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Multi Destination Routing – Muliple Vias


One feature you might hear from time to time talked about is Multiple Destination Routing, or having the ability to have multiple “vias” per route. Is this an important feature? Should you look for this in a GPS device? It all depends on the types of routes you take. Here is our guidance.

The simplest form of routing is when you enter in a destination and the GPS figures out how to get there from where you are now. In this scenario, there are two points/waypoints of the route; your current location and the destination.

One Via Per Route

However sometimes you might have a more complex route you would like to take. If you need to go pickup something to take to another location, you now have three waypoints for the route; your current location, the location where you need to pickup something, and the final destination.

There are a couple of ways you can handle this. With the simplest GPS devices without multiple destination routing you can simply set your GPS to navigate to the first location and then when you arrive ask it to route you to the final destination. For the majority of auto GPS users, this will work fine and not having the ability to program in multiple via points won’t be a big deal.

Some devices (notably most of the Garmin auto GPS systems) will allow you to enter in one “via” point. The way you do this is to create a route to your final destination and allow the GPS to calculate the route. Then create a route to your waypoint (via point). On these devices the GPS will then ask if you want that location to be a new final destination, erasing the old route, or inserted into the current route as a via point. Again, this simple functionality will work for most people.

Multiple Vias Per Route

However there are times when you might want more than one stop in the route. If you are a sales rep, in real estate, or a delivery person you might need to go to several stops. If your GPS does not support multiple vias per route you could enter in all of your addresses individually, then navigate to each one, one at a time.

However this might not be too convenient. It also doesn’t allow you to get a big picture of your entire day. You might want your GPS to give you the total time it will take to drive the entire route (excluding time spent at the stops) to see if you can fit in one more call. This is where having multi destination routing can really help.

Another scenario is driving on long, extended routes. Let’s say you are taking a long drive that will pass through multiple large cities. Many of the cities might have alternate routes around the city to avoid inner city traffic. These routes might not be seen as optimal by the GPS because they are longer. With multi-destination-routing you can setup via points along the bypass around each city. The GPS will then know to route you around each city. This is the way I commonly use the feature.

Route Optimization

Once you have multiple destinations laid out in one route, some GPS devices have a feature called “route optimization which will take the waypoints you have entered, and sort them in an order based on how close one waypoint is to another. This would be useful in the example of a sales rep. However, take this feature with a grain of salt and understand the limitations.

I learned the hard way that route optimization doesn’t necessarily mean it will find the most efficient order to visit each location. Instead, what the GPS will do is look at your current position and then find the first waypoint (destination) that is closest to your current location. Then it will find the next waypoint that is closest to the first waypoint, and so on. This doesn’t necessarily produce the most efficient order. So as of now when you hear “route optimization”, take that feature with a grain of salt.

Update: The new Nuvi 700 series including the Nuvi 760 (review) do include true route optimization.

Feature Considerations

If you are looking for a simple device, you might not need a GPS with multi-destination routing. It isn’t found in many of the popular GPS devices (although we think it should be an option) and many people who own GPS devices with that feature have probably never used it.

But if you frequently visit a number of different locations in one day or want complete control over the route you take, you will want to take a hard look at devices which offer multi destination routing.

102 Responses

  1. Anyone have a list of the GPS units that offer route optimization?

    Charlie E - September 25th, 2007
    • I am looking for a GPS model that I can put in multi addresses and have the GPS model route them in the correct order. Is this possible with your units.
      Jerome L. Jaffe

      Jerome - June 13th, 2010
  2. Charlie, depends on what you mean by ‘route optimization’. I really don’t know of any that are currently offering what I would call route optimization. Most that offer something similar offer route sorting.

    Tim - September 27th, 2007
  3. Doesn’t the new Nuvi 700’s (750,760,770) offer the auto sort multiple destinations we have all looked for? Doesn’t this calculate the best route for multiple destinations rather than from piont 1 to point 2 than point 1 to point 3 and so on?

    Ryan - October 18th, 2007
  4. Ryan, my understanding is that the Nuvi series, like many other devices with multi destination routing, really offers route sorting, not optimization. In that case it simply sorts the list from closest to furthest away rather than optimizing the list for the shortest overall trip. However I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet on a 700 series.

    Tim - October 19th, 2007
  5. Ryan – Good news, the Nuvi 760 does support route optimization rather than just simple route sorting.

    Tim - October 21st, 2007
  6. Tim – if a unit allows multi waypoints can I use it for cruising cross country in an indirect route through many small villages – building my own route as it were, instead of the GPS’s idea of how I should travel to a destination?

    Zozzie - November 7th, 2007
  7. Yes, with up to as many via points as the device allows. (Typically 20-50).

    Tim - November 7th, 2007
  8. I really need a device that would optimize my sales route for the day and give me a total mileage at the end. Besides the Garmin 700 series, is there anything else you can recommend?

    Phil - December 17th, 2007
  9. Phil, if you need route optimization then the Garmin Nuvi 700 series is really the only way to go.

