RogerBW's Blog

Garmin Drive favourites and Linux 16 October 2016

Getting "favourites" (stored locations) on and off the Garmin Drive navi is slightly more fiddly than it needs to be, but doesn't require Windows even slightly. Here's what worked for me.

Attach the navi to the computer by USB. Wait for 20-30 seconds before it deigns to present a USB mass storage interface. Mount this drive.

Under /GPX on the device, you will find "Current.gpx", which is a fairly standard GPX file containing all your current favourites. Run this through your XML parser of choice to see what's going on (Firefox has a good display mode for un-styled XML files), or see below. This is how you read favourites.

To write favourites, create one or more GPX files containing location data; they should be named something.gpx, but not Current.gpx. (These files might include a Current.gpx off another Garmin navi, if you want to copy favourites from one to another, but you'll have to rename it.) The basic layout is:

  <wpt lat="LAT" lon="LON">

where all the upper-case items are replaced by your own data, LAT and LON in the usual decimal format with west and south being negative. You can include multiple elements in a single . The whole "extensions" stanza is completely optional; if you include it, the ADDRESS content will be shown on the device in small print below the name. You could probably use other elements to put in phone numbers and things, but, well, why bother?

Copy this file/these files onto the navi, in the /GPX directory; unmount, disconnect, and fire up the navi. The contents will be added to the internal favourites list. (In the order in which they appear in the file; I haven't checked whether files are taken in ASCIIbetical order or just as they appear in the filesystem.) If names match existing ones, the new item will be renamed with a trailing number.

You can safely delete those extra gpx files once the navi has booted and read them.

Note that you cannot delete items from the favourites list by this means. But you can grab the Current.gpx, edit it as you see fit, fire up the navi, delete all favourites, reconnect USB, and copy the edited Current.gpx back on under a new name. Do remember that your "Home" location is just another favourite, so if you delete everything you'll need to reload that too.

See also:
How To Use a Garmin Drive navi with Linux

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