How to divide multiple waypoints into a daily list for one or two people?
I'm not a techie so bear with me.
I take pictures of real estate. Have a list of perhaps 300 locations (always in 1 county). Been using S&T or Map Point and that seems to be OK.
What if I hire 2 more guys to help? How do I divide that.
I've heard of Viamente but that's insanely expensive as I only need it for 2 or 3 routes a month.
BTW - I'd love advice for a new hardware & software approach
Ken in Regina
Hello AshA,

You didn't make it clear exactly what you do with S&T or MapPoint and what it is you want to divide up with the other guys? That makes it difficult to make any sort of suggestions for a new approach.

If you and the other guys have smartphones you probably just need to email or text the coordinates of a location and they can use the default Maps app (eg. Google Maps, etc.) on their smartphone to get the route and navigation directions.

On my Android smartphone I have a GPS app that lets me share my current location via email, text, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Whoever receives the message with the location coordinates in it can simply tap the location and their default Maps app will come up showing the location. At that point they can tap the navigation icon and it will route them there.

You could use this feature whenever you want to add a new location to your list, eg. when you are at the location "share" it to yourself via email or text. You could save that information in a number of different ways, depending on what you want to do with it later.

Whenever you need to get locations to yourself of the other guys you can just copy/paste into an email or text and send it. The person receiving it can use the coordinates in their smartphone Maps app to see the location and get directions.

That's pretty sketchy but without knowing exactly what you are doing, or want to do, it's the best I can do for now. And it's only one of many examples that could work, depending on exactly what you want to do.

Thanks Ken. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
I have a list of properties to photograph - usually just from the car window.
Right now I import into S&T, print out the directions and enter into my GPS 1 by one as i drive. It's not great but it works.
Problem 1 - If it'll take more than 1 day and have to head back to the hotel. How do I split the list into a daily list.
Problem 2 - If I have 1 or 2 other people working with me. How do I divide the list so we're not overlapping areas?
Ash (former CDN resident -still a citizen )
Ken in Regina
What do you import into S&T? The street addresses?

Do you really "import" them? Or do you manually type them in one at a time?

Why do you print out directions when you could just enter the street address directly into your GPS and let it figure out the directions for you?

What brand of GPS do you have? (eg. Garmin, TomTom, Magellan, etc.?)

Ken - I really appreciate that you spend time helping others. Seems your the go-to guy.
I wish I could email you a file that I just imported into MapPoint.
I do import from Excel.
I have a Garmin Nuvi.
I don't find it useful to bring the laptop with me (also a security concern in some areas).
So I print out the directions and then 1 by 1 enter the addresses as I move through the list. I never really tried to import into the Garmin.
I just imported a list of 64 stops in 1 town. MP tells em the drive is 2.5 hours but I'll have to stop fro at least 5 minutes at each location to take pics.
So that brings total time to 8 hours which i can't do in one day. So how do I split the list to 4 hours per day? Or if I divide the work with another person or 2?
I would have no problem investing in other softwre/ hardware if it made this easier.
Ken in Regina
You can PM me and attach the file. I'm quite Garmin-literate and have some ideas but it would be quicker if I had an actual file to work with.

What model Garmin do you have? It matters because the routing and route storage capabilities vary dramatically among models.

Ken in Regina
Ooops, I misspoke, you can't attach files to private messages. See my PM with an email address.

Ken in Regina
I have not tested with your list yet nor with the Nuvi 2597 but I will if it turns out to be useful. I forgot one critical thing that S&T and MapPoint will do that other nav programs will not. The Microsoft programs will bulk geocode street addresses for you (eg. take street addresses, search for their coordinates, and turn them into proper waypoints). For any of the other options you need to run the list of street addresses through a bulk geocoding service online.

I did test Garmin's Basecamp with a list of multiple waypoints to see how it did for creating a multipoint route and it's quite decent. You select all the waypoints you want in the route and tell it to create a route. It will quickly create a route that connects all the waypoints but might not be optimal for driving. You right-click the route and tell it to optimize and it seems to do a pretty good job of that.

