View Full Version : Changing waypoint (viapoint) symbols in Garmin MapSource / BaseCamp routes

2nd November 2010, 08:54 PM
Changing waypoint (viapoint) symbols in Garmin MapSource / BaseCamp routes

In MapSource (to 6.16.2), the ViaPoint symbol is determined at the time of route creation by the registry string: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Garmin\MapSource\Settin gs\Waypoint\ViaSymbol
The MapSource default waypoint symbol can be set in Preferences. It is reflected in the registry string: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Garmin\MapSource\Settin gs\Waypoint\Symbol

For a small black dot the REG_BINARY value is 12 00 00 00

In Basecamp (to 3.1.1), the are no such options or registry strings by default. Creating them (under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Garmin\BaseCamp\Setting s\Waypoint\) seems to affect points later created by mouse clicks. But points created in filtered routes made from tracks continue to use the Mile Marker symbol, which is too large for some purposes.

Symbols in routes can be changed with a bit of effort, using a text editor like (free) Notepad++ on a file exported in GPX format, then re-imported into your preferred mapping program. The method is:

1. Open MapSource with only your route of interest, and save as a GPX file
(or use BaseCamp “Export Selection” on the selected route, again to GPX format).

2. Open the GPX file in Notepad++. Open the "Replace" dialog (CTRL+H).
In the "Search Mode" box select "Regular Expression" (otherwise the steps below will fail).

3. Mapsource includes material in GPX files that can confuse GPSr units (including Garmin 60cx) after the files are re-imported and sent to the GPSr. To eliminate this problem, first use Notepad++ to find the offending sections and delete them (by replacing them with nothing).

Find what: (.*)<(.*)gpxx:(.*)
Replace with:

With the cursor at the start of the file in Notepad++, click "Find" to verify that the search works. If it does not, check the setting for “Regular Expression” in step 2!
Once you have verified that the search is working, click "Replace All".
You should now see empty lines where there was unwanted material in the GPX file.

4. Optionally delete comments and descriptions. They are probably not useful in a route, and may clutter the GPSr screen. (Route point names can also cause unit clutter so it is generally preferable to stick to a simple name format like 001, 002, etc. for route viapoints.)

Find what: <cmt>(.*)</cmt>
Replace with:
Click replace all.

Find what: <desc>(.*)</desc>
Replace with:
Click replace all.

5. Symbols are defined in a GPX file as <sym>…</sym>. For the small black dot symbol, use <sym>Waypoint</sym>. You can specify any symbol. The required names for Garmin symbols appear as you move the mouse cursor in the graphic list under MapSource> Edit> Preferences> Waypoint> Defaults> Symbol. For Custom Waypoints the name is like "Custom 1". (Another way to find a symbol name is to create a new file in MapSource, create a new waypoint with the desired symbol, export as GPX, open in Notepad++ and examine the <sym> tag.) To use the default MapSource waypoint symbol:

Find what: <sym>(.*)</sym>
Replace with: <sym>Waypoint</sym>
Click replace all.

6. Save the file, re-open in MapSource, and you should see your route, now with the specified point symbols.

CAUTION: Check that altered routes show correctly on your GPSr, not just in MapSource! Problems are reported if the <gpxx:> tags are not removed as specified in step 3.

Thanks for the advice on Notepad++ to edit GPX files, from Legward at

3rd November 2010, 11:56 AM
Following John’s tip about WinGDB3 for conversion between tracks and routes, this program can also be used to change (or remove) ViaPoint symbols from a route.

http://www.gpsaustralia.net/forums/...63496#post63496 (http://www.gpsaustralia.net/forums/showthread.php?p=63496#post63496)

In WinGDB3 Preferences you can nominate a “Waypoint Symbol Code for via points”. Version 3.61 beta.1 is distributed with a Symbols.gdb file that has the available 249 symbols (and the numbers assigned to them in WinGDB3) stacked up at Lat 0, Long 0. I found it easier to see them listed after converting this to a gpx file. From this was extracted the attached text file. Notice that WinGDB3 for this purpose uses a different numbering system than Garmin Registry REG_BINARY values. For example WinGDB3 symbol 18 = Garmin REG_BINARY 12 00 00 00 = gpx file <sym>Waypoint</sym> = a small black dot. Phew.


WinGDB3 is quick and simple, once you have nominated the desired viapoint symbol. Then simply run Processing Option 22 “Convert tracks to routes with visible via points”. Or to change viapoint symbols in a route file with just a few clicks, I guess one could easily convert from route to track (option 11) then back to route (option 22).

(PS: if you really want, you can work out the Garmin REG_BINARY values by altering the Mapsource default waypoint in MapSource Preferences, then seeing the changed registry string at: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Garmin\MapSource\Settin gs\Waypoint\Symbol)