Import a .gpx file into Google Maps for Android

Problem

You have a .gpx file showing a GPS route. Maybe you downloaded the .gpx file from the bikemap website.
You want to see this route in Google Maps for Android, in order to follow the route while you bike or walk.

Solution 1

  1. Move the .gpx file from your PC to the mobile, for example using the Bluetooth application of your PC. Be sure that your mobile can be reached by the PC, by clicking Settings>Wireless and Networks>BlueTooth, and then selecting the checkbox “Reachable”.
  2. Your file will be transferred in a folder named “bluetooth”, which you can reach by selecting Applications>Archive or any other file manager you are using.
  3. Use the Google Play application of your mobile to download and install MyTracks for Android. This is the application we will use to visualise the map.
  4. Go to Applications>Archive and create a new folder named “MyTracks” (if the folder does not exist).
  5. Click into the folder you just created and create a new folder named “gpx” (if the folder does not exist).
  6. Move the .gpx file that is in the “bluetooth” folder (Applications>Archive>bluetooth) to the folder “gpx” you just created. To do this, just press on the .gpx file name, select Move and navigate the Archive until you find the “MyTracks\gpx” folder (the actual position of the folder in the file system is /mnt/sdcard/MyTracks/gpx).
  7. Now open the MyTracks application (go to Applications>MyTracks), press the option menu (by clicking the bottom-left icon of your mobile) and select “Import from External Memory”.
  8. Your map should be loaded now. To navigate it, just click the icon of the man on top of the screen (No man icon on the screen? See the Notes section for a possible solution).

Notes

I have tried this procedure on:

Samsung Galaxy S Plus (GT-I9001)
Android Gingerbread 2.3.5

The procedure did not work? A possible solution:

MyTracks uses gpx tracks, which are sintactically  different from gpx routes. If you inspect the gpx file with a text editor you can find out if you downloaded a gpx track or a gpx route:

Routes have the form: rtept lat=”56.334890″ lon=”-2.935210″
Track have the form: trkpt lat=”56.319780″ lon=”-2.945440″

In case you downloaded a gpx route, you can easily convert it into a track by replacing all the “rte” with “trk”.

Thanks to Alastair Stevenson and Jez for the problem and the solution.

Solution 2 (Credits: Alastair Stevenson and ThanosPap)

  1. Download Maverick for Android
  2. Make a track with Google Earth (see here for a tutorial)
  3. Save the track as a .kml file
  4. Move the track to your mobile in sdcard/Maverick/tracks
  5. Now you should be able to see your map in Maverick

Other questions that could be solved by these solutions

  • How can I follow a bike itinerary using my mobile?
  • How can I import a custom route with android?
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28 Responses to Import a .gpx file into Google Maps for Android

  1. Alastair Stevenson says:

    A better solution is using CodeSector’s ‘Maverick’ or ‘Maverick Pro’ Android mapping app.
    It will display GPX track files directly using all the many maps sources it supports (including custom ‘roll your own’ instances).
    And the BIG plus is the map tiles are stored locally so you don’t need cell data coverage to know where you’ve been or are going when out in the wilds. It’s an excellent app that deserves to be better known. Check it out – you’ll be impressed!
    MyTracks does a good job IMHO recording tracks in the background when you don’t need to see where you are on the map, but want to review and upload afterwards. But not useful for planning a route, downloading and importing the GPX track or route and then going somewhere with no data coverage.

    • il coda says:

      Tnx a lot for the hint! I’ll try it next time I bike, and I’ll update the post.
      Unfortunately I just came back from biking :)

    • ThanosPap says:

      Maverick ! Thanks a ton. Made a track with google earth, saved it (kml), put it in the phone in sdcard/Maverick/tracks, then opened program and then opened the route ! That easy. Thanks again

  2. Curtis says:

    I wished this worked for me. I tried it on a Nexus 7 and also on my Galaxy Ace phone. After installing the MyTracks application, I needed to manually create the folder. I got a file into the folder, but the application insists that no file is found. Its a .gpx file and I inspected the format and it looks like coordinates.

    • il coda says:

      I would suggest to check where MyTracks stores your personal routes (after you record them). If you place your gpx file there, it should be visible. Does the application tell you something like “no file found in folder X”?

    • Alastair Stevenson says:

      I suspect that the key aspect here may be whether the GPX file holds ‘route’ or ‘track’ data.
      MyTracks will import GPX ‘track’ files and give the slightly misleading ‘no file found’ message when it can’t find ‘track’ data in a ‘route’ file despite it being in the correct folder.
      If you inspect the GPX file and it has entries like “” it’s a route, if it has entries like “” it’s a track. (rte vs trk)
      I just tried the bikemap site and it seems to allow download in GPX ‘track’ format and a sample file imported OK into MyTracks.