At that point Basecamp has some tools that make it reasonably easy to carve up that large route into smaller ones.

Once you have the routes calculated it's easy to transfer them to a compatible Garmin GPS device. Or you can save them to GPX files that can be sent to someone to load into a compatible GPS device for navigation.

The reason I have not tested further is two-fold. First, the bulk geocoding can be a bit of a hassle, at least the first couple of times until you get the file format the way it needs to be. It's multi steps to first get the addresses into the spreadsheet (which you already do), get the spreadsheet columns in the necessary order, save them to a .CSV file, and run them through the geocoder to get waypoints.

You need to make sure you can get a compatible (to Basecamp) file format out of the geocoder. If not, you'll have to run the resulting file through a file converter like GPSBabel to get the necessary file format. At that point you import the waypoints into Basecamp, make your route(s), and load them to the GPS device(s).

That brings us to the second issue. Most (perhaps all) Garmin navigation devices recalculate the route when you transfer a route into them. Many of us have discovered this the hard way. We spent hours creating a scenic route that avoids interstates and such and load it into our Nuvi or similar Garmin unit only to discover that the unit has recalculated the route and made a complete hash of it.

Not all Garmin devices use the same method for calculating routes, and many don't use the exact same method that Basecamp uses. You can imagine that this does not always make for happy circumstances. A specific limitation of the 2597 Trip Planner is that it will only do multipoint routes up to 29 points. I don't know how big an issue this is for you. Other models will have other limitations.

If you want to see how you can do multipoint routes complete with scheduling right on the 2597 you can take a look at this short video. It might give you some ideas or at least make you more familiar with some of the capabilities of your device.

If you are interested in pursuing this further let me know and I'll try running the list through an online geocoding site and then run the complete list through a routing test in Basecamp to see what the results are. The resulting route would have to be chopped up into smaller pieces to fit the limits of the 2597. As it happens, I have a 2597 to test with if it's worthwhile.

Another possibility is to use S&T or MapPoint to create the waypoints, as you do right now, and then convert the S&T map file into a format that you can load directly into a Garmin nav device.

Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
That brings us to the second issue. Most (perhaps all) Garmin navigation devices recalculate the route when you transfer a route into them.
This gets really complicated and confusing and is device-specific, so saying that you have "a Nuvi" doesn't really tell us much. Some older Nuvis cannot do multi-point routing at all and will not recognize a route if you send it from Basecamp.

Other old Nuvis are compatible with Basecamp routes. Then starting circa 2010 (IIRC) Garmin completely dropped support for route transfer, even from the top of the line models. These devices had the first generation "trip planner" that could only be used on the unit itself and was severely limited.

Then circa 2012 the nuvi got an updated trip planner that allowed route import but could not export routes back to your computer. My own Nuvis have this trip planner, and it's terrible. Trips are not like routes, they are a collection of start and end points. So if you create a "trip" from A to B to C, when you start it will treat B as your destination and not even show the remainder of the trip/route. When you arrive at point B, then C will be treated as a new destination, and so forth.

Now - from what I've read - most of these issues have been resolved in the newest Nuvis, like Ken's 2597. But Garmin's model numbers are hopelessly confusing, so its not clear which models have this new improved trip planner. I know that the models ending in a 7 (ie: 2597) have it. Not sure about others.

FWIW, it appears that Garmin is phasing out the entire Nuvi line. They just announced several new "Garmin Drive" devices at CES this year. That should make things even more confusing!
Wow - thanks guys.
a few things.
1. A limitation of 29 waypoints is a a deal breaker.
2. As I've mentioned I need this for work so if anyone has a better system that will cost me a few bucks in hardware don't be shy.
3. No one has addressed the issue of splitting the list if it's multi days (and coming back to a base camp each night.
3.1 If I'm splitting the list with another driver.
Ken in Regina
No matter what solution you use, you're going to have to do the splitting manually. That is, you will need to load the total current list, have the software plot the total optimized route, then decide by viewing it what makes the most sense for dividing it up.

