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Problems with Shaping Routes in Garmin Mobile PC
rodalsa
I have been successful adding one or two 'shaping via points' "SVP" to a two point (Start / End) route on several occasions.

Yesterday and today I have been attempting to add multiple SVPs to;

a) routes with two points,
b) routes with more than two points.

In this endeavor I have been frustrated by many non-intuitive rearrangements of the route. For instance ---

My route consists of a Starting Point, 9 Favorites, and an End Point.

I am doing the steps listed below as I type this.

1. I Launch a New Route
2. I Add Start Point from Favorites
3. I Add End Point from Favorites as Trip 001-001
4. I click Done
5. I OK the saved route message
6. I Edit the route -- selecting Shape Route
7. Starting next to the Trip 001-001 via point and working backwards toward the start of my trip, I add SVP #1 using Add and Undo until this reconfigures the trip more to my liking
8. I then hunt using Add and Undo for places that I can position SVP #2 so that the route follows the roads that I want. This activity only extends the 'good' trip back toward the Start point.
9. I find that I need to repeat the gist of step 8 with SVP #3 and SVP #4. After that the route follows my desired mapping.
10. I click Done and then Edit/Review Points then Add End Point.
11. I select Trip 001-002 from my Favorites
12. HERE I RUN INTO MY FIRST CONCERN The Favorite Trip 001-002 is inserted before Trip 001-001 instead of at
the end of the trip as common sense would expect.
13. I click Sort and reply 'Yes' to the "Would you like to allow the destination via point to be re-ordered." Is this a kludge?
14. Garmin Mobile PC 'Recalculated the route' and returned me to the screen that shows the order of the via points.
15. Trip 001-002 is the last via point in the list just ahead of 'Add End Point --- NOW! Why not immediately after being entered with 'Add End Point'?
16. I click Done followed by 'Shape Route'
17. I proceed as above adding SVPs backward along the route from Trip 001-002 using 'Add and Undo' until the route follows the road I want.
18. I failed to mention above while entering the SVPs that I encountered my SECOND CONCERN. After each SVP has been entered, the map returns showing an area that I have no interest in seeing. I have to click on '-' and then '+' to restore the focus that existed prior to the entry of the SVP. Additionally -- when the route runs off the edge of the screen, I have to manually refocus the map. Garmin Mobile PC should automatically keep the focus (meaning the last user entered operation) centered on the screen.
19. I achieve success after adding 3 SVPs in the Trip 001-001 to Trip 001-002 segment of the trip. No modifications in any part of the established road usage has occurred to this point.
20. I click Done and then Edit/Review Points then Add End Point and select Trip 001-003 from my Favorites. This again returns me to the screen that shows the order of the via points and again the 'End Point' is shown before Trip 001-001. I note here that it is immediately after the 'Start Point' and importantly so was Trip 001-002 at the same point in the sequence (after Done was clicked on).
21. I clicked Sort on the via list screen. This carried me through Steps 13, 14 and 15 above with Trip 001-003 being moved to immediately before the 'Add End Point'.
22. I click Done. This returns me to the screen that allow the insertion of SVPs.
23. I add two SVPs to this segment of the route to get the roads I want.
24. I review the route and find that again it remains unchanged relative to what I want.
25. I click Done and then Edit/Review Points then Add End Point and select Trip 001-004 from my Favorites.
26. Again with the Sort then 'Yes' to the kludge to get Trip 001-004 located just before 'Add End Point'.
27. Then Done followed by 'Shape Route'.

By now the procedure I followed for each Favorite and SVP should be clear so in order to keep this post as short as possible, I will hit the highlights from here on.

28. I add my first SVP successfully.
29. I add my second SVP and the route between SVP #1 and SVP #2 follows the routes that I want. However, the route between Trip 001-004 and SVP #1 has been rerouted. Why? I have to Undo both SVPs and move SVP #1 closer to Trip 001-004 and re-enter SVP #2 at its original location in order to get the route I want. This is user unfriendly.
30. I add SVP #3 without further incidents happening for this segment of the route.
31. I add one SVP to this segment of the trip and success again greets me --- for this segment of the route ---
31. Reviewing the route I find MY MAJOR COMPLAINT

The segment between the Start Point and Trip 001-001 has been modified. SVP #1's Icon has been changed from the red pin to a green flag. The route follows the roads I want from the Start Point to this green
flag. Between this green flag and Trip 001-001 there is a gap in the trip where up to this point in time the trip was continuous. JPG shown below shows this gap and the entire trip as evolved so far. The center of this JPG is approximately at N35 44.805 W085 36.915 if you wish to try this mess on your machine / Garmin Mobile PC. No GPS sensor was attached.

