Tag Archives: gps

Bulk GPX track data

Last year, at about this time, the OpenStreetMap Foundation made a big splash when it released the first Bulk GPS Point dataset. That may have been the largest publication of GPS point data ever. Many users were thrilled to have that raw data and to put it to good use. But they also wanted more. They wanted the track file details.

In fact, requests for bulk OpenStreetMap GPX track files go back to 2007 or earlier. Now, the combined talents of the OpenStreetMap community and the resources of the OpenStreetMap Foundation, make that dream a reality.

Announcing the GPX Planet

The scale of this dataset is fairly large.

  • 848,000 GPX files
  • 2.6 Trillion GPX points
  • 260GB of GPS data (uncompressed)

Not everybody will be able to manage all of this data at once. It is likely, as with planet files and planet extracts, that somebody will offer GPX extracts.

What is this data good for?

Well, it’s interesting and there is a large quantity of it. Many OpenStreetMap contributors have been asking for it for years. Previous uses for this type of data have included

  • artistic organic trip data as maps
  • confirm turn restrictions
  • confirm one-way restrictions
  • confirm speed limits
  • and many more of your ideas in the comments

The future

There are hopes and plans to improve this service over time, including

  • quarterly updates
  • addition of vdop / hdop precision data, where available

You can help

You can help to improve this service by contributing your GPX track data. Upload your GPX files through your OpenStreetMap account. Collect new track files as you survey.

You can also help by using the data for something interesting and / or by publishing some code. OpenStreetMap user Zverik has started the ball rolling by creating gpx2pgsql to put the gpx data into your rendering tool chain.


Thanks as always to the million-plus OpenStreetMap contributors over the eight years of the project so far. Especially, thanks to the thousands of contributors who collected and uploaded their GPX track files, and to Lars Franke, who wrote the first Java GPX dump code in 2010, and to Ian Dees who rewrote that into the current Python code, and to the many others who were involved in ways large and small.

So, where is it?

Find the GPX planet on the planet site and mirrors.

The image in this article is a visualization of some of the GPS point data in Europe. The image is licensed CC-By-SA and was created by Dave Stubbs.

GPStogo is go!

When we started to hear stories about OSMers in far flung corners of the world begging and borrowing equipment in order to help OpenStreetMap, the OSM Foundation wondered what it could do to help.

Well, after a protracted gestation period we are pleased to announce the GPStogo scheme. Its quite simple. We collect small donations from our supporters in wealthy countries, use the money to buy GPS receivers, and loan them to enthusiastic but poorly equipped OSMers in developing countries.

There’s full details of the scheme on the brand new OSM Foundation web-site.

We already have some promises of donations and a (short) list of worthy recipients, so the pumps are primed.

Our initial goal is to purchase one GPS receiver a month and ship it out to whoever is next on our list of qualified loan applicants.

All we are asking is for OSMers to donate a fiver a month to support this scheme. You’ll get lots of kudos and have the satisfaction of seeing map data appearing in some of the more distant corners of the planet. Sign up here.

And if you are a GPS-less budding OSMer in a developing country then please get in touch, we need to know what you need to be able to go out mapping. Let us know here.