RLT routes compatibility and calibration of maps in Google

Everything about Training Profiles & routes

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Paul DB
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RLT routes compatibility and calibration of maps in Google

Post by Paul DB » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:04 am

RLT is for me probably the most important function as it allows me to prepare and test routes I want to drive next season and at the same time try to keep my condition up. I only purchased the Fortius trainer recently so I have many questions. (I have TTS 3.01 installed)
1) The first question is whether all routes that I can download from Bikenet are backwards compatible with TTS 3.01, so routes created in TTS 1.x, TTS 2.X and Fortius or does 3.01 have new functionality which was not already available in the prior versions of the software ? Does Tacx publish somewhere a list of differences between the different software releases that I can consult i.e. as Garmin does ?
2) Are there any calibration issues with the Google maps that is: when I create a route in TTS 3.01 I can make it follow the road profile very precise on the Google map by placing many points, also a route created by Seth Nijkamp (St Maxim-Fréjus) that I downloaded worked perfectly BUT... when I load a route created with GPSIES the track does not follow the profile of the roads, same problem with other tracks that I downloaded from Bikenet (i.e. Nordschleife from Ralle aus Koln). So there must be a calibration issue of the track somewhere because the Google maps we use are the same and GPS data are very precise ???

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Post by cyberjunk » Sat Dec 11, 2010 3:34 pm

The best profiles come from actual data generated by a Garmin 705 because it has a barometric altimeter. The ones generated online tend to good aproximations but may need to be modified to compensate for the irregularities.

The best solution is if the route is nearby you can just ride it in your auto with the Garmin tracking the route. If not then hopefully someone who has done the ride using a Garmin may have uploaded it to Garmin Connect, mapmyride or bikenet so I would suggest you search these sites for your rides. The only problem is there is no way of telling if the rides on mapmyride or bikenet was created with a GPS.

Hopefully, this is helpful.
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Post by dgabriels » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:16 am

I've built a number of GPS courses now and there's a little more to it than meets the eye if you want something good - you can go basic and get a course together or go for something you'll want to use more than once--

I use 3 tools - a Garmin GPS for basic recording is good - some are better models than others. I use a 60 CSX it has the best antenna and highest accuracy in my experience with many including Etrex and Suunto among others.

Then I use Google Earth to look at the course. You'll see there's always some drift or errors even with a barometric altimeter. There's science in it but suffice to say it's never perfect.

Google Earth data is about double the accuracy of what you'll get on your best day in a Garmin. If the GPS altitude is always suspect; barometric altitude is much better. Google Earth is very close to actual but within about 2-3 meters on average - depends on the satellite data.

I use a great program called 3D Route Builder to check and refine GPS data. Sometimes it's my data sometimes it's from others - my project this year is the Great Divide Route, very long, over 3000 Km, one section at a time.

That program makes it fun and dare I say even easy.

I have a GPS file from a 2010 route survey that I overlay in Google Earth (automated), then I compare the points to what I see, delete the extras and reposition the errors, then have the software recalculate each point's altitude from Google Earth, I save the whole thing, then extract the segment for my next ride, then import into TTS 3 and ride...

Then I do the next segment.

I keep the whole course because I then have the entire GDR as a single file that I can go back later and re-divide as needed.

The process (in this order - it's important):

Load the whole route - same file just get continuous partial update.

Update the next ride section by thinning/deleting/repositioning points as necessary.

Select the points as a group, then update the altitudes.

Save the entire course again - with another 40-60Km updated...

Save the file as a new name with the start and end point numbers as part of the name.

Then delete the points after/beyond what I plan to ride.

Delete the points I've already ridden at the front end.

Save the file again - now it's just a small segment.

Import into TTS.



Prepare another route.

Do it all over again...

I can do about 40K, roughly a thousand points, in about an hour being picky.

Important to thin the points to smooth the climbs - enough to capture the route but not too many to make the climbs keep changing in gradient.

Do a couple and you'll catch on.

Have fun!!

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Post by Satsumo » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:14 pm

When you save the courses (before importing into TTS) what file type do you save them as? GPX, KML or what?

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Post by Hilly » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:21 pm

I use connect.garmin.com and download the KML files for routes that have been uploaded to Garmin.

Like CyberJunk mentioned, you need to select the downloads from the best recording devices i.e. Garmin 705, etc. They have the best "slope" data and recording.

I've used the KML download for the IronMan Wisconsin bike course and it is basically the same ride as in real life.

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Ironman Wisconsin course

Post by kurthian » Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:24 pm

Does anyone have access to Ironman Wisconsin catalyst course? I would love a copy or instructions on how to create.


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