FYI: KML feeds currently not returning tracks, but it's being worked on

I frequently use KML feeds to show the current position and tracks of InReach users in Google Earth.  Recently the position has been returned correctly however the tracks have been empty.

I spoke with Garmin technical support about this today.  They confirmed the issue and, with a bit of research, determined that a ticket is open to address it.  If I understood correctly, this was first reported to them approximately a month ago. I didn't receive an estimate of when the issue might be resolved.

The agent, Marvin, was thoroughly knowledgeable and very professional.  I've used Garmin devices for many, many years and this has nearly always been my experience with their telephone support. This superb support is among the top reasons that I keep buying Garmin devices and recommending them to others.

-- Pete

  • Would be great if we had any progress here, seems this issue is still present after 1,5 months now, right? It's surprising that it hasn't been solved all the time...

    And in case anyone at Garmin is reading this, would be great if you could offer other formats besides KML, e.g. JSON (maybe GeoJSON) or a more lightweight XML which is better for parsing. Shouldn't be that much of an effort.

  • The more people who report the problem to tech support, the more likely it is to be worked on promptly.

  • is correct, based on my experience.  Issue reports in the forums don't seem to trigger action. I suspect there isn't a systematic process that relays them to the developers.  It's necessary to contact support directly.

    On the plus side, I've always found Garmin telephone support to be terrific.

    -- Pete

  • I called Garmin support about this today.  They indicated that the issue was escalated to engineering four days ago after several additional people contacted support about the issue.  Thanks to any of you that invested the time to contact support and help get this escalated.

    Support's records indicated that engineering has been able to reproduce the issue, which is of course necessary for them to be able to identify the source of the problem. Hopefully they will be able to resolve this quickly and push the fix into production.

    -- Pete

  • I called Garmin support on this again today, October 9, 2019.  The person I spoke with was helpful, although not specifically familiar with inReach KML feeds.

    It seems that the development team for the inReach back end had marked the issue as "resolved", indicating that the KML feeds are only designed to return the current location.  This is, of course, not correct because:

    1. The KML feed contains two objects, a point with the current location and a track.
    2. That track contained the full set of location points in the past, including the entire 2017 and 2018 hiking seasons.

    The person I spoke with took careful notes and indicated that they would re-submit the issue to the development team.

    It would help greatly if anyone who cares about this issue were to contact Garmin support about it.  I've found that it's best to call.  The USA number is 913-397-0872 or 1-888-442-7646.  The number for Canada is 1-866-429-9296.  Numbers for other countries should be on the website.

    -- Pete

    P.S.  The correct name for the first person I spoke with is Martin, not Marvin.  My apologies to Martin!

  • asked about data in formats other than KML.  This article indicates that there is an alternative API, but that it is restricted to Professional accounts.

    -- Pete

  • A possible workaround.

    Download the KML Feed file (under 'KML Loader' in the pop-up window). Open the KML feed file in a text editor, and append the date filter to the end of the link. Save the file and then open it in your preferred application.

     

    Example (once the file is open in the text editor):

    https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/feed/Share/MapShareUrl

    turns into

    https://us0.inreach.garmin.com/feed/Share/MapShareUrl?d1=2019-01-01T00:00:00Z

     

    (specifying the date they want to have data to start at).

     

    Example of date filter: September 1, 2019 at 3pm EDT:

    d1=2019-09-01T15:00:00-4:00

    or

    d1=2019-09-01T19:00:00Z

  • Thanks for the suggestion, . I've tried it with and without a start date, including while on the phone with Garmin Support, and it has never helped.  Does it actually work for you with the start date included?

    To clarify, it did work, with the date or without, through the entire 2017 and 2018 hiking seasons.  In 2019 it has never worked.

    -- Pete

  • Not fixed as of May 17, 2020.  I'll call Garmin support for an update, probably tomorrow, and let y'all know what I learn.

    For the record, below is the KML returned by Garmin's servers. (Identifying information has been removed.)  Note the 13 lines at the end in bold, which is the track log.  It contains only one data point.  This clearly indicates that the issue is on the server, rather than in the application displaying the track.

    -- Pete

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <kml xmlns:xsd="">www.w3.org/.../XMLSchema" xmlns:xsi="">www.w3.org/.../XMLSchema-instance" xmlns="">www.opengis.net/.../2.2">
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        <name>KML Export 5/17/2020 3:54:15 PM</name>
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              <Data name="Elevation">
                <value>3211.70 m from MSL</value>
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                <value>2.0 km/h</value>
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