Help with GPX & KML

What to do with a gpx or kml file
1 hour walks

Why bother with GPX files?

Anyone used to written instructions will find it hard to appreciate the value of a 'sat nav' for walkers .

True, it's more fun to unravel text or regul rly consult maps than follow an arrow on a device.
However, if you are tired of going wrong because of missing signs/clues or unclear instructions, a gpx file on a mobile or gps device 'forces' you to take the correct turn at the right time ,useful particularly in forests and open fields.

Actual Written Instruction :

'Next, cross the field to a stile in small gap in hedge..

Which way?

How many of us have followed hedges just to locate a stile?

GPX on Mobiles
  • Install Locus Map Free or OSMAnd

  • Download GPX .

  • Your mobile should automatically select the appropriate app , ie Locus Map or OSMAnd.

  • Import GPX (no need to unzip)

  • Allow app to know your location

Basecamp screenshot Basecamp screenshot
GPX shown on Locus Map GPX shown on OSMAnd

What is a GPX file?

A gpx file contains points on a route. These points are just coordinates ,strung together by a gps device, and displayed as dots on a line - see below

When you switch on your gps you can see your position and that of the 'route line'.

You walk towards the nearest point on the 'route line' until you are on the route itself.

Without a gps you often need to 'get your bearings',particularly if you have parked away from the suggested parking area!

I have downloaded a gpx file - now what ?

  Your gpx file contains the route of a walk. It has to be unzipped - on a PC

Why is is zipped in the first place?

Unfortunately , some browsers including IE , when trying to read a gpx file if unzipped, open it as text , which is very confusing.

How to unzip?

Once downloaded, right click on the file and select Extract All
GPX on a PC or MAC

Basecamp (Windows & Mac): website

Basecamp will show your gpx but it needs a map of the area.

We have produced a free map of Devon which can be downloaded and installed on Windows.

Once installed select your map named Topo Southwest

(Garmin calls maps products)

Basecamp screenshot

Route shown in Magenta on Basecamp

How to display KML files?


Install Google Earth (It's free!)

When double clicking on a KML file , your computer automatically opens it on Google Earth.

Search the net for Google Earth (FREE) ,then download and install.

All our kml files show starting direction in Cyan - see map.

lynmouth walk 1
What are the best satnavs for walking?

For more information and what to look for when buying a GPS read this artcle.