I discovered a couple of websites today that allow you to upload a GPX routes file for it to be plotted on an OS map. This is very nearly exactly what I’ve been wanting all of these months! I wanted something to plot on Geocache trails on, however I have worked out a way I can edit my Geocache GPX files to be more route GPX files which show each cache (waypoint) on the trail.
As I haven’t found anything that will let you upload a Geocaching GPX and just show you where each one is on an OS map I’ve found a great workaround…
Download your PQ containing your trails
In GSAK, import your PQ and apply a filter that allows you to only see the caches that you are interested in.
In GSAK, choose ‘View’ –> ‘Add/Delete Columns…’. Click the ‘Clear All’ button and tick the ‘Waypoint name’, ‘Longitude’ and ‘Latitude’ columns.
Set the Latitude/Longitude Display Format to ‘Decimal Degrees’
Save the view. Click ‘View’ –> ‘Save Current View’. I called mine ‘LongLat’
Now, Click ‘File’ –> ‘Export’ –> ‘CSV or TXT’
Give your file a logical name, un-tick ‘Use Defaults’, set the View to your created one, and choose ‘CSV’ as the file type.
Open the file in Excel (Or you could use free spreadsheet software, like that included in Open Office for example).
The first thing to do is get your rows in cache order, i.e. cache 1, 2, 3, etc. Excel has a good few functions in it that can help you get an order. I’ve used an additional column at the end (Column D) of my results. The cache names are “Way Down West ##” with ## being the number. As it is mostly the last two characters of the name that show its number, in cell D1 I enter the formula: =RIGHT(A1,2) this means use the characters on the end of the text in cell A1.
Next click on cell D1 and drag the handle in the bottom right hand corner all the way down to the last row that contains cache data and the formula will copy all the way down. You may have to format the cell to text and do some editing to caches 1 to 9 to change their names to “01”,”02″,”03″, etc. but at the end of it you should be able to sort your data by this number in column D and get the caches in numerical order.
Do the sort. In Office 2007, Click the Data tab –> Sort –> Column D, Values, A to Z. You may be prompted on how to sort. Tell it “Sort anything that looks like a number, as a number” and eventually you will have the trail in order.
Just basically do whatever you can to get the trail in order. The same method won’t work for all trails, it depends on how the owner has named their caches.
Now, open up Notepad and paste in the following text:
Add a few blank lines and paste the following text below. Our trail data is going to go in the middle:
You can remove all of the data in column D now. Paste the following formula in cell D1:
=CONCATENATE("<rtept lat=""",B1,""" lon=""",C1,""">","<name>",A1,"</name>","</rtept>")
Again, click the handle in the bottom right hand corner and drag it down through all of the rows containing cache data.
Highlight all of the data in column D and copy it, then paste it into your template GPX file below the text enterred in Step 11, and above the text enterred in Step 12.
Save the file and it’s now all ready for plotting…
Fire up your Internet browser and navigate to http://maps.the-hug.net/index.php
(You could also do the same sort of thing at http://www.maptogps.com/ but I prefer the other as it will mark the waypoints as well. Maptogps will just show the route)
On the site click the ‘Load GPX file’ link in the top left, then click ‘Browse’, select the GPX file you created, and then click ‘Load’
And we’re done! You now have your trail on an OS map. Zoom in to 1:25,000 scale (i.e. so you can see the footpaths) and then use the
button on your keyboard to take screenshots of each section of the map. You can then copy and paste these into an image editing program (I just use paint), crop them and glue them together.
Another useful feature is that it will tell you the total distance of the trail in the top left hand side corner.
Fantastic! I will never get lost again… well… 😉