    Tim - December 18th, 2007
  10. How do you preprogram desinations with the 350 via a computer

    tkenny - January 1st, 2008
  11. tkenny – If you mean the Garmin Nuvi 350, you can’t. It doesn’t offer that function.

    Tim - January 1st, 2008
  12. Does anyone have a list of GPS’s that offer multi-destination programming? I don’t need the optimization feature, just the ability to enter in multiple destinations at the beginning of my day.

    Karen - March 9th, 2008
  13. Karen, just go to our homepage, and click the ‘multi destinations’ box in the ‘find auto GPS’ section.

    Tim - March 9th, 2008
    • Where is your homepage, I am interested, I just got a 1490LMT. but see the 1450 has the feature you are talking about. THanks for any help you can give.

      Rosie - February 23rd, 2011
  14. I’m a real estate agent and I’m in the market for a new GPS unit that will tell me the best route between several homes.
    I have been looking at the tomtom go 510. Does that unit do route optimization?
    I currently have a Magellan 860T which does do optimization. Any comments on that unit?


    Bob - April 4th, 2008
  15. The 510 offers multi-destination routing, but no route optimization.

    Tim - April 4th, 2008
  16. I work for FedEX Freight. I use the microsoft streets and trips software. It DOES have a route optimizer. In fact I think they coined the phrase. I have used it and found the following. Type in all address’ use route optimizer and it will take you to all of them if it has them in its database. However I have found that after I insert all address’ I can look at their position on the screen and route faster. Unfortunately I have to use my laptop for this feature. I love the big screen though. Note: you can zoom in and out and see all your destination’s and change the order you want them listed. If you use the optimization feature you are locked in until you delete some and start over…. All in all I love being able to use multi destination but have found the route optimizer only useful when I have a few stops and at that point it is still easier and faster to look at the map and put them in the order you want.

    John - April 6th, 2008
  17. I’m shopping for my first GPS and am trying to narrow down my choice based on what I think I’ll use. One newer feature that doesn’t seem to be emphasized that much but sounds like a major breakthrough is being able to enter destinations verbally. Is this feature not perfected yet? Also, it would seem that buying a factory installed car unit would mean that you’re likely to have obsolete technology very quickly given how fast improvements are introduced for after market units. Other than a nice big screen incorporated into your dash why would you go this route?

    Bob - May 22nd, 2008
  18. Get a Mio or something with the same interface as the Mio if you want simple and fast rout optimization features.

    Patrick - August 12th, 2008
  19. does the tom tom 720 allow you to input your destination by coordinates instead of an address?

    Steve - October 26th, 2008
  20. Yes, although it won’t accept just any random set of coordinates. They must be close enough to a mapped road that it knows where you want to go.

    Tim - October 26th, 2008
  21. I am a pest control technician and I need a gps that will allow me to pick the smartest route between stops…I get paid per stop and entering in multiple locations and finding the best route to fo to one after the other (time wise) is what I really need I am looking at the Magellan Maestro 5310 – North America…is this a good one to consider? any other suggestions?

    ryan - December 12th, 2008
  22. Ryan, no– the Magellan will allow you to enter all of the locations in a route, but it will only sort them from closest to furthest which isn’t really the same as checking to see what the most efficient order is. You will want to check out the Garmin Nuvi 700 series (and above) for that type of use.

    Tim - December 14th, 2008
  23. Hi Tim,

    I’m relatively new to the delivering world, and during a typical day have to deliver packages to 50+ locations. I’m struggling simply because my current GPS system only takes me from point A – B, and then have enter C and so forth. It doesn’t optimize my routes especially on side streets, where I should have gone to C first because A and B are later down the road, so end up 1. wasting gas and 2. passing stops, driving back and forth etc. It would really help to have a gadget, which would allow me to enter all my stops and have them organized in the most efficient manner. I’ve read through all the comments, and it’s been suggested the Garmin Nuvi 700 series is the device to purchase for route optimization; however at the beginning of the page, under Route Optimization section, an update disclaimer states “The new Nuvi 700 series including the Nuvi 760 (review) do include true route optimization.” Could you please suggest a GPS system where I can enter all my delivery locations for a day, and the GPS will optimize the routes?

    I will be grateful for any advice you can offer.

    Yaz - December 19th, 2008
  24. Also, in addition to my question above, what is the maximum number of locations that can be entered at once for route optimization? 10, 20, 50… Thanks!

    Yaz - December 19th, 2008
  25. Yaz, I’m not understanding your question. You appear to be looking for a device with route optimization, the Nuvi 700 series has it, as is confirmed by the sentence from the review you quoted. I don’t see any disclaimer.

    The number of vias allows is listed in the Specifications column on each product page.

    Tim - December 19th, 2008
  26. I’m a real estate agent and I’m in the market for a new GPS unit that will tell me the best routes between 10 to 20 or more homes. Could you please suggest a GPS system where I can import all my home locations for a day, and the GPS will optimize the routes?

    Bill - January 2nd, 2009
    • I’d check out something like the Garmin Nuvi 750.

