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Convert tracks into (downloadable) trail?


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Is there any way to merge, average, and then consolidate my saved tracks into a "trail" file/map of some kind, that I could (a) use myself and (:) share with others?


Garmin here.. :( with MapSource, fwiw..




I am not sure about the merge, average, and then consolidate thing, but from MapSource you can export your tracks as a gpx file, which goes straight into Google Earth.

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That only allows one file per track. I have dozens of them that, together, completely map the trails at a park. I would like them to be down loadable as a single file.


I've looked at the raw data and could possible mangle and merge the track files to create a single file, but that would still show multiple tracks for single trails - each time I record, the coordinates are slightly different. Hence the need to merge/average them.


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In MapSource you can have as many tracks as your computer can handle.

I have all my tracks pr. year in one MapSource file. So far 56 different tracks this year. Cut and paste, named by the date.


This can easily be exported to gpx an shows up in GE as 56 separate tracks. Just tested to be 100% sure.

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MapSource has track erase, join, draw and divide tools that let you clean up your tracks. You can access them from the Tools menu or by clicking on the icons if you have the Track Edit toobar activated via the View, Show Toolbars menu. I am unaware of any averaging tools.


Once you are done cleaning up your tracks, you can save them to your hard drive as a gpx or gdb file for future reference, sharing with others, and uploading to your GPS.

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Simple method. Takes no more than 5-10 minutes.

All tracks in one map.

Start with "training map" with 1- 2 tracks. You can always add next tracks to .mp file.


1. Install MapManipulator. (Off course you have cgpsmapper and gmaptool on your PC). http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/keithsheppard/MapManInstall.htm

2. In MapManipulator: Tools>Options> External Apps... > Map image compiler - and we set cgpsmapper.

3. Check box :"Use same filename as .mp file..."

4. Rest of settings are not important.

5. When ask :"Select datum" set: WGS84.


6. File> Open> and import map. Raster map (Ozi) or .img. If .img - as simple map as possible ( from Map Center). If map is imported properly, you see coordinates in left lower corner. Raster map is not visible later in GPSR.


7. Import> Text GPX or shape file> and we can import .gpx track file. Then next .gpx file...


8. When all tracks are imported: Tools > Convert> Tracks to lines> check all tracks - and as a line select "Arterial route":






Off course later you can select what you want, but let's start with "Arterial route".


9. Export > Export map and optionaly compile/upload> and we save file as .mp (Polish format) file.


10.Programme asks: "Would you create a map image file?" . Off course "YES"!

11.Next write 8 digit number , file name as in .mp file.




12. Programme asks: "Do you want to upload map to gps?" OFF COURSE "NO"!!!


13. We have .img file with our tracks.


14. Now we can do what we want..

We can send it to mapSource using Mapsettoolkit, or use Gmaptool (GUI).


15. I prefer GMAPTOOL:


16. Files> Add files> select your .img file.

17. Join>

17.a.in Output file write filename and .img at the end.

17.b in Mapset Name - text visible in Colorado select map window

17.c. check FID (write number) , check PID ( write 1).


18. Join selected




19. We have file "filename.img" in selected catalogue.


20."Add files" > select that file ("filename.img"). Use "Favorites" catalogue.


21."Write" and set "Mapset" ( it is second line in select map window in Colorado/Oregonie), set draw priority (11), set transparency (transparent).




22."Write selected" and you have map ready to use.


a/ select map window

b/ tracks alone as single map

c/ tracks on another map (map is transparent)




In 60CSx:

a/ select map window

b/ map screen




GmapTool gives you freedom in creating text in both "Mapset" fields, name of .img file, and other features of your map.

After short training, the whole procedure takes less time, than reading this text.

Keep .mp file. You can import it again and again and add next tracks.



Edited by sokolo0
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Hi eflyguy,


I've share my hikes/tracks on EveryTrail, all of which can be displayed in GoogleEarth with a click or two. Once in GoogleEarth, the kmz file of all the hikes/tracks as a group can be easily shared with others by forwarding the kmz file.


