Activity Workshop
 

GPS Links

The following are links to other software and websites which have some relation to GPS systems, coordinates, mapping, exif and other good stuff. A mention here isn't necessarily a recommendation, but a starting point. Most of the software here is gratis, free and open source, and these are marked with the symbol (free). Some are gratis but closed-source, and some require payment to work properly.

GPS-related software

These are applications for editing, viewing or converting coordinate data from GPS receivers. Most of these concentrate on manipulating the data after it has been recorded, rather than working with live data.

GpsPrune

(free) Easy to use java program (made by this website activityworkshop.net) for viewing, editing and converting GPS data, showing your GPS tracks in 2d using openstreetmap or in 3d, and drawing charts. Also correlates photos automatically with the GPS data to either write the coordinates in the exif tags of the photos or to export thumbnails to KMZ format for Google Earth. Supports text, csv, GPX, KML, KMZ and NMEA formats, and uses gpsbabel (see below) for loading data from GPS receivers and sending it back again.
Home page activityworkshop.net/software/gpsprune.

GPSBabel

(free) Specialises in conversion of coordinate data between file formats and data formats, including communicating with countless GPS receivers for download and upload. Can be run either from the command line or from a GUI. Called by GpsPrune to receive data from a GPS or to send data back. Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Source code available.
Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gpsbabel, home page gpsbabel.org.

gpscorrelate

(free) Linux program to automatically correlate photos with gps tracks (in GPX format) using timestamps. It's similar to Prune's autocorrelate function. Can be run from the command line or using a gui called gpscorrelate-gui.
Home page freenote.dview.net or see Ubuntu's package information for gpscorrelate-gui.

garble

(free) Linux program to extract data and screenshots from Garmin GPS receivers. Command line only. Cross platform, written in C. Support for newer models not as good as gpsbabel. Source code available.
Sourceforge page is at sourceforge.net/projects/garble.

gpsdings

(free) Java program for conversion and manipulation of GPS data, including photo correlation. Command line only. Source code available.
Sourceforge page is at gpstools.sourceforge.net.

Digikam

(free) Popular KDE-based photo management application, including powerful tagging system. One recently-added feature is geolocation of photos, with a Google Maps interface for specifying the location of a photo, and an automatic correlation function using a GPX track. Currently Linux only. Source code available.
Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digikam, home page is digikam.org.

Google Earth

Powerful 3d visualization program, with layered view, spectacular terrain data and even a built-in basic flight simulator. Allows easy overlay of GPS data using KML or KMZ format. Prune can export to both these formats, including photo thumbnails if available. Closed source, but gratis and available for Linux, Mac and Windows.
Wikipedia page is at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Earth, home page is earth.google.com.

NASA World Wind

Powerful 3d visualization program oriented towards scientific data presentation. Currently Windows-only, but plans exist for future cross-platform versions.
Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_World_Wind, home page worldwind.arc.nasa.gov.

Marble

(free) A "Virtual Globe and World Atlas" providing a host of overlays and display options and the ability to load GPX files (and allegedly KML files too). Open source, running on Linux (with KDE 4 integration), Mac and Windows.
Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marble_(KDE), home page edu.kde.org/marble/.

Happy Camel

(free) Command line, python-based tool for correlating photos with GPS data (in GPX format) and saving the coordinates in Exif or in a KMZ file for Google Earth. Should be cross-platform, but only tested on Linux. Source code available.
Sourceforge page happycamel.sourceforge.net.

GpsDrive

(free) Linux-based software for navigation using zoomable maps. Has the ability to read the current position from the GPS receiver using NMEA, and includes a version of Garble for accessing stored data. Source code available. Possibly died due to Gtk incompatibility.
Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GpsDrive, home page gpsdrive.de.

gpsPhoto.pl

(free) Command line perl tool for automatically correlating photos with GPS data (in GPX format). Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Source code available.
Sourceforge page sourceforge.net/projects/gps2photo/, home page www.carto.net/projects/photoTools/gpsPhoto.

RouteConverter

(free) Java GUI tool for converting coordinates between a host of formats (including gpx and kml) and using a nice Google Maps interface to display them. Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows, with GPL'd source code available.
Home page routeconverter.de.

JPhotoGeoTagger

(free) Command line java tool for automatically correlating photos with a GPX track and writing the coordinates to Exif. Doesn't rely on Exiftool to do the writing. Development appears frozen at release candidate stage, with no future releases planned. Should be cross-platform, described as "open soorce" (sic). Home page at wiki.hsr.ch (suspended).

Qgis

(free) Comprehensive GIS tool with some GPS-related functionality, including downloading data from GPS receivers using Gpsbabel and overlaying on other geographical data. Also loads delimited text files and Gpx files. Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Source code available.
Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_GIS, home page qgis.org.

