Program installation and environment; basic problems
General topics on GARtrip; how to use the program
Scanned maps

Data exchange with other programs

Program installation and environment; basic problems

Is (or will be) another program version for other operating systems (Linux, macOS…) available?
No. Anyway, it’s reported that Gartrip runs on these operationg systems using the Windows simulator Wine.

Whenever I start Gartrip, I am told to re-install Microsoft Office. What shall I do?
Gartrip has nothing to do with the Office program package. Anyway, there is kind of unknown interaction between Microsoft systems. Say „OK“ to the re-installation. It will notice that all is okay, and you’ll no longer be bothered.

I use an USB-to-serial Converter to connect the receiver. This works with all other programs but not with Gartrip.
In this case the driver of your converter is incompatible to the environment of Gartrip. Without complete reprogramming of Gartrip with another environment, we can't solve this problem but some users found a solution as follows:

  • The converter driver has to be de-installed, then installed with the driver installer program running in compatibility mode for "Windows XP (SP3).
  • After installing the converter, Gartrip shall be re-installed.
  • Scan the website of the converter manufacturer for another driver, preferrably a driver which works for more than one Windows version.

I have a Garmin Nüvi / Colorado receiver. How can I read and write waypoints with Gartrip?
From version 211 on, Gartrip accesses these Garmin recievers the same way as others: by the menu Garmin, Read/Write.

All text fields of the program, even the menu items, are shown as "missing text".
Either the file gartrip.res in the program folder is missing. Or you've installed a Windows language option requiring Unicode support, for example Chinese or Greek. On the Windows Control Panel / Regional and Language Options page, go to the bin "extended". There is a language selection for programs which do not support Unicode. Gartrip does not support Unicode, so this option will affect Gartrip. Select "English" or another language supported by Gartrip.

Can't Gartrip read and write files for Mapsource and Google Earth?
It can't read and write the special file formats of those programs, but with the general purpose file format GPX this is possible - for Googel Earth with KML as well.

Why not use the GPX file format in general, to save user data, instead of the special file formats of Gartrip? Then I would not need to convert my data each time I want to access it with another program.
This is not recommended because Gartrip, like all other programs, saves additional data in its own format. Those additional data cannot be saved in GPX.  For waypoint files they are, for example, the suitable time zone for the region of the waypoints, and the suitable coordinates format and geodetic datum, and for tracks they are the optional comment texts, and the line colors.

My PC has no serial port. May I connect the receiver via USB instead?
You may use a USB to serial converter. Please ask your computer dealer. Read the help on this topic ("Receiver connection").

I don't get the serial comm port of my PC working with Gartrip.
In most cases the port will be used by another program, or your transfer cable will have broken contacts, or the transfer protocol has not been set correctly. Please follow the instructions in the Help (search for "link").

The bottom part of the map is hidden by the task bar.
Just reduce the size of the map a little. For this purpose, drag the RIGHT border of the map to the left hand side. The bottom border will be adjusted automatically, keeping the aspect ratio of the map constant. Your setting will be kept between sessions.

The program worked well all the time, but now the texts don't fit to the buttons any longer.
This may happen if something in the Windows graphics system went wrong, maybe caused by the installation of another program. It can be repaired by changing the screen resolution and font size of Windows forth and back again.

It happens that the program terminates with a run time error message, or the PC freezes completely when Gartrip draws the chart or transfers data.
Use "Windows Standard" mouse pointers. This is a rare problem that is dependent on PC configuration. It was reported by a user who also had a similar problem when opening Outlook Express. He had an ATI expert@work graphics card and IntelliPoint Software, and was using the "Animated Hourglass" mouse pointer scheme. The solution was to disable animated pointers as follows. Open the Mouse Control Panel and select the Pointers tab. In the panel headed "Scheme", select "Windows Standard" from the drop down list. An alternative solution is to turn down graphics acceleration using the System Control Panel. Select the Performance tab and then click on Graphics. Adjust the slider to its second lowest position (Basic accelerator functions). However, you might find the graphics system is then too slow for normal with this setting.