Garmin Mobile PC allows Undo operations ONLY between Trip 001-00(x) and Trip 001-00(x+1) if you try to undo the SVPs last entered. When the last SVP that was added to the segment that had the focus when the trip was altered has been undone, Garmin Mobile PC will not allow anymore Undos.

You can, however, add SVPs within the gap in the trip. Dividing the gap approximately in half and placing an SVP in the half closest to the Trip 001-001 via point results in the route being extended from Trip 001-001 toward the Green Flag thereby reducing the breadth of the gap. Undoing this action causes the gap to revert back to its original width.

Placing an SVP in the other half of the original gap extends the route into the gap up to the added SVP. Again this action can be undone.

Well, the gap was closed partially by adding an SVP in the half of the original gap fartherest from Temp 001-001. How about repeating the process outlined above and add another SVP in the half of the new gap that lay fartherest from Temp 001-001. I did that and the gap closed some more. What I found myself in was a process that expotentially reduced the gap as I added SVPs but never closed the gap. After adding five SVPs, I quit. JPG shown below. I used Undo to remove all of the SVPs that I had added to the gap.

I then worked with the half of the gap closest to Trip 001-001. I positioned my first added SVP a bit further from Trip 001-001. This resulted in the gap being closed and the green flag still showing but my desired roads were not what I wanted -- so what good is that? JPG shown below.

I am sure that if I broke the trip up into multiple trips I could circumvent the woes detailed above --- but who wants to stop a trip (stop the vehicle's motion), stop a route (stop the route under Garmin Mobile PC), start a route and then start the vehicle's motion again?
Attached Images
shaping-failure.jpg   shaping-failure-1.jpg   shaping-failure-2.jpg  
rodalsa
Addendum

I achieved the route that I wanted.

I entered all of the Favorites Start to End.

I worked with the route segments in a random fashion shaping until the roads I wanted were selected by Mobile PC.

When a road was not suitable and I could not eliminate it by adjusting the SVPs, I blocked the road. I then looked for the minimum number of SVPs that would map the roads I wanted in my trip. Two roads that were blocked are shown on the JPG below. I have indicated the span of the blockage.

I also had one segment of road that required two SVPs to close a gap.

Also -- peculiarly -- after navigating to the main menu and to Map and back to Edits on this route then deleting and adding Favorites I found that the 'Add End Point' worked as expected with the adds being placed at the end of the list just before 'Add End Point'.

Go Figure?

Rod
Attached Images
shaping-failure-3.jpg  
Ken in Regina
If you were to take a close look at the text directions at each end of the gap you would probably find that the route does not take you through the gap. It's most likely taking you up to the green flag, u-turning and back down to the main road below, across, turning up to the orange flag, u-turning, and back down to that main road and continuing onwards.

That would indicate (at least) two possibilities. Either there is a "break" in the road data between those two points that cannot be bridged and anything on either side of the "break" will route to it, u-turn and take another road to get to the other side (your "unwanted" road, for instance).

The other possibility is a routing preference, e.g. shorter time versus shorter distance. Although sometimes a shorter time route will look like it shouldn't be, the map data contains data about road speeds that may fool it into thinking that a route which looks a lot longer will actually be much faster. Even if it's only a tiny bit shorter in time, if you have shorter time as the preference, it will override shorter distance. Or vice versa.

Re: the end point stuff, after reading part way through your first post I was going to suggest you just stick all the Favorites in that you want to include before messing with the shaping but I see you discovered that in the second note.

...ken...
rodalsa
Ken,

I originally started with just the end points as I had previously been successful with doing that. I quickly discovered (after I had entered about 25 SVPs or so) that Mobile PC would re-route sections of the route way back behind me (say between SVPs 5 and 6). I thought that I needed to be more systematic about what I was doing so I decided to use the Favorites to break the route into smaller segments. (At least maybe I would not have to Undo so many SVPs to correct the re-route). Ha!

