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Remembered Today:

Sat-Nav in France + CWGC


Tom Tulloch-Marshall
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Does anybody have any recommendations about the viability of using sat-nav to find cemeteries and other WW1 sites in France and Belgium ?

Best sat-nav device(s) to use ?

What criteria do you use to find the cemetery - road names - are gps locations available - some other metheod ?

Generally - just how does it work (or not) ?

Any other hints / observations / suggestions ?

(The CWGC overlay maps are slowly but steadily driving me mad !).

regards - Tom

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Tom, there's this good thread here regarding Satnavs: 'HERE'

You will have to scroll through it to find Bruce's latest download though.

WRT which Satnav - it's all a matter of personal choice really, but I have a Garmin ad love it.

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I downloaded all French/Belgian CWGC locations as supplied by Bruce onto my Garmin two years ago - it is brilliant and made my touring so much easier. Cannot recommend highly enough.

MC

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I downloaded his file onto my cheapo (£50) MyGuide sat nav, and it worked perfectly around Ieper and Northern France- I used it to plan a route around 20+ cemeteries one day, and it just made life so much easier- no arguments about the wife's map-reading 'skills' any more!

SteveJ.

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I tried to download it onto my sat-nav the other day, and couldn't get it from my computer to the TomTom! So frustrating. It's obviously my fault...

Angela :angry2:

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I'll add my support to the apps for the TomTom (we use the XL). Excellent.

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@Tom Tulloch-Marshall,

I have found that using a satnav to navigate to unfamiliar places abroad is the only way to go. It definitely saves the marriage :lol:

Most satnavs have the provision to navigate to a Point of Interest (POI). These POIs are stored in a special file on the satnav and can be edited by the operator. There is virually no limit to the number of points which can be stored in one file. Most people restrict the content of the file to one category eg petrol stations, cashpoints etc.

Several years ago I found myself wanting to visit a few cemeteries in Northern France and asked on this forum, and others, if anyone had a ready made POI file of war cemeteries. No one had, so I made up my own for the cemeteries I wanted to visit. On my return to the UK I decided I would like to visit a few more in the future and started adding more.

The POI file basically contains just the names of the cemeteries with their gps locations. To get the locations of ones I hadn't visited I used Google Earth. To locate the exact spot is sometimes very difficult, as CWGC cemeteries in France tend to be essentially grass which blends in with the surrounding fields. Google Earth is 'fairly' accurate and the street level view which has been added recently helps a great deal. You can sometimes pop down and read the sign on the gates! A search of the internet and/or a phone call is sometimes required.

I store all the entries in a spreadsheet and then convert that into a POI file format for use on the satnav. The most up to date file is on this website. I did put some on the TomTom website but I can't edit them. [Edit.. I have edited them since writing this!] Despite my requests they will not remove them so I'm stuck with them.

I have a Tomtom myself so I can only comment on how to implement them on that make of satnav.

For a Tomtom

Once you have downloaded and unzipped the file you will notice that there are two files with similar names but different extensions. One has ov2 and the other bmp. Both files need to be placed in the relevant map folder on your satnav. You do this by connecting the satnav to your computer with a USB cable. Turn on the satnav and it will ask if you want to connect to the computer. Tap the screen to accept and then open Windows Explorer. If you have Tomtom's own programme called HOME installed on your computer it will probably start to run. You can leave that running in the background by minimising it.

In Windows Explorer you will notice there is an additional drive letter for your Tomtom. Depending on the model of Tomtom you may have a drive for the internal memory and an SD card. On one or other of those drives the map folder is located. It probably has the name Western_Europe or Western_and_Central_Europe.

The two files you downloaded need to be copied into that map folder, so locate them on your computer and drag and drop them into the map folder.

DON'T JUST UNPLUG YOUR TOMTOM FROM THE COMPUTER!

If HOME is running in the background you can close Windows Explorer and go into HOME and click at the bottom righthand corner to disconnect your Tomtom.

If you don't have HOME running then in Windows Explorer click on c: so that the screen is looking at that drive and then right click on the Tomtom drive. You can then select Eject and your Tomtom will be disconnected from the computer. Wait until the splash screen appears and unplug the Tomtom's USB cable.

On your Tomtom you can press 'Navigate to/Point of Interest' and select/find the War Cemeteries file. Tap on that and you can search for the cemetery you want.

Now how you do all that on a Garmin is beyond me because I don't have a Garmin but I do provide a file which you can use on a Garmin.

Perhaps someone who has done this on a Garmin will chip in with some instructions?

Edit.. Try this for Garmin Garmin POI Loader

I'm still working on the UK cemeteries but it's a long job. I'm just onto the ones beginning with E so a long way to go. They will be given to the CWGC and posted on here when I've finished. The CWGC and Terry Denham have been of great help in this.

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Great ! - This is looking to be a lot more promising than I had hoped for - though I am of course 95% baffled by the technicalities of what is being discussed ! - I dont even have a sat-nav yet but a friend who does is now going to have a go at turning the advice to date into a working reality. I'll update any progress here.

Bruce - thanks for posting the summary & explanation following my PM to you. As you say - maybe someone with knowledge of Garmin could update re that aspect.

thanks - Tom

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Sorry, but I am a bit of a Luddite so far as this topic is concerned.

I use MAPS. Yes, the paper things that tell you exactly where you are 'in space'.

As a victim of some drivers using SatNav who follow it slavishly up a private drive and totally ignore address boards, geography and so on, I think that many people really cannot visualise what the heck they are trying to do, where they are and where they are trying to get to..

Yes, I am a true, unreconstructed Luddite about SatNav.

