at home in… w| Gerald Zhang-Schmidt

The Suunto Ambit(3) Manual, Part 2: Navigation Functions

In Part 1, we had a look at the basic (time mode) functions of an Ambit3, their use and (limited) customization.
A Suunto Ambit(3) is not just a watch, however, it is also a GPS device…

GPS / Navigation Functions

5: The Ambit as a GPS Device

This time, starting with a little intro to the Ambit’s use as a GPS/navigation device.

6: Navigation by POI

The first way of using an Ambit(3) for navigation: using POIs.

Such Points of Interest can be set up

7: Navigation with Route

POIs all well and good, but where the Ambit comes into its own is navigating along a route. So, let’s get one started…

8: Creating Routes

If you want to use routes for navigation, you will first have to get routes.

Two basic possibilities shown here:

9: Route/Map Problems and Workaround

Having talked about creating routes, it’s necessary to point out that there can be some issues because of the (Google) map quality.
In China, where these videos are made, especially. (There is an offset between the actual position and the one shown on maps.)

Other programs (such as Google Earth) and GPS tracks from other people to import into the Route Planner of Movescount provide one workaround. Quick tip if you ever find yourself in need of some tweaking of a GPS track from someone else (to change its format, simplify it, etc.): Use the features offered by

10: ‘Quick Navigation’

Navigation can also be used when going out exercising. Option 1 for that: To use a custom/sports mode with ‘quick navigation’.

11: Activating Navigation while in a Custom (Sports) Mode

‘Quick navigation’ has a ‘move’ start by choosing a route or POI to follow, but navigation can also be activated while a custom (sports) mode is already active…

12: The Map in the App

Not exactly navigation (as in, to a pre-defined point or along a route), but the Ambit3 line can help in navigating also through its interaction with the map display in the Movescount app

13: Using the Navigation Logbook

As long as you have a ‘move’ (that used GPS tracking) still stored on your Ambit (2 or 3), you also have its track in ‘Navigation’ – ‘Logbook’ and can activate that and use it just like a route.

14: Find Back & Track Back

Of course, just as you can use a track from the navigation logbook, you can first of all turn right around along the track you just were on during a move, and “find back” (to your starting point, POI-like) or “track back” (using the track as a route) immediately.

15: (Workaround) Route in Practice

Out at the Great Wall’s Jiankou section, trying out the route planned using the GPS tracks / Google Earth workaround (as set up in the Manual video number 9, above). And, it works!

If you want to check out the route as it looks on Movescount, I’ve now set it to public so it can be found here; the track recorded while I was (also) using this route is here, but this path out to Zhengbeilou is only a small part of that (the one where the circle connects in the upper right corner, the track goes out and then back…

I am copying in the relevant part below. Please note that the way out was the one using navigation, hence using constant (“best,” 1 sec) GPS fix. The path back again from the Great Wall’s Zhengbeilou tower (which is at the lower right of the image) was recorded only using “good” GPS setting, i.e. a lower fix, which is (mainly) why it looks so jagged (apart, when I was back on the road in the upper left, there was also some GPS error):

Xizhazi to Zhengbeilou track

There are also some issues to discuss, though: Setting up/starting the route to not get turned around; finding the exact path/turn when the zoom level is not high enough; (not) missing an ETA/ETE (to the next waypoint) function or altitude profiles for routes.

Next up: Training Programs/Planned Moves and Training Guidance