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Often when making a GPS trace, I need to mark a certain spot or feature. Using Motion GPS on the iPhone, I can save a waypoint as a GPX file, but then I cant upload this as OSM sees it as invalid because its not a "trace".

asked 12 Oct '10, 17:45

Russ%20McD's gravatar image

Russ McD
accept rate: 0%

edited 01 Sep '13, 01:32

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Thanks for all the help - all answers were very useful and gives me something to try out. Have tried Mapzen POI collector and seems OK as long as connected to the net - shame it cant store the info you collect until reconnected to the net again.

(14 Oct '10, 17:20) Russ McD

Today (2013, 3 years after starting this topic), particularly in Germany there is less need for tracks but much need for points. So what I think: we need something to import lists of waypoints. Will be able to upload gpx-files with waypoints?

(31 Aug '13, 21:25) hfst

@Russ McD: I have removed your second question on how to add a point using coordinates and Potlatch. Please only one question per "question". However, see: for p1 or for p2.

(01 Sep '13, 01:38) aseerel4c26 ♦

@hfst: sorry, this is not a page for discussion. You can upload waypoints in a gpx file as long as a single trackpoint with a timestamp is included too. However, nearly all editors can handle local files with waypoints, no need to upload them.

(01 Sep '13, 01:41) aseerel4c26 ♦

I am guessing a bit what the real question is... (At least today) it is not needed to upload a gpx file to use the waypoints for editing. You can load gpx files with waypoints in nearly every (except iD, yet) OSM editor without uploading first.

(02 Sep '13, 00:13) aseerel4c26 ♦

Make sure your tracklog and waypoints are in the same GPX file. If MotionX isn't capable of this, you'll have to hand-edit the file in a text editor and copy all the <wpt>...</wpt> waypoints from one file into the GPX file containing the tracklog. Then upload to OSM as usual.

Go to the 'GPS Traces' listing in OSM. You'll see an 'edit' link next to the trace (not the tab at the top of the screen). Click this.

Potlatch will then open with your tracklog and waypoints preloaded. You can select a waypoint, click the "Unlock" button, and retag it (handy hint: pressing 0 clears all existing tags) for it then to be uploaded to OSM as a node next time you save.

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answered 13 Oct '10, 09:08

Richard's gravatar image

Richard ♦
accept rate: 18%

I use the "Tracks" feature of the MotionX GPS app to record GPS tracks. I then "share" them to my email address (which basically emails you a GPX file) and then I import that into OSM.

That works pretty well.

But you're right that waypoints are a little harder, because sharing a waypoint from MotionX doesn't seem to produce a GPX file that OSM likes. So instead I mark waypoints as I go then consult the MotionX map when I'm sat at the PC to manually position them in the right place in Potlatch (Note: MotionX uses OSM mapping, so I don't think this represents any licensing issue).

You might also want to take a look at the Mapzen POI Collector app, which is useful if you are going out just to record a number of POIs.

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answered 13 Oct '10, 16:31

GrahamS's gravatar image

accept rate: 28%

edited 13 Oct '10, 16:36

Usually, the mapping process involves going out to track positions using a GPS trace. Additionally, you might want to use waypoints to mark specific features as an aid during postprocessing/uploading.

Therefore try the following:

  1. Go out with your device (mobile phone for example)
  2. Download the data to a GPX file to your computer
  3. Use an OSM-editor (for example JOSM) to postprocess and upload the data. To do so, open your GPX file in the editor and draw line features along your trace, add point features at your waypoint locations. The manual steps involved should remain because your GPS trace might be off the actual location.
  4. Click upload within the editor to transfer the data to OSM

Ideas for a non-usual, non-recommended but mostly automatic process are:

  1. Download the GPX file to your computer
  2. Translate it to a OSM file with a XSL stylesheet (involves your own programming skills)
  3. Verify the created OSM file with an editor (for example JOSM). Don't forget to download the OSM data of the area in question to avoid creating duplicated points of interest.
  4. Upload the file using the editor

The answer to your last question is very similar to the steps just described above. However you want to use another transformation depending on the data format of your input data.

To position single nodes to a known position use JOSM, select the node and click „Move node…“ from the „Tools“ menu.

Note that I do not have experiences with recent versions of Potlatch, „Motion GPS“ or your type of mobile phone. A pure guess why your files are considered invalid could be that you are just copying the waypoints but omitting the trace when transferring the GPX file to your computer.

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answered 13 Oct '10, 08:37

Augustus%20Kling's gravatar image

Augustus Kling
accept rate: 0%

When walking you may have noticed that if you stop for a while or leave the trail by a few feet their will be a blip on your trace, this is a messy way of marking a point,simple but it works

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answered 09 Feb '11, 00:26

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 09 Feb '11, 07:11

hi start with the editor for instance JOSM, download and install it on your PC. Copy the waypoints file from your GPS (Garmin) to the PC too. Rename it to remember the work and double click on the file, JOSM will start and you only have to select the area to start uploading your work or waypoints.

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answered 01 Sep '13, 00:47

Hendrikklaas's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

I'm using Viking for a similar purpose. Information at

In my case, I use it add geotagged photos to a track. Open the track in Viking, right click on the track and select acquire > from geotagged images.

Having done that, you can right click on the track again and select upload > to OSM. It does not upload the photos, only waypoints containing the name of the photo. But, together with a local image viewer, it is good enough to relate what you saw to the point on OSM where you saw it.

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answered 03 Sep '13, 11:05

harg's gravatar image

accept rate: 16%

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question asked: 12 Oct '10, 17:45

question was seen: 10,809 times

last updated: 03 Sep '13, 11:05

NOTICE: is no longer in use from 1st March 2024. Please use the OpenStreetMap Community Forum