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Discussion of GPX Parser Usefulness #2682
Back To Discussion List Written: 2009.09.26 by: Robin Tivy

Review 2014 August. This discussion is somewhat dated. Nowdays the main method of getting trip waypoints is to upload a raw track log to the trip report, then trace it using GMap "Draw and Save". The Gpx parser was written before this was possible.

I'd like to get some feedback to see how many authors actually use the new GPX parser. See New GPX File Parser. I used the parser to save time writing up my last trip report on the Whitegoat Wilderness Traverse. When I was on the trip, pulled out my GPS every time I came to a significant point, and pushed the "mark" button. When I got home, I uploaded all these points into my computer and saved them as a .GPX file. I then started up the GPX Parser in Bivouac and pasted the GPX file into it, and presto - I had the waypoints in Bivouac format.

I've intended to implement this parser for quite a while, since it completes the GPX import/export ability of the website. Last March, Doug Brown of Nelson gave me a rough idea of how to do the programming. But I put it off, because I hate technical stuff, and because I wasn't sure anyone would use it. But finally I did it, so now I'd like to find out if anyone uses it.

Is this an incredible feature? I'm not sure. For small reports, it is simpler to just retype the lat-longs from the GPS. Or to import them into a digital map program or Google Earth, and then describe them one by one. That way, you can easily insert new waypoints from the map as well as what you have saved in your GPS. This is what I do for short trip reports. The disadvantage of using the parser is that you end up with a big list of waypoints without descriptions, and then you have to look them up or display them on a map anyway, just to get a description.

When I did use the parser was for a big trip with 100 waypoints. It was nice to simply blast them all into my trip report, and add the descriptions later. In my Whitegoat trip, notice the waypoint numbers such as *094. Those numbers were just the default waypoint names in the GPS. I should have cleared my GPS so they started at *001.

Once I had the numbers, I found them very convenient to refer to throughout my trip report. In fact, I started doing this for trail descriptions as well. It is a lot more compact to simply put a small 3 digit number into the trip report, rather than a cumbersome lat-long or full grid reference. If somebody really wants to know, they can look up the waypoint and see all the formats. Otherwise, the little number doesn't detract much from the readability of the report. So I figure it is better than having a big cumbersome lat-long in the report body. Do you agree?

In theory, I should go through the waypoints and write a short description for each of them. But I didn't.

One other issue was whether or not to show the date and time of each waypoint in the description. I know that I was often referring to these myself, in order to figure out vantage points for pictures, but I figured they were a bit cumbersome for the normal reader. Do you agree? Note that if the author uploads waypoints into a digital map program, you can right click on them and read the time.