On the printed chart the waypoints do not line up with the map, although it was correct on screen.
Some HP printers have this problem with certain settings. Try another printer setting for graphics resolution, or disable the preview. One user could not disable the preview, but he solved the problem by connecting the printer to another PC in his network. Network printing is always without preview, and all works well.

General topics on GARtrip; how to use the program

I want to take UTM coordinates from a map, but the format does not fit to the format described in the Gartrip Help.
UTM coordinates consist of a zone (number and letter), easting value, and northing value. It happens that the zone is omitted, or the zone is given within the map description and not at the grid lines. If only the zone letter is missing, you may just set it to "R" for the northern hemisphere, or to "E" for the southern hemisphere. The program will find the correct letter from the complete coordinates. If the zone number is missing, you should check whether the zone number precedes the easting value: if the easting value has more digits than the northing value, the first two digits will be the zone number. If the zone is missing completely, you may find it when the rough coordinates are known in latitude/longitude format. Create a waypoint within Gartrip, using these known lat/lon coordinates, then change Gartrip to UTM, and read the zone of this waypoint.
Please read the Gartrip Help on this topic (search for Index "Coordinates").

Why does Gartrip always show a leading zero for UTM easting values?
This was not invented by me. This is the UTM standard. Garmin receivers use exactly the same format but some other programs don't. The option "System, Unit for metric coordinates, UTM: add missing zero" will add this leading zero if you forget it. This option is enabled by default. You should disable it when working with fixed UTM zones at locations exceeding the selected zone. In this case it may happen that the leading digit is nonzero.

Gartrip shows UTM coordinates with a decimal point. This does not fit the standard.
The decimal point is only a reading aid. It is easier to read 5325.875 than 5325875 - when entering coordinates, you don't need to enter the point at all. And if you don't like to see it you may disable it using the menu "System / Unit for metric coordinates / km". This also affects the export text file format.

When calibrating a map, or when creating a new waypoint, I want to use a metric coordinate format (UTM for example). But I am not sure whether I know how to enter the numbers. How can I take care to do it right?
Are there already waypoints near to the new one? If there are, just check the spelling of its coordinates as a template. If there aren't, you may first create a dummy waypoint using the coordinates format with latitude/longitude (hddd.ddddd°), then switch over to your desired coordinates format.

Does Gartrip show the accumulated altitude of a track?
Yes - provided that your receiver records the altitude at all. Hit "Edit Tracks" and "Analyze Track Range". See the line "Altitude" showing the minimum and maximum altitude of your track, followed by the accumulated ascending and descending altitude (enclosed in parentheses).

When defining a route, I sometimes get a yellow warning box saying "Closed route". What does this mean?
You have selected the same waypoint as the beginning and the end of your route. Your intention will be to make a circle trip. But your GPS receiver might have some problem with this kind of route. When switching the receiver on while being near the start and end point, the receiver will be confused deciding what the active route leg would be. In many cases it will start with the last leg. So I recommend omitting the end point from your route, and while travelling along it, moving the start point to the end of the route.
The same kind of problem might come up if two route legs approach each other, or even worse, if one route leg crosses another one. In this case you get the warning "crossing route".

How may I get an area calculated?
You can define the area by two different ways:
1) By waypoints at each corner: Create a route defining the outline of the area, with the first and last route point being the same, you get the yellow warning box "closed route" with the calculated area appended.
2) By a track: Record or draw a track of the outline of the area, with the end point near the start point. Then hit "Edit Tracks" and "Analyze Range". The track analysis will include the enclosed area if the track was nearly closed.

May I transfer a scanned map to the Garmin receiver?
No, sorry.

When printing the chart, all texts are replaced by black fields on the screen. What's wrong?
Nothing is wrong here. The black fields represent the printed size of the text fields. They are too small to be readable on screen. The black rectangles give you the indication how the text will be placed on the printout.

I cannot get the speed diagram for my tracks, nor is the time and speed shown when "Edit Tracks" is enabled. What is wrong?
To calculate the speed of track GARtrip needs the date/time information of each track point. Some Garmin receivers do not keep this information when you "save" a track within the receiver. The date/time information is only kept for the so-called "active log".