      Tim - January 2nd, 2009
  27. Hello:
    This definitely appears to be the right forum to ask some real world GPS Questions: I would appreciate any feedback you can provide me.

    I am also in sales and would really prefer to use a single device (with address book, calendar, email integration and of course GPS functionality. ) The device I had in mind was the Blackberry Storm. It appears that it offers all the other business features….. but not sure if the GPS functionality has improved. I used the TELENAV GPS service on my older Blackberry but sad to say it did not offer any type of Auto Route Optimization or Multiple Destinations!!!!!!! ….. I did recently learn that Verizon did open up the Storm GPS functionality (so you can install other GPS products). So are there any software based GPS products out there (i.e. Garmin Mobile 5.4.2, Tom-Tom) that do offer some of these advanced features ?? Also what about a related feature …. To find closest destinations. I tried this with a Magellan Unit …..where you could upload all your customer addresses as custom waypoints. This was very helpful in locating other customers that may be in the area.


    Vinnie - January 3rd, 2009
    • I don’t spend much time with the software based GPS solutions– I work mostly with the hardware (PND) style GPS devices.

      Tim - January 3rd, 2009
  28. hello,

    I’m a patient rep. and need to visit several patients in one day, 20-30 a day. It usually takes me one day to organize all my visits using a map.I got the Tom Tom XL one thinking it will build me a route, by adding several addresses and it will tell me to go from A to B and C … it was the first time I shop for a GPS and little I knew. After reading your reviews I realized it did not offered the features I was looking for and I returned it. Now I’m shopping for another one and it looks like the Garmin Nuvi 750 or 760 will do what I need, is that correct ?Will they only take up to 10 entries ? At some point on your reviews you mentioned that the routes are not exactly the shortest ones ? Any other one with more than 10 entries ?
    thank’s for your help !

    elizabeth - April 14th, 2009
    • You can use the TomTom XL to create a single route to multiple destinations. The feature is called TomTom Itinerary Planning. What it won’t do is tell you which order is the most efficient to visit all of those locations. For that you would want the Nuvi 500 series or greater like the 750 you mentioned.

      Also keep in mind that most people do not want the GPS to give them the shortest route possible. Most people want the fastest (time) and not shortest (distance). The shortest route tends to take more time than the fastest route.

      Tim - April 14th, 2009
  29. Is there a GPS that will allow me to enter all the routes required to pass through a State with all the route changes required by a States Permit.

    Ray - April 17th, 2009
  30. Hello

    I have been looking for a GPS navigation System that would allow me to enter at least 100 different routes from original location to destination. The only thing that would be different from other GPS systems is that the point to point to point locations would be intersecting streets, roads, highways or interstate roadways. The only one I found so far was a WorldNav 3500 GPS for Commercial Trucks. Is there another or even a better one that someone would suggest I look into.

    Ray - April 17th, 2009
    • Any Garmin Nuvi 500 series or higher, or any TomTom “GO” model will do that. They are all better than the WorldNav.

      Tim - April 17th, 2009
  31. Thanks Tim, I’ll look into those…

    Ray - April 17th, 2009
  32. I need to upload multiple addresses daily to a GPS device that will allow route optimization. Is there a program out there that is available to prevent manual entry of these addresses? You would think there was a way to sync a computer, and a list of addresses to the Nav device so all the addresses were incorporated automatically. I need a program and the right device that will interface with it, preferably a device for commercial vehicles. I emailed Garmin but the tech there didn’t think Microsoft Map Point would work, he was not familiar with it.

    Matt - April 30th, 2009
  33. Hi: I’ve been working with multiple point routes & a new Garmin Nuvi 750 for about a month – it does NOT do multiple point routes well – often when I leave a point it tries to return to the same point. Then I have to manually delete the point, recalculate the route, etc. etc. In short it didn’t work & I’m going to sell it on ebay. I have talked w/ Garmin support several times & they are surprised that it doesn’t work for me – maybe my unit is bad???

    Martin - May 1st, 2009
    • Thanks Martin. I sure will look even closer with that information.

      Ray - May 3rd, 2009
    • Martin, I’ve never heard of the issue you describe. I doubt the unit is bad. The only way I can imagine it would do what you describe is if you are selecting a via point that is on a road with a median or a divided highway and your via point was placed on the “wrong” side, causing the GPS to want to turn around and go back to the via point in the “correct” direction for where you placed the point.

      Tim - May 5th, 2009
      • I purchased the nuvi 760 after reading the advice on this page. After using the unit for a while, I have found the unit to be painfully “buggy” when navigating routes. I too have been routed round and round in circles going back to the previous point over and over. Another fun little glitch is finding all your via points tend to dissappear for no apparent reason. It is extremely frustrating to spend 20 minutes inputing all your addresses and POOF gone after a couple of stops. You HAVE to keep a paper log of which addresses you have been to so you can sort out a new list and re-input that one when the NUVI decides to erase all your via points. Trust me, frustration is not the correct term, it becomes anger after a few of these incidents, at least for me. I thought I had found a way to quickly route through multiple addresses and earn more money HAHA I’m out $320 and back to using map books.

