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TomTom Rider GPS, Route Planning and Google

  Posted at 02:38:13 PM
  File under  Gadgets GPS
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

Many people now use TomTom's Rider Open link in a new window GPS on their motorcycle. It's a nice tool, handy, fast and convenient. However... it has one major default compared with its main competitor Garmin Open link in a new window. TomTom do not supply you with route planning software that you can use in the comfort of your home.

Preparing a trip, specially when it's relatively long, requires some work. Planning where you'll be going, how long it'll take, where to rest, sleep or eat is something you need to do, even if you have a GPSGlobal Positioning System. Satellite based tracking device, that uses several satellites to position your exact location to within a few yards/meters accuracy..

That's why Google Earth Open link in a new window and Google Map Open link in a new window are two great applications that allow you to plan ahead, even see the spots you're planning to visit. Both run on the internet, and both are free. What more do you want?

Well, how about after planning a route on one of Google's applications, the ability to transfer that route/itinerary to your TomTom? Until now, it was not possible. In comes TYRE (Trace Your Route Anywhere) to the rescue.

TYRE application

TYRE Open link in a new window is a small PC application that you can download. It takes route data produced by TYRE with help of Google Earth or Maps, and transfers it to your TomTom Rider GPS. In fact, it'll work with most new TomTom GPSs, as long as it uses Navigator 5, so not only with the TomTom Rider.

Now you'll be able to plan your itinerary on your PC, even do a mockup run on Google Earth (fly through), and then upload it to your TomTom. No messing around with the Rider touch screen, patiently entering all the places you want to visit. This is the way it's supposed to be, and I have always been amazed that TomTom never provided this kind of software; Shame on you TomTom!

Once you've downloaded the TYRE application (it's only 1 mega), install it (make sure you already have Google Earth loaded and installed). Once installed, the application automatically preloads a demo itinerary. You'll find a button on TYRE that allows you to see the route on Google Earth. Click on it, and then select Tools/Play Tour in the menu. Google Earth now follows the itinerary like you would ride it on your motorcycle, using their photographic/satellite quality views. Impressive !!

TYRE application
Making your own route is very simple. Load TYRE and click on the "Load Google Maps" Button. That loads Google Maps in Tyre (you can do it with Google Earth as well). Zoom and drag to the location on earth you want to start making your tour. Once you found a good starting point, double click on it. An information bubble opens. If this is the place you want, click on "Add to Itinerary". You can rename it to something that makes sense. You continue along the route wherever you want to make waypoints (like places to rest, eat, scenery, etc). Keep making all the waypoints.

Once you've finished you itinerary, press the "Calculate" button. This will start joining all the waypoints into a comprehensive itinerary. The longer the trip, the longer this will take.

You can see it's progression on the top left, showing you the number of miles it has processed. Be patient...

TYRE application
Once all waypoints have been processed, you can press the play button. You'll see a small motorcycle following the actual route. Swithing to Hybrid or Satellite will show you the actual road the way it would look from the air....IMPRESSIVE!

Once created, you can run the tour in Google Earth.

When you're happy with the route, you can save it and upload directly to your TomTom device or to the TomTom Home desktop application. You can also use TYRE to manage all your Points Of Interest (POI).

The author has recently started a website for sharing routes. In fact, he's now enabled to possibility for several people to work on an itinerary. One person starts the route, then others can start adding their portion.

The software is free, however if you want to, you can donate some money to the author, just so he'll continue to develop new versions. If not, maybe TomTom will buy him out, and then you can probably expect to pay US$ 100 for the software....Censored Smiley

Click here to access the application site to download Open link in a new window

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