Garmin gdb file
  • Hi,

    I've been using nav for my daily commute for a while now and very happy with it.

    I'll be going to Norway this summer on my motorbike and received a garmin route as .gdb file.

    I really like to use navigator as my GPS but I can't figure out how. I am able to convert the gdb file into for example a freshroute extension and I am also able to find and "open" this file using route importer, but I have a few problems.

    First the file seems quite large when converted to fresh route, while gpx files are much smaller. Navigator crashes when I try to open the routes. It did work once, but then I noticed that only half the route was loaded. The route does have a lot of waypoints so I can understand that loading takes a while, but it just crashes.

    So actually I am asking: is it possible to convert a large garmin gdb file to something navigator can properly use? Including a large route of approximately 3000 kilometres with lots of waypoints?

    I'm using a high end mobile phone nexus 5 with latest updates.


  • 21 Comments sorted by
  • @tomsan84  With ITNConverter I had no problems converting Your gdb to gpx. The file contains 13 day routes and waypoints. So if You are using ITNCon convert every single day route to a gpx. I did it with Day 1 "Almere to Schwedenkai" and as I mentioned above this route of about 500 km contains already more than 800 waypoints and IMO that is far too much. So I would reduce them using "RouteConverter" and than for example import the route to to do it over again.
  • @tomsan 

    Depends probably on the RAM size and processor speed of the phone. On my PNA (WinCE) with 64 MB RAM routes with more than about 200 waypoints are difficult. So I would upload the single gpx file to, work out the route and than download them as gpx route again with 100 - 150 waypoints or even less depending on the lenght of the trip. IMO for that simple trip from Almere - Schwedenkai you hardly need more than 10 crucial waypoints. Using the PC version from MF just using "Almere - Wesertunnel - B495 - Elbfähre - Schwedenkai" as routing points, a route with 529 km is calculated.

  • Have you tried ? That java-based program converts lots of formats into other. Garmin gbd is supported.

    You can convert your gbd into gpx.

  • Hello, 

    I just tried "ITNConverter" from here:
    It can convert all kinds of formats, also gdb to gpx or even to MFs xml so You could use this directly as "routing_points.xml" for routing. I'm also now able to use preplanned routes in MFs Navigator for WinCE. But I would probably first convert to gpx and use RouteConverter to reduce the number of waypoints if Your file is that big and then convert it with ITNConvert to MFs xml. Just for safety I would also use DiggerQT for import of the gpx file as mca. You got a track line of Your route that You could follow just in case.

  • @crocodile Routeconverter doesnt seem to recognize any .gdb file. So I cant use it..?

    @Frisian Ill try when I get home, cant install it atm. The rest is not really clear to me, I am not sure what you are telling me, but I hope I can figure it out.

    If someone want to try it out here is the file:

  • @frisian

    thx ITN did the trick indeed. I was able to see all the waypoints and there are a lot of nonsense waypoints. I might take half a day to remove them and make the route lighter.

    Any idea how much waypoints are acceptable on Navigator using a phone? 'cause I had the idea to just upload all the days seperatly. In that case I have 12 different routes, for the 12 different days.

  • yeah the first day is ridiculous, I wont be using that map at all, since its mostly highway and I can figure out the route myself.

    Ill be using your advice to 'lighten up' the route for the other days.

    thx so much for your advice 
  • As more or less mentioned in these thread but nowhere explicitly explained: gpx files come in 3 variants: track, waypoint and route (see here and here).
    Your original gdb file was a track gpx and never meant for routing, but only for "following". Please do as Frisian says: simply overlay the track in your program and take 5-10 essential nodes and save them as a real route gpx file.
    If you do that MNF (but also Osmand and a few other nav apps) will be able to read it and really calculate a route based on these points, instead of simply plotting a track. Note also that most Nav apps will not give voice commands when following a track. When leaving the track you will not be corrected as you are following a track, not a route (AFAIK OsmAnd is here really the only exception who does give voice commands for tracks as well)
  • Hi,

    thx for all the help, I was able to convert the file into multiple GPX files. I now have gpx files for every day with less than 100 waypoints per route.

    Because I couldnt check the routes, I downloaded a scenic route in my area and converted it to gpx as well and also deleted some unnecessary waypoints as to test it in practice.

    It worked, but there was one mayor issue that I also experience when I use navigator as standard gps system (as in just entering an address I want to go to):

    Navigator seems to demand me to go to the waypoints in the list and will not "understand" that I am taking another route. It will keep repeating recalculating the route, and wants me to go to point 1 in the list. I drove to my GF's house about 50km away and it still wanted me to turn around and go to my first position even when I was there. I did indeed miss the first position, because I drove a bit differently then suggested.

    On holiday this might be a problem. When I miss a waypoint, but I know where I am, navigator will try to keep  steering me back to the point I missed. Obviously this cant be right. "normal"nav systems will automatically recalculate the route as to connect to the first waypoint on the route.

    I am hijacking my own topic now, but I didnt want to create another, so hopefully you guys have a solution again.