I hit upon adding a Favorite then shaping the new segment then repeating the process. Nice and methodical. "Small steps, Ellie". Mobile PC still re-routed earlier segments between the Favorites that I had 'Finished with'. That led me to place all of the Favorites on the map and then work with the segments sequentially. That failed in the same mode. That led to my first post.

So I said, "OK, Mobile PC. So you want to use this other road. I'll block as many roads as it takes to get the original route (my good one) back." It worked.

If I can find a couple of hours 'running up the road backwards' I'll try this route again using a Start Point, a End Point and SVPs and road blocking. Maybe I won't have to block too many roads. Hope moves us.

As for mapping gaps, those that I had to contend with appeared where
The road segments that 'gapped' were previously mapped through!

Shorter vs Faster. I tried both and still ran into the re-routing problem.

Update and aside

I drove the route. I hit two dead ends that were not on the map. These dead ends allowed me to test a fault in nRoute that particularily irks me. Mobile PC passed the test.

With nRoute if you hit a dead end that is not on the map, you of course must turn around and find your way on to the destination on your own. If this means ignoring a via point (Favorite), nRoute will nag you incessantly trying to direct you from wherever you are back to that ignored via point. Mobile PC simply picks up the next Favorite ahead of you once you establish yourself on route past the Favorite you need to ignore. No more nRoute nagging all the way to the end of the route (which might be hours down the road)!

Take care and thanks for the reply.

Rod
Ken in Regina
Thanks for the explanation and update, Rod.

Re: nRoute ... it's really starting to show its age. That particular behaviour has been programmed out of even older Garmin navigation units, like my iQue 3600, and Mobile PC gets its routing from the newer Nuvi units.

Re: interesting and entertaining routes ... any time you ask a GPS navigation device to route you somewhere and then try to customize it you are faced with constantly fighting with its optimization routines. As you are finding, the more you mess with it the more you confuse it.

The issue you are finding with it messing things up "behind" you as you stick in more via points is part of that. If, for instance, you loop around near a road or point you would already have travelled past, if the routing code sees that the new point you just stuck in is closer in space or time to some part of the route you thought you already had locked in, it's inevitably going to jump across to it and try to fit it in to the space/time path it's previously built.

That's not a negative judgement on either the routing software or your attempts to thwart it. It is what it is. So for each of us who try to force it to do our bidding, we need to find a way that works.

The only guarantee is that whatever you find to work this time almost surely will not when you do it the next one.

...ken...
rodalsa
Ken,

Quote:
The only guarantee is that whatever you find to work this time almost surely will not when you do it the next one.
That got a laugh out of me. :rofl"

I agree completely with the time and distance routing calculations and the VSPs. However, I know that if the program keeps a list of road segments in the form of (Intersection [x] to Intersection [x+1] over the span between Favorites or Pins) that it has made part of the route, a one bit flag associated with each such road segment could make that segment permanent (inviolate) until freed by the user. This bit could be easily set by clicking on the span between Favorites or Pins and then a button labeled 'Confirmed' or the use of a keyboard Ctrl-F. Walla, goodbye unwanted re-routes. Inviolate sections of the trip could be displayed in a different color.

There is my suggestion for the day to the programmers that develop these complex software packages.

You mentioned that Mobile PC knows things about roads that are not apparent on the maps. That got me thinking about the road between Trip 001-004 and Rt 30 that I indicated I needed two pins to close a gap Mobile PC placed there (see previous graphics). This section of road was a 'rut' about one car width and no gravel could be seen. Was Mobile PC trying to tell me something? If so I wish it had been more precise!

Take care and ( Y )<-- "Live long and prosper"

Rod

For me to believe is insufficient for you to know. -- rodalsa
rodalsa
Here is the most damaging problem that I have yet to uncover in Mobile PC while shaping.

I have a trip with 16 Favorites set as via points.

I add all 16 of the Favorite to the trip and gain a successful route though not the one I want.

I am working with Shaping to get the roads I want. I have spent several hours doing this. I have successfully pinned the entire route up to the next to last Favorite (#15).