        Disclaimer: In Garmin’s defense: I have not contacted them to try to resolve this issue. I need a frustration pause break before dealing with that.

        Lee - May 14th, 2009
        • That is strange, Lee. I’ve been using that feature on the 760 a couple of times per week for the past year and a half. I’ve never had it forget one of the intermediate points and I’ve never been routed back to one of the stops I had already been to. Not sure what to tell you.

          Tim - May 14th, 2009
    • I have also experienced the same thing, garmin routes you back to the same location at times and does not optimize very well on mult stops in close proximity -wgs

      Walt - March 24th, 2011
  34. Well Lee and Martin…sounds like Tim purchased the only working nuvi 760 that, well is working…I think I’ll steer away from the Garmin Nuvi products altogether….Sounds like there is just too much product issues…I will still look into other products…I have used the Magellan for a year but wanted to up-grade….I guess the WorldNav 3500 GPS for Commercial Trucks would be still in the picture right now…

    Ray - May 14th, 2009
  35. I’ve used optimized routes on my 760 since November of 07. While I don’t input 25+ stops at a time, I do often enter a half dozen or so. I’ve never had a stop “disappear” either. I have had a few instances where my nuvi did not register one of my vias and continued to try to route me to it. In has nearly always been because I did not get close enough to the stop to register, either because the address is not properly marked in the map, or in the case of some businesses, the entrance or parking area I used is not the one being used for the poi location. Many commercial stops have more than one entrance. If you’re far enough from the entrance the map thinks is right, then the nuvi never “sees” you reach that via. I’m sorry that I can’t tell you exactly how far from the location you need to be for it to be marked as visisted, but I think I recall it’s something less than 100′. If you think you’re having problems with Garmin’s optimized routes, one thing to check is what application update you’re using. 4.2, and perhaps 4.1 as well, introduced issues with routes with more than 6 stops. It would drop one of them, I don’t recall whether the first or last, and for some users enter one of them twice. If you are using either 4.6, or the latest 4.8, that problem no longer exists. Nor did it exist prior to 4.0. In literally thousands of posts I’ve read concerning nuvi 7×0’s (believe me, I have seen a LOT of posts in a LOT of forums), I’ve never seen mention of the dropped vias outside of the application versions I mentioned, so you are unique if you’re using the latest. On stops not registering, yes it’s mentioned every once in awhile, but it’s certainly nothing common. If you truly deliver for a living, and have 50+ stops a day, it’s going to happen with you. Pretty unlikely you will have 50 locations all properly marked in the map database on a daily basis. But I have used a competitors route optimization side by side with my nuvi. The competitor did optimize, but not nearly as efficiently as my Garmin. It’s a very rare pnd feature, and tough to get right. My Garmin generally does.

    gatorguy - May 14th, 2009
  36. A quick comment on the Worldnav devices. I’ve never seen one single verified post praising it. Nearly every positive comment I’ve seen can be identified as originating from the owner of WorldNav or their offices either thru the IP address or the specific words used. If you have a pocket-full of money and nothing else to spend it one, go for one. Know that there’s no such thing as getting your money back. There’s an entire site dedicated to exposing the Worldnav company fraudulent practices and device failures. Happy to point you that way if you insist.

    gatorguy - May 14th, 2009
  37. Hi, I have a Garmin c330, and looking to upgrade soon. One complaint I have with the c330, is the ‘route via’

    enter a route from a to b, but enroute I do a search for gas station or some other POI. The C330 won’t distinguish between POIs that are enroute vs. ones that I have to circle back to.

    Which GPS will route me to one that is still within my current route, and wonn’t take me backwards.


    trey - July 31st, 2009
  38. I run a delivery route with about a 100 stops per day and would like to use a GPS. But I was wondering if there is some type of computer software out there that would allow me to input all 100 addresses via a keyboard (laptop) instead of inputing them all into a GPS system with multi destination routing.

    John Kim - August 25th, 2009
  39. Microsoft Streets and Trips..Or Delorme….I like the Streets and Trips better because it is easier…

    Ray - August 25th, 2009
  40. We are a florist. We have 15 deliveries to make in a route. We use streets and trips and it works fine. I would like to download the optimized route from Streets and Trips or some other software into a GPS unit and then have the GPS unit navigate my driving.

    George - September 24th, 2009
  41. I am looking for a GPS to which I can upload from my computer a list of destinations. Typically, I have about 25 destinations per day to upload. I would prefer if the GPS optimized the route for shortest travel time, but this freature is not essential as I already have computer software that performs the same function. Thank you for your time.

    Tony Mevlubin - October 19th, 2009
  42. I do real estate appraising, and own a MIO C520.
    I use multiple stops daily; the 520 does not properly “optimize” a multi-stop route, and appears to get confused by more than 3-4 stops.
    Worse yet, it frequently forgets a stop in the sequence.
    I see the Garmin 7xx series *and* 5xx series (? Did I get that right?) have route optimization that works well.

