Software for .gpx files on a Mac
January 10, 2009 6:50 PM   Subscribe

Software to process and display (map, etc.) .gpx files on a Mac

I don't have a GPS yet, although a friend is sending me her old unit. Today I went on a mountain bike ride with a group, and someone else had a GPS with him and recorded our ride. After the ride, I downloaded the .gpx file from his GPS to my MacBook Pro (OS X 10.5.5). I uploaded the file to a site ( to map the ride, which was cool. I'd like to map the ride on my Mac, and also map the altitude changes, etc. It would be super to find software that was open source or freeware.
posted by jcdill to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ascent is geared more for activity tracking but does what you'd like. It's not free but it's usable without paying.
posted by kcm at 7:18 PM on January 10, 2009

There's always Google Earth, which can import gpx files. Google Earth is free. The commercial software MacGPS Pro is good for managing your gpx files, and can plot your course on a variety of maps -- but is sadly missing the ability to utilize maps from any of the online mapping services.

The command line program "gpsbabel" is an incredibly useful tool for transforming you GPX files. You can use it to convert between GPX and other formats (e.g., KML, used by many of Google's services), or to make your routes more management (e.g., reducing the number of points) through various simplification techniques.

There's an application out there targeted at fitness use of your gps -- for runners/bikes/etc -- but I can't remember it off the top of my head. Most can be found through some permutation of a google search for "os x gps" or the like.
posted by larsks at 7:27 PM on January 10, 2009

Sign up for Garmin Connect (it's free). Here's one of my rides, you can see lots of the data in different views (this is from a Garmin edge 705 bike computer).
posted by mathowie at 8:18 PM on January 10, 2009

I use TOPO! (it's about $100 per region) and runs Natively on mac, though has somewhat of a cumbersome interface.

For the rest of my GPX mapping I load a windows vm (parallels) and use Garmin Mapsource. It's not great, but I've used it long enough that I can be in and out and take the screen shots I want. For example, I really like these altitude graphs (direct screen shot, except for me adding the date afterwards): img link

Garmin continues to release newer versions of their software for mac, so that's something to keep an eye on if the unit you're getting is a garmin....
posted by devbrain at 8:22 PM on January 10, 2009

GPS Visualizer does the same sort of things as Map My Ride but with the ability to download the results.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:22 PM on January 10, 2009

Prune is quite fun (more so if there is good Open Streetmap coverage of your area), free and cross-platform. It's really good for geotagging photos, too.
posted by scruss at 5:51 AM on January 11, 2009

I would like to do kind of the opposite of what's being discussed - instead of converting my garmin track to a gpx for display, I want to pre-define a route on my computer and then load it to the Garmin (I have an oregon 400) as a route I can follow. Anyone have suggestions on this?

posted by Alex Parker at 5:48 PM on May 18, 2009

« Older Accomodations In Pikeville KY   |   How can i be happy and stay happy? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.