View Full Version : GPX file resources

03-03-2014, 21:54
Hi, I am new to using digital maps. I have found this website: http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.html where you can print out topo maps. There is a feature where you can overlay GPX tracks onto the topo maps which would be very handy for me. What are some good websites that would have some files that I could use?

kayak karl
03-03-2014, 22:54
could start here http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/index.php

kayak karl
03-03-2014, 23:02
these are my friends maps http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/byuser/282/ i know some can be converted to GPX, but ??

i use http://connect.garmin.com/dashboard?cid=754858, but you need to log in

03-03-2014, 23:26
Thank you for that link, it is awesome!! This http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/53 looks to be exactly what I needed.

"i know some can be converted to GPX, but ??" - Yeah, I'm still learning. Looks like I can also use TPO, KML, or KMZ files and don't need to convert.

Thank you again!

03-03-2014, 23:47
"My Trails" is a must have if you've got a GPS. I download the 1:24k topos and "My Trails", being transparent, overlays the trails on the topo maps perfectly.

03-04-2014, 22:53
Found out that you cannot overlay the gpsfiledepot maps onto the topo maps from gmaps4 without the author's (from file depot) permission.

03-07-2014, 22:43
In addition to what others have stated I have been successful using my biking program http://www.ridewithgps.com to create custom tracks that I can save as GPX files and load onto my GPS. You'll have to see for yourself about over laying them on other maps. The best part of using this for me is I can also easily create driving tracks to get to some trail crossings that aren't always that easy to find.

11-06-2014, 14:26
Google Earth is a great program to start with! You can create paths, export them as KMLs and then convert the KML to GPX (with an external program, I use Gebabbel under Linux) for use with a GPS. Currently I have Open Street maps overlaid with the topos from gpsfiledepot on my Garmin. The roads and trails are all routable. I also have the entire AT mapped, complete with shelters... still working to get the complete elevation data included as well as camping sites, water sources and other interesting things marked on the map.

And I can print sections that I'm interested in.... And Google Earth will show a chart of the elevation changes along a route.

Best of all, everything I use is free.

11-06-2014, 15:58
I've been using an app, My Tracks, on my Android phone to record when I walk. It can also load and display GPX files.

I'll give MyTrails a try. It looks like it has added functionality.

<<waves to fredmugs from B-town :)

11-07-2014, 08:48
Also, a program for your PC/Mac from Garmin called Basecamp is an excellent way of planning/printing/manipulating tracks and maps. Also it works natively with the maps at gpsfiledepot.com.

11-07-2014, 08:50
How would you make a GPX track for a trail directly from Google Earth?

I guess I'm a GPX taker - I vastly appreciate it when people make them but I don't know how to give back.

11-07-2014, 15:55
Caltopo lets you import gpx, draw points, lines, polygons etc, and export gpx from that, as well as saving and sharing your own maps. You can see these on top of several different maps including google terrain, USGS topo, ARCGIS topo, etc or satellite imagery from google or USTopo or NAIP. Also you can add layers for shading or hillslope or land management or fire history, etc. etc.

All online at caltopo.com (http://caltopo.com)

You can also use it to print out excellent topo maps by using the PDF print option, and taking the resulting PDF file to a printer and having them print on heavy bond. Here (http://caltopo.com/map?id=1940) is one I did for last weeks hike, using trail location data from ATC. (I used mapsource to reduce the trail data to just that section).

11-08-2014, 14:36
How would you make a GPX track for a trail directly from Google Earth?

I guess I'm a GPX taker - I vastly appreciate it when people make them but I don't know how to give back.

You can't directly create a gpx file in GE. You need to first save your path as a kml file, then convert it to gpx using another program, like GPSbabble (Google search "kml to gpx"). I always hand edit my kmls before conversion, that way the resulting file is cleaner and doesn't have all those long, wacky place names that GE adds.

I might do a quick and dirty how to, I'm on Linux so the software will be slightly different, but the basic idea is the same.

11-08-2014, 18:21
+1 for any how-to

11-21-2014, 20:35
I don't know if this is "edit". Topo Maps lets you select.


11-21-2014, 20:57
You can get the all AT trail data from the ATC here (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/about-the-trail/mapping-gis-data/mapping-gis-data-download-agreement). Have fun.

Another Kevin
11-21-2014, 22:30
Where are you interested in getting tracks? Many states have state GIS (Geographic Information Systems) bureaux that have trail data for at least the public lands in the state. If you need stuff for the Northeast, drop me a line. In addition to having found some of the information on line, I have some friends who have got more data sent to them in response to Freedom of Information requests.

The map of eastern NY that I have at http://kbk.is-a-geek.net/catskills/test2.html shows the sort of information that can be retrieved from public sources.

05-05-2015, 05:56
ExpertGPS is a wonderful tool for pre trip planning and manipulating existing tracks. One of the powerful features of this product is that it allows you to create tracks over scanned maps and also has extensibility for many other base maps. Once a track is defined, the elevation profile can be plotted. It is also one of the few products out there that can handle in excess of 10,000 GPS coordinates. Many GPS based products allow for a maximum of 10,000 GPS points and divide the track up into segments to fit within those points. It can manipulate the complete high resolution track of the entire Appalachian Trail.

12-11-2016, 23:07
+1 for any how-to

Tip: Search YouTube for "Columbia River orienteering club." They have made a nice video series that covers every aspect of wilderness navigation, including using Caltopo to print maps, importing exporting GPX files, and work with different map layers.

12-11-2016, 23:13
Hi amigos,

I know this thread is a little old, but I wanted to provide some additional navigation resources for people.

Gmap4 has some pretty decent features, but Caltopo is superior in many significant ways. Caltopo allows many different map layers, has wonderful printing capabilities to PDF and any skill you want on various sizes of paper, and allows easy import and export of GPX tracks. Once you learn to use this software you will never have to pay for a topographic map ever again. Check out the layer "mapbuilder topo" that has shaded relief, most all of the trails drawn in, and eliminates a lot of the map clutter commonly found on USGS quad maps, like wilderness boundaries and section lines.

Also, as a place to find GPX tracks for trails near your house, have a look at GPSies.com. The interface is a little difficult to work with sometimes, but they have a pretty solid collection of hikes and tracks, depending on what part of the world you are in.

Please note that I have absolutely zero affiliation with either of these two websites. I teach wilderness navigation many times a year, and have extensively researched what are the best available sites for my students, so I am passing that knowledge on here.

04-29-2021, 02:01
Thanks, kayak karl,

I downloaded a few years ago with all the Long Trail POI's and shelters etc, but somehow lost the map/download, but the POI's stayed in my Base Camp. Thanks to all.

01-09-2022, 11:04
For users of Garmin mapping systems, what do you think is the best topo map set for the GA AT corridor. I use NE USA Topo Part 1 and 3 from GPS file depot for the Northeast. Thanks!
(old thread resurrection alert)

01-17-2022, 20:18
I like using Caltopo. It has good USGS quality topo maps not only of the USA, but also of Canada, Mexico, and Sweden. It has good search function and allows you to modify the map's coverage by zooming in and out.

01-18-2022, 19:44
+1 for Caltopo. There is also and option for seeing gps tracks that others have used in caltopo.