Originally Posted by Sleuth
I almost agree with you!
Is it easy to use? No! Absolutely not, it takes time to get to grips with it. However when you do you can use it to make some very nice routes which can be tailored to fit what you want, and where you want to go.
Can it be improved? Yes! It's search function is rather pathetic. However they are trying to improve it - the latest beta apparently has UK postcode searches, as well as an improved search functionality.
I had to sweat blood and tears to get to know Map-Source, and then I had to repeat the exercise with Base-Camp. However it is worth it in the end, also it works with the Garmin so you can keep a record of where you have gone (if your device handles tracks.) As well as being a one stop shop for all the historical routing.
If you need help, you can always ask, and if you have a zumo then have a look at Zumoforums.com. They are a friendly bunch there.
Sleuth, a big +1 to all your points.
To chime in a bit...
In my experience there are four things that give people fits when they begin working with BaseCamp, whether coming from MapSource or from online mapping programs like Google's or MapQuest's.
1. The BC data base. All of your objects (waypoints, routes, and tracks) are stored in a single data base, and you can tag items and place them into "lists". Lists are the fundamental organizational entity, and the concept is very powerful and useful. However, most newcomers that don't know about lists inevitably just work out of My Collection, and within a few minutes of playing around have a hopeless jumble of stuff from different trips and different parts of the country (or world) cluttering things up. It would be like if you went into your garage, took all of your tools and dumped them into a big 50 gallon drum, then tried to work out of that. Yes, you would hate it. So my advice #1 for newbies: learn how lists work. This may help
2. BC "modality". We are spoiled by modern apps like Google Maps...we just start clicking and most of the time the program infers (usually correctly) what we want it to do. With BC, you have to explicitly tell it what "mode" that you want to be in. For example, if you want to edit a route, you have to tell it "I want to edit a route" (go into Insert mode) and then you can do it. If you want to move a waypoint, you have to click on the "move waypoint" tool to put it into that mode before you can do it. A bit cumbersome, but certainly not insurmountable once you crack the code.
3. BC does not "snap" like MapSource does. If you are modifying a route interactively, you can steer it completely offroad without any protest from BC. MS would "snap" to the road when you clicked, BC does not. I'm sure this is because BC also wants to provide support for hiking, off-road biking, etc. Of course it could have a preference to allow that, but for whatever reason Garmin has not addressed this in BC. Although this sounds really bad, in practice I have found it not to be too big a deal, as long as you develop the habit of making a quick "QC" pass on your route after you've built it. This approach is addressed in this demo
4. BC search function. IMO, this is the worst "feature" of the program. Garmin knows it is bad, and as Sleuth notes they are addressing it. To what effect remains to be seen. I often use Google to find things, then get their lat/long and create a waypoint in BC using that. Since when I am choosing hotels or restaurants, I usually am on the web looking at reviews, etc. anyway, this is not much trouble. Also, I almost always use Google Street View to sanity check any destination, if for no other reason to know what it's going to look like when I get there, so if my destination if half a block down the side street, or tucked in behind another building, I know what to expect. My philosophy here is to think of BC as a wrench; it is a useful tool to have, but it's a single tool, not a whole toolbox. Use the right tool for the job at hand.
Using Google to get lat/longs to create waypoints in BC is addressed in this demo, but with a couple of notes needed:
1. To easily get lat/longs from Google Maps, you need to enable the "drop lat/lng feature" by clicking on the Maps Labs link at the bottom of the Google Map left panel:
Note that if you are logged in to Google Maps, it will remember that setting for you whenever you are logged in. If you are not logged in, you will have to re-enable it or log in.
2. There's a cleaner way to create the waypoint in BC than what I show here, and that is to use Find>Locate Coordinates.... It will give you the option of creating a waypoint from the coordinates. (Be sure you're in the right list when you do this.)
Hope that helps a little.