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It was a while ago now that I did my Garmin and the memory's pretty rusty of something I only did once!!! But I do remember it was very easy.

I know that I downloaded a file from Garmin itself (the original thread tells you about it which is how I knew to do it). Once I'd done that I just downloaded the file of Bruces (onto an sd card to make sure I had enough memory as I was also downloading some talking books at the same time).

And that was it really. The Satnav picked it up instantly and I couldn't believe how easy it was and very much easier to punch in the name of the cemetery and be taken straight to the doorstep (so to speak).

Hopefully someone else will correct me if my memory's worse than I fear :o:lol::lol:

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Got to say thanks to Bruce for hard work he done in producing this. Used it on Tom Tom last year and couldn't fault it. Will be using again in 8 weeks time a definate must to aid touring

Wayne

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Thanks for the comments one and all :blush:

What is a Luddite anyway? All I know is they're 'in top shop'!

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Sorry, but I am a bit of a Luddite so far as this topic is concerned.

I use MAPS. Yes, the paper things that tell you exactly where you are 'in space'. ..................................

All well & good when you have a decent and accurate map, - but some of the location "misdirections" on the CWGC maps are dreadful - over the years I've probably wasted several days of accumulated time in scouring F&F for cemeteries which are considerable distances from where CWGC maps say they are :angry:

Bruce's contribution looks like a Godsend to me (if I can ever work out how to use it !)

regards - Tom

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... For a Tomtom

Once you have downloaded and unzipped the file .... and drag and drop them into the map folder....

Brilliant Bruce!

Thank you so much for the perfect explanation! I had not looked at the extra device letter; I was completely stuck on trying to do it through the new version of TomTom HOME that insisted on downloading itself.

Now there they all are - a host of little green headstones.

AND a huge thank you for undertaking what must have been a mammoth task.

And a note to Burlington, from a happy sat-nav user:

I do a lot of driving on my own in unfamiliar territory in France, and was sick of screeching to a halt at junctions, or under street lamps, because I couldn't remember which way I had planned to go.

I still LOVE real maps, and of course you still need to look at one to see the overall shape of your planned journey, and check whether the itinerary offered by the sat-nav looks reasonable.

There's room for both!

Angela

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I have another question? Do you require a specific model of Tom Tom or Garmin to be able to download this information. Someone mentioned SD cards? Do all models allow these to be used? One of the confusions of all the kit available out there is that it is extremely difficult to understand which piece of kit is suitable for each application. I know there is little point in asking any questions in the stores stocking these devices as most questions are met by a blank stare.

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You can download the software to any TomTom or Garmin.

It was me who mentioned SD cards. All Satnavs come with inbuilt memory. You will need to check each model to see what 'extras' they offer. On mine we can download music, talking books (saves taking loads of cd's and gives an alternative to listening to music too) - all sorts of things (and I suspect you can on all Satnavs, but I don't know it for sure) and, depending on how you use yours, depends whether or not you will want an SD card.

If you just use it as a basic Satnav you will probably not need the SD card.

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Just having a look at the Garmin site now to refresh my memory and reminding myself what an array they offer, no wonder it's confusing!!

You need to decide what you want from your Satnav.

On ours we have Blue-Tooth (this does away with the need for hands free kit for your telephone), pre-loaded European maps and it announces street names (as opposed to 'Turn left in 50 feet' it will say 'Turn left in 50 feet into Turpin Road' - much easier to know which road you need when you have 2/3 very close together).

Would you prefer wide screen or not?

Know what you want from your Satnav and then you can whittle them down to a choice of 3/4. Go to the shops have a look at them, get them to demonstrate them, do you find a particular model easier?

You won't ever regret getting one, promise!

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...Do you require a specific model of Tom Tom or Garmin to be able to download this information. ...

I bought the most basic model of TomTom that would have the Western Europe maps on it: "TOMTOM ONE Europe".

I didn't want to run my phone through it, or anything else.

It does have a slot for an SD card, but I have never used that.

This might be superseded by later models now, including some with a wider screen ("XL").

A friend of mine who bought an XL version said she could not see much advantage to it. The screen is indeed a bit *wider*, but when you are looking at the screen for navigational purposes, it is the *height* of the screen that is relevant (i.e. that shows you more of where you are going). Also she said that the XL, being a bit heavier, was more likely to come unstuck from the windscreen!

I think they are still available in the normal format, at a lower price.

I am very happy with mine. And I managed to add Bruce's POIs easily, once I had his instructions!

Angela

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Now there they all are - a host of little green headstones.

Angela

I was kinda hoping they were WHITE ones! :blink::lol:

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Green on mine, Bruce!

With white crosses on.

Perhaps I have an Irish TomTom. :rolleyes:

Angela

Errr..so the headstones (crosses) are white not green

Pedant mode

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The little POI image is a bright green square, with a white vertical, cemetery-style cross on it!

It shows up like that in the list of POIs, and also - in their hundreds - on the map!

Doesn't everybody have them like that? :huh:

Angela

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The little POI image is a bright green square, with a white vertical, cemetery-style cross on it!

It shows up like that in the list of POIs, and also - in their hundreds - on the map!

Doesn't everybody have them like that? :huh:

Angela

I'm just being a pedant Angela. You said originally that the HEADSTONES were GREEN (Now there they all are - a host of little green headstones. was what you said). I was just poining out that it's not the headstones which are green but the surrounding area on the icon.

You have the correct image, rest assured. I was just poking fun and I'm begininning to wish I hadn't! :lol:

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Does a multi-point sat nav exist? For example is there a sat nav that plans a route around say 10 war cemeteries or do you have to do them one by one?

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