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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some help. I want to be take my GPXs (and others from connect) and piece them together to create maps of local trail areas. I've found some stuff online but it seems some of the programs referenced don't exist anymore. I have used one called GPX2IMG that worked real well, except that since it is going from a GPX all the individual trail segments end up looking like seperate trails instead of one polyline. So is there anyway to combine these GPXs into one GPX? If not what file format should I be trying to put them into? Any suggestions for programs that would work? I did some searching here and couldn't find anything so if there's been a thread on this, just pointing me there would be very appreciated.

Thanks for any help!
 

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since 4/10/2009
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One option would simply be to overlay all the tracks onto a map, and then hand draw a track that would comprise your merged trails. You could then put that into GPX2IMG and make a transparent map out of it.

Your other option that I'm aware of would be to use Topofusion's Network feature to merge all of your tracks. I've had trouble with it on twisty trails packed into a very small area. But my situation is something of a special case, and the hand draw solution worked fine for me. It seems to work well on most trail systems. Once you get that done, then you can run it through GPX2IMG.
 

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Here is an example of what TopoFusion does with its network option.



Here is the same map with the trail start / end or intersection waypoints.

 

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BaseCamp (and others)

I was surprised to find BaseCamp works good at editing trails. It is simple and intuitive and uses only four editing controls: Insert, Move, Divide and Erase. Seems simple at first, but it's quite powerful at creating or modifying existing tracks. Additionally, it's a free program from Garmin. http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/us/onthetrail/basecamp

ExpertGPS (which is not free), is also good for making higher quality maps. (See example of map inset on left). I created this map from data collected over six different rides.

This map as it appears on my Garmin Oregon 450 (using other free software to create; GPSMapEdit, cGPSMapper, and MapSetToolKit). I can see these tracks on the Oregon even with the backlight off. Additionally, they are transparent and will overlay any other maps you have loaded. The second pic is of the same trail structure with the Garmin's 24K West topo in the background.

GPSMapEdit: http://www.geopainting.com/en/
cGPSMapper: http://www.cgpsmapper.com/
MapSetToolKit: http://sites.google.com/site/cypherman1/

Personally, I have a problem with GoogleEarth since it has poor track editing functions (unless someone can enlighten me). Once the track is set you're sort of stuck with it...
I wrote my own application for sending tracks to Google Earth and Google Maps (and analyzing my data) but that's a different subject (however that software is free too).
https://flic.kr/p/5422920301
 

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MarkHL said:
Personally, I have a problem with GoogleEarth since it has poor track editing functions (unless someone can enlighten me). Once the track is set you're sort of stuck with it...
I've found it to be pretty easy- once a track is imported or drawn, you can just r-click>"Get info" (command-i on OSX) to edit the track- then you can drag/move/add/delete points, change line symbology, etc.
You cannot move entire tracks at once, which is kind of a drag. (at least I haven't found a way).

I've been using basecamp a bit as well, it seems decent. Haven't tried doing image overlays yet, which is what I like about google earth.
 

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FM said:
I've found it to be pretty easy- once a track is imported or drawn, you can just r-click>"Get info" (command-i on OSX) to edit the track- then you can drag/move/add/delete points, change line symbology, etc.
You cannot move entire tracks at once, which is kind of a drag. (at least I haven't found a way).

I've been using basecamp a bit as well, it seems decent. Haven't tried doing image overlays yet, which is what I like about google earth.
Okay, I see it now; you right-click on "Properties" and the points in the track can be moved, increased/decreased. I don't normally save the points with my tracks so I was not seeing the option. However, when I drew a new track I could see how it can be edited. Still lame at best, since I can't spit a track and I have to pay attention to which direction the track was created in order to accurately add a new point.
 

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I also do not like Google Earth for editing track data. I use it for symbology edits and for editing the content of the popouts when you click a waypoint. That's all.

I use Topofusion for most of my actual track editing work. It lets me do all kinds of things to a track that I might want to do, and lets me save it as whatever format I need. The symbology it uses does not transfer over to Google Maps, though, which is why I have to make those edits in GE if I want to display the file a particular way on my website.

If I'm working on a map with the goal of printing it as a poster, I will do my work in a GIS package. I have a paid-for version of Manifold GIS which allows me to do everything I need to do to a track file. For merging a bunch of existing tracks into one, the only viable option I have is either to make a Network in Topofusion, or hand draw it in GIS. I often prefer the hand drawing option still, but Topofusion's Network function is much faster when I'm in a situation where it works well.

MarkHL - that trail network is insane. No wonder you need a map to get around in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all suggestions. Personally importing to GE and redrawing seems like a PITA, if the data is already there, why recreate it. I like the idea of TopoFusion. I have been using the free version, but haven't found a network option. Is that only available in the pay version. I don't mind forking out some cash for a program, I juts don't want to waste money on a program that doesn't meet my needs.

When I started this effort I found a bunch of on-line write-ups that all used the GPSmapedit/cGPSmapper/Mapsettoolkit, but even that seemed like a messy solution. That and the day I was working on that method the GPSmapedit site must have been down as I couldn't find a download of it.

