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  1. #1
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    How to convert Google Maps Route to GPX?

    Hi,

    I can't figure out how to take a route that I created in Google Maps and convert it to a GPX, help would be appreciated.

    Here's the route I'm trying to get into a GPX with elevation ideally, so I can load it into my GPS as a course to follow.

    Thanks!

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...3&ie=UTF8&z=10
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  2. #2
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    Randy,

    I don't think it can be done (at least not easily). You are trying to convert from a line-based network to a detailed set of points with time and elevation. I suppose you could break down each line segment to a series of points, but why?

    You already have the route based on streets with turn-by-turn directions. Print it out and follow the course with your GPS turned on. After the ride, you will have the point, time, elevation and possibly other data you want.

    Good luck.
    Let the good times roll.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheapWhine
    Randy,

    I don't think it can be done (at least not easily). You are trying to convert from a line-based network to a detailed set of points with time and elevation. I suppose you could break down each line segment to a series of points, but why?

    You already have the route based on streets with turn-by-turn directions. Print it out and follow the course with your GPS turned on. After the ride, you will have the point, time, elevation and possibly other data you want.

    Good luck.
    I think the problem is that I used the "Walking" not car, all the GPS tools I use seem to choke on it, even Google Earth won't display it.

    I want it on my GPS as a course because thats what GPS's are meant to do, why stop and pull out a piece of paper when a GPS can guide you on the fly?

    Randy
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  4. #4
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    Use some mapping software or a website where you can create a route manually. All a "route" is is a series of waypoints you link together. I'm not aware of any way Google can make one, but lots of programs (Garmin's mapsource, which is available free without maps, and you can get free maps at gpsfiledepot.com) is an option. I believe mapmyride.com and runsaturday.com can do manual route creation, too.

  5. #5
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    Well Son of a Gun, I finally got it working, and I even was able to add elevation (google maps don't have elevation.

    So now it is loaded into my GPS, no paper maps necessary.

    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  6. #6
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    How'd you end up doing it?

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    Furthermore, what website did that image come from? I am not familiar with the graphics used, aside from the Google Maps Terrain view.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    Furthermore, what website did that image come from? I am not familiar with the graphics used, aside from the Google Maps Terrain view.
    That is from my GPS Activity recording application that I use and love, rubiTrack.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDSmith
    How'd you end up doing it?
    You'll have to believe me when I say that it took far more effort to figure out how to do it than actually doing it once you know the flow.

    1) Create your Google Maps, car or walking work fine.
    2) Add the GMapToGPX to your favorites icon bar, http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/gmaptogpx/
    3) Click the GMapToGPX favorite and select FULL, copy all the text output and save in a file as YourFile.GPX
    4) Go to www.GPSies.com, Track Creator, import a file and load YourFile.GPX
    5) Once loaded click the Refresh Elevation button
    6) Now export it as a GPX Route
    7) Viola, you now have a route that you created in Google Maps as a full fledged GPX file with elevation. You can import it into the GPS App/Device of your choice.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BDSmith
    How'd you end up doing it?
    BTW - there is one more trick I learned in this process. Any google maps URL that you have, if you add "&output=kml" to the end of it, it will download an honest to goodness KML file. One [of the many] problems with Google Maps is that if you download a KML file I think via Google Earth, the KML only contains a URL inside it to the Google Maps - no waypoints. But adding that output statement to the end of the URL downloads a KML file that has the actual waypoints in it.

    In fact, I'm not going to test it, but you should be able to download the KML file that way instead of using the GMapToGPX and load the KML into www.GPSies.com and then refresh elevation and export as GPX Route.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris
    BTW - there is one more trick I learned in this process. Any google maps URL that you have, if you add "&output=kml" to the end of it, it will download an honest to goodness KML file. One [of the many] problems with Google Maps is that if you download a KML file I think via Google Earth, the KML only contains a URL inside it to the Google Maps - no waypoints. But adding that output statement to the end of the URL downloads a KML file that has the actual waypoints in it.

