How to convert a track into a path?

I had previously put new paths into OSM a couple of years ago. I want to add a new one with a new gpx file.

Previously I could convert a gpx plot to a path by checking the appropriate box “Convert track to path for editing” and then I could change the attributes. I haven’t found the new way to do it, how do I do it now? (I use the web built-in editor)

Note that in typical case direct conversion is unwanted - GPX almost always jumps more than real path and you would want to draw smoother path than recorded GPS track.

I understand that some trails can be done better by hand.

My gpx plot in this forest contains 273 points over 3.4 km, which averages out one point every 12 meters. I can’t do better by hand than my gpx file can give as a trail and it’s more accurate.


Start with JOSM, in there you can load your GPX file


It is not possible to make a pathfoot (or other transformation) with a gpx track utilizing the built-in ID editor (or the way to do this is not easy to find). I have installed the Potlatch 3.0 external editor and it was very easy to accomplish this task.


Note that it is also unwanted to import gpx tracks with too much (apparent) detail. Excessive detail makes it much harder to edit an area and e.g. 50 points that just describe a straight line are totally useless and should be removed. Much of the detail is only random noise as the accuracy of the GPS device is limited even under the best circumstances.

Also, directly importing a GPX track is rather error prone when it comes to establishing connections to other ways properly.

Concur. If I am updating a trail to better match existing GPS tracks and available aerial imagery then one of my steps if there are lots unneeded nodes on the way is to use the JOSM “simplify way” tool to remove most of the point. To be clear, that is not the only thing I do, my general method is to:

  1. Align imagery as best possible with the existing OSM GPS tracks and any new tracks that I have collected (and will upload after my edits).
  2. Simplify the geometry of the existing trail if needed.
  3. Align existing trail (or add new trail) based on imagery where visible. If not visible (covered by trees, etc.) then guesstimate the location based on all of the available GPS tracks.

Thank you, I will take it into account when relevant.


I didn’t see any “simplify way” or a similar tool in Potlatch, too bad.
Thank’s for the help.

Zubulus, Can you explain how you converted a gpx track to a path in potlatch 3. It is not obvious to me. Thanks!