Basecamp sounds interesting, I will have to check that out. Ideally I'd love to have a program that allows me to combine my routes into a network map, then after additional rides exploring just open the new track and the existing newtwork map/file/track cut out all the overlap and merge in the new sections from the new ride. Maybe I am looking ofr pie in the sky, but a guy can dream.

Work and personal life has be swamped this week, so I won't get a chance to try some of these out until later in the week, but keep the ideas coming. I'll let everyone know what I end up going with.

Thanks for all the help, you all rock.
 

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The GPSMapEdit/cGPSMapper/MapSetToolKit is the best solution. It's a bit more effort but the final result is a IMG map (just like Garmin's) that will upload to your GPS in high detail and give you total control over how the tracks, roads, lakes etc. look. It's no accident that the my tracks are bright green with black borders... it's easy to see on the Oregon. I have seven local riding areas I have combined into one map. This solution is also being used by riders to produce maps with hundreds of trails on them at no cost to the rest of us. Switchbacks Website: http://www.switchbacks.com/gpsmaps.aspx I used the NW Trails to ride an area I was not familiar with last week and it was dead on.
Here's another example of a map I produced (shown in BaseCamp) where it's MY option as whether to show trail details as primary (solid lines) or secondary (dotted lines). The service roads are in yellow and in the north there is paved road shown in gray and black. At anytime, I can go back and edit anyone of these trails to improve either there accuracy or appearance. You do not have that option with overlays. I also included an actual picture of this map on my GPS with Garmins 24K Topo showing through in the background.

My suggestion is to start with a single track and go through the process of creating a map. Once you know how, it opens up a lot of options, plus it's actually fun to do this.
You just need to get your data into a GPX format. From there, GPSMapEdit knows how to handle it. I attached a small zip file to this message that contains a very simple map (startupmap.mp) that has all the settings I use in GPSMapEdit to create the Garmin IMG file. It's a good template to start with, you just need to "add" your gpx tracks to it without having to figure out all the "Map Property" settings. The *.mp file (that GPSMapEdit produces) is just a text file. You can open it with Notepad to view the contents, or download GPSMapEdit to view it in the application.

These videos are kind of hard to watch but they detail the steps (links to the free software can be found in my above post). Ignore the part where he uses the DOS window to compile the file. You can set the path to cGPSMapper in GPSMapEdit and it will compile it from within the application.

Video 1
Video 2
 

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pdccx said:
Thanks for all suggestions. Personally importing to GE and redrawing seems like a PITA, if the data is already there, why recreate it. I like the idea of TopoFusion. I have been using the free version, but haven't found a network option. Is that only available in the pay version. I don't mind forking out some cash for a program, I juts don't want to waste money on a program that doesn't meet my needs.

When I started this effort I found a bunch of on-line write-ups that all used the GPSmapedit/cGPSmapper/Mapsettoolkit, but even that seemed like a messy solution. That and the day I was working on that method the GPSmapedit site must have been down as I couldn't find a download of it.
You have to use Topofusion Pro, not Basic, and the option is under Analysis>Make Network. If you're working from a pile of tracks, I don't know of any other process to simplify them down as easily. I admittedly have not played with GPSmapedit/cGPSmapper/Mapsettoolkit to know how it handles things, but you can take the output from TF's Make Network feature and bring it into that process to make the Garmin .img map.
 

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Bumpity-bump.

I found this thread very educational and, after several hours of trial and error using the free tools, was able to create a map like Mark's (green/black track) overlaying the CA Topo map from GPSFileDepot.

One thing I discovered is that if you want track patterns/colors that aren't in the existing list within GPSMapEdit, you can create your own TYP(e) file that specifies custom patterns. I used the tool here:
http://sites.google.com/site/cypherman1/home
but there are others, e.g.
http://ati.land.cz/gps/typedit/
 

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I've done several maps of local trails (Washington DC area). I generally get as many gpx files as I can (my own, friends and downloaded from garmin connect) and the combine them in EasyGPS. From there, I use GPSVisualizer (https://www.gpsvisualizer.com/) to overlaythe combined gpx files onto google maps. I'll generally specify a very large custom frame output (like, 4kx4k pixels) and then use Screengrab! plugin for Firefox (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/screengrab/) to save the entire frame as a single image.

Here is an example of a map I made (Lake Fairfax, in Reston VA):
https://www.logoffrideon.com/trails/images/6/62/LORO_lake_fairfax_map_wip_11.jpg

Here's another (Wakefield, in Annandale VA):
https://www.logoffrideon.com/trails/images/3/30/LORO_wakefield_map.jpg
 

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6thElement said:
It's still on my to-do list to try, but this product should help.

http://www.gpx2img.com/
I just played with the trial version for a few minutes. It's stupid easy. I would like a little more control over symbology and file naming than the trial version allows, so I'll have to look more into the full version to find out whether it would give me the control I want.

For someone who just wants to get the maps onto their Garmin, it doesn't get much easier. Load your .gpx files into the program.
Set symbology.
Press "Convert"
The program automagically loads the new file into mapsource so you can select it and transfer it to your GPS.
 

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I just made my first map using gpx2img and could not be happier. It is a map of Henry Coe park and I am giving it away in the NorCal forum if anyone wants to check it out. I used it for a ride last week and it worked out great.
 
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