GPX Route Import Alert

Lets have a thread for this. I would certainly like to see more activators openly sharing their tracks on to summits. Come on - let’s make life easier for our fellow activators! Why keep your routes secret? I would like to use your tracks as well as allowing others to see and consider using mine.

I have just imported GPX tracks for the following summits activated last Saturday:

Cairn Pat GM/SS-281
Knockdolian GM/SS-267
Troweir Hill GM/SS-257

Rob DM1CM provides the SOTA Mapping Project which is in continual use and being improved and enhanced as I write this. The is being provided free of charge and is not actually funded by SOTA money raised from merchandise and certificates, so if you use the SMP then please consider making a contribution via PayPal to Rob for providing it.

73 Phil


I’ve uploaded a fair few myself and used others. Very useful resource.

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Thanks Phil for drawing my attention to the GPX Tracks I have never looked at that feature. Something else for me to learn how to do. Never saved any “tracks” on my etrex I mostly use it on a hike to record my walking pace so I can meet the Alert times try to work on 17 minute kilometres.
Ian vk5cz …

Just a quick tip for track creators:
The outdooractive Route Planner works very well for creating tracks. It does even support basic routing on hiking trails.Tracks can be downloaded as gpx and imported to the SMP.
I usually use this tool to create tracks when I did not record them on the way to the summit.

73! Tom

The sotamaps tracks page also allows one to draw/create tracks - in the upper lefthand side of the page you will see three tabs “View tracks”, “Draw track”, and “Upload track”. So, click on the Draw track tab, choose a summit from the upper dropdowns, and use the drawing controls in the lower left-hand corner of the map area to control how you interact with the map/program.

Use the left mouse button to place points on your track, the drawing controls to edit the track, and a right-click will bring up a drawing context menu. When you’re finished, use the “Save…” button to save the track directly to the SMP system


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Thanks Phil (and anyone thinking of contributing), but I am no longer accepting donations for sotamaps. It’s free to use, always has been and I hope that, since the SOTA MT IT department took over the hosting of sotamaps last month, it will remain free. That will largely depend on how much blood Google decides to squeeze from developers using its’ mapping services. Just as a point of reference, the prices Google charges for map-loads increased last month by roughly 2000% - yes, that reads two thousand percent!

Very obviously, Google wants to see the little guys (like sotamaps) fall by the wayside, and then get a regular tsunami of extra cash from its’ enterprise customers who - since they’ve invested so heavily in the system - are locked in to the Google API.

Of course, the little guys could also place a load of adverts in their sites in order to defray at least some of the extra charges, but there are no prizes for guessing which internet giant runs (and profits from) most of the advertising…


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Yes, I would like to speak up in support of the SOTAmaps, and the track feature in particular. I find it very useful for planning trips into areas that I am not familiar with.
In western Canada many of the peaks do not have trails to the summit, so I started adding those bush-wacks to the tracking option, but not adding those where there was a trail description available in local guide books.
To my surprise I was contacted by people asking about the “missing” tracks, as they found the map to be most helpful for a quick orientation to an area. So I am adding all new tracks now.

Thank you, Rob for a marvelous resource.



Thank you for bringing this topic up! I agree 100% with the Phil’s comments!

One thing I would like to add is:
When I upload a new track to SMP I also post an “external link” on the Summit Information Page … which I think makes it easier for future hikers to notice that there is a gpx track available:

I would very much like to see a permanent link on the Summit Information Page that leads to the track page of SMP … which could maybe look like this:

73 Martin, OE5REO


Yes Gerald you certainly have uploaded lots of tracks to the SMP - thank you very much. Not so many UK SOTA activators are uploading unfortunately. I think me and you are probably the most prolific. I have used several of your Welsh hill tracks - all good ones and very much appreciated.

Keep up the good work hihi!

73 Phil

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Hi Phil, I feel that some this is a dig at me for not uploading routes as you were in my back yard. Hi Hi.

The switch has been in place for about 6 weeks now, and so far we haven’t triggered any charging from Google. It remains to be seen if this will change over time, but I’m hopeful it won’t be too much.

