Mapping GPX Files In Google Maps

GPS Exchange Format (GPX) is a widely-used file format used to store and share GPS data. Many GPS-enabled devices and apps store tracking information in GPX files, and that information can easily be displayed in Google Maps.

There are a multitude of free smartphone apps to that can generate and share GPX files, including:

Importing and Symbolizing a GPX File

  1. Log into Google Drive, and create NEW, MY MAPS
  2. Download the GPX file from your smartphone app. You may need to e-mail it to yourself and download it from your e-mail. A demonstration GPX file is here
  3. Select Import and upload the GPX file from your computer
  4. The default blue symbolization will generally be good, although you can change the color if you want something different
  5. Likewise, you might also consider changing the base map if the default map is too busy for your GPX track to be visible
  6. You should give your map a meaningful title and description
  7. Mapping GPX Files In Google Maps

    Drawing an Annotation

    If you want to draw an annotation on the map, you can use the Draw a line tool

    For example, this section of tracking points seems to be a bit farther off the street than the actual path.

    We draw a line around it to highlight the area, and give it a name and description.

    By default, the map will display with the full extent of the points in the GPX file.

    If we want to highlight an area such as the area of high inaccuracy we can Zoom in on that location and select Set default view.

    When you preview the map, you see what users will see when they first open it.

    Mapping GPX Files In Google Maps

    Preview and Share

    Finally, to share the map with someone, click the share button and change the access to Public on the web.

    You can then copy the Link to share into an e-mail.

    You can also get HTML iframe code if you want to embed the map on a web page.

    Mapping GPX Files In Google Maps