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I've just made my first GPS track using OSMtracker(Android) and successfully uploaded to OSM. When I go to my profile and click "my traces", I can see my newly uploaded track. There I've tried clicking both "map" and "edit" but neither shows my track on a map. "Edit" loads the editor to the correct area but doesn't display my track. "Map" loads the map to the correct area in viewing mode but also doesn't display my track.

Am I doing something wrong or is this the intended behavior? It seems like it would be really helpful to the editing process if there were a way of overlaying my track on the sat image in the editor so I could compare it to the OSM street data. But, like I said, I'm new, so I may be missing out on what the point of uploading GPS tracks is. Could someone enlighten me?

asked 21 Jul '13, 20:29

Steevithak's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 25 Nov '15, 20:39

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

The point of uploading GPS tracks is that you and others can download them and display them overlayed on a base layer (OSM data, OSM renderings or explicitly allowed aerial imagery (e.g. bing's)) in an editor.

I don't know which editor you are using. However, in most OSM editors you can display your own tracks. Some rare editors can only display tracks which are opened from your local computer (uploading still benefits the other OSM mappers) or only uploaded traces. All top three editors iD, Potlatch2 and JOSM can display uploaded tracks and local tracks.

A short how to:

  • iD: For uploaded traces (aggregated(!) from all users): Click on the "background settings" (on the right side) and then enable "OpenStreetMap GPS traces" (note that it may take some time – maybe months – until a newly uploaded trace appears there). For local traces: drag and drop your gpx file (a file symbol on your computer's graphical user interface) to the editor area. See the GPS section of the help inside the editor (bookmark icon on the right side).
  • Potlatch 2: for your uploaded traces use the drop-down menu of the button "GPS" and select "my traces" (or similar). For local traces use Menu "background" → "Vector file" → "Open". See P2 Primer.
  • JOSM: For uploaded traces use the "download data" button (or menu File) (that download all traces in the area, no highlighting of your own, but manual filtering is possible). For local traces use the "open" button or menu file→open. See guide and that other question.
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answered 21 Jul '13, 21:36

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 25 Nov '15, 20:41


The editor may be the problem. I'm using iD (Potlatch required flash and I haven't been able to get JOSM to load). It looks like OSMtracker is only designed to upload tracks to OSM. So, if I'm understanding you, the correct procedure to use tracks in my case would be this (I've just tried it and it seems to work):

  1. create track using OSMtracker
  2. upload track to OSM with OSMtracker
  3. download track from OSM to local computer
  4. click edit on the OSM track page
  5. click layer icon in editor
  6. click "local gpx file"
  7. open local file dialog
  8. drag and drop gpx file onto editor
(21 Jul '13, 22:02) Steevithak

It would be great if iD could edit tracks directly without all the extra downloading and uploading. How can I put in a feature request to have that functionality added?

(21 Jul '13, 22:03) Steevithak

yes, exactly like you describe in your first comment. Note that (my guess) most users start with a gpx file from some device - so all the up/downloading is not necessary. You could use another gps track recording app on your Android device which allows to save gpx files (or use OSMtracker to save a gpx) - however, the task to transfer to your computer would still be existing.

Feature request? There: personal GPX tracks got closed due to the local file feature being functional. GPX tracks in general is still open. In general and to answer your question, that issue tracker is where you can post feature requests for iD.

(22 Jul '13, 01:06) aseerel4c26 ♦

I use potlatch2. Sometimes it happens that the streets are painted above the trace and therefore the trace isn't visible. May this is what happens.

(04 Sep '13, 21:13) hfst

"It would be great if iD could edit tracks" On a win pc you can, with iD running open another window, find the trace, then drag it into iD window, it will then display in the editor. see pic

(25 Nov '15, 10:08) andy mackey

@andy mackey: steevithak is talking about gps tracks which are not available as a file on a pc but are available under the uploaded traces ("my traces") of the user's account.

(25 Nov '15, 18:50) aseerel4c26 ♦
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

alt text

On a Win 7 PC i had the traces in a folder. I opened the iD editor made the window smaller and dragged the gpx file into the id window and this is the result.

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answered 25 Nov '15, 10:17

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 25 Nov '15, 10:21


Thank you for suggesting this drag-and-drop of a local GPX file in iD.

I did your drag and drop on my Linux Mint PC and it worked. Quick and easy, perfect result.

That was after I'd uploaded a track a couple of times and could not get iD to show it despite having "traces" as one of the "background settings".


(10 Aug '16, 19:58) etch-a-map

Here are some of my findings on iD, Background setting will show all traces ( in the area) if you tick openstreetmap gps traces this has the advantage that a path or road can be positioned useing an average of all available gpxes. see picalt text

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answered 10 Aug '16, 21:34

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 10 Aug '16, 21:35

So if you want just your own trace or all uploaded traces just choose one of the above methods

(10 Aug '16, 21:38) andy mackey
  1. Go to
  2. Find your GPS track
  3. Click on its "edit" link
  4. It should launch the iD editor with the aerial background, existing OSM objects, and your GPS track in pink. Now just add your new road/POIs/etc :-)

No need to download anything locally.

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answered 11 Sep '17, 11:30

Nicolas%20Raoul's gravatar image

Nicolas Raoul
accept rate: 20%

edited 11 Sep '17, 11:30

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question asked: 21 Jul '13, 20:29

question was seen: 28,109 times

last updated: 11 Sep '17, 11:30

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