I'm an amateur GIS enthusiast who maps my runs, hikes and urban explorations all over the place. I have accumulated hundreds of GPX files which I enjoy visualizing in different programs - but all of them fall short for one reason or another.

Googling just brings me to a lot of nonsense about interoperability between different run tracking programs and google maps.

Do any of you experts have a suggestion for a tool that will let me visualize all my GPX tracks in one world map? The closest thing I came across was umap but it had some annoying artifacts with certain files.

  • 1
    I think this would be better asked at the Software Recommendations Stack Exchange because you are asking for a software recommendation.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 17 '16 at 10:26

You haven't mentioned if you want a "Web" map or a "Desktop" (downloadable, installed software) map. If you want web:

I'd recommend ArcGIS.com. You can create a personal account for free. You can use an email address, or sync with your google / facebook account. Once you've signed up with a free account you can add GPX files directly into a web map (drag/drop). Save the map, share it. You're done.

Create a public account here

More about adding GPX files here. Note that adding GPX will add the trackpoints but also provide you with a line in the map. Based on this you can set the symbology size/color/other options on what makes the most sense.

*Note the free account does have some restrictions, but I didn't read anything that stands out as an impediment to what you'll be doing.

  • One limitation is the amount of features that can be served out with a free account. This may be reached with longer routes with more waypoints.
    – artwork21
    Mar 17 '16 at 15:25
  • Got a link? I just added a GPX with 3400 points and shows fine.
    – KHibma
    Mar 17 '16 at 15:40
  • The "Add Layer from File" dialog in arcgis.com web map viewer states, "Locate the file you want to import. You can import up to 1000 features from a: [shapefile, csv, gpx]". I just loaded 100K feature gpx file and it slowly worked.
    – artwork21
    Mar 17 '16 at 16:47
  • Thanks, I'll pass on the message about the out of date message.
    – KHibma
    Mar 17 '16 at 16:51
  • 2
    around 2,000,000K
    – artwork21
    Mar 17 '16 at 17:41

I would recommend using QGIS as the desktop viewer (free to use and install) and converting all the .gpx files into a GIS database (.sqlite, .gdb, or PostgresSQL/PostGIS). You can apply spatial indexs on layer/tables within these database and they are great for handling big data. Take a look at this Q/A, which will give you some basic info about converting .gpx files to shapefile. Once you understand how to do this you could batch convert all your .gpx files stored in a directory using ogr2ogr command to any of the database formats noted above.

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