    I wonder why the manufacturers don’t come up with a specialized (premium-price ?) unit that really does this extra job right.

    I’m certain there is a strong market for this. 100,000 appraisers in USA for starters, surely 5x that many Truckers, Delivery People, etc., and then the Realtors!

    Rick - October 24th, 2009
  43. I am a sales person,

    I do sales from Alaska down to San Diego and more. I got my first GPS 2 years ago, it was a SONY. I loved it. I used to input 20+ addresses and my SONY used to organized them by however you want: by distance or by time. It made each individual stop like a regular stop, giving you the travel time everytime you arrived at an address. At the end of the trip it told you the total driving time and distance. Not only that but I was able to see POIs all the way during my driving.

    To make this short my SONY GPS stop working (charging) and they not longer make GPSs, so the guaranty of the store gave me a Garmin, then a Tomtom, then a Magellan, then an Insignia, and now a pay more to get a Garmin nuvi765t, I ready used for couple of days, and I am not happy with it. It optimize the addresses and will use them as Way-Points, so if you miss the screen cause you were driving, forget about, it wont tell you that you have arrive at one of your stops. To bad for $300+

    Where is the software that SONY had on their GPSs? How kill the SONY GPS?

    PAPICANTE - October 30th, 2009
  44. Is there any gps out there that you can route optimization? Buy downloading a list into the gps?

    don - November 5th, 2009
  45. Yes, Garmin has several models that offer that function. The most common are any of the 7xx series nuvis. Even the new Garmin “live” 1690 would work for you. That device has a lot of funcionality not offered by any of the other major guys.

    gatorguy - November 5th, 2009
  46. i use a navman s80 (aussie) in my courier work. it multiple routes & also logs for download to my computer (navdesk) (good for tax deductions). i understand navman has stopped providing the multiple stop feature on their new models. could you advise me of any gps (in car) units that offer both these features, & if possible route optimisation?

    dave (australia) - November 8th, 2009
  47. For those of you that want to input multiple stops from your laptop there is a solution. I don’t want this to be a plug but what some of you are asking can be done. If you have multiple stops you want to import into your Garmin unit you can put these stops (not sure the limit but it’s high) into a excel spread sheet, use some software to plot the stops on a map and rearrange them if you want or you can use the route optimization once you send them to the Gamin unit. Use the internet to send the routes. I use it a lot. I do sales and on a daily basis export the clients I want to visit from the CRM then import them to the Garmin. I do the route optimization on the map before sending it to the Garmin as well as use the Garmin feature. This service is designed specifically for the delivery driver and florist who posted on this board but works great for any delivery or sales person. In full disclosure I work for this company but stumbled on this thread looking for opinions on the Garmin route optimization feature. If you want more information I am happy to provide it but don’t want to be seen as trying to post ads on this message board.

    Galen Weaver - December 1st, 2009
    • Galen —
      You say you can input data to the Garmins from an Excel Spreadsheet.. but ** HOW ** ??
      You work for… Garmin ????

      Riick - December 1st, 2009
      • I don’t work for Garmin but work for a company that integrates with Garmin. There are actually easy ways to do this and harder ways to do it and it all depends how much money you want to spend ($200 vs $500 – $1000) and it also depends on how much time each day you want to spend inputing the information. Obviously you want it to be easy to input the information but do you want it one click or a few steps. It also depend on the format your routes are in to start with in Excel. There are so many options to what can be done that I could take up pages on this forum. Someone asked about 100 stops and I have never had a request for that but tried it this morning and sucessfully uploaded 100 stops to my Garmin so it will hold at least that many. I am happy to continue to discuss it here but my answers will be tailored to specific situations and may not benefit the entire forum. I also don’t to be seen as spamming the board and get banned.

        Galen - December 4th, 2009
        • Galen, it is fine with me if you want to discuss it here.

          Tim - December 4th, 2009
          • can you tell me what product you speak of and where i can buy it please!? thanks!!

            justin - December 10th, 2009
    • HELP!!!!
      I am doing “Drive By” home inspections, about 100 per day.
      My list comes in the form of an excel spreadsheet and it just doesn’t make logical sense to manually enter all of those addresses into my GPS (I just bought Magellan and it’s definitely going back) and THEN optimize it and THEN go….. no thanks.

      I’m a little bit technology slow. I will buy whatever unit I need to in order to import my excel spreadsheet in, but I need some help. Can you give me a clear “walk through” please please please???

      Amber - December 2nd, 2009
  48. OK, I have been given permission to discuss this on the board and had some requests so I will provide this information. It’s hard to give an “across the board” answer because everyone has slightly different needs. The easiest way to do it and probably the cheapest is to use Mappoint from microsoft. In this program you can enter routes from Excel, then use there route optimization function and then you can download the route to your Gramin. This takes some work but it can be done and MapPoint cost about $90 if you know someone who is a student or $300 retail. You can also download it for free and give it a try. The downloading to the Garmin can be a bit tricky but can be done.

