Gravel and Dirt Roads - How to Tell?

For everything Garmin Zumo XT related
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Re: Gravel and Dirt Roads - How to Tell?

Post by groundhog719 »

I agree, I wish it was easier to tell if roads were paved or not.

I usually plot my longer routes on my computer using BaseCamp (which I hate but still use). Most non-paved roads show up as dashed lines until you zoom in very close. Then I double-check the route (at least the questionable parts) using Google Earth Pro. I can usually zoom in far enough in Google Earth Pro to see the surface of the roads (hint - look for painted center/lane lines on paved roads. Looking at intersections where dirt meets pavement is often helpful too).

However, I haven't found a good way to tell road surface on the go, directly from the Zumo XT. Bird's Eye does not cover a big enough area (I travel states not blocks) and topo maps no longer reliably differentiate between paved and non-paved roads.

If anyone knows a way around this problem please post it here.
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Re: Gravel and Dirt Roads - How to Tell?

Post by bradrh »

TheFifeBand wrote: 24 Oct 2020 23:17 I am considering buying a Zumo XT so that I can stop using my phone for navigation. However, the one feature I really want, but can't tell if it exists, is the ability to determine the road surface on a map. Specifically I am interested in riding exclusively on gravel and dirt roads. I don't want to ride on pavement. I know there are features to prefer pavement when routing, but I want the opposite. I want to be able to look at the map and based on color or some other indicator, know that a road is gravel or dirt.

I have watched dozens of videos and searched hi and low, but I just cannot tell if this is a feature or not. Can you tell me if the Zumo makes this possible?
The XT is capable of distinguishing between road surfaces, but the maps that you get with the Zumo do not do that. I've had to resort to making my own maps using OSM data. I made my own maps for the Montana 600 I had before the Zumo and the Zumo is very different. It doesn't follow the same rules that most of the other Garmins do so it makes it very difficult to build good maps. It sounds like you'd be better off with a Montana, it is a much more configurable interface and it is easier to get maps looking good.
It seems like the Zumo is much better for road biking, and the Montana is better for backroads, dirt roads, and trails.
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Re: Gravel and Dirt Roads - How to Tell?

Post by cushman »

I was able to do this using Openstreetmap data and a custom made map, but not without a lot of effort. I'm posting the code on Github here if anyone wants to try to replicate this. I'm modifying the scripts to create bigger maps eventually but the code there right now would do approximately a US state area of roads depending on road density.

The good thing about doing it this way is that you can correct the road surface on by contributing to the open source map, then re-gen the map.
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