      A couple of things to try, if you check out the file format and it’s definitely a track:
      Prove out you have the correct MyTracks folder by recording a short track, saving it, view it and use ‘Save to external storage’ to save as a GPX file. With your file manager, check the resultant GPX file is in the same folder (MyTracks/gpx) as where you dropped the GPX file downloaded from the bikemap site.
      Prove MyTracks will import the file that you just ‘Saved to external storage’.

      And check out Codesector’s ‘Maverick’ app, one of my favourites for maps and tracks in the great outdoors!

      • Alastair Stevenson says:

        Hmmm… WordPress removed the XML tags from this line in my post.
        “If you inspect the GPX file and it has entries like “” it’s a route, if it has entries like “” it’s a track. (rte vs trk)”
        Does this work better:
        Route example rtept lat=”56.334890″ lon=”-2.935210″
        Track example trkpt lat=”56.319780″ lon=”-2.945440″

      • il coda says:

        Tnx a lot for your contribution, and I’ll definitely check Maverick as soon as I recover from flu :)

  3. Glyn says:

    Hi, I tried to use the method you gave, it all working and My Tracks said that I’d successfully imported the gpx files, but there is no man icon on the main screen of My Tracks, for me, it could be the fact that the phone I’m using is too old. Also, it says in the title that this is how to import .gpx files into Google Maps but doesn’t say this in the description. Or am I missing something?

    • il coda says:

      You refer to the title of the post? MyTracks works on top of Google Maps, that’s the reason why the title is like it is. If I misunderstood your question, please tell me.

      • Glyn says:

        It seems that I’m unable to navigate the track once it’s been imported. Maybe it’s because this phone I’m using is so old.

      • il coda says:

        sorry for the late answer, it might be caused by the fact that you downloaded a “route” and not a “track”: I have updated the post to solve this problem. Let me know.

  4. Jez says:

    I seem to be having the same issue as some others. Initially I tried and got an ‘unable to find folder’ message (turns out I’d named the folder I created incorrectly). Now it says that it’s imported the files correctly but no routes show up. I’ve tried files from two separate sources but no joy. It saves and retrieves files that I create just fine but won’t seem to play nice with downloaded .gpx files. Any thoughts? [Nexus 7 – Jelly Bean]

    • Jez says:

      Looking at Alastair’s previous comment about trk vs rte I realised that the ones that I’d downloaded were indeed routes rather than tracks. Handily it seems that opening the gpx as text and doing a simple find and replace of all the rte to trk now means that the gpx files get imported correctly! Excellent.

  5. Rob says:

    Works perfectly in The Netherlands!!! Thanks!!!

  6. Any idea on how to use this to navigate in Maps for Android 7.x that doesn’t have a “my places” layer anymore?

  7. Andreas says:

    Awesome – this just worked great for me importing a GPX file on my Samsung Galaxy S3. I simply emailed myself the file, saved it, navigated to the Downloads folder and then transferred that in to MyTracks/gpx – great tip and have blogged about it on my site too after someone recommended in the comments. This would also work for KML files.

  8. Gaurav says:

    I am using a runner map and for testing purpose, i have to send fake locations to a android device. Is it possible to follow these steps for this testing too? how can i apply these locations to my app installed on the device?

    • il coda says:

      Hi Gaurav, thank you for your question, but I do not know if I clearly understood your problem. However, if I have well understood, you wish to send locations to an Android device and visualise such locations through myTracks. I have never programmed under Android, but I guess that, if your app can ask Android to build the gpx folder, and then you can put there the gpx file required, the approach should be the same as the one as I have outlined: it is just performed automatically instead of manually. Let me know if I have understood.

  9. Julliana says:

    Hi there! For any conversion needed from kml files to gpx format or vice versa, here is a free online tool: http://gpx2kml.com/ that will help you get good results:tracks, way points or routes . Thought it is useful. Thanks!

  10. Augusto says:

    Is it possible to use the cellphone in offline mode / airplane mode ? Only with GPS on. How can I use google maps offline ?

    • il coda says:

      Hi, I think it should work also in offline mode (but I am not sure). To check,
      you should first let the map be available offline: when you’re in google maps, if you click
      the button on the bottom-left corner, you have the option to save the current map
      and use it offline.

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