The EveryTrail website, of course gives you the opportunity to share the hike/track on an individual basis as well. I've got over 40 tracks that I manage on EveryTrail. I'm not sure how many tracks you're trying to manage, and I'm not sure what you mean by "average". My last count, I've got 119 tracks that I've archived, 46 of which I consider worthwhile to post and share on EveryTrail.


Take a look at the GoogleEarth option on EveryTrail.


Cheers & Good Luck,


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I've walked every trail in the park, but many of them several times - they don't all start and end at one point - it is a maze of intersecting paths. You literally would never need to take the same route twice. Think almost a small street map..


If I publish the tracks I have, there would be in some places dozens of overlapping tracks for the same trail. I want there to be one trail (track) at that point. Also, when I've looked at MapSource, I could not find a way to make branches off a single track. You can do one complex A-B type route, but not create a maze of connected paths to create a true trail map.


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... there would be in some places dozens of overlapping tracks for the same trail. I want there to be one trail (track) at that point. Also, when I've looked at MapSource, I could not find a way to make branches off a single track. ...

I have the same problem with my off-road bike tracklogs. The only solution I've been able to find is to manually edit out the duplicate tracks with Mapsource Track Edit tools. It's tedious and only slightly better than manually drawing a new track overtop of the multitude of existing tracks.


You cannot create a "T-junction" with tracklogs in Mapsource (as you cannot have it in a real tracklog either). However there is no need to worry about ending up with hundreds of small track sections as it's quite easy to convert these edited tracklogs into a Garmin map (not a Garmin GDB or GPX file, but a map like Topo or Navigator). The process is similar to what Christopher refers to above but I don't believe the programs he refer to will help with creating a SINGLE track from the multiple/duplicate tracks.



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Thanks, Bob. I think you get it. I can do what you suggest but that doesn't allow me to average the trail location from several tracks. That's really where I was hoping to find some tool to help out.


Thinking about this technically, I can see how this would be difficult. Averaging multiple points is simple, but a "virtual" path between points? That would require some ingenious programming..


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TopoFusion has a merge/average track option. I haven't had the opportunity to play with it much but it's documented and there is a free trial.


The feature is described here:




Oh now THAT'S awesome.. unfortunately "Only 3 GPS files can be loaded at a time" but if I merge all of my trails on mapsource then I should have a single (somewhat crazy looking) file I can use.


Wish it was on a Mac. Time to dust off one of my PC's.. :blink:


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If I understand what you're trying to do correctly, I think you might be interested in a program called TOPOFusion (Google will get you there) It's kind of designed for what it sounds like you're trying to do. Where you have multiple tracks over the same path, it will allow you to average them out into a single, hopefully more accurate track. It also allows you to build what they call trail networks, where you combine a bunch of trails. You can try the program out for free. I've been using the software for years, and find it's quite useful for track management.


Edited to add, I see I was slow in bringing topofusion up. There other response wasn't there yet when I started my response. Maybe the other people don't stop for dinner when they're offering their two cents worth......

Edited by Searching_ut
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An essential Track management tool for me is: G7ToWin

Drag and drop all the tracks you want into it and view in spreadsheet format. Each track will show as a segment with all track points, distance between them, GPS elevation. Highlight all points and try the features such as: Delete Duplicate track points, Combine into one track file. Very quick and easy. Export in GPX format and it can be opened in many programs.


What I would do in your case try the Delete Duplicate, then combine into one track. Look at the total number of track points bottom of spreadsheet in G7toWin. Try to determine how much overlap remains.

Maybe go to GPSVisualizer and set the maximum points per track to a lower amount and see what happens.

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TopoFusion has a merge/average track option. ...

Amazing! Never seen that program before - just downloaded the PRO demo and fed in my Ganaraska Forest single-track file that has loads of duplicate tracks and it took under 10 seconds to throw out most of the duplicates and make a pretty good trail network. That was done within a couple of minutes of installing the program and scanning through the menus - Analysis / Make Network was the only command needed.


