I hope there is a way of setting it up to record a single non-fragmented trace. It's time wasting to have to find and join the bits for upload. The traces are usually of up to seven hours or 20 km hikes with the device set up to record a point every second. At the moment the traces seem to get stopped and restarted after 500 seconds or points. Maybe I'll try distance instead of time. With Units set on miles the shortest distance is 0.01 miles (17.6 yards) which is no good for most mapping, but on yards I can set it to 1 yard or less (0.9 of a meter) which should be ideal, but with units set to metric the smallest distance is 0.01 KM (also not good) there is not a meter option. I have not checked out what the record rate is if it set to 1 yard and I then switch to metric units, although it does indicate the log distance is 0.00 KM which doesn't make sense. I just have to do some test traces to see what gets recorded and if the trace gets split. I like the Oregon but this seems inferior the my old VistaHCX which just recorded once every second and stored it as a continuous trace on the micro SD although the devices inbuilt memory would start to over write the oldest data.

asked 21 Oct '13, 23:32

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 21 Oct '13, 23:33


Today I found that auto record only yielded 600 points in 145 minutes too crude for mapping. But found I should choose from menu, track manager, current track, save and name,then clear. Hopefully this will give me the specified 10000 track points for a hike, which equals 2.666 hours at one a second. The oregon will then auto save then which is probabley why I get the sectioned trace. If I do the save, name and clear bit, 3 traces called say part a ,b and c should be ok and will be easier to pick for editing, joining and uploading.

(22 Oct '13, 21:19) andy mackey

I didn't remember to keep doing this, but you may, you could set an alarm on the oregon to remind you.... too complicated.

(14 Nov '13, 23:47) andy mackey

Would it be perhaps be possible to upload somewhere an example of a "fragmented" trace? Maybe then someone could have a go at using something to glue the bits together automatically.

(23 Dec '13, 01:09) SomeoneElse ♦


  • No, you cannot set up newer Garmin devices to write just one gpx file.
  • If you want just one file to upload: zip it.
  • For maximum verbosity of the log files, either set the log interval to secondly or the distance to 0.00

Old Garmin devices with micro sd slots were designed to write one gpx logfile per day. This file contained the segments which resulted from switching the device off and on or (iirc) when the device wrote it's buffer of 9.999 waypoints to disk.

The newer devices as of ~2010(afaik) and later save the gpx log to their internal memory. The device can set to "automatically save" it "daily", "weekly" or "when full" but I see no sense in this setting since it only names the files after day or week and creates a lot of them. Additionally the created files also contain several way segments.

I manage the gpx files this way:
Samat K Jain wrote a gpx splitter which extracts the single way segments from the gpx files created by the Garmin device.
I wrote another small script which copies the gpx files from the Garmin device (both from GARMIN/GPX/Archive and GARMIN/GPX/Current), splits them using the splitter script and saves them to ./. The waypoint files get copied, too.

Reasoning to split the files in even smaller chunks: A gpx file named 2013-12-20 12.54.09.gpx is named after the date it got saved. It can contain way segments from other days or even weeks depending on how often the device is used. The splitter script gives each way segment an name like 2013-10-20T14:31:48Z.gpx
Another reason to use the splitter:
The latest collected data is stored in GARMIN/GPX/Current/Current.gpx. When I copy this file to my computer and do not reset the GPX log buffer of the Garmin next time I'd copy the Current.gpx I would have two files with identical, non-descriptive names and partly identical content. Using the splitter I avoid this.
One more advantage of having the way segments separately: finding way segments of 1-2kByte size you can easily delete them because files of this size usually contain no useful data. (YMMV)

GPX data I want to upload to OSM I mostly can define by the date, so I just run
tar -caf hike_november.tar.gz 2013-10-2[0-5]*gpx
to create one file I can upload. Yes, OSM accepts zip and gz files.

Another way to have just one gpx file is to append the gpx files you want using gpsbabel. I wrote a small script for this, too.

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answered 23 Dec '13, 15:16

malenki's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

edited 23 Dec '13, 15:29

The best trace setting for mapping is to record once a second. I have found that the free version of GPSTrackMaker and easyGPS http://www.easygps.com/ which when opened I can use to find the oregon/garmin/gpx folder and control click on all the days track sections and down load them all at once. (I couldn't find another to do this) This group of files are then saved as one named as the "date" or the "place" of the walk as a GPX. The next step is to open this GPX with my usual program that I use to trim off the birds nests, the ends and join the sections together, this is then saved as ready for upload to OSM. This will do until Garmin write an update that works as well as the old Vista HCX which creates a single trace for the day. edit The calculator isn't scientific but the Oregon is very very good. It gets a cold fix in 30 seconds,even when moving. I have about 6 vector maps to switch about and loads of custom maps, The 2100mAh batteries I use last 8 hours ok and the battery gauge shows when getting low. I recommend Oregon 450.

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answered 14 Nov '13, 23:40

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 09 May '14, 09:09

Thanks for this Andy. I have just bought an etrex30 and am also trying to get the gpx sorted. It is more trouble than expected and the ability to save very long 1 sec traces directly to the sd drive would be ideal.

(23 Dec '13, 00:50) nevw

I cannot find a setting on my Garmin Oregon 450 to save traces straight to SD, maybe your new etrex 20 can and hopefully as one complete trace each day.

(23 Dec '13, 19:26) andy mackey

The Micro SD will often be used for expensive purchased maps. Probably why Garmin don't use this for GPX storage.

(23 Mar, 07:19) andy mackey

I have been experiencing and looking at fragmented/sectionalized problem again. I have had the Oregon set to auto archive and this and a full current file caused the device to save to archive when full, On one walk every 50 minutes. The main cause of autosave kicking in, is my failure save GPXes to my PC then delete them from the Oregon's memory. The mapping software i usually use only has the facility to choose only a single file at a time, which is tedious. GPS Prune allowed me to control click all of the sections, with the same date, then load them as one file. Prune, as the name suggests as pruning facilities to trim off rouge points and it also displays the up-to-date OSM map so you can see if you new trace is new to OSM and worth uploading to the traces list.

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answered 23 Mar, 07:49

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 23 Mar, 12:50

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question asked: 21 Oct '13, 23:32

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last updated: 23 Mar, 12:50

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