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Can I Convert a track to a road in iD?

I have uploaded my track to the website and see my track as overlay in ID. The easiest way would now be to convert my track to a road instead of trace my track.

I tracked a lot of roads with a car. So should be accurate. I discovered that I can convert them in Potlatch 2 with clicking the track + alt to a road. The same function would be nice in ID.

asked 02 Aug '14, 17:00

ivolino's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 03 Aug '14, 23:03

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


I think you can do that in some of the editors but so far I have preferred to manually trace my tracks.
If there is more than one gpx trace, you can draw your way by best matching between them all. You will also likely have satellite imagery in addition to your gpx trace to assist in making the most accurate route. I would expect that manually drawing the way will result in less nodes too and a truer representation of the actual way with out all the gpx wiggles. You won't have to contend with the birds nests in the trace, though these should be tidied up before uploading the gpx trace to the osm site.
But I do see the advantages of getting the editor to convert it, especially where you have made a long and remote gpx along an unmapped hiking path where there is no assistance from satellite imagery.

(03 Aug '14, 07:50) nevw

I tracked a lot of roads with a car. So should be accurate. I discovered that I can convert them in Potlatch 2 with clicking the track + alt to a road. The same function would be nice in ID.

(03 Aug '14, 07:57) ivolino

It should be easy enough to tidy them up after converting them and deleting any unnecessary nodes. Josm is well worth getting familiar with too.

(03 Aug '14, 08:04) nevw

Note to all who wonder about this question: The question is about one editor (iD) and is not about drawing a path/road (a osm way in general) manually "over a trace" but instead do the conversion from gps trace to osm way automatically.

  • Yes, this method is only useful in very special cases.
  • Yes, one can use other editors (e.g. Potlatch 2, JOSM) which have the desired functionality.
(04 Aug '14, 14:06) aseerel4c26 ♦

You cannot auto "convert" it in iD.

A road is created by drawing a line over a trace, You have to use the trace as a background for drawing a road.

If using a PC follow these steps:

  1. connect the device with the gpx file
  2. zoom in on map and click edit choose ID
  3. click in the item on the right hand side the looks like a pile of papers ( layers)
  4. scroll down list to the end and click gpx files
  5. find the gpx file and drag it on the map
  6. Do you see the trace? good
  7. Now use the line tool to draw your path or road over the trace
  8. Tag it as road or path and name it if it a a name.
  9. Is it all OK then SAVE it.

screenshot of iD

when I have time I'll see how it works on a Android Tab

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answered 03 Aug '14, 18:26

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

edited 04 Aug '14, 16:16

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


Thanks. I have no problem to create a road with trace my GPS track. I recorded some small forest roads in Sri Lanka, so a lot of curves. To much work to trace them. I used now Potlatch 2 to convert them to a road. Worked fine.

(03 Aug '14, 18:40) ivolino

Short: Apparently and currently it is not possible to use the editor iD to directly convert a gps "track"/trace into an osm way (the data element).

Instead you could use other editors which have this functionality or draw the road manually with the gps trace as background (see Andy's answer).

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answered 04 Aug '14, 14:19

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 04 Aug '14, 16:20

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question asked: 02 Aug '14, 17:00

question was seen: 8,942 times

last updated: 04 Aug '14, 16:20

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