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Download to Smartphone using Radius Guide # 1128 Back to Directory   Review Date:2015.07.30
Help Category: GPS - Download to GPS

Summary: How to overlay bivouac trails on smartphone topo maps.

(How to import trails into GPS apps.)

As of October 2015, the easiest way to import a set of trails and peaks into your gps is to use the "gpx20" link on the mountain page. (assuming you've got the .gpx option turned on in your options.) But first, read An Introduction to GPS Data transfer. Then read Download to Smartphone GPS.

Prior to the gpx20 link, the longer way to download trails to your GPS was to use the gpx link in the online guidebooks. The simplest online guidebook is the radius guide.

The GPS App I've got loaded on my Android phone is called Backcountry Navigator (BCN). It allows me to cache the necessary 1:50K maps for any given trip. Once I've got the maps, I start up the browser on my phone and go to the "Radius Guide" under "Online Guidebooks".

See "Import GPX File" in my Standard GPS Operations" document.]

Here are the instructions to import the .gpx file from Online Guidebooks. I do the whole procedure on my smart phone browser, so I don't need a computer.

  1. On your smartphone browser, find the Online Guidebooks menu in the Bivouac Index.

  2. Click Radius Guide
     It defaults the center to Banff.

  3. Change value of "center" field
     Change the "Center" field from the default "Banff" to correspond to the area you want to hike. If there is a unique mountain name, you can use that as the center. However, if there are multiple mountain names, you must specify the Lat-long instead of a name. For example, when trying to download the trails around rainbow mountain, I looked up the correct Rainbow mountain and then copied in the lat-long of 50.179, -123.053.

  4. Download from Bivouac to your phone
     On the "Online Guide" page above, click "Download GPX File". [On my Android phone, the GPX file ends up automatically in a folder called "Download"].

  5. Import into your GPS App
     Now that you have the gpx file on your browser somewhere, the job is to import it into your App. With Backcountry Navigator, I click on the Folder icon, and chose "Import Tracks or Waypoints" and it displays the list of .gpx files.

  6. Import the .gpx file
     Click on the filename you just saved in the previous step. It should say "Import Successful" and you should now see the trails on your map.

With other phones and other GPS Apps, the procedure may be slightly different, but the principle is the same. For exmaple in View Ranger, the imported track logs do not show up automatically, and you have to turn on the ones you want to see.