Track files and GPS back-ups

Still a lot of exploring to be done!

Over the last few years, we have worked hard to get away whenever possible to enjoy the best of the outdoor life.  In finally deciding to make a backup of our .gpx files from the Hema, we can see there is a bit of a gap on the left-hand side of the map!   Gives you a feeling of just how big this awesome Country of ours is.

Our travels so far – mapped with the Hema app on the iPad

If you haven’t yet done it, you might want to consider backing up your mapping files and saving them in case of disaster.

The files created from the iPad Hema app come as .gpx files, which are pretty common amongst a variety of GPS units.  I’d say all modern mapping and GPS units will have a function to download or save your tracks and waypoints.  Some are just easier than others.

If you wish to take it a step further and load them into Google Earth to show the rellies, then you most likely will have to convert them first to a KML file so it can be read by Google Earth.  KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language (whatever that means) and there are several free file converters online.  The main one we use is GPS2KML (https://gpx2kml.com/) which is an online program.  Simply upload your file, click ‘convert’ and then it will give you a link to your end KML file.  Download the linked file and open it from within Google Earth.

Another program that also works roughly the same way is GPSvisualizer (http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/) which gives a couple more options that I haven’t found a need for.  The conversion process was slower and it locked up a couple of times before it eventually worked.

If your GPX file is over 15Mb, then you’ll need something like GPSBabel (https://www.gpsbabel.org/). This is something you have to download to your computer first and the interface is basic in the extreme.  It’s not exactly user-friendly, but it works well enough.

Of course, once you have done this, you can use the same process in reverse to create tracks, marks and waypoints in Google Earth that you can load into your GPS!

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