Getting it Working on a Mac

As a victim of the iPod “Halo Effect” (see previous post regarding Nano), I just had to go out and buy a shiny, jangly new Macbook. Ostensibly, of course, so I could test the Route Planner on Safari and figure out how it all works on a Mac. While there’s no way you are going to pry my Linux machine away from me, I am very pleased with the Apple.

So, how do you get it working with your Garmin Edge (or other) and the Route Planner?

I knew it could be done because Jon Ellis posted below that he’d done it.

Firstly I went to the GPSBabel site’s download area, which led here:

I downloaded the GPSBabel+-1.3.0.dmg file, which, although it says it’s for PPC, runs fine on my Intel-based Mac. The package, once installed, gives you both a command-line copy of gpsbabel and also a GUI front end to it. So far so good.
Next, I plugged in the GPS unit via USB, and then, in a terminal, ran ‘sudo dmesg’, hoping to see some system messages confirming that the unit had been recognised. Nothing. Hmm, I thought… do I need drivers? Searching for terms like “Mac Garmin Edge USB Drivers” basically made me realise pretty quickly that no-one’s very happy with Garmin over their lack of Mac support.

Anyway, I re-read what Jon had posted and tried it anyway – and it worked! The GUI front end is easy enough to use, but if you want to transfer a file quickly from the command line the syntax which did it for me was:

gpsbabel -r -i gpx -f foo.gpx -o garmin -F usb:

The key difference being the “usb:” on the end, rather than specifying the pseudo serial port /dev/ttyUSB0 which one has to do under Linux.

4 Replies to “Getting it Working on a Mac”

  1. Actually, the above syntax works exactly the same on Mac, Linux, and Windows. On some LInux strains, you have to get the kernel driver out of the way.

    (Questions to me via the GPSBabel site and not here, please…)

  2. i’ve not got a background in computers using linux, and don’t understand anything thats below ‘safari’ !!
    (i run away from Terminal)

    I downloaded macgpsbabel as martyn says.
    Then i downloaded GMapToGPX from the gmap page – and followed the instruction to add to favourites bar within safari.

    the mac recognised the garmin device without drivers.

    so my route to the garmin is:
    1 gmap planned and saved
    2 click gmaptogpx on my favourites
    3 cut and paste the above into Marytns map and edit way points
    4 save the file as .txt (using text edit and making the format plain text)
    5 open MacGPSBabel:
    a) operating mode = routes
    b) select a file (the .txt youve saved)
    c) GPX XML
    d) click ‘use gps for output’
    e) click convert
    f) select gps (should be clear!) click continue
    g) its done – occasionally i have to redo it if it fails the 1st time.

    I hope this makes sense to those baffled by technology, but whom appreciate what it can do!
    can anyone check my post to confirm all is correct?

    cheers again Martyn

  3. Thanks Jon. As a side note to anyone else reading this, it may seem overly complicated, but Jon’s describing getting a pre-saved route out of the gmap pedometer application rather than simply defining a new route. Hence the extra requirement for gmaptogpx, which wouldn’t be required if you simply define the route with route planner and then upload it with gpsbabel.

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