Don’t forget that the MT first registered an account with the Google mapping API only last month - new accounts are given a $200 bonus to start them off, so it’s my guess that any charges incurred will be taken first from that bonus. After that’s been used up, I fear costs could escalate…

No I mean there’s been no billing against that credit at all yet - it’s the same amount as when we started. It may be the billing cycle doesn’t quite line up yet, but it’s been going over a month now, so I’d expect to have seen something.

HI Neil

No not getting at you at all. Have you viewed or downloaded anyone elses tracks I wonder?

There are just 18 UK Stations who have submitted tracks, which is a great shame when this free facility provided by Rob and now officially supported by the MT is there for us to share vital information. Several activators have thanked me personally for using a GPX track I have submitted - I appreciate it! Although at times one does feel a little cheated when sharing so much information within a system which should be “two way trafiic”.

Here are the callsigns of UK activators who have submitted and the number of tracks they have imported:

G4OBK 479
G4TJC 48
G4ASA (SK) 20
G4ISJ 13

Maybe publishing this “League Table” will make those who download mine and others tracks consider providing some for others to use, Scotland especially is seriously under represented in the tracks uploaded list. I know some activators are happy to provide a GPX track is they are asked, but I don’t like bothering people by asking.

I have well over 20 tracks in France, Germany and Czech to upload when I find the time this week, so that should take me over the 500.

I am proud of my record in sharing information and I hope other activators get some benefit from this. This thread may encourage you and others to start importing them. I find it a satisfying process.

73 Phil

Hi Phil, I agree that it is a great service to have and free is always better. I have only viewed one route on it and that was a random one to see how it all worked. I first tried on tablet but it coughed and spluttered and fell and the door step, so tried the computer, it came in singing and dancing.
To be perfectly honest I keep forgetting that it is there. So always resort to my old way of doing things. Besides I love studying maps and can do for hours. Like a child with a new toy- leave the toy and play with box all day!
I have 12 years of GPS data that is still sitting on the computer waiting to be separated to create the thousands of tracks stored within, some SOTA, some just hikes, some for other purposes. I will give anyone who asks the info I have, routes, description and often photos. But finding the time to do them all would be very hard now.
The route you took up local, Troweir Hill, is quite new and I gave the route to Andy FMF. I haven’t even went that route yet as there are so many routes for that hill - at least a dozen.
Sorry I missed that one again but I had important family commitments like over the last year or so.
Besides finding by own routes is part of the Fun for me. I do keep saying to myself I must get this data sorted out and if I do I may well put some online.
I haven’t done much SOTA for 3 or 4 years due to an injury then family stuff so none for that time anyway.
Anyhoo enough said, if I ever get the time and the notion I will sort the data out on the computer and then maybe enter a few online. I have put some on telly resources page before SMP came along.
73 Neil

You are assuming that people know how to do this. For example what is the difference between a route and a track? They appear to be being used to describe the same thing in the posts above. Im a GPSMAP 64S owner.

Generally a route is a line showing where you want to go often with way points. A track is recorded where you have been, GPS will record your track as you go. When you show it to someone it is the route they will take.
Best way to describe it.
As for using SMP I haven’t looked how it is done but I’m sure it will be quite easy. There may be instructions somewhere or someone will tell you how it’s done.

I definitely support the idea of sharing routes and publish mine through GaiaPro that gives users the ability to make a route public or private.

Admittedly someone would have to get to the GaiaPro track via a link on the SOTA summit page to my blog. Maybe not optimal but it’s enabled me to share routes without having to add another step to upload a gpx or equivalent to SOTA maps.

Maybe I should add an additional link on the summit page to the GaiaPro track and cut out one step for people.

Here is an example of my recent Ros Castle track.

And the blog post that also contains the link.

I’m also open to uploading them to wherever people think is the best repository.


I tried it but found my route included car journey and/or teleportation from one hill to another and looked like a liability rather than an asset. There is also the matter of whether I chose a good route in the first place :blush:

EDIT I might add that I have put up a good few descriptions on the summit pages to help those who come later.R

Garmin devices used to come with Mapsource (on WIndows don’t know about Mac) that let you simply edit routes etc. to split them into multiple individual routes. Or you can use GPS Babel which I have used to do similar things. I have used GPS Babel on Linux only so whilst I’m assuming there’s a Windows or Mac version I have no experience.