    If you want want an easier method it works a little differently. You install a AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) device in your vehicle. This is basically a GPS locator. This device connects to most Garmin units to provide the interface. Once this unit is connected to the Garmin The Garmin will “reprogram” into a commercial mode and you get additional functions. Once you have this installed you can import your Excel file (i have tried up to 100 stops)into a web based software. Then optimize the route (one click) then send the route to the Garmin over the internet. You can also add a notes field to your excel import and it will show you that info on the Garmin; maybe job info for example. You never take the Garmin unit out of the vehicle. Your route is then displayed on the Garmin in the order you uploaded it and it routes you to each stop. Once the stop is completed you mark it as done.
    Using the AVL gives you the advantage of a complete system that you can take your route list and easily upload it, route optimized, into the Garmin in about 4 mouse clicks. If you are using this for business/sales it also can provide you a lot of other information as well such as telling you how long you were at each stop, calculating how much drive time you had, calculate your mileage based on state or total, How long you idled for, warn you if you were speeding, show you the route you took for up to 3 months. Let you know if your vehicle was stolen and recover it. These types of systems will generally reduce your fuel by 10%-15% and reduce your insurance 3% – 18%. You can also provide verification to a customer or client that you went to specific location if you need that for billing.

    Additionally if you are trying to do this with multiple vehicles there is integration with drag and drop scheduling software which allows you to easily plan your day for one or multiple vehicles.

    Trying my best not to make this a sales pitch but providing you much information as possible.

    So the main question is “how much does it cost”

    Basic cost are $275 for the AVL unit, cheapest Garmin is about $100 right now (unless you have a compatable model, cheapest is 205) Then there is a monthly fee for the service. This starts at $35 and can go to $45. Depends on the amount your uploading since you are using a cell network to communicate. All of these cost are per vehicle.

    If you want to add scheduling features or customization it will go up from there but that is the basic cost outline. I am happy to answer any questions people may have or you can send me an email at galenweaver@gmail.com. I hope I provided some valuable info. If you want to know about a specific item such as the MapPoint solution, I will be happy to answer any questions.


    Galen Weaver - December 10th, 2009
  49. Does anyone have a list of GPS units that are able to import a .gpx file containing a route that I have created with Google Earth? Any units that can imort the .gpx file directly without a plugin like Garmin Communicator? Like recent posts, I also need to program a route with many stops into the GPS, and I like to pick the roads. I think creating the route file on a map program like Google Earth is a lot easier than working with an Excel spreadsheet.

    Mark Meneghin - December 10th, 2009
  50. Check out TrackRoad.

    I’m considering using it myself, but it seems like an easier version of your post, Galen

    elissa - December 14th, 2009
  51. I looked at the site and it seems like a nice solution. It is more of a consumer based service where what I explained is more integrated and more designed for business/commercial applications. I would probably use this instead of MapPoint if I did not already own it but would definitely recommend it. Nice find. I have it book marked.

    Galen Weaver - December 14th, 2009
  52. Galen:

    I use an Excel spreadsheet and download into MS Maps & Streets a route of between 20 to 100+ addresses. I use the optimization button to set up a desired route. Currently, I print a hardcopy and use the Garmin to stay true to course. You said earlier that one can download to the Garmin but “the downloading to the Garmin can be a bit tricky but can be done.” How is this done? I simply want to download to my Garmin a multipoint route and skip the paper route so I can keep my eyes on the road (& save some paper).

    Is the download to the Garmin via a cable or throught the internet? Please let me know how and I will save valuable prep time. I think hundreds of thousands of delivery & inspection professionals would benefit.

    Eric - December 31st, 2009
    • Eric,

      You can load your routes using MapPoint from Microsoft I can not confirm it can be done using MS Maps and Streets. In MapPoint you can import your excel spread sheet and use the route optimize feature then connect your Garmin to your computer and load the stops to your Garmin via a usb connection to your computer. Map Point is a nice program but takes some time to figure out how to use it efficiently.

      You can also use the site someone listed above: http://www.trackroad.com I looked over their site and it offers some nice features but it seems pretty combursome and not very easy to use but then I might be biased. I signed up for the free trial but coudl never get it to work very well.

      Lastely, you can do what I mentioned by installing an AVL unit and then you can easily load stops from an Excel spread sheet, optimize them and then send them to your Garmin unit via a wireless interface (never take the unit out of the car).

      Now each of these options gets progressively more expensive but easier to use, more efficient, better features and take less time to get it done each day. It’s really what you want to pay and how much time you want to spend doing it each day. Do you want to spend an hour or 10 mins? Do you want to easily be able to import routes from excel? Do you want history data of what you did for the day? Do you want to send the information wirelessly or via a USB cable.

      Let me know if you have more questions. Happy to answer them best I can.

      Galen - January 5th, 2010
      • Eric,

        I listed my email address above if you want to email me directly I can show you the different methods via goto meeting so you can actually see it.