    I have to say that if navigator is not able to ignore waypoints that I missed its nearly unusable for my trip, cause its going to happen. In fact its not really a usable gps system at all if this cant be fixed. But I am hopefull. I have to say the bluetooth communication with my headset was excellent, and the instructions very clear. So I am still very keen on using MF nav


  • @tomsan84

    to my knowledge there is now other way then open  the list "routing points " in menu an uncheck there the missed waypoints or click on the waypoint in the map and delete the waypoint in pop up menu displayed. MF has no function "skip next waypoint",  as for example some devices from Garmin. So You have to be careful in setting waypoints when You know the area alright.

  • Well after some testing and reading the comment of Frisian I came to the conclusion Navigator is not usable at all... Even not if you just use it for navigation to an address. If you miss one plotted routing point you are fucked. It also doesnt seem to give me the best/ most logical routes. 

    Osmand is a bit complicated as for settings etc ect, but it works perfectly and recalculates routes as supposed to. The gpx files are easily imported and everything works great.

    I am not trying to be cocky/arrogant I appreciate all the great help I received here, but I am really wondering why one would use MP nav, serious question?


  • For me it is the other way round. I used to be a heavy user (and moderate contributor) of OsmAnd but moved away from it because of its slow screen rendering and extremely slow route calculation. I only occasionally use it right now and only for cycling as no map is as detailed as the OsmAnd ones, but I don't want that detail and features during driving as it is too much and too distracting (apart from the other 2 mentioned reasons).

    So the question "why one would use MP nav" is always a personal one. For the gpx routes, with small diversions/d-routes, you are completely right: OsmAnd does that much better. The detailed maps make it also my favorite for cycling (at low speeds, the map refreshes are minimal and the slow rendering isn't an issue).

    For (regular) daily car navigation and quick recalculations, like in towns, there is nothing better then MNF (and I tried quite some nav apps). I do like Nokia Here as well but that one doesn't have routes (via options) or gpx at all. 
    And try to make a 400km+ route in OsmAnd: it simply doesn't work unless you have 1GB memory or more.
    On my previous 512 MB phone I could create a 4300 km route using only 72MB in MNF. That route is of course not a very feasible or useful route, but driving 600-800 km is and MNF does that very fast and accurately and OsmAnd simply can't do that (as you need 1.5GB+ which my current phone has btw) or takes up to 2-4 minutes!

    Again: It depends on what your "requirements" are, your regular/daily use is, and what you want to use for those special situations. 
  • @tomsan84
    not sure that I understand this - you are complaining that Navigator recalculates route to a waypoint you want to go to?
  • No, he has already passed 1 or more of the route points but not via the calculated route and not via the set waypoints. In that case MNF "detects" that you did not pass one or more of the waypoints and tries to route you back to the "missed" waypoints.

    Or in other words: You have a startpoint, waypoint 1 and 2, and a destination.
    You are already at waypoint 2, or halfway, but accidentally used another road and did not pass waypoint 1. Of course you don't want to go back, but MNF keeps trying to get you first (back in this case) to waypoint 1.
    You have to go into the route info -> route points and disable/remove waypoint 1. Then it nicely recalculates the route to your next waypoint.

    When you have passed one of the "further on the road" waypoints, MNF should be so clever to ask: "You missed/skipped 1 or more earlier waypoint(s). Disable these waypoints from the route? Yes/No" 

  • does Osmand ask, or just stops taking you back?
  • I didn't use OsmAnd for those kind of things for a very long time now. :)   I simply don't know anymore apart from the fact that it was indeed more sophisticated in that area.
  • co pilot is another I use. If you miss a point, it just re routes and keeps going.
    Some days with co pilot I will make a route and then decide to go a different way.
    It just re routes from where ever I happen to be.

    If you chose to go a different way, it will nag you for 1 or 2 miles that you need
    to make a U turn and go back. Nag mode, after a bit it re routes still keeping
    to your next destination or way point.

    Simple and easy.
  • @Tomas: From my memory (so not sure) and from Dave's reaction: What OsmAnd does is when you are closer to waypoint 2 than to waypoint 1, it skips waypoint 1. As it assumes you want to move on. So more or less the same as CoPilot.
  • OK, it can be better in some cases and worse in others
  • Missed waypoints. The easiest way to deal with missed waypoints would be fo mapfactor to 'detect' that returning to a waypoint (when recalculating) would increase the overall journey, then to give the option in a popup to cancel the 'missed' waypoint.
  • Glad to see this been requested by others as well. I have requested this a couple of times

    plus raised other suggestions to improve Mapfactor when following a gpx route file.

    I have even requested a quick workaround to enable to clear a missed waypoint manually ( similar to what Roldorf suggested above) -

    I was using OsmAnd previously and one of the reasons I gave it up it was because of the missed waypoints. I have requested for a change but nothing came out of it although I have received a notification recently that my requested is now in planning - too late as I like Mapfactor and I am not very keen with the latest OsmAnd UI.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion