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dbarrigar 08-17-2008 10:43 AM

How do I download GPS waypoints?
Hi, I've got a new Garmen eTrex GPS. I've tried downloading waypoints off clubtread for various hikes, but my computer doesn't recognize the files, despite the Garmin software I've installed. I can't seem to find help within the Garmin software for how to download waypoints, and there doesn't seem to be any help for this topic on the ClubTread website. Can anyone here give me a step-by-step?

19351 08-17-2008 11:36 AM

Good question. I have been just doing the cut & paste to a text file then input (manually) into my GPS.

smac 08-17-2008 01:14 PM

I didn't even relize all the trail info was on this sight, I just use the forms. I'll have to do more looking later!! I just tryed one trail and it downloaded the info into a GPX file. this file you can open in garman mapsource. which is the software you should have installed on your computer. now you can see the waypoints on your computer. from here you can upload the way points to the gps

ShadowChaser 08-17-2008 07:08 PM

Part 1: Installing Garmin Unit Drivers
If you have already installed drivers for your Garmin unit, you can skip this step.
1. If your GPS Unit is connected to your computer, unplug it
2. Go to
3. Find your GPS unit in the list
4. On the Updates & Downloads page for your Unit, download the drivers for it. Usually it will be called "USB Drivers".
5. Run the driver program you downloaded. The first screen looks like this:
6. Follow the screens to begin installation. Once installation is complete, the following screen will be shown:
Follow the directions.
7. Your GPS unit is now able to "talk" to your computer.

Part 2: Install MapSource
MapSource is a Garmin program that allows you to send and receive Waypoints, Tracks, Routes, and Maps to and from your GPS unit. Most newer Garmin units come with a version of MapSource. The version on Garmin's site usually has newer features than what is on your GPS Unit's CD. However, the latest version added new map rendering that is very buggy and slow. I'll show you how to download the best version.

1. Download this file:
2. Install MapSource. Once the installation is complete, launch it from the Start Menu.
3. MapSource will start up. It looks something like this:

Part 3: Download and open ClubTread waypoints
1. Go to a Trail Wiki page that has Waypoint data. The waypoint data will be shown at the bottom. Click the "Download waypoints" link and save the GPX file on your computer.
2. Open Garmin MapSource. Select File->Open from the main menu.
3. Important: Click it says "Garmin GPS Database Files (*.gdb)" to expand the file-type selection box. Choose "GPS eXchange Format (*.gpx)"
4. Double click the GPX file you downloaded from ClubTread to open it.
5. Click the "Waypoints" tab inside of MapSource's main window
6. Select a waypoint. Right click on one, and choose "Show selected waypoint on map". This will "zoom" to the place in the world where the waypoints are. If you have Garmin's topo maps installed, you'll see the terrain as well.

Part 4: Upload to your GPS device
1. Modify the names of the waypoints if needed by double clicking on them. Garmin units don't allow the long descriptive names that ClubTread uses. Change them to things like "TH" for trailhead, "CAMP" for campsite, etc.
2. Make sure your GPS unit is on and connected to your computer.
3. Select Transfer->Send to Device from the main menu inside of MapSource. It should automatically find your GPS device.
4. If you are only uploading ClubTread waypoints, make sure that only "Waypoints" is selected under "What to Send". If you accidentally choose "Maps", it will delete all maps stored on your GPS unit!
5. Click Send. Once the transfer is complete, the waypoints are stored in your GPS unit! Go for a hike and have fun!

Part 5: Help ClubTread and submit your waypoints and tracks!
1. During a hike, bring your GPS unit and keep it on. Let it build a "track" of your hike, showing the location of the trail.
2. Create a waypoint on your GPS unit for any key location on the trail. For example: Parking lot, Trailhead, Lake, Cliffs, Viewpoint, Gully, Bridge, Insane Mud Hole Over Trail, Cabin, etc. More is better!
3. After your hike, connect your GPS unit to your computer. Open MapSource, and select Transfer->Receive from Device on the Main Menu. Select "Waypoints", "Routes", and "Tracks".
Click "Receive"
4. All of your waypoints should now be inside MapSource. Right click on one in the "Waypoints" tab and select "Show selected waypoint on map".
5. Rename your Waypoints so that ClubTread members will know what they mean. In my example, I have a waypoint called "WHITERCK" which doesn't mean much. Double click on it, and give it a descriptive name:
Do this for all of your waypoints. (or at least the ones you want to send to ClubTread)
6. Select File->Save As from the Main Menu. Click on "Garmin GPS Database Version 3 (*.gdb)" and select "GPS eXchange Format (*.gpx)" instead. Save the file.
7. Go to the trail you hiked in the wiki. Select "Upload Waypoints". Click "Browse...", select the file you just saved, then click "Upload Data".
8. An administrator or site moderator will receive the data and add it to the wiki for you.

