Author Topic: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate  (Read 2048 times)

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« on: August 13, 2017, 11:54:23 am »
I've been looking at sharing routes I've created in RideGPS with customers who have not got a traditional GPS device. For those of you who don't know I work in a cycle shop and I've made a few local routes that often appeal to visitors.

Ideally I'd like to download or email them the Gpx file of the route, which they can then import onto their phones, then use that phone to Navigate. Most the routes are 2-4 hours long so the limitations of using the phone are diminished. I've tried BikeHUB but that failed to import the route fully each time I tried. On the face of it that app seemed ideal, simple to download, email them the file then use that to navigate; shame it was not reliable. I also have the routes on Strava, but notice if you use a Smartphone it navigates the reverse way around the created route. 'GPX viewer' shows the route on a map as well as your current location, which is better than nothing but not quite what I need.

Often, as in nearly always, the customer is standing in front of me and needs to process everything there and then, so needs to be quite simple otherwise in a busy store environment they give up. That is a slight issue I have with 'GPX viewer', it needs a bit of patience to do in store as it's a bit of a faff, especially with Redhill's notoriously slow internet connection; so once again they nearly always give up. Something like the RideGPS app would also be ideal but the navigation feature is a paid for feature.

Any suggestions?

Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 10:17:20 pm »
Hi Paul
I believe it is possible in OSMand although I'm hazy on the details.

frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
    • Fuchsiaphile
Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 08:34:58 am »
I've tried BikeHUB but that failed to import the route fully each time I tried.

I'm not familiar with the apps you mention - but can we clarify, are you actually talking about a Route file here, or a Track file that describes a route?  Either can be a GPX file, but one of the things that distinguishes them is that Routes generally have fewer points spaced well apart, while Tracks have more points spaced closer together.  If therefore your app was expecting a Route, and was actually fed a Track, that might explain why it was unable to import it fully (too many points to be a functional Route).

Most people here seem to use Track files, even if they are sometimes (confusingly, to me) referred to as routes.
"This is a complex subject, with a need for more than one highlighter pen."

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 09:37:08 am »
Most have nothing on their phone "Psamathe" as my post was focused more on our customers new to cycling, many catch the train from London to Redhill and don't know the area, it's what prompted me to compose routes that I've pedalled since a boy. I have referenced local routes that sell Surrey and Sussex to a potential bike rider in a hope it inspires a new rider to become a regular one. I am often asked if I can recommend a good tea room, so I'd like to reply with "this is a good tea room, I can show you the route on your phone if you like; will only take a mo'".

I did look at 'OsmAnd', but was really looking something less involved as my comment of "will only take a mo" wouldn't apply setting all that up on their phone! So we need something very basic that works on android and Iphone, simple to learn in store, maybe with voice recognition so they could listen to the route via a single earpiece with phone in back pocket for example, which is why I dismissed 'GPX viewer'. BikeHUB looked ideal as does the 'ridewithgps' paid for version.

shame I no longer have the influence I had when I ran the CTC (now Cycling UK) Shop, this is a service I would have suggested the CTC should offer, the technology already exists after all.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 10:23:53 am »
If the routes are only 2-4 hours have you thought about typing out an old-school routesheet? It would fit onto one side of A4 (usual format is to fold down to A6 size) and you can add notes on nice cafes, tricky junctions etc.

If they've got the bike with them you can tape this to their cables or stem and then they're away.
2017 - R500 ✅ | 2018 - R1000 ✅ | 2019 - ?

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 11:34:54 am »
If the routes are only 2-4 hours have you thought about typing out an old-school routesheet? It would fit onto one side of A4 (usual format is to fold down to A6 size) and you can add notes on nice cafes, tricky junctions etc.

If they've got the bike with them you can tape this to their cables or stem and then they're away.

I've done something similar, pocket sized laminated cards with the map on one side and suggested refreshment establishments on the other ;) Ok some are pubs ;D

Back to downloading a "GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate", shame I no longer have the influence I had when I ran the CTC Shop, this is a service I would have suggested the CTC should offer, the technology already exists after all

Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2017, 01:03:03 pm »
I did look at 'OsmAnd', but was really looking something less involved as my comment of "will only take a mo" wouldn't apply setting all that up on their phone!
Point taken.

Probably the simplest set-up would be to set the routes in Google maps (as opposed to as GPXs) and either email or SMS the short URL to the customer's phone.
Pro: You get the voice prompt.   Cons: Any update to Googles maps could 'break' your route and send riders onto some unsuitable path. Some of the longer routes might need several links because of the 10 intermediate destination limit in Google maps.

Another option might be to buy some second-hand Etrex HCx generation models and some RAM mounts which can be quickly cable tied to stems?  Load the 20 most poular tracks on to them and lend them out against a small deposit.   Much less sleek & desirable (stealable) than Edge models.

Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 06:45:52 pm »
I had the same problem with bike hub, some files seem to be too big for it to cope with. I use an iPhone 6 and have now installed the app bikegpx. As before, you then email the gpx file to yourself and open it in the app. I've done a few dry runs and the routes seem to load ok. Not used it in anger yet due to injury but itching to give it a go for real.

A

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2017, 11:48:11 am »
I had the same problem with bike hub, some files seem to be too big for it to cope with. I use an iPhone 6 and have now installed the app bikegpx. As before, you then email the gpx file to yourself and open it in the app. I've done a few dry runs and the routes seem to load ok. Not used it in anger yet due to injury but itching to give it a go for real.

A
My BikeHub trial test routes were a short walk only where I live to see if it worked! Will definitely check out the 'app bikegpx', looks ideal if it works

Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2017, 03:49:43 pm »
Just a quick update, I'm back on the bike and gave the system I mentioned above a try. Created a route in map my ride, exported the gpx and it works really quite well. Hardly an exhaustive test but an encouraging start 👍

A

Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2018, 07:14:35 pm »
Finally used Bikegpx app in anger for the first time today, on the Lincoln imp Audax. Got the gpx file from the organiser , it was the full route of course and wouldnt load via email, so I resorted to loading through the bikegpx website and it all worked faultlessly, the only caveat as predicted was phone battery life, on my iPhone 6 (battery life always limited) went from 100% to low battery warning in the space of the 45km first leg (I disabled blue tooth and WiFi) although a single power pack kept things going until the end and still had some puff left.

Impressed, within the constraints of the battery life.

A

Paul Smith SRCC

  • Surrey Road Cyling Club
  • 40+ years a club rider, 30+ years in cycle trade.
    • www.plsmith.co.uk
Re: Import GPX File to 'Smartphone' then use to navigate
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2018, 06:53:54 pm »
Finally used Bikegpx app in anger for the first time today, on the Lincoln imp Audax. Got the gpx file from the organiser , it was the full route of course and wouldn't load via email, so I resorted to loading through the bikegpx website ..
That inspired me to try the app as well.

I created a route with RidewithGPS but wasn't able to upload via email to my phone either, so like you I used their bikegpx.com website, then scanned that onto my phone as instructed; but it did not transfer that accurately. It was a short 1 mile work to test it but it didn't follow the route exactly, so visually it looked like I was off course, the same happened when I uploaded the same to GPXViewer, so although it looked perfect on RidewithGPS I dare say it may not have been! So; I have created a new version of an identical route on RidewithGPS that seems to upload OK as it at least follows the composed route.

Edit. All worked well, although all seemed to show over GPXViewer is how far to go.