Road from GPS track == lots of nodes...


I’ve just created a new track from a GPS track I’ve taken lately, using the Potlatch online editor. It’s a very sinuous dirt road in the mountains, so there are a lot of curves in the track, meaning a lot of GPS points. In total the track now contains 1649 nodes (!!)
You can see the track here:

My question is: what should I do with that track? It seems that 1649 nodes is really excessive, but how should I reduce that? Do I need to manually delete nodes that don’t seem necessary, or should I have used some script before uploading the track? Or should I not use the option to create the track from the GPS data at all?

Thanks for your answers.

JOSM has a Plugin which tries to reduce the nodes. Don’t know how good this is.
I don’t use the GPX-to-OSM-way function. If I have a track I use the manual drawing option and common sense.

i’m using PRUNE to edit my gps-tracks - remove unwanted or bad points looking like stars on my screen - and reduce the number of points with special buildin functions.
after that i load the track to josm, but only as local file.
then paint the new way/track/street over the original gps-data.



that’s “my way” to do the job.

the JOSM Plugin works ok, you can adjust the “compression-rate” somewhere in the advance

I also never convert tracks to osm-highways directly.


Under windows you can use Gpx2SlippyMap to reduce the number of nodes in a track. You can ‘also’ display the track on an osm slippy map.

gpsbabel is useful tool, if you are not afraid of the command line (vs. gui) application.

gpsbabel -i gpx -f walk.gpx -x simplify,count=400 -o gpx -F walk-simple.gpx

Above takes in walk.gpx which is of gpx format, reduces it to 400 points by removing those points which have least effect on the track shape, output to walk-simple.gpx (also in gpx format)

Have a look at … you can display GPS-Tracks on many maps and modify the Points, even reduce them to a good amount.

There’s something weird going on there. Potlatch is meant to simplify automatically when you import. I’ll investigate why it’s not doing in this case.

OK, so in the end I just deleted the track made from the GPS data, and simply draw over it in Potlatch. That way the number of points were greatly reduced (428 nodes instead of 1649, and the new track is longer that the first one)…

Richard, when going to and selecting the option to create the track from the GPS data, it will create a track containing 1890 nodes. The GPS data contains 2185 points, so it gets somehow simplified, but I imagine you’d like it to simplify more. But then the question would be until what point should the track be simplified, before it starts losing important points?

Well, I think this topic can be closed.

Thanks all for your input!