Route Planning

An ordered collection of points may be expressed as a track or a route. Conceptually, tracks are a record of where a person has been, routes are suggestions about where they might go in the future.

Whatever the software, at some point while designing your route you will need to decide which format you plan to store it on the GPS: route or track?

Conceptually correct or not I find it is far easier following a track, as it equates more directly with the traditional touring approach of a route planned beforehand using a detailed map of the area. It allows you to pick out the exact route you want to take and leaves very much less to chance.

Following a route will usually involve the GPS in the navigation process on the day, which isn't always ideal on a bike (as I discovered on a trip in Norway when my GPS cleverly found me a 10KM shortcut to the planned destination, as long as I cycled across a lake).

There are also sound storage and performance reasons to choose tracks over routes:

For these reasons the advice contained in these pages relates to navigation based on tracks rather than routes.