QLandkarte

(free) Overlays GPX data on maps. Also loads data directly from the GPS, including (uniquely?) extracting screenshots from the GPS receiver. Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Source code in C++/Qt4 available.
Sourceforge page qlandkarte.sourceforge.net.

Viking

(free) Overlays GPX data on maps. Bit of a quirky interface but many features including uploading to Openstreetmap. Runs on Linux and Windows. Source code available.
Home page viking.sf.net.

Tangogps

(free) Provides realtime location information from a receiver and overlays position on openstreetmaps or other images. Also shows trip information and can save NMEA track logs (which can then be loaded into Prune). Requires gpsd to communicate with the receiver. Really intended for linux handhelds but also runs on other linux systems. Source code available.
Home page tangogps.org.

Von und für Lau

(free) Command line tools for working with GPX files, including charting using gnuplot. German only, but runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Source code available but requires installing a mercurial client to get to it.
Home page von-und-fuer-lau.de.

Gipfel

(free) Extremely interesting idea, of matching mountains from photographs and telling you what all the other mountains in the picture are. Sounds great, but despite several attempts it never seems able to get it right with my photos. Quirky interface and poor data don't help either. Pity. May be worth another look.
Home page flpsed.org/gipfel.html.

GPX Editor

(free) Graphical editor doing many of the same things that Prune does, including a map view and profile view, point deletion and so on. Supports multiple languages including French and German. Attempts to be cross-platform (written in Delphi) but relies on Internet Explorer so effectively Windows/Wine only. Source code available. Only has a blog entry as reference.
Blog entry knackes.com/blog/index.php?2008/11/20/193-gpx-editor-1070.

Mkgmap

(free) Command line tool written in java to convert OSM files (extracted from openstreetmap) into IMG files for GPS receivers. Source code available.
Wiki page wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Mkgmap.

This tool is discussed in the maps section and there's also a point-and-click frontend available called mkgmapgui.

ActivityDiary

(free) Track management tool based around a calendar of "activities", each with GPS tracks and descriptions. Loads gpx files and shows overlays using Openstreetmap, charting, distance/speed calculations and more. Currently (at the time of writing) at version 0.2 and only runs on linux. Source code (C++ and qwt) available.
Home page activitydiary.org. (looks dormant)

GPX Viewer

(free) Simple track viewer using openstreetmap overlays. Impressively small size for what it does. Python, apparently linux-only? Source code available, relies on the separate osm-gps-map library to do most of the work (see below)
Home page andrewgee.org.


For more links to free software tools, see maps-gps-info and their extensive list categorised by platform.


The following links to non-free software is arranged alphabetically rather than in order of importance / recommendation.

EasyGPS / ExpertGPS

Closed source, Windows-only, gratis / 35 EUR. The gratis "easy" version apparently just does data transfer to/from GPS receivers, the paid-for "expert" program offers mapping, elevation charts and data editing functions. Home page topografix.com.

Gartrip

Closed-source, Windows-only program for downloading data from Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers, and editing and charting the data. Limited functions until purchased for EUR30.
Home page gartrip.de.

GeoSetter

Closed source, Windows-only, gratis. Only does photo correlation, using NMEA, GPX or with a Google maps interface. Uses Exiftool to save the coordinates in the pictures. Home page geosetter.de.

GPS Altitude Chart

Closed source, java, donation requested. Only does charts of altitude either against time or distance from GPX files. Now apparently dead. 2steger.de/gac.

GPS-Track-Analyse

Closed source, Windows-only, gratis for personal use. An impressive list of features including track editing, 2d and 3d charting, photo correlation, and analysis. Seems to be only in German. Home page gps-freeware.de.

GSAK

Geocaching Swiss Army Knife is a geocaching-specific application, closed source, Windows-only and costs 25 USD. Uses a database to hold information about caches and integrates Google Maps to show them on a map. Home page gsak.net.

HoudahGeo

Closed source, Mac-only, costs 30 USD. Only does photo correlation, either using a GPX file or with a Google maps interface. Home page houdah.com.

HoudahGPS

Closed source, Mac-only, gratis. Acts as a Mac-only frontend to GPSBabel. Home page houdah.com.

JetPhoto Studio

Closed source, Windows-only, and costs USD 25 (or free for a demo version including embedded advertising). Allows geotagging using Google Maps and GPS tracks, and creation of various galleries. Home page jetphotosoft.com.

LoadMyTracks

Closed source, Mac-only, appears to be gratis. Just does what the (free) GPSBabel does, downloading tracks from a variety of GPS units and converting to either GPX or KML. Home page cluetrust.com.

MacCaching

Another geocaching-specific application, this time Mac-only, closed source and costs 15 USD. Similar function set to GSAK above. Home page maccaching.com.

