Public Numbers Installation
I’ve downloaded the files and opened the instructions. Now what?
The waypoints are bundled into regions. Open your region and admire its contents for a moment. Think aloud, “I really should send those StrikeLines guys a pizza for lunch.”
- Humminbird: Copy entire “matrix” folder (and the .HWR file it contains) contents onto the root directory of a memory card. Pop the memory card into your Humminbird unit. Dialog box pops up. Select “Import.” Optional: Send Humminbird engineers a pizza for making it so easy.
- Lowrance: Copy the .GPX file onto a memory card that is compatible with your unit. Insert the memory card into your Lowrance unit. Follow the waypoint import instructions in your owner’s manual.
- Garmin: The .GDB file is directly compatible with many Garmin GPS units. If you have difficulty, then import the GDB or GPX file into your favorite Garmin PC software (Homeport, Basecamp, etc.) and follow your normal procedure for uploading waypoints to your GPS.
- RayMarine: RWF file. Follow the instructions in your unit’s instruction manual for importing waypoints. (Experimental.)
- Magellan: WPT file. Follow the instructions in your unit’s instruction manual for importing waypoints. (Experimental.)
Can’t I just use my cell phone or home computer?
- PC via Google Earth: Install Google Earth, then double click the KML/KMZ file.
- iPhone: Download Google Earth app from the iTunes store, and use it to open the KML/KMZ file.
- Android: Download the Google Earth app from the Google Play store, and use it to open the KML/KMZ file.
I have a GPS from "Company-X." Can I upload these numbers to it?
Don’t give up yet. If your GPS has a memory card slot or data transfer cable, you will most likely be able to upload these waypoints using software provided by your manufacturer. Almost every commercial waypoint management program is capable of importing waypoints stored in GPX format. In general, these are the steps you will follow to get this uploaded to your GPS
- Open PC Waypoint Management Software.
- Click File-->Open/Import
- Select .GPX file for your region.
- GPX file is loaded and waypoints are displayed on screen.
- Click “File --> Export waypoints” , or “GPS-->Send to GPS”, or “Tools -->GPS DataLink” or whatever similar command works for your software.
- Select a file format compatible with your GPS unit.
- Save it to a memory card, or upload it directly to your GPS using a data cable connected to your computer.
What software should I use to organize this stuff on my PC?
ExpertGPS: Excellent GPX editing software. Compatible with many GPS units. (Not Humminbird.)
EasyGPS: Free version of ExpertGPS with reduced functionality. Still very good.
Reefmaster: Extremely good waypoint management, sonar mapping and side-scan analysis software for Lowrance and Humminbird hardware. I highly recommend Reefmaster to HB and Lowrance owners.
Homeport: Very nice software for Garmin owners.
Basecamp: Similar to Homeport, also for Garmin.
Insight Planner: Lowrance’s entry level GPS software. Ok waypoint management, with excellent nautical chart overlays built in.
GPSUtility: Simple, no-frills software with an enormous library of compatible GPS devices. For people with less common GPS brands, this will often be your best bet.
GPS Babel: Simple GPS conversion software. Compatible with everything.
I own a Furuno.
A less expensive software option for Furuno is GPS Utility. We’ve tested it, and it works, but see the above caution about overwriting waypoints.