Does GARtrip save the altitude(elevation) of tracks?
Yes, from version 203 on! But this feature is only available for some new Garmin receivers like the eTrex. Others like the GPS12 family don't transmit the altitude at all.

Why do I have to set my time zone twice in the program?
There are two time zone settings in the program affecting different operations:
1) In menu "Edit list" you find "Time zone of this list". This setting controls the display of time stamps of waypoints and track points.
2) In menu "System" you find "Time zone at home". This setting controls the PC clock correction. In addition, whenever you create a new waypoint list from scratch, the home zone setting will be copied to the list zone setting.
And why are there two different settings? You will find this useful if coming back from a trip to a different time zone. Whenever you open the waypoint file from this trip, all waypoints and track points will be shown with the time zone valid there, while the PC clock correction still refers to your home time zone.

How may I get my track log analyzed by GARtrip: speed, distance, duration?
Load your tack, hit "Edit track", then "Range: whole track" or any other option. You will get distance, direct distance, average speed, duration with and without included pauses, and altitude range with total ascend/descand. You can get this information on any selected part of the track.

How may I have GARtrip supporting all waypoint symbols of my GPS?
Garmin uses to increase the number of waypoint symbols when creating a new firmware, and these new symbols were not known when GARtrip was created. To support them anyway, GARtrip has a learning mode for unknown symbols. For you this means: If you know about a new symbol within your Garmin, all you have to do is to assign this symbol to a waypoint within your Garmin. Then you should read the waypoints to GARtrip. Now GARtrip will see an unknown symbol identifier, and it will append this identifier to its symbol list, with a default symbol name. To define the suitable symbol name, please search for "Symbol" within the help system and follow these instructions.

For your convenience, you may download the complete file SYMBOL_3.INI for the GPS12map or  GPSmap 60C/60CS/76C/76CS or 172C.

On some web sites, coordinates are given using British Grid in an all-numeric format. Is this understood by GARtrip?
The whole British Grid is only one Transverse Mercator zone. Therefore it is possible to define a user grid for this purpose. Just add this line to your file DATUM.INI:
#(GB) British Grid num,Ord Srvy GB,-2,49,0.9996,400000,-100000

Why does GARtrip support so few Geodetic Datums?
Garmin receivers, and some PC programs, offer more than 100 Geodetic Datums, but most users will use very few only. It is inconvenient to scroll through a huge list each time. Therefore GARtrip was restricted to the most popular datums. If you need another one, knowing its shift parameters, you may enter them yourself. Follow the instructions in the Help file under "Datum". If you don't know the shift parameters, you may ask the author. Look here for some more datums.

You never speak about "upload" and "download" for transfers from/to the Garmin. Why?
When looking through other programs, I found that some authors say "upload" when transferring towards the Garmin, others say "download" to the same transfer, and vice versa. Is this because some people put their Garmin on top of the PC (upload) and some put it below the PC (download)? No matter what is up and what is down, I refer to the PC program being the active part: writing data to the Garmin, and reading data from it.


Now, with the SA being gone, is it still useful to improve the precision of a waypoint by the averaging functions of GARtrip?
In most cases you won't need it any more, see next item. If you want to improve anyway you should use the averaging a bit different than before. When averaging some waypoints, you should care that the single waypoints are taken with at least one hour time difference, and that they are not taken at the same time of day. This is recommended because the remaining GPS error changes much slower that the old SA error, and they show some 24 hours periodicity. When averaging a track range, please ensure that the track points were recorded at a fixed time interval, and that the track was recorded for more than one hour. You will get best precision with a 24 hours track; see "On GPS precision". If set to automatic mode, your GPS receiver would record nearly nothing because it suppresses recording whenever it does not detect any movement.