ShadowChaser 08-19-2008 08:24 AM

Did you have any luck with the tutorial?

dpatton 08-19-2008 09:14 AM


quote:Originally posted by dbarrigar

Hi, I've got a new Garmen eTrex GPS. I've tried downloading waypoints off clubtread for various hikes, but my computer doesn't recognize the files, despite the Garmin software I've installed.
I'll just point out that even with a Garmin GPS receiver, you aren't limited to using "Garmin software".

I always suggest that people get a copy of the free G7ToWin software:
Two advantages of this (or similar) software:
- you can save a copy of your GPS data in a format that is
not related to any specific software such as MapSource
- it may provide an easy way to share GPS data with others
who do not have the same software as you (e.g. don't have
You can also use GPSBabel:
which supports many file formats:

As for "maps", it depends on:
- whether your GPS receiver can handle maps
- GPS receiver brand
- what sort of "maps" you want to make use of
(both on the GPS receiver and your computer)
- whether your computer is a PC or Mac

I have a non-mapping GPS receiver, and use raster maps
(i.e. map images) on my PC, and the software I use is
(I'm a moderator of the Ozi discussion group, so
I can answer questions, but it's best to post any
questions to the group)

ShadowChaser 08-19-2008 11:59 AM


quote:Originally posted by dpatton
I'll just point out that even with a Garmin GPS receiver, you aren't limited to using "Garmin software".
True, but without a basic understanding of how to synchronize a GPS device, many people would probably find the other software much more difficult to use.

dbarrigar 08-19-2008 10:28 PM

Thank you for all the info.
I actually was able to download the Waypoints into Mapsource, I just had to manually choose it as the software to be used to open the file. Maybe because it was installed in the C: root directory vs c:\programs. But I'm curious now to try some of the other software mentioned in the replies. Thanks so much everyone!

ChuckLW 08-20-2008 12:00 AM

This topic deserves a sticky in the GPS section!

LongShadow 08-20-2008 10:12 AM


quote:Originally posted by ChuckU

This topic deserves a sticky in the GPS section!
Yeah, I think that's a great idea!

flatlandnomore 01-02-2010 07:55 PM

I had a hell of a time trying to work G7toWin and GPS Babel (my fault, most likely).

All I was looking for was some way to download my tracks and waypoints - I don't need the topos (although they would be nice). Anyways, tripped across this site . Seems to do the trick, and doesn't ask me too many questions.

Just another option, in case anyone is looking for one. I haven't checked it for viruses, so no guarantees on that.

TheShadow 01-03-2010 10:01 AM

I have to agree that GPS Babel is [u]NOT</u> very "user friendly"...if you don't select the EXACT proper file format, it just terminates and gives you a cryptic error message.

Still...for a FREE app, it's pretty good...if you can get it to work for you!

EasyGPS works well for GPX files...better than Babel and it is easy...hence the name, I guess!

chwkman 10-06-2011 11:48 PM

Personally I use Mapsource 6 portable version with the Northwest Topos v0.16 map set, which is quite detailed and combines road and color contours. I've tried the Garmin topos mapset and Ibycus Topos, but wasn't very impressed with the dataset details. My GPS is a Garmin Venture HC, which I've had for a whole 6 months &lt;grin&gt; and enjoying it very much. I've used GPSBabel 1.42 and WinGDB 3.63 to convert files back and forth (.gpx to .gdb and routes to tracks, etc). It's interesting to hear about the free versions instead of using Mapsource, but kinda used to it's quirks now.


Hike.BC 05-31-2014 11:29 AM

Anyone know how to download the waypoints onto basecamp?

TimeToGoHiking 10-25-2016 01:06 AM

I have a basic Garmin etrax 10 and when I download someones else's gps track file and open it in EasyGPS, all I see is the route line, I do not get any of the way points. I have tried using Mapsource but not having any success there also.

Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong. I can load and see mine just fine.

I have no problem entering new way points manually however it would just be nice to just "copy paste" and save a few steps.

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