MacGPX is replaced by JaVaWa RTWtool; a program with a lot more options!
MacGPX is an application to convert data in GPX files in multiple ways. There are options to 'de-flag' routes, convert routes to tracks and vice versa, convert a collection of waypoints to tracks. Tracks can be filtered to reduce the number of trackpoints and there are options to convert for Training Center, Google Earth and Google Maps.
MacGPX accepts GPX, HST, TCX, CRS, KML and KMZ files. Besides the option to select a file with the 'browse' button, it's also possible to drag a file onto the icon in the Dock.
GDB files are not supported. RoadTrip is able to read them but cannot create them, so there is no real benefit of GDB support.
When there exist several routes or tracks in a GPX file every one will be processed, but only the converted items end up in the resulting file. When a file with routes and tracks is converted with the option 'Routes to Tracks', you will find only the converted routes in the resulting file, not the tracks from the original file.
It is possible however, to change this behaviour by selecting the option 'Keep Source'. When this option is selected, all original routes, tracks and waypoints are included in the output.
The symbols selected in Settings are applied to via points in routes and waypoints. The same is applicable to the colours of routes and tracks.
Finally it is possible to merge several files to a single GPX file.
A. Via point conversion
A1. Convert via points in routes to waypoints: This option puts a waypoint on every via point in the route(s).
A2. Convert direction points in routes to via points: The invisible direction points are replaced by visible via points.
A3. Make via points in routes invisible (unflag)
This option enables you to remove the visible routepoints, the 'flags'.
Why would you do this? When you are riding a route you are constantly bothered by a message that you are in the proximity of a via point, but normally you aren't interested in it, it's just annoying. By positioning the via points carefully it is possible to avoid this most of the time, but is a tedious job and sometimes it isn't possible to find a good spot for the via point at all.
You can import the file into RoadTrip, or put it directly on your GPS.
Warning! Because all visible via points are removed, the GPS will take you directly to the endpoint of the route when recalculation occurs.
It is necessary to switch the recalculation mode to 'Off' (or 'Ask'). When this is not possible on your GPS, you can't use unflagged routes.
When waypoints are part of the route, the associated via points will NOT be removed. You added the waypoints with a purpose, so you want them to be announced.
It is also possible to hide just some selected via points. In RoadTrip it is possible to alter the names of individual via points. When a name contains the word "unflagme" (without quotes), only this via point is made invisible, via points not containing this word in the name remain visible. When the file contains one or more of these via points, MacGPX asks you whether you want to make only these points invisible, or all.
B. Route to track conversion
With these options you can convert routes created in RoadTrip to tracks.
Because RoadTrip has no support for creating and editing tracks, this way you still can create tracks (with a little extra effort).
When you want to create a route in RoadTrip that isn't following the roads (a 'direct' route) you have to alter the setting in menu 'Preferences' > 'Routing'.
A route can contain a lot of (invisible) routepoints, resulting in a track too large for the GPS. To resolve this, the program has the option to reduce the number of trackpoints or to split the track in several smaller ones. More information on this in section Filter or split tracks.
There are three options; with the first one the track follows the route exactly:
- B1. Convert routes to tracks with all route points
- B2. Convert routes to tracks with via points and direction points
- B3. Convert routes to tracks with via points
C. Direct route conversion
These options enables you to convert calculated routes to direct routes. Because the number of via points in routes is more limited than the number of track points in a track, filtering will be necessary (except with the third option).
There are three options; with the first one the direct route follows the original route exactly:
- C1. Convert calculated routes to direct routes with all route points
- C2. Convert calculated routes to direct routes with via points and direction points
- C3. Convert calculated routes to direct routes with via points
D. Track to route conversion
The reverse is also possible, the creation of a direct route from a track. The first option additionally creates waypoints on the via points. Filtering will be necessary (except with the third option)
- D1. Convert tracks to routes with waypoints
- D2. Convert tracks to routes with visible via points
- D3. Convert tracks to routes with invisible via points
E. Google Earth/Maps conversion
E1. Convert routes, tracks and waypoints to KML
With this option all routes, tracks and waypoints are written to a KML file, that will subsequently be opened in Google Earth.
Routes are converted to tracks, with all shaping points, not just the manually inserted via points. When a route consists of only two points (start and end), the track still follows all curves in the roads.
Google Earth has the option to "play" a track, on the condition that the track contains timestamps like a tracklog from a GPS. A track converted from a route doesn't contain timestamps.
It is possible to open a tracklog directly in Google Earth, but it requires some tweaking of the import settings and doesn't look great.
