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Google Maps to GPX or MotionX GPS

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mapWhile looking for a way to dump a Google Maps route from my Mac into MotionX GPS I stumbled into a web site called GPS Visualizer. They provided a form for processing a Google Map url, such as a directions page. The output was a GPX file that MotionX GPS could import.

From the beginning: First I went to Google Maps on my Mac and got directions from Point A (apple store 5th ave) to Point B (apple store broadway). Then I clicked on the Link link and copied the text in the link field. In other words, after clicking “Link” at the top right of the map I copied the text from the top field in the pop-up. (image below) linklink
Optionally, you might want to save the map to your own personal Google Maps before grabbing the link. In my brief experimentation fewer waypoints were dropped into my iPhone if I added that step. When I was done with the route on the iPhone I had to delete the waypoints one by one, so fewer waypoints means less cleanup later.

Here’s a look at the form I filled out on the GPS Visualizer site. I only needed to paste in the link and select GPX as the output format, as indicated.
visualizer

(Instead of using directions you can use the link from a place on the map, in which case MotionX GPS will import a waypoint)

Once you click Convert on the form above you’ll be given a link to download the GPX file. Check your Downloads folder and make sure the file name ends with .gpx – and fix it if it doesn’t. From there it’s all downhill.

iphone_mapThe GPX file is added to your iPhone by email. Send your downloaded file to gpsimport@motionx.com and they’ll reply with a specially created link. Open their email response on your iPhone and tap the link. That’s it, the GPX information is imported into MotionX GPS. You’ll see a new entry on the log page in MotionX GPS and when you open it up you’ll see something like the map included here.

There may be FAR easier ways to accomplish this — if you know one please let me know. But for now thanks to GPS Visualizer for offering a useful service. It looks like their site offers many other forms of conversion and map creation as well.

MotionX GPS is one of my favorite iPhone apps. It’s had many significant updates since I purchased it, highly recommended.

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39 comments to “Google Maps to GPX or MotionX GPS”

  1. Terrific info, thanks for clearing up the confusion.

  2. thank you! very useful!!

  3. Awesome! Works like a charm. GPS Visualizer also works well to convert other types of tracks to GPX files.

    Thanx for the info!

  4. Do you know how it is possible to download map from google for use offline in motionx gps?

  5. I’d like to know that too.
    There is a MGMaps Cacher http://www.mapcacher.com/ + http://www.mgmaps.com/cache/gMapMaker-setup.exe program, which allow to download Google Maps to use in MGMaps mobile program.
    May be there is a way to use these for MotionX?

  6. This is not working for me.. Done exactly as above.
    From Google maps URL.. Get an error asking if am am sure I have uploaded a GPX file blah blah..
    http://www.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=111255943300519854718.000495dbcf0bdcb9497c1&z=8

  7. Great info.

    I know MotionX is not turn by turn direction but is it correct that once you start riding it will follow the path imported from Google Maps?

    Also how long have you ridden i.e. how long will the battery last? I am planning on +60 mile rides and want to make sure I do not run out of battery.

    Thank you from Brooklyn!

  8. FYI, for anyone stumbling across this article now, Google Maps now directly exports .gpx and .kml files. There are buttons under your saved route, where it says:

    Public · · 0 views
    Created on Aug 29 · By Dave · Updated 14 minutes ago
    Rate this map · Write a comment · KML · [gpx link]

  9. I stand corrected. GM exports kml only, not gpx.

  10. Hi! I tried the above, but can’t find the download in the gps program on our iphone…. Where would it be ?
    I would be so glad if this worked, as I have a big trip coming up but need to specialize the route a bit.
    thank you!

  11. It should have been emailed to you. You open the email on your phone and tap the attachment. Then it opens in the app.

  12. I must be doing something wrong- I got the email, and tried to open on the phone… once it asked if I wanted to open it, but I can’t figure out where it sticks it, no “download” folder … it must be right there, I just don’t see anywhere like “saved trips” .. Sorry – could you tell me exactly where to find it after it downloads it? Thanks so much!!

  13. OK – i just emailed a GPX file to gpsimport@motionx.com. I got a reply with a link. When I clicked the link in Mail on my iPhone I was automatically switched into Motion-X with instructions. Self-explanatory from there.

    You do have Motion-X installed on the phone, right? This won’t work with other GPS programs.

  14. If you want a simple way to test the process you can grab a gpx file easily here….

    http://columbiariverwatertrail.gotoes.org/GetKayakGPXForGPS.pl

  15. It looks like you cannot use Motion Drive GPS to do this. It has to be the Motion X App. Once you have downloaded that version of the app it works great!!

  16. I’m looking for somewhere to dump map files into MotionX. Downloading the maps through the app is rediculous, who knows how slow it’s downloading…but I left a 3GB map downloading over night (through wifi) and it was only half done in the morning.

  17. I’m using MotionX now for a couple of days and I’m quite happy with it! Thanks for this info. It saved me a lot of time :-)

  18. If you want to convert KML files to GPX files or the other way around, an easy way is with this free online converter http://gpx2kml.com/

  19. This procedure must only work with MotionX GPS. As others have pointed out it doesn’t seem to work with MotionX GPS Drive. I must be missing something obvious because the instructions are straightforward.

    SSS

  20. SSS here again. I went ahead and downloaded MotionX GPS (not Drive) and this procedure worked great. Thanks!

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  22. Thank you so much! Worked great!

  23. Dave, if you are around… I have spend a long time on this.. but short story I am getting a response that says my file is ready and just click to open it.. but when i do click nothing happens!.. id love to get this working, specialy after spending so much time on it.

    thanks very much
    Ash

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