        Galen - January 5th, 2010
  53. I find it easier to just use a netbook “acer emachine $228 and use my MS usb gps. then I just import from spreadsheet to MS Streets and optimise.. Walla, cheaper and easier. use the netbook as a GPS

    steve t - January 1st, 2010
    • Steve, Do you need to have an internet connection when using the netbook for GPS? Your idea sounds like what I need when routing for 40 to 60 stops. Thank you!


      Jeff - January 21st, 2010
  54. I am a realtor. I have read all the comments and I wonder if anyone actually came up with a GPS that will let you load 8 or 10 addresses and then lead you one to the other without backtracking?

    Jody - January 11th, 2010
  55. Yes. Any of the Garmin nuvi’s offering multi-stop routes also offer true route optimization. That means rather than simply sorting from nearest to farthest, they attempt to create the most time-efficient route to cover all your stops. Minimizing back-tracking would be a part of that.

    gatorguy - January 12th, 2010
  56. gatorguy —
    So **not** just the 700 series Garmins, but any Garmin with multi-stop routing ???

    Rick - January 12th, 2010
  57. The 7×0’s were just the first generally available consumer devices to include the feature. The follow-up models since then(like the 800’s, 7×5’s, 500, etc) have continued to offer it.

    gatorguy - January 12th, 2010
  58. No. I use a USB GPS from microsoft. I got it with streets bundled for $69.oo


    steve - January 21st, 2010
  59. Hi,

    I am a delivery driver and deliver upto 50 parcels per day in my city.

    I was looking at the Garmin 1690.

    I basically want to add 50 addresses in any random order and for the sat nav to for example take me to nearest address from my home then to nearest address from second location and so on to i deliver all parcels, i am not concerned so much about best route or anything like that althou i think it now has true optimization.

    Can you tell me if this sat nav will allow upto 50 addresses and optimize them in an order from nearest to my home to furthest away as i explained above?


    Mathew - February 11th, 2010
  60. My GPS directed me to my destination perfectly
    but the exact route to return
    directed me way out of my way
    if I didn’t already know the route
    it would have been a much longer trip
    Why is that I wonder?

    Claire Phelan - March 14th, 2010
    • There are lots of reasons why a reversed route might not take the same way… one way streets, turn restrictions, medians making long turn restrictions, different speed limits in different directions, highway interchanges that require a longer path in one direction over another, etc.

      Tim - March 14th, 2010
  61. please respond, i’m a gps newbie, i can do the one point to the other. but, this is my dilema and what i want to be able to do….

    my job requires me to visit approx 25 clients at their home 1x week various locations, i keep that client approx 2 months before. i generally see 5-7 clients everyday.

    i want a good gps system that will allow me to enter my clents’s addresses that being around 25 addresses and for it to give me the best route.

    also could i go to a website put my addresses in, perhap let the website tell me the best route and to then send it somehow to my gps system.

    rita - May 28th, 2010
  62. I am a subcontractor for comcast and we go to 30-60 stops a day. I use and love my sony nav-u 94-t. it does do route optimization. you can put 12 stops in and it will route them in order from where you currently are. the unit has some downfalls. It loves expressways… will take you out of way sometimes because of this love. And since they dont make these units anymore there are no map updates. But you can get one for around 200. All the nav-u have this feature.

    Michael - June 5th, 2010
  63. I own a business which requires the use of large Trucks to deliver service to as many as 60 locations each day. I need a GPS that is bullet proof and can be loaded with the routes from my PC each day. Don’t need any additional headaches but, would appreciate some good advice on what tobuy.

    Ross - July 3rd, 2010
    • The best option for your situation is an AVL system which puts a garmin and gps unit is each vehicle. It will give the most flexability and be the most reliable. It will allow you to view routes, optimize them and up load them to the garmin units very easily. Cost for these types of systems are going to be about $300 for hardware and $35 – $40 a month per vehicle for data charges. If you want to contact me offline I can give you a few suggestion of companies too look at and companies to avoid. The cost may seem high but you would easily cover the cost in time/fuel saved each month.

      galen - July 3rd, 2010
  64. Very helpful. Any opinions of the Nuvi 1490 vs any of the 700 series and since?

    christy - July 7th, 2010
  65. I am a sales rep in the market for a GPS unit. I would like something that allows for multiple destinations (at least 10), perhaps with route optimization (though that isn’t a deal breaker), preferably with the option to update the routes on the computer and then download/transfer to the GPS unit (though not mandatory), and the ability to save the routes in order to use them over and over (with the option to save at least 10 different routes). Can you please make a GPS unit recommendation(s)? Thanks so much.

    Mendy - July 12th, 2010

    RENE - August 2nd, 2010
  67. My husband locates electrical poles that are going to be replaced. He uses a Garmin now but it doesn’t allow him to enter more than one set of coordinates at a time. Is there a Garmin that allows multiple sets that would then display them on a map? Sure would save him a lot of time.

    Becky - August 24th, 2010
  68. I am looking for a portable GPS unit one that I can use both in vehicle as well as hand held .