    In fact, I'm not going to test it, but you should be able to download the KML file that way instead of using the GMapToGPX and load the KML into www.GPSies.com and then refresh elevation and export as GPX Route.
    I couldn't resist testing this, it did not work, but I have a feeling it is because I was using a Walking route - I think it would work with a car route. Stick to the GMapToGPX utility I suppose.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris
    That is from my GPS Activity recording application that I use and love, rubiTrack.
    Ah, Mac software. That's why I didn't recognize it. Am I correct in saying that it's a local machine-based program, not a sharing website (hence the screenshot and not a working google map)?

    Seriously look at mapmyride.com, though. It has a solid tool to build a route on the roads and it can export into .gpx format or even .crs format for Garmin.

    RunSaturday lets you do similar, and you can download to .gpx, .tcx, or directly to a Garmin GPS.

    It's a lot less convoluted than the process you've detailed so far. You can create the route by hand on each site and download to GPS on each site. Personally, I think RunSaturday has a better tool, since there are many more options available to you there. Both require a little tinkering to get what you want. They do both appear to lack autorouting functionality like Google's own website. But, especially in the case of bikes, you don't necessarily want the most direct route. Looking at others' routes in the area can help you find better bikeable routes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk
    Ah, Mac software. That's why I didn't recognize it. Am I correct in saying that it's a local machine-based program, not a sharing website (hence the screenshot and not a working google map)?

    Seriously look at mapmyride.com, though. It has a solid tool to build a route on the roads and it can export into .gpx format or even .crs format for Garmin.

    RunSaturday lets you do similar, and you can download to .gpx, .tcx, or directly to a Garmin GPS.

    It's a lot less convoluted than the process you've detailed so far. You can create the route by hand on each site and download to GPS on each site. Personally, I think RunSaturday has a better tool, since there are many more options available to you there. Both require a little tinkering to get what you want. They do both appear to lack autorouting functionality like Google's own website. But, especially in the case of bikes, you don't necessarily want the most direct route. Looking at others' routes in the area can help you find better bikeable routes.
    rubiTrack is a desktop and iPhone app only not online, I use www.EveryTrail.com for online sharing of GPS activities.

    for drawing routes by hand I use either www.ScribbleMap.com or www.GPSies.com that works fine and dandy - but I didn't want hand drawn shaky lines over a 121 mile course, I wanted a google maps route which is spot on.

    Thanks for mentioning those other sites I'll take a peak.
    Last edited by randyharris; 12-12-2009 at 08:14 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris
    ...I didn't want hand drawn shaky lines over a 121 mile course, I wanted a google maps route which is spot on.

    Thanks for mentioning those other sites I'll take a peak.
    The sites I mentioned don't give a shaky hand drawn line. The lines "snap" to roads and if you click two points far removed from each other, it chooses roads in-between for routing. They are both pretty slick, but like I said, I like RunSaturday a bit better (and despite the name, it does support biking just as well as running).

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the tip on rubiTack looks pretty nice for us converts to Mac.

    Wayne

  16. #16
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    That Rubitrack is pretty cool. I just downloaded it, dropped a random .gpx file into the window, and voila! Map, elevation, speed, all pop up instantly. Slick and attractive interface too. Being able to draw in a route by hand would be an awesome addition though.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    That Rubitrack is pretty cool. I just downloaded it, dropped a random .gpx file into the window, and voila! Map, elevation, speed, all pop up instantly. Slick and attractive interface too. Being able to draw in a route by hand would be an awesome addition though.
    I have suggested the same thing to Markus, the developer. rubiTrack is the best GPS activity app I've ever found (Mac or Windows), but a route builder would be great. I suggested that we be able to copy sections of other GPS files from within rubi, and paste them to to a new route in a builder, then be able to freehand and connect segments etc.. I see where it is not the main focus of the application, but it would really enhance it in my opinion.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  18. #18
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    I also noticed that rubiTrack cannot import kmz or kml files. I think this is a real oversight. There is a lot of cool stuff out there in that format.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I also noticed that rubiTrack cannot import kmz or kml files. I think this is a real oversight. There is a lot of cool stuff out there in that format.
    I am a user of rubiTrack, you'd need to post a note to the rubiTrack forums to get the answer from the devs as to the reason for this. My work around takes me about 1 minute on the odd times I've needed to import those file formats:

