Why can't I see the waypoints in my GPX file?

I recorded a track today using my iPhone and MotionX GPS. I made three waypoints along the way, but can’t see any of them when I try to edit my track in Potlatch.

I’m about to go on a long trip to nearly uncharted areas of Russia between Moscow and St. Petersburg, and would like to map along the way. I assume that the way to do this is to create a track and create waypoints for each town along the way. But, if I can’t get the waypoints to show up for editing, that obviously isn’t going to work.

If anybody can help me figure this out, I would much appreciate it.


I answered my own question. MotionX does not export waypoints along with the track per tech support at MotionX. Unfortunately, this means that I can’t use MotionX as I had intended, to map towns along my trip. I suppose I’ll have to find a different application if I want to bother with this.

I find it very frustrating that Open Street Maps does not allow the import of waypoints as stand alone items. This is the MOST efficient method for noting the location of towns and cities without draining one’s battery by logging an entire trip. I understand that the import of waypoints is prohibited because SOME Garmin devices automatically insert the locations of Garmin offices as waypoints, which is proprietary data. Would it not be better to exclude those extremely few and unlikely waypoints by some means, rather than completely disable this feature from OSM? This is the second time I’ve tried to contribute to OSM, and it looks like it’s not going to work again. I love the idea of OSM and want to contribute, but if it’s going to be this difficult, forget it.

Gnurfos pointed you to the right approach in: http://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?id=5236

So you can travel a day and make a lot of poi’s and only record your track for some minutes.

Then export all in a .gpx file. (If you did not record your track for some minutes you can add manually
a small track of two-three point to the .gpx)

Openstreetmap does accept it. (I just did test this).

All the poi’s will be there. Well you have to assign tags like telling that they are a town|hamlet and so one. That’s all.

Unfortunately, Gnurfos didn’t tell me HOW I could create that track, so I didn’t understand what he was saying. After much searching around the internet trying to figure out a solution, I now understand that he was talking about manually merging the waypoints into a track using a text editor.

The process is very simple, but requires a lot of cutting and pasting:

  1. Export tracks and waypoints from MotionX GPS. Each track and waypoint must be exported separately (at least in the current version of MotionX GPS).
  2. Open the track and the waypoints in a text editor (e.g., Notepad).
  3. Copy and paste the waypoints into the track.
  4. Upload the edited track WITH the waypoints into OSM.

As Gnurfos suggested, the track does not have to be associated with the waypoints, so any track can be used.

Still, I contend that this is far too much work and far too confusing. It took me a lot of searching around the internet just to figure out that I could copy and paste waypoints into a track using a text editor.

OSM is going to lose a lot of good contributors because their system is too complicated. I ended up deleting all of that data from Corisca because I couldn’t figure out a way to get it into the system. That’s a shame, really, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who finds this very frustrating. At the very least, OSM needs much better Help and FAQ pages.

Here is an example of what I did, in case anybody else needs help with this:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


18 Feb 2010 11:02 am


Track 003
18 Feb 2010 10:46 am




Well then that is the bottleneck. You cannot blame openstreetmap for that. You just need software that creates a nice .gpx file of your waypoints (and track if there was one).

And then: If you did not record a piece of track then you can manually add (with a text editor) a piece of track. Two points is ok. (lat, lon and time. no ele needed). Any points will do but to make it more comfortable you better take two points which are the same as two of the waypoints. Why? Because then Potlatch opens on the right spot of the map when you start editing. You add a piece of track to the wpt’s .gpx file. (not reversed as you described it).

So I disagree with you that it is far too much work. Your problem is bad software for the iphone. The only thing you need is the right software to extrackt a .gpx file from your device. If you did not record a track for some minutes you can manually add a piece of track.

Something else: What is MotionX GPS? Is it a program running on the iphone? If so, if it creates a .gpx file where is the file saved? I suppose you use a a -different- computer to upload the .gpx to openstreetmap? How is the connection between computer and iphone?

Now before MotionX GPS exports its data it will have saved it’s poi’s and track’s somewhere on your iphone. Where? In what kind of file? Try to find the file (if it is in a file) and post one here please.

Well it may not be a great deal of work, but why does OSM require a track at all? Why can’t it just upload a file of waypoints?

I use whereami and it creates waypoints in a separate file. To upload them I use GPSBabel to convert them to OSM format, open the file in JOSM and then upload them. I guess manually adding a track to the waypoint file might actually be less work!

This is my 100th post which makes me a “senior member” :sunglasses:

But don’t let this fool you into thinking that I know what I’m talking about!

Because it really does not make much sense technically so perhaps it is a fundamental decision for making it a bit more difficult to upload POI collections captured from somewhere in the web?