Getting Recorded Tracks into the Route Planner

OK, my original HOW TO ( detailed how to get a track ONTO your GPS unit. The Marengo Route Planner allows you to define a route suitable for this.

But many people have asked how to do the opposite – get a track, i.e. a recorded route, OFF of the GPS unit and into the Route Planner. This post shows you how.

There a several reasons why you may want to do this: you might have ridden a good route, and you want to share it with friends in the form of a GPX file that they can upload to their units via the Marengo Route Planner. Or you may have defined a route, and, when riding it, lost the track. You might want to therefore upload the real route you took and compare it to the planned route, to see where you went wrong.

OK, so here’s the HOW TO for this: It also includes a link to a handy converter utility I knocked up last night, which converts GPX tracks to GPX routes.

Drop me a note if there’s anything that doesn’t make sense or could be improved.

17 Replies to “Getting Recorded Tracks into the Route Planner”

  1. Hi, I too am very disappointed with my Edge 205. Just out of the box and I find out from Garmin’s Support Team that it doesn’t support OS references. Is there anyway it can be upgraded to do this?


  2. I think this route planning web tool is great. I tried it out for the first time a couple of weeks back and it worked a treat. I bought a Garmin 205 a few months back and a few fellow bikers have bought them after I showed them what this thing could do.

  3. Hey Graeme, thanks for the kind comments. There is an even more awesome version of the route planner in the pipeline, so keep watching this space. Tell all your friends too :-)

  4. Simon wrote:
    > I too am very disappointed with my Edge
    > 205. Just out of the box and I find out
    > from Garmin’s Support Team that it
    > doesn’t support OS references.

    What is an OS reference? Between Martin’s site, GPSBabel, Gpx2Crs and the Course Extractor there is a lot you can do with the Edge (which was intended as a training tool rather than a navigation tool) and Garmin’s crappy software.


  5. Hi Martyn,
    Just recieved a Garmin 205.
    I have an old I-Mac (400mhxG3, OSX 10.3.9), which version of your script should I use to envoke GPSBabel? The Linux and Windows version dosen’t seem to work. Using terminal / BASH – I get a “perission denied” response.
    A case of beer guarenteed with my first successful use of the GPS system.

  6. Hi George, you might find it easier to use the Mac front end to GPSBabel, called “gpsbabel+”. You can find the download at their site (direct link to the download page is

    I’m pretty sure this works on both intel and older PPC hardware (like yours).

    Give it a try and let us know how you get on!

  7. I’ve stuck some useful gpsbabel commands over on

  8. Trying to convert garmin generated gpx files to something that marengo understands just doesn’t seem to work. I looked at gps-babel output and the trkpt’s are not converted to rtept’s and marengo just rejects the gpx file because no rtept’s.

  9. GPSBabel converts trackpoints to routepoints just fine! Tell me what you are doing and hopefully we can see where you are going wrong.

  10. Running on OS X via the GUI. Download a gpx file from, say:
    Then I tried to follow the instructions shown in the HOWTO exactly. Set the file as input. Set the operating mode to Tracks (also tried Routes). Added the filter. Set both input and output file types to GPX XML. Output file has trkpt’s not rtept’s and marengo reject it.

    One thing I might be doing wrong is running the GUI from the .dmg mount instead of installing both it and the command line program. There are no install instructions to follow.

  11. Ah, I was missing the step of using the web based converter. Now, if I do the steps right, it does work.

    Very simple suggestion: make numbered steps on the howto to make it easier to follow the recipe.

    Slightly less simple suggestion: make the route planner do all the work so it just works with tracks.

    But once I do actually get the GPS generated data into the route planner, there are way too many way points to be very useful. One would really like to have just one way point per intersection. Does google export the coordinates of intersections from their maps? They must have this information in order to make driving directions.

  12. To simplify a route you’re importing from elsewhere, such as a set of trackpoints you’ve recorded, you can simplify it using GSPBabel too. On the command line you’d use ” -x simplify,count=100″ as a parameter.

  13. What am I doing wrong?

    scallop:~/tmp rutt$ grep ‘

  14. What I was trying to show is that this command line doesn’t change the number of rtept’s.

    scallop:~/tmp rutt$ /Volumes/GPSBabel+\ 1.3.3a/gpsbabel -t -x simplify,count=100 -i gpx -f westboro-newton-3.gpx -o gpx -F westboro-newton-4.gpx

  15. Try using the following, obviously substituting file names:

    gpsbabel -i gpx -f track.gpx -x transform,rte=trk,del=n -x simplify,count=100 -o gpx -F out.gpx

    Works fine for me: I get a 100-point nicely simplified track which imports fine into the Route Planner.

  16. This works, but it’s still to hard to deal with. I had an idea. I’d like to be able to duplicate the points between to selected points. Then I could import a track from the web site or gps, choose the points at intersectiosn, name them with left, right, etc, and then easily delete everything in between.

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