Table of Contents
2. Waypoints and Track Logs
3. Robin's Definition
4. Alan Neufeld Edit
People keep getting mixed up on this, so I'm going to beat it to death, and explain it in as many ways as possible. One chapter also contains a "non technical" explanation written by Alan Neufeld.
2. Waypoints and Track Logs
The following things exist: (I'm assuming you are familiar with the operation of your GPS, and hopefully have written a bivouac trip report.
"Waypoints" can be created at various "points of interest" by pushing a button on the GPS to "Mark" a waypoint.
INSIDE THE EDIT FORM
49.914309,-123.292659=Jct leave Squamish Main 49.914475,-123.293753=Squamish River Bridge 49.915435,-123.299922=Bridge over small Squamish tributary 49.915679,-123.301438=cp 49.915691,-123.302146=Fork for Ashlu A100, and fishing spots/Campground 49.915159,-123.304061=cp 49.914264,-123.306904=cp 49.913646,-123.308846=KP Start of large construction on satellite 49.911791,-123.314479=cp 49.910872,-123.316914=cp 49.910796,-123.318298=cp 49.911065,-123.320304=cp 49.910388,-123.321903=End Twin Bridges over Ashlu CreekThe above text is usually generated by parsing a gpx file, or clicking the points along a line on GMap using the Draw and Save function. At that time, the editor can put in the descriptions.
See [roadxId1383-Ashlu Main]
Notice that only the labelled waypoints show up. The waypoints marked "cp" are just "control points". The first column is UTM codes which have been calculated from the latlongs. Similarly the 2 columns after the latlong are distances that have been calculated.
789-291 49.9143,-123.2927 0.0 21.0 Jct leave Squamish Main
789-291 49.9145,-123.2938 0.1 21.0 Squamish River Bridge
784-292 49.9154,-123.2999 0.5 21.3 Bridge over tributary
783-293 49.9157,-123.3022 0.7 21.4 Fork for Ashlu A100
778-290 49.9136,-123.3089 1.2 21.8 construction on satellite
768-287 49.9104,-123.3219 2.3 22.4 End Twin Bridges over Ashlu
A Gpx file is just a text file. If you looked inside with a text editor, you would perhaps hundreds of lines of data, containing three types of "tag".
<waypt>..</waypt> These tags start and end a waypoint
<trk>...</trk> These tags start and end a track log
<trkpt>...</trkpt> These tags start and end a track point
That is how track logs and waypoints are contained in a .gpx file.
Now we can talk about how gpx files are made up. If you make one from a GPS, it is obvious. If you make one from Bivouac trip report (by pushing "download gpx", it goes thru and makes a <trk> for the name of the trip, and then a <trkpt> for every lat-long. But no description.
If you download a .gpx on the mountain page for a 10 km radius (gpx10), you will get a gpx file that contains a <trk> track for every road and trail within 10 km, plus a <waypt> for every mountain. In theory, the gpx file could tell your GPS what symbol to use, but there is no standard list of symbol names, so in practice, the symbol for a mountain will be whatever your GPS does.
In theory, Bivouac could also spew out <waypt> sections for every waypoint along a road that had a description. But we would have no control over the symbol, so it could be a mess. That is why we don't do it at present.
3. Robin's Definition
People keep getting mixed up on this, so I'm going to beat it to death, and explain it in as many ways as possible.
The term "waypoint" is used slightly differently in Bivouac than in a GPS. In a GPS, a "waypoint" is a single stand alone point with it's own label, etc. In Bivouac, a "waypoint" is one line in the waypoints field of a trip report or road record. These points are "ordered" points, and some can have labels. A GPS also has a data structure for an ordered set of lat-longs, called a "track log". On a GPS, track logs are created automatically by writing a new point into the file at whatever interval you have defined. Eg: every 20 meters. But of course there is no option to label these points. If you want a labelled point, you have to pull the GPS out of your pocket and create a waypoint. There will probably be a similar lat-long also in your track log, so the lat-long is duplicated.
The bivouac, the "waypoints" field combines both labelled and unlabelled points. Such a list has enough information to produce both a "track log" and waypoints. The labelled points could create GPS waypoints.
Only the labelled points are displayed on the trip page. But if you view the trip on GMap, or export the bivouac waypoints to a .gpx file, the resulting "track" could have all the points. But of course there are no labels in track logs. If you wanted labelled points, we would have to duplicate each labelled track point as a GPS waypoints. We plan to have that option in the future, but there are problems.
The problem with automatically generating GPS waypoints for some trip points is symbols. We would want a different symbol than for mountains. But there is no standard way for a gpx file to tell different GPS units what symbol to use. So they all get mixed together. This becomes very messy if the gpx also had dozens of mountains. It also gets messy when they get mixed in with waypoints you actually create on your trip. The GPS has no concept of keeping uploaded waypoints separate from created ones. They are all in one messy list.
I have tried to work on symbol standardization with the people making GPS Map programs. But it has been difficult to get them to agree. In fact, it's difficult to even get their own non-standard names for their vast number of symbols.
After reading the above, review what these words mean:
4. Alan Neufeld Edit
There has been some confusion with regards to the use of the term "waypoint" on Bivouac with regards to GPS waypoints (which contain visible symbols and labels) and a Bivouac waypoint (which is simply a written description complete with lat-longs on the website itself), and so I will try to explain. When used on Bivouac, the term "waypoint" simply signifies a place of interest along a route and at present is NOT downloadable. On a trip report, for example, a list of these waypoints is often provided near the bottom of the page for the user's reference. As these Bivouac waypoints cannot be downloaded directly to a GPS or any other program as is, if these points are to be of use to the user, they will currently need to be created manually.
The "Download GPX File" link in the Waypoints section of a trip report obviously is downloadable and these files show routes which are made up of hundreds or even thousands of track points. Although the Bivouac described waypoints previously mentioned are not downloadable, their specific coordinates will fall along the route line of the track log as simple track points - the obvious problem, however, is that they are not individually visible when viewing them on a GPS or other program.
(We are working on a fix in order to be able to download the Bivouac waypoints directly, but the current problem with automatically generating GPS waypoints for some trip points is symbols. We would want a different symbol for rivers than for mountains, for example, but presently there is no standard way for a gpx file to tell different GPS units which symbols to use and so they all get mixed together. This becomes very messy if the gpx also had dozens of mountains, rivers, camps, etc. And it gets even messier when they get mixed in with waypoints you actually create on your trip. The GPS has no concept of keeping uploaded waypoints separate from created ones - they are all in one messy list. I have tried to work on symbol standardization with the people making GPS Map programs. But it has been difficult to get them to agree. In fact, it's difficult to even get their own non-standard names for their vast number of symbols.)