Waypoints files for DL

… and of course other associations as well.

Hi all,

during a recent activation Juerg, HB9BIN, asked me whether I have waypoints files for summits in the DL association, which could be imported into a gps-receiver.
This question brought me up to post the following information.

First the good news: Most higher summits in DL, i.e. my main playground for activations, are decorated with, more or less, huge summit crosses. Therefore it isn’t a challenging task to find the correct location for an activation; of course this might be in contrast to other regions/associations.

The bad news: I’m a self-confessed fan of good old (paper-)maps. It’s always fun to spread out a (paper-)map in high wind or if it’s raining :slight_smile:

As a consequence I do not have ready-to-use waypoints files.

As this answer would not be very helpful, I did a little bit research on this topic and found quite a nice solution.

First of all, I found that Joerg, DL1DLF (the creator of the rucksack radio tool), did quite a nice job providing up-to-date KML files for all associations. KML stands for “Keyhole Markup Language”, a file format which can be directly loaded into Google Earth, but I guess most of the gps-receivers are not able to make directly use of this file format.
The KML-files can be found here: http://www.dl1dlf.de/sota-references-google-earth

Second, in order to import the gps-positions, listed in the KML files, you can easily convert this type of files into e.g. the GPX file format. This GPX file format will be understood by many of the newer gps-receivers.
An online converter can be found at: http://gpx2kml.com/
(Already converted files can be found here: http://www.on6zq.be/w/index.php/SOTA/SOTA)

If your gps-receiver does not understand the converted GPX files, not everything is lost. In this case you might try GPSbabel, an application which can be downloaded free of charge from: http://www.gpsbabel.org/
GPSbabel is something like a swiss-army-knife for converting between different gps formats. It supports quite a long list of gps-receivers from different vendors.
In order to convert a KML file, you just have to choose the file format “Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language” in the input section and the proper output format for you gps-receiver.

I’m sure there are a lot of other procedures for getting up-to-date waypoints files, but I hope, this information will be helpful, especially for those, who had no luck with importing KML or GPX files into their gps-receivers.

73 Stephan, DM1LE

Another fine source for summit waypoint files is “KK7DS’ SOTA file generator” that can be found here:

Here you also can create custom files for SOTA summits that are defined by grid square or coordinates. So if you are in a region that belongs to more than one association or if you want (or due to memory rectrictions can) load only a selection of summits into your GPS device, this tool could be the solution. Apart from kml files, Garmin/GPX or DeLorme type of files can be created.

73 Martin, DF3MC

In reply to DF3MC:

Then of course there are the KML/GPX export options in the SOTA Mapping Project.

You can export GPX waypoint files or KML files (two flavours!) for any SOTA Association, Region or even single summit. Just click on the “Mapping” link in the SOTAWatch site, click on the arrow in the Tools bar on the left-hand side of the map, click “Show” and choose the area of interest.

If you choose “KML Network Link” as output format, you will have the latest (max. 1/2 day old) data streamed directly into Google Earth, including the latest activations.

As always, other programs or websites are available as options - try this one, you might like it…

73 Rob, DM1CM

In reply to DM1LE:
Dear Stephan
Tks for the vy usefull information! I try to activate some DL-Summits as soon as the snow is smelted!
73 de HB9BIN, Jürg

In reply to all:

Hi Martin,

that’s also a useful source for SOTA waypoint files; especially the feature to generate files which combine several neighbouring regions/associations is quite helpful.

Hello Rob,

thanks for the info. I was not aware of this export option in the SOTA Mapping Project, because I’m working mostly in the “Range” perspective and there seems to be another set of options in the corresponding tools bar.

I’m fascinated of the routing functionality of the SOTA mapping project. It is really very helpful that the routes do not stop at the end of public (motor-) roads but continue even on closed forest roads, therefore it is very easy to find an easy access to a selected SOTA summit.
But sometimes the result of the route finding algorithm is quite surprising. For example, if you want to find all SOTA summits within 3 km of the german village “Fall” (nearby the Sylvensteinsee) the tool correctly displays the SOTA reference “DL/KW-046-Jaegerbergl”. After pressing the route-button, the tool shows surprisingly a 40 km long path from the village to the chosen summit. Therefore never ever trust electronic navigation tools :slight_smile:
I guess the problem is an error in the used mapping data, which might contain a small gap in the direct path from “Fall” to the “Jaegerbergl” summit. So nothing to worry about. The SOTA Mapping project is really a very valuable tool.

Hello Jürg,

I hope the information helps a little bit. There shouldn’t be a problem with snow anymore on summits below 1500 - 1600 m, between a height of 1600 and 2000 m there can be still passages with significant snow, especially on paths which are exposed to the north. Above 1900 - 2000 m I would recommend to wait at least until June, when the conditions are getting better.
If you are looking for interesting SOTA summits in the DL association, I can recommend the ebook written by Martin, DF3MC. It contains a nice selection of interesting SOTA summits across the complete DL association. You can find it here: http://www.epubli.de/shop/buch/Informationen-für-Bergfunker-Martin-Rothe/23917

73 Stephan, DM1LE