I have GPX files for local MTB riding areas. In each area picture several connected loops composed of between say 6 and 12 named trails. In my GPX files all of the trails are individual tracks. Its really annoying because I have to load each track sequentially as I ride.

My desired outcome here is to have all of the tracks displayed on my Garmin at the same time so I don't have to keep loading them as I go.

So, three questions:

  1. Is there a way to load multiple "courses" (this is how the tracks are represented on my Garmin 1000) onto the map simulatanmeously so I can load up the entire ride before I go and not have to keep loading the next course (track) while out on the trail?

  2. If #1 is not possible, is there a way to merge all of the tracks into a single track inside the GPX file so they appear as a single course on the Garmin?

  3. If #2 is the solution and possible, once I have the tracks merged, is there a way to add annotations on top of the track to mark the names of each trail (formerly there names of each individual track in the GPX file) so the labels appear on the map on my Garmin?

Thanks for any help on this!!

  • possible duplicate of How can I merge two GPX files into one?
    – Chris H
    Sep 21, 2014 at 14:22
  • 1
    I'm not sure this question is a dup of that other one, so will refrain from voting to close. However I think the answer to this question might also be a "no", unfortunately. But as @JamesBradbury notes in the other question, these files are essentially xml files so some hacking may be possible in a text editor. How patient a man are you? ;-)
    – PeteH
    Sep 21, 2014 at 15:38
  • Also, this does not answer your question, but you could probably recreate these courses from scratch, on a site that shows off-road trails. One site I hsve found useful in the past is GPSies - the front page shows an interactive map (including cycle paths), but it also contains utilities to convert between different formats.
    – PeteH
    Sep 21, 2014 at 15:47
  • @PeteH, You shouldn't need much patience, it's just a case of copy and pasting from one file to another.
    – Holloway
    Sep 22, 2014 at 9:28
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because software is off topic for this stack. Please ask your question on softwarerecs.stackexchange.com and use the Cycling tag.
    – Criggie
    Mar 18, 2016 at 2:10

1 Answer 1

  1. I'm not sure how the Edge 1000 works, and whether or not it allows showing multiple tracks. Some other Garmin models can do this (ie Etrex), but they work differently in a number of ways.

  2. Yes, joining tracks in a GPX file is possible, there is a wide variety of software to do this. One option is Garmin BaseCamp, which is available as a free download for Windows or Mac OS. Or you could try EasyGPS or QLandKarte GT. Or GPX files are just XML, so you can edit them in a text editor. If you remove the </trkseg> and </trk> tags from the end of one track, and the <trk> and <trkseg> from the start of the next, this will combine them into a single track.

Note there may be drawbacks to this: A GPX track is just a list of points. So a single track needs to be in order, and continuous from the start to the end. So a single track would work for a single mountain bike path, or a continuous loop. But it wouldn't work if the paths splits into several alternative routes, or if you have several unconnected paths. Also there may be a limit on the length of a track you can load on the Edge, ie the number of trackpoints. I'm not familiar with that model, but some Garmins are limited to 10,000 points in a single track. Tracks in a GPX file can have names, but I don't think these will be shown on Garmin.

Better solution

Instead of loading GPX tracks on the Garmin, a better solution could be to produce a map, in Garmin IMG format. Probably the easiest way to do this is to use Javawa IMGfromGPX. You can give a number of GPX files as input, and it will create a map. Advantages of this are you can have as many paths as you want, they don't all have to be continuous or connected. And you can set different styles and colours for each. Then load this map onto the Edge. It can be used instead of any other maps you have loaded, or as a transparent overlay on top of other maps.


You could also try OpenStreetMap. If your bike trails are not on OpenStreetMap, you can add them - using aerial imagery if available, or GPX tracks you have recorded. Then you can use OpenStreetMap data to produce maps in Garmin format, or download some ready made OSM Garmin maps. Then these can be loaded onto the Edge 1000, and it will show your trails.

  • vclaw - thank you, this is awesome! cheers.
    – crams
    Sep 22, 2014 at 10:54
  • You can get custom maps for Garmin devices from the OpenStreetMap data by going to this site. You can select a predefined area (states or provinces in US/CA, or entire countries elsewhere) or select individual sections if you just want to get your city and surrounding area.
    – Kibbee
    Sep 22, 2014 at 13:37

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