What are GPX files?
GPX files are simple XML files which hold the plotted route or track in a way that your GPS or navigation APP can use.
These files are a commonly accepted standard used by many GPS vendors including Garmin and Trailtech. But also a number of smartphone apps can use these files.
If you’re curious you can open a GPX file in a simple text editor and see what’s in there. Be careful not to edit the file or change the format/make up or the GPS can’t read it anymore. They’re a bit hard to read, but they contain the basic information about who made the file and a loooooooong list of coordinates making up the track or route. Additionally there may be a section for waypoints and Points-of-Interest as well.
Routes vs. Tracks
On MotoTravel 2 types of GPX adventures are available. All freely available adventures are in the form of a basic Track. This works fine if you want to follow a line on your navigation. Some smarter apps will guesstimate turns but not much else.
Routes are also available on MotoTravel. These are a little more advanced and typically cost $5USD each. They generally work the same as Tracks, but allow for basic turn-by-turn navigation on compatible apps/devices. This of-course helps with anticipating where you’re going.
Both tracks and routes do NOT include waypoints. It has to stay an adventure you do yourself of-course not turn into a boring guided tour.
However, pretty much every route you can buy also includes file with Points of Interest (POI). Locations may include toll booths, roadblocks/checkpoints, fuel stations, view points/attractions and perhaps hotel or restaurant recommendations and similar noteworthy things along the way.
Based on what we encountered a POI may also include cautions for road hazards such as unpaved roads, mapping errors and similar issues.
The POI should not be considered exhaustive, but give you a pretty good idea of the adventure ahead. Locations are all marked on your map, often with a comment why we recommend or caution the place.
How do GPX files work?
As mentioned above, they contain a long list of coordinates. Usually indicating a point every few meters along the road that make up the track or route.
The files I’ve created usually are recorded as I went along and indicate the exact route I’ve ridden. With how I record there should be a point at least every 10 meters or every few seconds. Depending on movement and speed these may be more or less spaced out.
How do I use GPX files?
GPX files are easy to use but how to load and use them differs in every GPS or smartphone app. For my navigation I use OsmAnd+ which has a ‘follow track’ feature. And for BMW Connected there is a “Import tracks” option. Other apps that support GPX files exist and all will have an option similar to this. You can take a look at how to use GPX files in a few choice apps.
GPS devices will often let you put the GPX files on a SD card which you can then load from the onscreen menus. Check your device manual for details.
Can I make GPX files?
Yes, if your GPS or smartphone app has a route recording function you can have it record where you go as you go and export the file when you’re done.
If you have made a cool route that you want to share you can send it to MotoTravel so more people can download it. Just get in touch for details on how to do that.
Be careful not to include private locations though. A trail leading straight to your home is not desirable of-course.
All files available on this website are edited slightly to remove private locations and provide a more smooth route or track.