Never Lose a Track Point with Archived Tracks

7 August 2009 @ 1:55 PM  / Trail Tech /

Recording a tracklog is among the basic features available on every Garmin handheld. Sometimes recorded tracklogs play critical roles in helping users TracBack safely in challenging weather conditions. Other times tracklogs may record the perimeter of a field (useful for calculating the area of the field). For many users, a tracklog is simply a great way to record a memorable outing.
A common misconception is the necessity to record a point every second to generate the most accurate tracklog. Unfortunately, this leads to significantly more points than necessary to represent adequately an activity. Extra points typically provide no added benefit but reduce the recorded length of an outing and negatively impact device performance (such as map drawing, elevation profile plotting, and TracBack navigation). For these reasons, Garmin encourages customers to utilize automatic tracklog recording. Adjusting the interval (from Least Often to Most Often) allows users to adjust the granularity of recorded logs while ensuring the most representative points are retained. 
Even using our automatic recording method, users consistently request increased tracklog capacities, especially customers taking multiple-day excursions without access to their favorite desktop application to archive each day's tracklog. In our eTrex and GPSMap 60 products, we also began allowing users to archive older trackpoints onto the memory card. By reading the card (in mass storage mode or through a card reader), the archived trackpoints are available in GPX files. To enable this feature, select Data Card Setup from the Track Setup page, then enable the Log Track To Data Card checkbox. On these devices, users can create saved tracks, which filters active tracks to a small representative subset of trackpoints. 
Colorado, Oregon, and Dakota devices, have significantly more internal memory than previous generation devices. This extra internal memory enables these units to store complete, unfiltered copies of the active tracklog for every saved track, an advancement over filtered saved tracks from previous devices. The extra memory also allows automatic archiving of older trackpoints, providing users assurance that should the 10,000-point active tracklog fill completely, older trackpoints will be available for review when the device is connected to a computer (through mass storage mode). To access archived trackpoints, look in the Garmin\GPX\Archive folder.