I say "most" as there's obviously some algorithm that tries to decide if there are 2 closeby trails or a 2 tracks of the same trail. Overall it did an amazing job of what it took me many hours to do manually.


Although the Demo does all that's needed - the 3 file limit isn't a problem if you put all the tracks in one file - it's well worth the $69.95 purchase price.


Thanks, Scott



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In MapSource, one can combine any number of cleaned up tracks into a single track by clicking on the "Tracks" tab, then selecting all tracks with <Control A> or holding down the Control key and choosing the tracks to combined. Then right click on the list and choose, "Join the selected tracks."


Using the track tools, one can cut, delete, join, add points, etc., before performing the above step.

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If you are not too concerned about averaging, once you combine the tracks, you can double-click the track in MapSource and delete the track points that overlap.


Or, to speed things up, you can use the MapSource track track edit tools to trace a new track over the ones you already have. You lose time and, possibly, elevation, formatting, but you get your one track.

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If you are not too concerned about averaging, once you combine the tracks, you can double-click the track in MapSource and delete the track points that overlap. ...

I had to try what you were saying before I could understand what you were trying to achieve. Double-clicking on a tracklog opens the Track Properties box and the track segment you clicked will be highlighted (but greyed-out). If you then click on that segment you can delete it and the track re-draws without that segment. That's a useful little editing trick but I'm unclear how you would use this to eliminate the duplicate sections. (You really have to try an example before you understand this).


If the trail network is complex, you probably did the segments in a different order each time, so the duplicate parts are NOT complete tracks, but portions of mostly different tracks. The only way I've been able to eliminate duplicate segments (before getting TopoFusion a couple of days ago) is to use the Track Divide Tool to isolate the duplicate portions as individual tracks and then delete all but one.


Anyway, since G-O-Cashers told us about TopoFusion, there's no point in trying to do it in Mapsource as TF is so easy and FAST (a few seconds) and inexpensive (from FREE to $69.99) :)



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Something that I have been doing the last few weeks is adding my tracks to openstreetmap.com. I upload my tracks (you can see mine under the same username - majormajor42) to the site from my track files saved in mapsource as .gpx, or taken straight off my 400t as a .gpx.


Once my tracks are on the site, I use the edit map option to trace a "footpath", or "path" or "track" on top of my gps tracks. In some cases, where I have been on a trail multiple times, there are multiple tracks shown overlayed on a yahoo map satellite image. Put it all together and I'm able to trace the trail as accurately as possible.


I have done this for a few dozen miles of trails in Rockland County, New York mostly. Look for the red doted lines. I've also seen some decent trail networks in Yosemite and Mountainview, CA. If you have hundreds of miles of tracks, I could see where tracing could become tedious. It is a community of opensourcers so if you uploaded your tracks, someone else might step in and trace them and edit the map.


The next step will be me, you and others downloading these maps to their GPSrs and using those trails in the woods. I have not done this yet but it would be nice if the trails were routable like the roads are. As I found out yesterday while on a 15 mile hike, an ETA based on an offroad straight line is not as accurate as what might be possible if the navigation system was following a curvy trail.


My 400t basemap does have some trails on it but they are not accurately located, inconsistent and I don't think they are routable.


here is some of my work of trails in Harriman State Park, NY

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Once my tracks are on the site, I use the edit map option to trace a "footpath", or "path" or "track" on top of my gps tracks. In some cases, where I have been on a trail multiple times, there are multiple tracks shown overlayed on a yahoo map satellite image. Put it all together and I'm able to trace the trail as accurately as possible.

Yeah, that's exactly what Chuy! described how to do in Mapsource a couple of posts before yours. Yours is a good solution if you are not a Garmin user. But if you are, Mapsource saves having to upload and the track editing tools work very well and very quickly. Tracing a track as you described is dead simple and fast.



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not exactly. I am a Garmin user, 400t. Keep in mind, I do some editing in mapsource but the tracing part is done right on the openstreetmap website. Once I save the trace, it shows up on the map as a trail the map that anybody else can view and download, and sharing was part of the OP's question.

Edited by majormajor42
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