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Garmin GPS Route Creation Guide

Creating Waypoints, Routes, and Tracks on the Zumo XT

Summary: Create a GPX file and copy it to the GPS.

Creating a GPX file.

You can use the program Route Converter to create a GPX (.gpx) file. GPX files consist of Waypoint lists, Routes, and Tracks.

When you create a GPX file and copy it into the GPS GPX directory, the different lists will appear in the various GPS apps.

  • Waypoint lists appear as Waypoints in the Saved locations menu.
  • Routes will cause a message to popup so you can import it into the trip planner. This then allows you to select the trip and have the GPS guide you to each waypoint using it's own calculated directions.
  • Tracks appear as tracks which you can display in the map. You can manually follow the track as it appears on the map, or have the GPS guide you from start to finish.

Using Google Earth to explore and plan routes

You save the Google Earth stuff as a KML, then you use Route Converter to turn the kml file into a gpx file. Files in KML format are also plain text, so can be very easily version controlled. It is nice to use Google Earth for route planning because it has a very good satellite view and you can search for anything just like in Google maps. It can also give directions just like in Google maps.

Connecting the GPS to the PC

This doesn't work as well as it should, so I am describing the steps here.

  1. Plug the GPS into USB.
  2. Hit Continue to accept the policy at the beginning.
  3. Hit Continue again to enter file transfer mode after the device boots.

After this, you can either connect Garmin Basecamp to use it for route planning, or copy GPX files to the Garmin GPX directory on the device. It normally takes the Zumo XT 20 seconds to show up in Garmin Basecamp after connecting it.