When you convert a tracklog with MacGPX to a Google Earth KML file, MacGPX adds data for a much prettier animation.
You get the best result when you put the sliders a bit apart in Google Earth. When you play the animation you get a trail of dots following the track.
E2. Convert routes, tracks and waypoints to HTML (Google Maps)
This option is comparable to the previous one, but this time a HTML file is generated and opened in the browser.
When you want to publish the HTML file on the web, you need to get a Google Maps API Key which you can put in the Settings.
E3. Convert KML/KMZ to tracks and waypoints
This option enables you to convert a KML or KMZ file to a GPX file. Placemarks become waypoints, paths are turned into tracks. Polygons and other objects are not supported.
See section Filter or split tracks if you want to limit the size of the tracks.
Notice: Some KML or KMZ files don't contain (or just a few) placemarks and/or paths, while Google Earth shows them (all). In that case the file contains "Network Links". This means that the file you opened with MacGPX contains references to other KML/KMZ files, usually on the internet. MacGPX cannot handle these references, so placemarks and paths in those referenced files are not converted.
With the application GetKML this kind of files can be merged to one GPX file.
F. Training Center conversion
These options enables you to convert Training Center data into tracks and vice versa:
- F1. Convert tracks to courses
- F2. Convert tracks to activities (history)
- F3. Convert activities, courses and course points to tracks and waypoints
G1. Add via points to routes
Sometimes it can be benificial to add extra via points to routes. Many Garmin devices recalculate routes on import, and because settings and algorithms in RoadTrip are never exactly the same as those in a GPS routes can be different on the device. By adding extra via points the possibility of deviations is reduced.
Another problem that can arise with longer routes in combination with some (topo) maps is that the GPS has difficulties to calculate the route. Extra via points ease the calculation process in the GPS.
G2. Convert waypoints to track
With this option it is possible to convert a collection of waypoints in a GPX file to a track. Needless to say that the waypoints have to be in the right order, the program can't do this for you.
See next section if you want to limit the size of the tracks.
G3. Filter or split tracks
When you want to use a track with a GPS, usually the number of trackpoints is limited. With the split and filter options you can reduce the number of trackpoints by removing redundant trackpoints or by splitting the track in several smaller ones.
Other conversions (including several route conversions) can use this functionality too.
The split and filter options offer the following choices:
- None: Nothing is filtered or split; a complete track (or route) will be generated.
- Filter: The number of (visible) points per track (or route) will be reduced in a way that the given number will not be exceeded. As a result of the algorithm the number of trackpoints may not match the given number exactly, but never exceeds it.
- Split: When the number of points is larger than the entered value, the track (or route) is split in several smaller ones each consisting of the given number of points (except the last one of course).
When filtering points lying a very short distance apart will be deleted, because they don't add extra information. The minimum distance can be set at Settings.
MacGPX offers a choice of two algorithms:
In this algorithm the angle between track segments is taken into account. In the case of a relatively small angle points can be omitted because the direction of the track almost remains the same. When having large changes in the direction you want to keep as much detail as possible, and follow the track precisely.
When keeping the parts with lots of curves and bends is important to you, this algorithm is the best choice.
This algorithm creates a new track in such a way that the distance between the original points and the new track is kept to a minimum. This distance is mentioned in the log file.
The use of this algorithm creates the best visual result, even with a strong reduction. Small details will be lost, however.
G4. Alter symbols of routes and waypoints
This option enables you to alter the symbols of waypoints and via points in routes. Which symbols are used, is defined in Settings.
Since this isn't a true conversion, the complete source file is copied instead of just the routes and waypoints.
G5. Combine files to GPX
The last option makes it possible to merge several files to a single GPX file. This is accomplished by putting the files you want to merge (all supported file types are acceptable) in a folder and dragging this folder onto the main window or the icon in the Dock. The 'browse' button doesn't work in this case (oddity of the development environment).
All routes, tracks, waypoints, paths, placemarks, activities, courses and course points are converted to routes, tracks and waypoints in a single GPX file.
Route and track conversions and filters aren't available with this option, so you have to open the resulting GPX file again when you want to do some extra processing.
In the settings dialog you can set the following items:
- The symbols used for via points in routes and waypoints, and the colours for routes and tracks.
RoadTrip doesn't support alternative colours for routes (yet), but other programs do.
- The option 'Use alternating colours' causes routes and/or tracks to get different colours when there are more than one.
- The used filter algorithm.
- The mimimal distance for routepoints or trackpoints (only when filtering); points closer together are omitted.
In the log you can find extensive information about the executed conversions, like the number of routes, tracks and waypoints in the source and the result.