I run into a problem with getting Mobile PC to include Favorite #16.

I return to my Favorites via Tools from the Main Menu and delete Favorites #16. It dutifully disappears from the list. I did this in a effort to overcome a "Move Up" / "Move Down" problem. See below for details on that one.

I then return to my route planning and find that Favorite #16 is still in the route list and not in its proper order.
That is bad enough but then I decide to Sort it down the list (Mobile PC wants to place it at the end of the list. I accepted this and that is where it ended up. Remember -- This Favorite does not exist in my favorites list.

I wanted it next to last in the trip (right before the trips end). I click on it and up pops the Move Up/MoveDown window with Mountain View Rd ‘highlighted’ ready to be moved! This road is shown between Favorite #8 and Favorite #10 in this window. It is actually a pin that I placed between Favorite #8 and #9 and that is where I find it when I look for it. This ‘killer app’ just ‘killed’ me.

I had seen this behavior from Mobile PC before on much shorter trips. My out was to delete the trip and start over. That is a horrible option for this trip of 215 miles.

I had another option at the point that I decided to delete Favorite #16. I could have blocked one or more roads and forced Mobile PC to go along the route I desired.

I decided to delete the trip and start over and block the roads needed at Favorite #16. It did not come to that. See below.

My redo with my Favorites set to slightly different locations on the route I wanted went off with out a hitch (with the blocked area at the weird mapping location in place-- see below). I had absolutely no difficulty with the Favorite #15 to Favorite #16 to Destination.

I have attached three JPGs relating to a 'weird mapping' that Mobile PC chose. Again Blocking fixed it. Why Mobile PC chose that weird loop is beyond me (and most other explainations for mapping foo-pahs I have heard.) The first two (left to right) are from Mobile PC. The third one is from nRoute.


An aside

I also have a problem with the inconsistany in how via points are added to a trip. Sometimes they are placed at the end of the trip (as ‘Add End Point’ implies requiring a Move Up. Sometimes their are added to the list immediately before the end point (which is where I want them to be). This program needs an "Insert via Point" – "After" / "Before" option that does exactly that.

Rod
Attached Images
weird-mapping-001.jpg   weird-mapping-002.jpg   weird-mapping-003.jpg  
Ken in Regina
That's interesting. I used two addresses to create a short route in Mobile PC and here's what I got in the attached pic. It seems to work okay. But that's with just those two points in the route.

...ken...
Attached Images
baird-ln-297.jpg  
rodalsa
Ken,

I set up a similar start / end only trip across this junction. I received the same result as did you (with my road advoidance in place). I deleted the route. I deleted the avoidance. I added the route back with the same result.

I returned to my original route with 16 Favorites and without the road avoidance in place. I tried to force a recalculation by adding a pin at a point well beyond the junction and my Trip A-010 Favorite. The weird loop did not reappear!

I guess that we just have to do our best to work around these 'weirdnesses' when they show up.

I drove the trip yesterday and uncovered another interesting effect.

During my travails with 'gaps' showing up in my trip while in the planning and shaping stage, I thought maybe changing the route type from 'fastest' to 'direct' might affect my problems in a good sort of way. Well, doing so did not change the way the route was calculated. So, I left the setting as 'direct'. nRoute always calculated the route Direct under these circumstances.

With a road mapped route in hand -- off I went. About 40 miles into the trip, I missed a road. Mobile PC went about the usual "Re-calculating" --giving me my route back but 'as the crow flies' -- truly DIRECT. I had to stop the route. Change the setting back to 'fastest' before I could resume the trip on the roads.

That is just another way NOT to do things in Mobile PC.

Rod
Ken in Regina
As you have discovered, DIRECT means direct.

As the crow flies. It's for offroad use. No real route calculation required. Just shoot a line to the next waypoint and there you go.

...ken...
rodalsa
Ken,

I guess I might be guilty of more opaque prose. When I wrote, "With a road mapped route in hand -- off I went." I badly implied that with 'Direct' selected Mobile PC calculated my route updates as I shaped it -- on the roads -- Not direct --. Then while driving the route the first re-calculate returned a route that was really direct.

Sorry about that prose and sorry if I have repeated something that was already obvious.

Rod
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