    Go to www.GPSies.com and to Track Creater, Upload the Google formatted file, and select GPX for download format, download it and then import that file.

    This might be too cumbersome if it is something you do often, but for how often I use those files I don't mind.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  20. #20
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    Just use this simple tool: kml2gpx.com
    It makes conversion both ways between GPX and KML formats.

  21. #21
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    If you scroll to the bottom on the left pane and click "Save to My Maps" you'll be able to export the KML from "My places". The KML will include any tracks and waypoints you add to your custom map, and easy to then convert to gpx.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    If you scroll to the bottom on the left pane and click "Save to My Maps" you'll be able to export the KML from "My places". The KML will include any tracks and waypoints you add to your custom map, and easy to then convert to gpx.
    keep in mind that most GPS receivers cannot handle a .gpx file that contains both waypoints and tracks. furthermore, there can only be one continuous track. if there are multiple disconnected segments, they will get broken up by the GPS. most GPS receivers are VERY specific in the way they handle .gpx files.

    IIRC, the Delormes have more flexibility than Garmin, but I'm not clear on specifically how much.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    If you scroll to the bottom on the left pane and click "Save to My Maps" you'll be able to export the KML from "My places". The KML will include any tracks and waypoints you add to your custom map, and easy to then convert to gpx.
    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    keep in mind that most GPS receivers cannot handle a .gpx file that contains both waypoints and tracks. furthermore, there can only be one continuous track. if there are multiple disconnected segments, they will get broken up by the GPS. most GPS receivers are VERY specific in the way they handle .gpx files.

    IIRC, the Delormes have more flexibility than Garmin, but I'm not clear on specifically how much.
    Yes, I have tried this with my 60CSx for trail layout and design to have a field version for quick reference. (Nate, I get tired of carrying paper in a big zip lock, dragging through the fog and poison oak laced chaparral ).

    It came out like a wind battered spider web, totally unusable in any way.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Yes, I have tried this with my 60CSx for trail layout and design to have a field version for quick reference. (Nate, I get tired of carrying paper in a big zip lock, dragging through the fog and poison oak laced chaparral ).

    It came out like a wind battered spider web, totally unusable in any way.
    For this, it may be helpful to take that complex .gpx network and turn it into a Garmin transparent map with gpx2img and load it as an overlay for your topos in Mapsource/Basecamp.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    For this, it may be helpful to take that complex .gpx network and turn it into a Garmin transparent map with gpx2img and load it as an overlay for your topos in Mapsource/Basecamp.
    +1 on gpx2img.

    Now, you do have to load the overlay, along with the base topo to see contour lines and other features. By itself (and how it will show up in mapsource or basecamp), the overlay shows nothing but the tracks from the .gpx file(s).

    I Like to make overlays for areas like St George, Flagstaff, Prescott, Sedona... Allows you to take everything you know of and have it ready on the GPS to do any ride you come up with while on a trip.

    Another nice program to use for this process is EasyGPS. This allows you to take all your individual .gpx files and easily combine them (file menu, merge files...) into one .gpx with a rediculous amount of tracks. Then, just use that single file to create the overlay file. Also, when you get more files/tracks, just add them to your file and recreate the overlay.

    Only issue with the overlays is that it doesn't allow for distributing a directly useable file to others. An installer can be created using NSIS or savvy users could use mapset toolkit or the gpx2img 'source' file to install their own version of the overlay map.

    May still seem like a pain, but this is the easiest way to do this sort of thing.

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