How do I get the best precision when marking a waypoint using my GPS receiver, with the SA being gone?
This question is not related to the program GARtrip.
1) Ensure the receiver has been on for a few minutes and has obtained a stable lock.
2) Check the EPE. If this is larger than you normally experience, don't trust the reading to be accurate. For a 12XL this probably means not trusting readings when the EPE is in double figures (metres).
3) Before marking the position, watch the numerical position for a few seconds. If the position is wandering, wait until it is steady before pressing the mark button. Then save the position without averaging.
4) Following the above instructions should result in most readings having an accuracy of 5 meters, and should avoid inaccuracies of any more than 10 metres. [This is a slightly pessimistic view, but it is a simple statement using nice round figures.]
The reason for without averaging is because the position displayed whilst averaging is the averaged position and any instability in the signal during the averaging can not be seen. This type of averaging therefore precludes the opportunity of rejecting averages that may include the higher errors. As the improvement to be gained by a short term average is small, it is not worth this risk. The averaging function of the receiver is useful only if you don't want to watch what is said before, but the procedure above will be more effective.
Contributed by Allen Oliver.

Scanned maps

Does GARtrip use scanned maps?
Yes, from version 200 on.

How may I use a map from a CD, like a  TOP50?
There are different TOP products. Therefore there is no general rule. If the viewer of the TOP map has an export function (like the Swisstopo) you should use it to create a BMP file, if possible with coordinate grid lines. This map file must be calibrated with Gartrip then.
For viewers without export function, you can use the print function like explained below under "How may I export the chart into another graphics program for further manipulation?".
For viewers without printing function, the only way is to use a screenshot. This method is available in each case but you'll get poor map resolution.

All waypoints and tracks are displaced by some hundred meters on my scanned maps, although I was very careful when calibrating the map.
It appears that you had selected the wrong Geodetic Datum before calibrating the map. It does not help to set the datum after calibration. So you must select the proper Datum for your map, and open the calibration menu again, then correct the coordinates.

Whenever I try to calibrate a map, the OK button is disabled, or the result is completely off. What's wrong?
You probably entered the coordinates of the calibration points in the wrong format. They must be given in the format and Geodetic Datum you have selected on the main panel (degrees, UTM, etc.), and one wrong character may confuse it totally. The same applies to coordinates of waypoints, but maybe you don't use numeric coordinates so often. For an explanation of all formats, highlight the format selector on the main panel, then press F1 for Help.
It is good practice not to enter coordinates from scratch but to select a waypoint first, even if you won't use an existing waypoint for calibration. Once shown, the coordinates can be edited then. This method gives you a template. It shows how the coordinates shall look like.
When working with UTM coordinates, you should not forget to enter the zone with its letter. If the zone is entered as 32 instead of 32U, then the program does not know if you are on the southern or northern hemisphere.

Does GARtrip work with the German Topo CDs of the Landesvermessungsämter?
No. These CDs use a proprietary data format.

What file format shall I use when scanning maps?
Gartrip accepts BMP, GIF, and JPG files.
BMP is the pure pixel format without any compression. It creates the biggest file size but it loads fastest.
GIF is a loss less compressed format. It will create the smallest files without any loss of quality. The degree of compression depends on the type of the image. The more constant coloured areas, the smaller the file will be. If your scanning program supports Gif then this will be the best choice for maps.
JPG is a compressed format, designed mainly for photographs. You have to select the degree of compression, and this results in some loss of quality.
Whatever you use for the file format, I recommend to set the canning resolution to 150 dpi for most maps, and 200 dpi for very fine printed maps.

What is the maximum map size?
The program itself does not limit the size of a map but on some computers the graphics functions of Windows will not work properly if the map is greater than 4 MB. You will not get beyond this limit when scanning an A4 sheet with 200 dpi.

Data exchange with other programs

How may I find the file import and export functions?
Just select "File: Save as...". On the following panel, select the proper file format.

How may I export the chart into another graphics program for further manipulation, and how can I send a Gartrip chart to friends??
You may use the function "Print" for this purpose, with a program like PDF Creator. You get this open source program at It creates files in many different formats like PDF, JPG, BMP and others.

How may I copy the chart to another graphics program as a bitmap?
With the chart window active, press Alt-Print on the keyboard. Then open your graphics program and insert. The result is limited to screen resolution, though.

How can I save my data in a readable format, in order to process them with Excel?
Select the file format "Gartrip Export Text" when saving the data. You find a full specification of this format in the Help of Gartrip, searching for "Export".

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