    One of the features I want is for the GPS unit to be able to store routes that are off road trails for biking and walking that can be used later or able to do the trail backwards.

    I would be using this mostly in Canada with some trips to United States.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks Arch.

    Arch - March 15th, 2011
    • Arch, you might want to check out this thread: “ALL IN ONE” Does it exist? While the thread is a little old, the information and discussion is still valid.

      Tim - April 4th, 2011
  69. I sm a electronic moron so excuse my stupid question.When I program a trip say of 500 miles and I turn the gps on and go 75 miles, then decide I know the route to a certain point, can I turn the gps off to save the batteries, and then turn it on again near the final destiation point without have to reprogram it again? A friend of mine has a gps and stated going aprx 400 miles with the gps unit attached to the car battery, it drained the battery and his car battery could not turn the engin over .

    I have a Magellan Roadmate 1470 and Roadmate would not reply to my email.

    frank allen - March 31st, 2011
    • There is a ‘recent destinations’ list where you can quickly resume. If the GPS drained the car battery there was something wrong with the car or the GPS… that shouldn’t happen.

      Tim - April 4th, 2011
  70. I am a new Realtor, looking for an auto GPS that I can download my computer Mapquest or Google Maps multiple stops into. I will optimize my route on the computer before downloading to the GPS. Which map program and which GPS do you cuurently recommend for this application? Or…is there an IPhone App that might handle this?

    Ken Parks - April 8th, 2011

      rene - May 11th, 2011
      • I have the 1490 and mapsource and have made a route with it using the route tool. I sent it to the garmin but it did not go to the routes option.It goes to the favorites as 100’s of individual points which is useless. How dou you do it?

        stephen - September 18th, 2011
  71. Hey, I am starting a job delivering takeaways soon and have been looking for a satnav with multi-point-routing/route optimisation. Having went on to the garmin website and specified that I need one with these features the nuvi 2200 came up as an option. However in the item description these features were not mentioned at all. Does anyone know if the 2200 does in fact offer multi-point-routing/route optimisation and if it is any good?
    Cheers, Ali.

    Alistair - May 9th, 2011
  72. I have and use a Garmin 330, but I have two concerns about it. Is there a way to program this unit…or some other alternative unit…. to do two things— (A) I want to control the route it programs for me (e.g, driving from Mass. to NJ, it ALWAYS wants me to take I-95 through NYC…I do NOT want that routing; I want it to route me via I-84 through Conn and the Tappan Zee bridge. I cannot figure out how to do that. I know I can put in a “via” point, but it seems to require a specific address in some city along my preferred route….then, of course, it tries to take me to that “imaginary” specific street address. Suggestions? (B) The other issue is that I frequently pull a trailer, and there are highways on which I cannot travel with a trailer, yet the GPS doesn’t recognize that. I cannot find a way….or another unit….that allows me to specify that restriction when routing me. Solution???
    I am willing to purchase a new GPS unit, IF it can address these two problems for me.
    Thanks for any assistance…….

    Doug - May 22nd, 2011
  73. Hi

    I’m trying to find a solution to this problem..

    I own a delivery company that does 100 deliveries per driver a day. I wanted to find out whether there is any way to upload our delivery lists from a computer to a GPS unit (or program, then to our GPS unit) which would sort the best possible route for the deliveries and then allow a print out of the new order of deliveries.

    I know that we can input each of the addresses in one-by-one into a program called mapsource (for garmin units), but to do each address one-by-one wouldn’t increase our efficiency, it would take more time.

    If any one knows of any solution, or suggestion it would be much appreciated.

    Kind Regards

    adam - July 11th, 2011
  74. I’ve been running 30+ routes per day for a company for 5 years now.
    I have tried every Garmin on the market.
    I currently own a nüvi 3490LMT ($400)but the best I’ve found is the Nuvi 760.I have two of the 760s in case one breaks down.
    Like I said, I own the “latest and greatest” 3490LMT but I find myself using the 760.
    I paid a lot when it was new but you can find them pretty cheap now (eBay etc.).
    I would also suggest purchasing a Lifetime Map Update $99 or less (Amazon).
    You will need to check for map and software updates on the Garmin.com site.

    Rick - October 30th, 2011
  75. I want to purchase 2 gps’s that allow me to enter and save 100+ known addresses. Then when the driver is needed at one of these addresses they can just select the name and go. They will be used for a farm business that streches over a 1/2 a state. I want to be able to connect them and sync/update about 4 times a year. I was looking at a Garmin, but want to make sure I get the right one. thanks

    Brandie - November 30th, 2011
  76. Nuvi 760 !!!!!!
    Trust me. I’ve been down that road.

    Rick - November 30th, 2011
  77. I’ve read all the above posts and especially those from Rick and Galen (thank you sirs). I don’t see anything noted about the 2455 and 2555 series units. In view of Galen’s somewhat now dated replies, has Garmen now addressed a better upload methodology for the multiple destination routing from Microsoft mapping product? Thank you in advance.

    Steve - December 2nd, 2011

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