How you physically divide it and save the individual routes will depend on the tools available in the software. You already know how to use S&T. I doubt that any other solution will be easier.

You already have a Garmin Nuvi so you can download Garmin's Basecamp for free to try it out, if you don't already have it. You can connect your 2597 to your computer and Basecamp will use the map that's loaded in the 2597 until you get a map loaded directly on the computer. You can use Garmin Express to load a map into the 2597 AND on the PC either now or the next time you do a map update on the 2597 (new updates are available quarterly). Since you have the LMT version of the 2597 the map updates are free.

As I mentioned, you will need to bulk geocode the addresses to get the coordinates. Here's one free online service that I have used: (EDIT: the service at the link has changed since I last used it. It now creates a map with all the waypoints indicated on it but there does not appear to be anything useful you can do with it after that. Oops.)

It's about as easy to use as it gets so you should be able to figure it out. You can load the resulting file into Basecamp and use it to experiment with the routing features.

Once you have the file geocoded with coordinates you can also experiment with Google Earth to see if its routing tools are useful in this regard.

If you have to carve the route up into pieces anyway for multiple days and/or multiple people, is the 29 stop limit of the 2597 really a showstopper?

Ken in Regina
The link in the previous message has changed significantly since the last time I used it (a long time ago). It no longer produces an output file of waypoints. It just produces a map with the waypoints flagged on it. Neat but not useful for this purpose.

I found a different link that's still pretty easy to use:

You cut/paste the address, city, state columns into the "Input" box, select the options you want for the output and poke the "Geocode" button. It will produce a list of the coordinates in the "Output" box.

The easiest way to use this site is to use the default settings.

Select the data in the address, city, state columns in your spreadsheet. Do NOT select the headers in the columns, just the data under them. Paste it into the "Input" box.

Click the "Geocode" button. Watch the counter in the upper left box as the geocoding is done.

Select all of the data in the "Output" box (click in the box and hit Ctrl-A).

Open your favorite text editor and paste the data into it. Save it as a .CSV file.

I took a look at Google Earth and I cannot find any simple way to create routes with multiple waypoints in them.

So you need to convert the .CSV file with your waypoints to something you can use in Basecamp. You can do this using the GPS Visualizer web site:

Select "Universal csv with field structures in first line..." as the Input file type.
Select "GPX XML" as the Output file type.
Select your CSV file and click the Convert button.
When the conversion is done, click the resulting link to download the .GPX file.

Open Basecamp and import the file into a list.

In Basecamp select all of the waypoints in the list (click in the list and type Ctrl-A). Right-click in the list and select "Create route using selected waypoints".

After the route is calculated it will likely look like a bowl of spaghetti. Click on the "Unlisted Data" item to see the route. Right-click on the route name and select "Optimize route. It will ask you if you want to keep the last address in the list as the final point in the route. You can say "Yes" or you can say "No" and change it.

The optimized route should look a lot less spaghetti in the bowl.

One of the things that's rather handy in Basecamp is that you can display the waypoints on the map without creating a route. Using the selection pointer you can drag a box around a group of waypoints that are located near each other, right-click on one of the waypoints in the list, select to create a route with the selected waypoints and then optimize the created route. This is probably the easiest way to create multiple routes from a big list.

I know that's a lot to take in but since I can't just pop over for tea it's the best I can do. You'll have to do some experimenting yourself.

Ken in Regina
One final thought. It's possible you might be able to get a much better solution from one of the following fellows. Both of them have done some excellent work on solutions and add-ins for Mappoint. One or both have gone on to create similar non-Mappoint solutions for business people who were dependent on Mappoint but have been abandoned by Microsoft, as you have.

You can send them private messages at the following:

My Point...Exactly


You probably want to explore this route first, before you waste a bunch of time on the partial solutions I've suggested. Mine will work but they require a learning curve and are not terribly efficient.

...ken... About