Garmin TourGuides | How do I set up a Tourguide?

rbrown3rd's picture

Hi Everyone,
As a result of getting a new Nuvi 650 to replace my old C340 I have waded through the process of creating Tourguide files. I thought I would summarize here for the benefit of anyone trying to do so but first I must admit that I have some disappointment in the functionality of the TourGuide files and with the process required to create them. My disappointment is that they really do not function the way I thought they would. My fantasy was that they would function as a route leading one from point to point with a narrative at each point. Obviously that is not the case as that would be a routing capability which my 650 does not have but there are work arounds. My other disappointment was with the complex process needed to create them. Oh, and a third one is that the linked images do not pop up while the narrative runs. Ok, let's create a Tourguide file.

1. Create a file structure on your computer for the tourguide file. I use the following.

Tourguide Name (use your own name here for this folder)
Data (a sub folder under the Tourguide Name folder)
Points (use a separate folder for each poi name the points, turns, or whatever your images and mp3s will reside here)

2. Record your narratives as mp3 files. I use the free program called Audacity. Use whatever you are comfortable with. This is where you can use the work around of telling your user which way to go to the next point in the tour as well as describing the present location. Save a separate audi file in each point or turn sub folder in the structure described above.

3. The easiest way to set the point locations is with Mapsource but it is not necessary. Use it to set the point locations of your tour. Set a proximity for the audio alert to occur. I find that 0.02 miles works pretty well if you are traveling slowly. Go to the bottom and select the browse button, the one on the right, and browse to the location of the folder containg the mp3 audio narrative for that point. You can do this now or after you have designated all of the points.

4. Save the file as a gpx file. Important, Mapsource defaults to a gdb file so you must select gpx manually. Save the gpx containing all of the points for your Tourguide file in the main folder you have designated for this TourGuide.

5. Now to link an image to that particular point in the tourguide file you must edit the ID3 tages for cover art in the mp3 file. I said it was a bit bizarre but the program Audioshell makes it easy. It adds id3 editing functionality to the windows file explorer. You must put the full path name in for the graphic image you are linking to this point.

Another way given by Hornbyp: An easier way to do it, is to just place the .jpg file in the same directory as the .mp3, along with the .bmp (icon) for the point, if there is one.

In GeePeeEx Editor, if multiple 'enhancements' (as Garmin call them) exist in a directory, it should spot them and automatically link to the directory, instead of the file. In Mapsource, you have to manually edit the link to remove the file-name portion.

6. Once you are satisfied that all of this is to your satisfaction use POIloader to compile the gpx file and upload it to your GPS.

If you guys have a better way please share it.

ps. If you are comfortable with editing XML files with a text editor you can create the gpx file that way but it is easier with Mapsource. There is nothing magic about Mapsource and the TourGuide files it just makes it easy to create the GPX files.

Member Hornbyp added to this faq with this excerpt:
You haven't mentioned that the .mp3 file needs to contain the case-sensitive phrase "TourGuide", somewhere in its name. This is the magic phrase, that triggers POI Loader into making a TourGuide Alert. TourGuides are different from 'normal' audio alerts, in that

1. they are Circular in nature, not "Along-road".
2. They are purely Proximity related - any speed information is ignored.
3. the audio can be controlled - ie. stopped/started/paused etc. Normally, it just plays once from start to finish

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