Download GPS tracks

New to OSM, and both impressed with the scope and highly confused about how to use it. I can see a GPS tracks of a hiking trail in the Himalaya in which I am interested. Is it possible to download such a GPS track and use it? I have searched the Wiki and Google, and can’t find any reference to this. Thanks for your time

Hi Bublap, welcome to the OSM community.

Your question is a bit unclear for the community I suppose. OSM contirbutors upload their gpx trails in the database and if you open the map, you will see a tab with GPS-tracks. If you have the gpx track there where you are looking for, open it and you can download it. Searching for specific pgpx tracks is not straight forward, as it is not set-up as a database.

On the map itself there are no gpx tracks. What you could do (depending on the device you are using) either use Mapsource for the Garmin devices, download the routable map for the area (here: ) or use one of the routing programs (select walking and mark the points which you want to pass). There are 3 mentioned here, but there are more ( I have some experience with yournav.

Could well be I misunderstood your question, let us know,

succes, Hugo

Hi Hugo,

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

You haven’t misunderstood my question, but I am confused. I opened the OSM web page ( and zoomed in to the area of interest (Northern India). I can see a dotted track on the map, which I assumed was a GPS track - confirmed when I viewed a section of the map with JOSM.

I would like to download that GPS track, and assumed it would be quite easy. However, when I selected the “GPS traces” tab in the OSM web page, does not show tracks related to the map I am viewing, but those tracks most recently uploaded - which are totally unrelated to Northern India. How do I find and download that specific track? From your post, it seems that might not be trivial. I’ll have a look at the websites you mentioned - thanks.

I appreciate your help,



I can’t find the track you refer to. To help me please do the following:

Zoom in in the region you see the track
Click at the link at the right hand bottom corner (you will see that the link in your browser changes)
paste the link in your answer.

I will do some further work to see what it can be


What you see is the visual representation of our OSM-Database (the map is just an example of what you can do with OSM).
Assumed that your dotted line is a way it might be based on a GPS-Track but also can be derived by other sources, like aerial images or extrapolation. Assumed the way based on a recorded GPS-Track there is no obligation to upload this track to OSM (even if this is the best reference to prove that this way hasn’t been created from a illegal source).

The dotted line you describe can be a way, a border or something totaly different. If you could post a permalink (lower right corner of the map) that would be helpful.

Hi Hugo, PHerison

Thanks for taking the time to respond - sorry for the delay in replying, I was away over the w/end.

As requested, I clicked on the “Permalink” clicky and got this in the address bar: What I thought was a GPS track was the dotted line starting at Sangchar and heading out NW then W.

I appreciate your help

That dotted line is a path, not an actual gps-track. But it is not that hard to get it as a gpx-track. I already have a major part as gpx on my pc. That took me only 5 minutes or less.


  • donwload JOSM
  • In JOSM, download the area containing your path.
  • remove everything except your path.
  • in the right hand menu, on top; right click ‘data layer’ → export to gpx.
    Note: Don’t upload your now edited data to osm. It will delete all things you just deleted!

Voila! Happy hiking

Hi Michiel,

Got it - that was my mistake. I guess if it HAD been a GPS track, it would have shown up in the GPS tab. I did as you suggested, and managed to get a gpx track downloaded.

Thanks to everyone for helping out