... the user friendly GPS tool

Rework tracks

Recordings of positions when travelling, i.e. tracks, can be used in many ways, eg:

  • To understand what has been achieved while driving, flying, walking, running, etc.
  • To track where you have been exploring, surveying, geocaching, etc.
  • To enrich photos with GPS positions ("geotagging")

Convert track to route

To cover a distance again that has been recorded as a track it is necessary to convert the track into route. The reason is that typically tracks contain thousands to ten thousands positions while routes consist only of a few dozen to one hundred positions. The reason is that the vast majority of navigation devices is designed to route along the network of public roads and is limited to calculate a route from relatively few waypoints. The navigation devices navigates autonomously between the waypoints using its own map.

This means, for example, for TomTom devices that a track of 2101 positions has to be reduced to 48 positions to be used as an itinerary for a TomTom device. For this RouteConverter offers two menu items

  • Position list/Convert track to route
  • Position/Delete Duplicate positions...

Convenient solution

The simple and convenient solution is to switch the map display of RouteConverter to route and to reduce the number of positions with the Douglas-Peucker algorithm with a fixed limit of 100 meters:

Convert track to route

After that the former track may be reduced to, for example, 843 positions. Thus another function of RouteConverter can be used:

Manual solution

The function to delete duplicate items offers more control and options:

Delete Duplicate positions

When chosing this menu entry a dialog offers three options to select and delete items if necessary:

Delete positions

The following procedure has proven successful:

  • Mark all positions within a distance of 200 meters to its predecessor
  • Delete the selected positions
  • The track should then have significantly fewer positions. Check on the map and in the position list that no substantial parts of the track have been omitted.

If the number of positions (in the example 438) is still far too high:

  • Mark all redundant positions with a limit of 20 meters with the Douglas-Peucker algorithm
  • Delete the selected positions
  • The track should then have significantly fewer positions. Check on the map and in the position list that no substantial parts of the track have been omitted.

If the number of positions as in example 92 is still far too high:

  • Mark all positions except every 2 nd position
  • Delete the selected positions
  • The track should then have significantly fewer positions. Check on the map and in the position list that no substantial parts of the track have been omitted.

Play around a bit with these three options. Change the parameters to the options to get a "feel" for the result. If you manage to reduce the track to 48 or fewer positions, you've reached the goal.

  • Select "File/Save as..."
  • Choose the file type "TomTom Route 5 (*.itn)" in the save dialog
  • Choose a new file name so that the original file is not overwritten by mistake
  • Save the file in the route folder of the navigation device, for TomTom devices this the folder itn.

Review your changes

Load the route file into your navigation device and compare it in a high zoom level if the route calculated by the navigation device is the route that you'd expect. The navigation device is routing between the waypoints using its own road network map, its own routing algorithm and its own routing options. The result very often differs from the Google Maps-based routing in RouteConverter.

Moreover, the resulting route has been derived from a track by the substantial reduction of waypoints. The track itself has been recorded with the typical GPS inaccuracies and outliers. The reduction of the track and the inaccuracies during the recording can lead to strange results which have to be manually corrected within RouteConverter. An example of such an inaccuracy is the recording of a position on the 'wrong' side of a highway which can drive you made because its difficult to mark such a position as visited when travelling a high speed.

By the time your routine in fixing these problems is going to increase and you can avoid frequent adjustments in RouteConverter and subsequent copies of the route to your navigation device.


Page was requested in English but we've found only . This page is also available in German Spanish .

Please select the language to translate this page to: