Display GPX file on hi-res topo map (USA) and OSM map (world)

Started by Jelf, November 29, 2013, 11:54:45 AM

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I am the developer of Gmap4 which is an enhanced Google map viewer that is free for non-commercial use.  You can use it to display your GPX files on the highest resolution seamless topographic map that is available anywhere online.  These hi-res topos cover the USA (except maybe Alaska).

Disclosure:  If you poke around on the Gmap4 homepage or on any Gmap4 map, you may see a link to  That is a commercial service that I run.  You do not need to be a client of that commercial service in order to use Gmap4.  I intend to keep Gmap4 free (for non-commercial use) and without ads or banners as part of my way to "pay it forward".

Here is an example of Gmap4 displaying a GPX track from a hike I did in the Cascade Mountains near Seattle.

When you open a Gmap4 link with a mobile browser on a smartphone or tablet, then it automatically displays a touch-friendly interface.  A mouse interface is automatically displayed on desktops/laptops.

To display your own GPX file with Gmap4:
1.  Put your GPX (or KML, KMZ, TPO) file online.
2.  Edit the q parameter in the above link so it points at your file instead of pointing at my file.
3.  Paste the revised link into your browser.

Google Sites provides free file hosting and you can find step-by-step instructions by searching the Gmap4 Help file on "google sites".  The Gmap4 homepage (see below) has a link to the Help file.

Tip: Do not use any spaces in your file name.  Use the underline character instead.

If you are in Canada, you can display your GPX files on vector topos, like so:

If you are not in the USA or Canada, then a good basemap to use is the OSM Cycle map which includes topographic lines and crowd-sourced trails.  The following map is centered on a spot in the Italian Alps.,11.0936&z=13&t=t8

When you are making a link to display a GPX file (or other supported file type), then the only *required* parameter is 'q'.  If you make a Gmap4 link that does not include the 'q' parameter, then the default basemap (t=t1, Google terrain) will be displayed.

To specify a basemap to display when the map opens, include the 't' parameter:
To see the allowable values for the 't' parameter, please search the Gmap4 Help file on 't8' and then scroll up just a bit to see the full list.

NOTE! If you are using Gmap4 to display GPX (or TPO) files, then it is very important that you read about the  'refresh' parameter in the Help file.

Here are a few things you can do after the map opens:
* Double click.  Center the map at the spot clicked.
* Right click.  Display coordinates in various forms and get draggable directions.
* Menu ==> Link to this map.  Get a link that will reproduce the map you see on your screen.
* Menu ==> My location.  Uses the GPS in your mobile device to center the map at your location.
* Menu ==> Search.  Includes searching on UTM coordinates.
* Menu ==> Draw and save.  Trip planning with GPX output.  One click can make both a waypoint and routepoint.
* Menu ==> Hill shading.  Variable hill shading for the "t4 Topo High" basemap.
* Menu ==> UTM - LatLng - Off.  Display UTM grid.
* Menu ==> Declination.  Get the current magnetic declination for the center of the map.

Some forums allow Gmap4 maps to be embedded as 'live' maps in the body of forum posts.   For example, scroll down a bit on this trip report for a 'live' map.

And if you are savvy about GIS, then you can display your GPX file on top of any data that is available from GIS servers via either the REST interface or WMS interface.  Here are a few examples of Gmap4 displaying data from GIS servers:

The Gmap4 homepage has a FAQ, examples, quick start info (in the Help file) and more to quickly get you up to speed.

Gmap4 default map:

Gmap4 homepage:

Joseph, the Gmap4 guy
Redmond, WA