Using Your Downloaded GPX File

GPX files make use of a highly portable [build_link]|XML data scheme[/build_link] that’s useful on many different GPS platforms. A number of online resources offer the option to export in GPX format, making it a popular extension for both online presentation and personal use. Sites such as [build_link]|GPS Visualizer[/build_link], [build_link]|RideWithGPS[/build_link] and [build_link]|GPX2KML[/build_link] aid in the conversion to (and from) this globally recognized codec.

It’s this portability that makes it perfect for our map downloads. Route plotting/editing, visual previews and turn-by-turn instruction are all quickly accessible whether using a desktop computer or mobile device. Before you can view your newly downloaded GPX file however, you’ll need (free) software that’s capable of reading it.

On a desktop/laptop, the easiest way to view your GPX file is by downloading [build_link]|Google Earth[/build_link]. Not only does it give you a sense of where your map takes you, it can “fly along”, giving you a virtual tour of the ride (see [build_link]#video|video[/build_link] above). Google earth also lets you highlight surrounding roads and tourist attractions.

For turn-by-turn voice navigation, most major mobile device companies have third party apps in place that readily traverse GPX routes. [build_link]|OsmAnd[/build_link], for example, is available for both Android and iPhone while word has it that [build_link]|Open Street Maps[/build_link] can do the same on Windows Phones. Our in-depth instructions regarding track creation and import for use with OsmAnd can be found [build_link]3198|here[/build_link].

As for editing your downloaded route, we’re aware that you might need to alter the riding plan a bit. [build_link]|RideWithGPS[/build_link] is our favorite map building resource as it’s both reliable and easy to use. Open a free account, upload/import your map and edit as necessary. Note that within their editing interface, the “add/remove control point” option (located to the bottom right) is most useful. That allows you to change (or add to) your path of travel to suit.