RoboGEO

Closed source, Windows-only, costs $40. Provides photo correlation and some data conversion options. Home page robogeo.com.

rubiTrack

Another Mac-only, closed source application costing EUR 29 plus VAT. Views include Google maps, calendar views and simple charts. Home page rubitrack.com.

tkosm

Claims to be under the BSD license, but I can't find any sources, only a linux binary. It offers many of the same functions as Prune, including OSM overlays on data, calling gpsbabel to extract data from a GPS receiver, correlation of photos using timestamps, creation of height profiles, and even use of the Shuttle's SRTM data for altitudes. Gratis but linux-only. Home page ruessel.in-chemnitz.de/tkosm

TrailRunner

Another Mac-only, closed source application this time asking for donations of EUR 25. Includes an interesting set of features such as links to gpsies, multiple map backgrounds and nice-looking charts. Home page trailrunnerx.com.


Libraries and utilities

These utilities might be hidden in the background, but they're extremely useful and often used in conjunction with GPS software.

Metadata extractor

(free) Java library of functions by Drew Noakes to allow programs to extract metadata from for example Exif blocks in Jpeg images. Used by Prune to read timestamps, GPS coordinates and thumbnails from photos. Source code available.
Home page drewnoakes.com/code/exif.

Exiftool

(free) Command line perl tool for reading and writing metadata in for example photo files. Called externally by Prune (if it's available) to write coordinates in the Jpegs. Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Source code available.
Home page sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool.

osm-gps-map

(free) A Gtk-based widget which handles the display of coordinate data with a choice of overlays including openstreetmap and mapsforfree. According to the home page it originated from the code in tangogps (see earlier). Intended to be included in other applications, many of which could be mobile.
Home page nzjrs.github.com/osm-gps-map.


3d rendering software

These are programs not necessarily related to GPS systems but general 3d modelling and rendering programs.

Povray

(free) The granddaddy of 3d rendering software, a gratis cross-platform ray-tracing program. Prune can output models in .pov file format for rendering by Povray. It has a host of rendering configuration options, and can be run from the command line or from a Gui. Runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Source code available.
Wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Povray, home page povray.org.

Povclipse

(free) Povclipse is an eclipse plugin to make editing of pov models easier. However I was never able to get it to work properly. Runs inside eclipse, so cross-platform.
Sourceforge page povclipse.sourceforge.net.

KPovModeler

(free) KPovModeler is a modelling program for creating and editing pov models. Again I was never able to really get this to work properly or get it to understand the pov models from Prune. Runs on KDE, which means (for now) Linux-only.
Home page kpovmodeler.org.


Websites

These are websites related to mapping, geotagged photos and GPS plotting.

GpsVisualizer

Actually this should probably be listed under "software" rather than "websites" - it's an impressive set of utilities for conversion and manipulation of data at gpsvisualizer.com. With it you can upload data and generate maps, kml files and other plots.

Gpsies

gpsies.com is a very useful resource for viewing and downloading tracks which other people have posted. Download options include KML and GPX, among many others. Tracks available in dozens of countries worldwide.

Gpsdrawing

gpsdrawing.com is a project to make pictures using GPS data, for example the famous "Brighton elephant". The gallery is particularly impressive.

Alpin-koordinaten

alpin-koordinaten.de is a German language resource for coordinate data. Despite the name it doesn't just cover the Alps, but this is where the vast majority of information is. You can search for coordinates and download in various formats, but the data quality is variable and many points have multiple coordinates (sometimes identical, sometimes worryingly different).

Google Maps

The well-known maps.google.com has worldwide coverage and a fast, draggable interface. Also includes search functions, overlay of KML or KMZ files, and even driving directions. Zooming in brings further information such as tram times.

Search.ch

A Swiss-specific map site, map.search.ch, has excellent local information including train times, hotels and so on, and a smooth zoom function. Useful layer functions including for example hotels, restaurants, and train stations (including train times).

Openstreetmap

The ambitious free mapping project at openstreetmap.org aims to provide free worldwide maps based on volunteer data. Coverage in some places is lower than the commercial offerings, but growing, and in some areas the details is actually better. And the data can be used without restriction. This is the source of the map images used by Prune including the opencyclemap and openpistemap extensions. It's also a source of free maps which you can download to the memory cards of GPS receivers.

Flickr

The popular photo-sharing site flickr.com includes geotagging of photos, and a simple interface for assigning coordinates to photos. Requires user registration.

Locr

Another photo-sharing site locr.com concentrates on the idea of geotagging photos (rather than that being an optional extra). Requires user registration to submit photos but anyone can browse using the map.

Panoramio

Available as a data overlay in Google Earth, photos from panoramio.com are tagged (sometimes incorrectly) with coordinate information, and appear when browsing around an area. Corrections can be suggested using a Google Maps interface.

Breadcrumbs

Like a cross between GpsVisualizer and gpsies, this website / software Breadcrumbs (possibly dead link?) is a mix of personal track management (using GPSBabel or garmin browser plugins), track editing (deleting, moving, adding points) and also track publishing and sharing. Browsing the published tracks doesn't require registration.