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Get Trip Waypoints from GPS # 1115 Back to Directory   Review Date:2015.10.04
Help Category: Trip Reports

Summary: How do I get trip waypoints from a GPS or a .gpx file?

(Get Bivouac Waypoints from GPS) (Upload a track log from your GPS to your trip report using your computer file manager)

OVERVIEW: These instructions assume you already know the difference between a "track log" and a "waypoint" on your GPS. And know that the Bivouac waypoints field because is a different format from a .gpx file. If not, see An Introduction to GPS Data transfer.

At one time we had a utility to directly translate and thin gpx files into bivouac waypoints. But there were several problems and it turned out that you get much better results tracing your raw line. This gives you a clean set of waypoints, and you can label key points.

These instructions assume you are going to do everything from your computer, as opposed to trying to write a trip report on your smart phone. [If you tried to do it on the phone, you would export the track log as a gpx, then use the phone browser to go to the bivouac website, and then "Upload Raw Gpx" directly on the phone. ]

Trace and label that route using the "Draw and Save" function in GMap.


  1. Make .gpx file on GPS
     The first step is to get your GPS to make your track log available in .gpx format. On a Garmin device, track logs are directly available as .gpx files, but on smart phones, there is usually a function called "Export" which does the translation.

  2. Connect the GPS to your computer with USB cable.
     The folders on the GPS should now be visible to your File manager on your computer.

  3. Copy Gpx file to your computer
     Use your file manager to browse to the folder on your GPS that contains your exported track logs. Copy that gpx file from your GPS "drive" to a regular folder on your computer.

  4. Create a new trip report (or WWF) using the normal form. Just put in a title and the date. You don't fill in the waypoints field yet.

  5. Save your trip report. Now you can look at the trip report page, and see the title of your report, etc. Notice a link beside the title called "Upload Raw Gpx".

  6. Click the "Upload Raw Gpx" link
     Click the upload raw gpx link, which is on the trip PAGE, not the trip input FORM. This will bring up a dialog that allows you to browse to the location of your gpx file on your computer. This loads the gpx file into a hidden place where the server can retrieve it. Notice that after upload you see a link that wasn't there before called "View Raw Gpx".

  7. Click "View Raw Gpx"
     On the trip report, click "view raw Gpx". The link only appears once you have uploaded a raw gpx file. This allows you to view the gpx file in GMap.

  8. Trace the line
     In the upper right corner of GMap, click "menu" and then "Draw and Save". And label key junctions by right clicking. See GMap Draw and Save"

  9. When you have completed your tracing, right click on any point, and click the menu choice that says "Bivouac Display Waypoint Text". This pops up a box that shows the waypoints you created, in Bivouac format.

  10. Cut and paste the above bivouac waypoints into the normal "WayPoints" field in your trip report or road record.