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reisen.ch - das Reiseportal der Schweiz
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Heritage sites

Route Data

All the tours in this site have been walked by me and the GPS-routes are essentially based on track Data.

My system:
GPS: Garmin's GPSmap 60CS, nuvi 550 
(new GPSmap62st)
Garmin's MapSource
Garmin's "TOPO Schweiz", swisstopo's "Swiss Map 25".

Usually I carry the GPS in my Breast pocket. Reception in the mountainous environment is sometimes interrupted, the GPS would beep at me (then I'd take the GPS out) and later claim that I had made a big jump. 
All those imaginary jumps and the straying for nice views, a plant, a look at some animals  would be registered in the track data's. 
At home on the PC, on creating a new route (based on track-data's), I'd filter out such "detours" and futile data's. 

The route does not necessarily follow exactly the tracks on the TOPO-map or the collected track-data's! 

The GPS should be a helper, not the boss. 
Route's are not necessarily congruent with the map. In the open, there is probably always a difference between GPS-display, map and the actual track.

Always carry Reserve Batteries with you.

Recent experiences

GPSmap 60 and nuvi:
For hiking the "good old" GPSmap is my favorite, although the nuvi is much stronger in the acquiring of new data. For the car and finding an address the nuvi is top. Transfer of maps, tracks, or routes between Mapsource and each of the units goes flawless.
GPSmap 62st:
My newest playmate. I'm amazed! This Model is really fantastic with its new receiver. No beeping anymore because of lost satellite contact. I wouldn't want something else now.
I've stored all my routes on the separate card, but had to get used to the order in which the routes are displayed on the route-manager. Not alphabetically as usual in the windows explorer; the route-manager displays them in a "geographical" order. A reasonable solution.
nuvi 550:
I got my new nuvi in Jan 09 (preloaded with City Navigator Europe).
When I first tried to type in a target in the CH1903 grid system,  the Swiss coordinates were falsified (after typed in onto the display or read back from the map). After updating the firmware that fault was corrected.
Transfer between MapSource and nuvi (with the old MapSource version 6.10) was not working correctly. After update to 6.15 the problems were solved.
I've loaded the whole Topo Suisse map onto the SD-card (4 GB microSDHC). When both maps (city guide and Topo) are enabled, then the road-names are not displayed.
The new release brought another surprise for me.
I recognized changes in the management of symbols. Custom symbols must now be in the Garmin program directory (they used to be in " ...Mein Garmin..."). 
But, when directly starting a ".gdb-" or ".gpx-" file by double-clicking, the custom symbols are expected to be in the same directory as the mentioned file. 
Not a big deal, MapSource still is a comfortable tool.


Earth is assumed as a perfect ball: radius 6'300 km. From pole to pole there are virtual lines (Meridians, Longitude); towards East 180 lines, also towards West. The zero Meridian runs through Greenwich.

The original Meter as defined in the 18th Century was the forty millionth part of the Meridian running through Paris. (Earth circumference = 2*Earth radius*Pi=40'000 km)

More exact: 1799 the "Urmeter" was defined as the 10'000'000 th part of the Meridian Quadrant passing Paris.
As one of the results of the measuring of the Sector between Duenkirchen and Barcelone by Pierre-Francois-Andre Mécain and Jean-Baptiste-Josef Delambre of Paris, it had to be admitted, that the Earth is not a Ball and the defined Meter was in fact 0.2 mm short. The seriously implemented measures were carried out over a couple of years with Revolution, Wars, Founding of new nations.
The "Urmeter" up to these days remains the Standard, although in 1983 it was defined as: 1 Meter is the distance, which is covered by light in vacuum inside 1/ 1/299'792'458 th Second, where the Time is defined by the Atomic watch.


From the equator virtual lines are thought that run around the globe. Towards North and South there's a additional division: 90 Lines (Degree's) to North and 90 towards the South. Per division that's 100 km.
In Central-Europe the distance inside of 1 Degree (Meridian) is about 100 km. If the Swiss Capital, Berne is 8 Degree's from Greenwich, that will be 800 km.

For tiny Switzerland a smart Coordinate system was defined. The "zero" point was set outside Switzerland into the proximity of Bordeaux in France. With that, positions inside Switzerland are always clear and unambiguous, even without naming the direction of the sky, and negative values are impossible. From military use the standard form is Rechtswert/Hochwert/(+optionally height); e.g. 600.000/200.000, where decimal points may be left out. The larger figure is always "Easting", the smaller always "Northing".

The first value is Longitude (e.g. E 7° 26' 19.9" = Coordinate 600.000), the second one is northern latitude (e.g. N 46° 57' 3.89" = Coordinate 200.000) Reference point with the coordinate pair 600000/200000 is Berne, the old observatory.

The faults, resulting from the idealized straight coordinate system against the real world are inside some Decimeter's. The system is named "Swiss Grid 1903" or "CH1903".
Reference point for the altitude is the mark on "Pierre de Niton", a rock in the Geneva Harbor with the value of 373.600 m.

When using Swiss topo-maps with the usual CH1903-coordinate system (called "Date"), the Setup in the GPS has to be set  accordingly.
Internally the GPS will always use the WGS84 Date! Only the display will show the CH1903 Date.

Correlation CH1903 und WGS84:

Downloadable EXCEL-File for converting (formulas based on above publication): 
(84 KB). 
Converts Dates between CH1903 and WGS84.


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