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Using Waypoint Working Files Back to Directory
Last Review: 2016.05.04
Help Category: Trip Reports

Summary: How to use a waypoints working file to store test waypoints, or to look at some waypoints someone else has prepared for you.

A "Waypoint working file" (Wpw record) is a means of displaying a track on the Bivouac Google map viewer (GMap) without having to make up a trip report. In other words, it is a "Track Viewer" or a "waypoint viewer". You either upload a gpx track from your GPS, or you create a set of waypoints using GMap Draw and save. Or both. It's a bit confusing because you can do both. Typically I upload a raw gpx file, and view that on GMap, and then use "draw and save" to trace and label points on the same line, which gives me Bivouac waypoints.

Thus it combines two functions:

 1. Viewing a raw track log on GMap
  2. Viewing a "constructed" set of Bivouac waypoints on GMap

I will describe both ways of using Waypoint working files separately. Work thru each example separately.

1. Display Raw GPX
 The point of this is to display a gpx file that contains a track log you have exported from your GPS. To display a "raw GPX", insert a Wpw record, give it a title and save it. Eg: "Day 1". Now click on the title. You should now see a link titled "Upload raw Gpx" beside the title. Click that link and browse to the location of your .gpx file, and upload it. Now click "View Raw Gpx". This will display your track on GMap.

2. Display Bivouac Waypoints
 The point of this is to allow you to display some Bivouac waypoints that you create. (not a raw gpx file). You usually create the waypoints using the GMap "Draw and Save" function. Here is how you do it: First, make up a Wpw record, give it the title "Proposed Route" and save it. At this point, the waypoints field is empty, so we need to get some waypoints. For that we use GMap on any mountain page. When the GMap comes up, click "Menu" in top right corner, and choose "Draw and Save". on the map to mark out your route. When done, right click in any of the points and choose "Bivouac Display waypoint text". Cut and paste those waypoints into the Waypoints field of your Wpw record and save the record. Now you have a Wpw record containing bivouac waypoints. Click the GMap link and you'll see your route on GMap. Don't confuse the GMap link with the Raw Gpx link).

In the above descriptions, I have described the two functions completely separately. But in fact, you could do both of them with the same wpw record. But you must keep in mind the difference between "View Raw GPX" link and the "GMap" link. A common mistake is to upload a raw gpx, then push the GMap link instead of the View Raw Gpx link.

Waypoint working files can be used either for your own purposes, and also to share with other bivouac members. The working waypoints of any member, are available simply by looking up their authors menu. So you could use them to outline a proposed traverse.


  1. Combine separate gpx files
     My most typical use is to be able to separately view several gpx files for different purposes. For example, when I have several .gpx files from a multi day trip. Suppose I made two separate track logs files on my GPS: Day1.gpx and Day2.gpx. My plan is to make Wpw records for each of them, then trace them using "Draw and Save" to get the Bivouac waypoints for my entire trip.

  2. Compare Previous sets of waypoints
     If someone sends me a set of waypoints for a given trail or road, and I want to compare those points with an existing set of waypoints, I'll put it into a waypoint working file. Then when I click the GMap link on the working file, I see a map with both those waypoints (in magenta) plus the current road waypoints.

  3. Discussions with other Editors
     If I'm upgrading a set of waypoints, I'll keep the old waypoints in a waypoints working file, and then I can email some other editor to have a look. Eg: Paul Kubik had a set of waypoints for the Baden Powell trail, and when I redigitized from the Terrain view, I kept his original waypoints, so we could discuss the differences.

  4. Planned trips
     In several cases, I've put waypoints for planned trips into a working file, then emailed to other people in the trip to have a look at the route.


  1. On the front page, search for "Robin Tivy". This brings up the author page for Robin Tivy.

  2. Click on "Author's Menu". This takes you to my author's menu.

  3. Click on "Waypoint Working Files". This shows a list of working files.

  4. Click on the title you want. Eg: Baden Powell

  5. Click on the GMap link. This brings up a map which shows both the working waypoints in magenta plus the current Baden Powell Trail.