel. Then I added a gas station, and then a restaurant. It did not give me any warning message as you describe but made the route including the two intermediate stops.

I wonder if your added stops were somehow different than my search results. Points on the maps, for example. Also, I wonder if the “would you like to bypass” or words to that effect is just semantics. Another way of saying “do you really want to add this or delete it?” In which case it would not of course add the stop.

Also, and I don’t recall exactly but last time I had added a stop in a route and followed it, I don’t think the XT cared that I didn’t actually come to stop there, just go by it. If I’m right, there’s no harm in adding a “stop” where you don’t want to come to a foot down stop.
Posts: 2493
Joined: 19 Oct 2019 16:17
Location: West Yorkshire, Uk
Has liked: 322 times
Been liked: 679 times
Great Britain

Re: Trip Planner - intermediate locations - what's the point?!

Post by jfheath »

I have to admit, I haven't got a clue what the programmers were thinking when they devised the system for entering a route on the Zumo XT screen. To me it seems to be tedious, it pauses for a while before you realise that it is calculating, and it displays rubbish bins all over the place, presumably from unintended finger presses. I tried to get to grips with it, but really, I wasn't prepared to spend the time.

It seems to me as though they are pandering to the needs to include the FourSquare, Garmin and Overlander database, to enable people to use the satnav to get to a single point. But generally motorcyclists like to plan a bit better than that - they are usually more interested in the ride and the route rather than the destination.

If I do find the need to create a route on the fly, I have always used Browse Map - or I create my own database of Waypoints beforehand (on Basecamp) - having predicted places that I might want to go to. Once in Favourites, it is easy to add them into a route (Zumo calls these transferred Waypoints, Favourites). Using the map is tedious because you have to scroll around from your current position each time - so zoom out to get the are you want on the screen and zoom in a bit at a time until you have detail enough to place the point accurately. I think that it would make a lot more sense to display the map at the position of the last plotted point.

But this has its drawbacks. Quite a serious drawback in my opinion. 'Probably a Software fault' was the response after 5 email exchanges with Garmin. It places the points as Via Points - no way at this point to add a point as a shaping point. Yes you can use the route list to change the Flag Via Points to a blue circle Shaping Points - but if you do, the Zumo XT renames the points and relocates it somewhere else. The Zumo 595 has the same issue. The 590 doesn't do this.

Actually, trying to reproduce your [mention]Exurban[/mention]'s description, I think I have spotted what it is doing. You put in start and finish A and B. When you put in X, Y and Z it seems to have an idea about how to get you from A to B, and positions X Y and Z not where you placed them, but seemingly on a point that is on the route it has in mind, somewhere near to where you placed it. It seems to completely ignore the notion that you placed X Y and Z to force the route to be on a particular road.

The only way I have found to get round these issues on the XT is to create the route in Basecamp. Create flags waypoints for all of the key locations, and use the insert tool to position the intermediate points.
Make these into Via Points or Shaping points as you like, and rename them if you wish. The Zumo will remember the names that you gave the Waypoints, even if you make them non-alerting. It will not remember the names of the inserted points though - even if you make them alerting.

A final quirk. If you press skip for any point while navigating the route, in my tests the XT recalculated the entire route, not just the route to the next routing point. It joins up all of the route points OK though. I tried this on the Zumo with points ABC. Point A was the start - just a couple of hundred yards from where I am located. I set off on the route, checked the map, the satnav had calculated a sensible route. I pressed skip, to skip the first route point - the start. I would need to ride through where the start was was anyway, and the satnav calculated exactly the same route to get me to point B. But it came up with a completely different route from B to C. Now I didn't plan the original route from B to C. The Zumo did, 2 minutes previously. Yet after the skip it calculates a completely different one.

If you come across stuff like this, try to narrow it down to a simple issue (like the ABC example), phone Garmin and report it. Get a reference ID from them. I've not heard from them for a while, and they have had 2 software updates since I reported it. Time to get onto them again I think.
Have owned Zumo 550, 660 == Now have Zumo XT2, XT, 595, 590, Headache
Use Basecamp (mainly), MyRouteApp (sometimes)

Links: Zumo 590/5 & BC . . . Zumo XT & BC