Why not ask your question on the new OpenStreetMap Community Forum?

So I also ran into this universal problem, as Garmin doesn't provide <time> in GPX, nor does GPSBabel, or most things. The GPX track I had that worked was from my old Palm Pilot device over a decade ago.

So I looked at it.

Turns out OpenStreetMap doesn't even use the time stamp!!! Every time in the working file was "1989-12-30T23:59:59Z", no difference, OSM was happy with it; it demands it, then ignores it, how dumb. *rollseyes

So after all the silly searching and scripts and GPS babel complex command lines, I simply did a search/replace and voilà, working GPX files that previously were erroneously rejected for time tag errors.

Simply open the GPX in Wordpad/Notepad/any text editor and find: /ele>

Replace all with: /ele><time>1989-12-30T23:59:59Z</time>

Edit sorry, this editor has issues with brackets, remove space between < and time or /time.

Done. Now it'll happily take the GPX file from GPS. Hopefully future folks with this issue can search out this solution readily.

PS: Since the time data isn't used for anything, this should obviously be fixed, few folks have the tenacity to continue contributing when such roadblocks are presented.

asked 22 Feb '15, 04:23

RJFerret's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 22 Feb '15, 23:40

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦

Wow! Good work.

If I'm reading your post correctly, time stamps actually are required but they do not need to be incremented. Adding the same time value on all points will work.

I have used GPSBabel to add timestamps to old GPX files before and it is a powerful program but I agree, its command line switches frustrate me every time.


(22 Feb '15, 09:09) AlaskaDave

your search and replace does not close the time tag - which will be invalid XML. (Upd: has been fixed, see below)

(22 Feb '15, 13:32) aseerel4c26 ♦

Garmin DOES provide <time> in GPX. Please use the "active track" and not saved tracks! As others said: correct time stamps are useful.

Yes, the OSM track upload accepts all gpx files which have at least one trackpoint with a timestamp.

(22 Feb '15, 13:33) aseerel4c26 ♦

Edited to fix the /time issue, thanks, I fought with it for a while when originally posting, it's because this editor drops stuff in brackets even with code stuff.

(22 Feb '15, 22:51) RJFerret

@RjFerret: ah, yes, but only in the preview (it is a bit fucked up...). A correctly working Markdown preview is dingus. I have removed the spaces for you.

(22 Feb '15, 23:42) aseerel4c26 ♦

I have used the fake timestamps only on my own data that has been stripped of those stamps by some other application, for example, Google Earth.

(23 Feb '15, 00:01) AlaskaDave

Thank you!

(23 Feb '15, 02:56) RJFerret
showing 5 of 8 show 3 more comments

The question has been closed for the following reason "Duplicate Question (see links in my comment) and not a question (see https://help.openstreetmap.org/faq/ )" by aseerel4c26 22 Feb '15, 13:38

When downloading GPS traces in JOSM you can then filter by date/time, so accurate timestamps are clearly more useful (say for example where a junction has changed and you want to ignore older traces).

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answered 22 Feb '15, 09:53

EdLoach's gravatar image

EdLoach ♦
accept rate: 23%

Timestamps are a witness that the track was surveyed rather than traced from a copyrighted source. It was more important when GPXes were our main source of info before Bing became a legal usable source.

permanent link

answered 22 Feb '15, 09:09

andy%20mackey's gravatar image

andy mackey
accept rate: 4%

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question asked: 22 Feb '15, 04:23

question was seen: 7,116 times

last updated: 23 Feb '15, 02:56

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