Features | Maps & History

History

GPS watches come with varying degrees of memory. In turn, this directly determines how many laps, activities, and waypoints (see below) a watch can remember. How much memory varies from the small (Garmin Forerunner 10‘s memory = 7 activities) to huge (Magellan Switch’s memory = 60 hours of activities).

Map or Breadcrumb Route

garmin breadcrumb-map.pngA few watches, generally brick watches with big screens, include an option to view activities on a rudimentary map, known as a breadcrumb route. As you run, the watch drops digital “breadcrumbs” along your route and connects these with a line, essentially drawing your route. These can be helpful if you are lost and need a basic guide to find your way back. In some cases, it’s even possible to upload a route and use the breadcrumb route as a rough map to find your way.

 

Waypoints

Waypoints are locations — actual longitude and latitude coordinates — that can be programmed on some GPS watches. As you run, the watch can guide you (usually with a directional arrow) to these waypoints.

On watches with a breadcrumb map, the waypoints are marked with icons. Waypoints are good for creating running routes, as they provide some rudimentary guidance while you are working out; or for marking points of interest like water fountains, bathrooms, your home, etc.

garmin-fenix-waypoints.png
Garmin fenix Waypoints

Track Back

Say you are lost. Or you’re not feeling well and want to cut your run short. By using the track back feature, yourwatch can guide you back, usually with a directional arrow, to where your run began. Although it doesn’t provide turn-by-turn directions, it can give you a general sense of which way to run. It will also tell you how far away you are from your starting point.

Personal Records

One watch (Garmin Forerunner 10remembers your personal bests and announce new records post-run. We find this feature a bit gimmicky – after all, it only remembers PRs done on that particular watch, not every PR you’ve ever done. But if you’re new to running or don’t keep track of your PRs, this might be a useful feature.