If you use a GPS and want to exchange data with a computer then you will have had to grapple with GPX files. So what are they all about?
Well, simply put GPX is just shorthand for "GPS eXchange Format" and the files themselves are just plain text files. To be technical for a minute they're actually XML files. So if you look at one it will look something like this:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?> <gpx creator="Foretrex 301" version="1.1" xmlns="http://www.topografix.com/GPX/1/1" xmlns:gpxtpx="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/TrackPointExtension/v1" xmlns:gpxx="http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xsi:schemaLocation="http://www.topografix.com/GPX/1/1 http://www.topografix.com/GPX/1/1/gpx.xsd http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3 http://www.garmin.com/xmlschemas/GpxExtensions/v3/GpxExtensionsv3.xsd"> <trk> <name>02-MAR-12: 02 MAR 2012 09:15</name> <trkseg> <trkpt lat="54.604068" lon="-3.130546"> <ele>97.23</ele> <time>2012-03-02T10:44:54Z</time> </trkpt> <trkpt lat="54.604004" lon="-3.130589"> <ele>94.83</ele> <time>2012-03-02T10:45:14Z</time> </trkpt> <trkpt lat="54.603940" lon="-3.130503"> <ele>96.27</ele> <time>2012-03-02T10:45:30Z</time> </trkpt> <trkpt lat="54.603940" lon="-3.129644"> <ele>91.94</ele> <time>2012-03-02T10:46:22Z</time> </trkpt> <trkpt lat="54.603875" lon="-3.129108"> <ele>91.46</ele> <time>2012-03-02T10:46:47Z</time> </trkpt> <trkpt lat="54.603875" lon="-3.128529"> <ele>90.50</ele> <time>2012-03-02T10:47:26Z</time> </trkpt>
That's just the start of a GPX file taken off our Garmin Foretrex 301 GPS. It actually goes on for a lot longer than that.
But you don't need to worry about what the file looks like inside. All you need to worry about is what you can do with your GPX files. Essentially a GPX file can contain two similar but different sorts of data which we're interested in:
GPS Block IIR(M) satellite
In addition to these two there is a third sort of data which you may have in a GPX file:
So that's a very quick overview of what a GPX file is. We also have a page on using our routes which you may find useful reading as it looks at some of the tools which are available to check GPX files and to upload to and download from GPX files from your GPS.
You can comment on this post in our forum.