Site stuff > Mapping & GPS files
Mapping and GPS files
We provide digital mapping files for each of our walks in the standard GPX and RXF formats. Walkingworld walks also come with a paper map and a step-by-step route guide with photographs. We strongly encourage you to print out and take these with you, even if you have loaded the walk into your GPS.
The digital mapping files will import into a number of applications which will allow you to transfer them to your GPS. Some of these are listed below. In most cases you simply select the type of GPS you have (e.g. Garmin) and type of connection (e.g. USB) and the program will transfer data to and from the device.
Simple transfer programs
There are various simple and often ‘free to download’ utilities for managing waypoint data and exporting it to your GPS. GPSU and EasyGPS are two of the most popular. Such programs will generally import our GPX and RXF file formats, though they may create a waypoint set rather than a linked route.
Digital mapping programs
Quo makes a good utility for exporting Walkingworld routes to your GPS even if you buy no detailed mapping for it. The full version for Windows PC is free to download with no time or functionality limitations. There is a simple system for buying and downloading tiles of Ordnance Survey mapping so you can add just the areas you want at low cost. Quo’s Ordnance Survey mapping is the least expensive of all the digital mapping programs. Quo also has the advantage of a special function which allows you to search for Walkingworld walks directly from the map page and – if you are a Walkingworld subscriber – import them directly into the program. Quo will import the GPX or RXF files, though we would recommend GPX.
Memory-Map is a long-standing digital mapping program for Windows PC for which you can buy standard Ordnance Survey mapping at 1:50,000 Landranger and 1:25,000 Explorer scale, as well as IGN mapping for France. The GPX and RXF files we provide will import into Memory-Map v.5. If you have an earlier version of Memory-Map you should use the RXF file. Memory-Map is probably the easiest of the digital mapping programs to use but you do pay a premium for this when you buy the OS mapping. You can also search for Walkingworld walks using the overlay of walk starts – more about this.
Anquet is another popular digital mapping application for Windows PC with a clear and simple route planning interface, straightforward connection to your GPS and an online system for buying Ordnance Survey maps and downloading them straight into the program. The latest version keeps your routes and maps 'in the cloud' so you can access them from any device. Price-wise it lies between Quo and Memory-Map for OS mapping. You can download a fully functioning version of the software and use it before buying detailed OS mapping. If you are using Anquet download and import the GPX file we provide.
RouteBuddy provides route plotting on Mac and PC, along with an app to display 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey mapping on an iPhone or iPad. The Mac application runs on Mac OS X. If you have a Mac it is probably the best option for planning routes on OS mapping and exporting to your GPS. The Windows PC version has the same intuitive interface. You can import our Walkingworld GPX files into the Mac, PC and iPhone/iPad applications.
Garmin's free Basecamp application can be used to import GPX files and export waypoints and routes to Garmin devices. The latest edition allows you to view maps stored on your device and plot waypoints and routes on the map, so if you have bought OS mapping you can now do most things you can do with other digital mapping applications, apart from printing out. Basecamp comes in both Mac and PC versions.
There is an increasing number of online mapping applications, often allowing you to view Ordnance Survey LandRanger and Explorer maps and plot routes on them. Most charge for viewing proper OS maps but Ordnance Survey's own Getamap service is free, though you pay a subscription (around £30 a year) if you want to print out larger segments of map and export to a Garmin GPS. You can import a GPX file.
ViewRanger is an excellent mobile phone application for Symbian, iPhone and Android, which is free to download and can be used with 'open mapping'. It also displays 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scale Ordnance Survey mapping as well as mapping for a wide range of European countries. You can search for nearby Walkingworld walks directly from the phone and download them into the software complete with instructions and the route for display on the map. Doing so is free for Walkingworld subscribers after you have set up your login in your Viewranger account (more about this). You can also copy the GPX file for a walk onto your phone card and import it into the software.
Both Anquet and Memory-Map have iPhone and Android apps. RouteBuddy offers an iPhone/iPad app.
If you have a SatMap you should download the GPX file for the walk and use the transfer software provided by SatMap to export it to the device. If you download the GPX file and click the option to include the waymark instructions and pictures, the SatMap device will display these as you are walking. Download a PDF instruction sheet for this (note that this refers to the SatMap 10 but the process is exactly the same for the SatMap 12).
If you transfer more than one route at a time into your GPS the GPS will probably automatically renumber the waypoints. This can make them more difficult to find. We recommend keeping both your digital mapping application and GPS relatively 'clean' by deleting any routes and waypoints you are not immediately using. When you download our GPX and RXF files you have the option to add a prefix to the waypoints - if you are going to load several into your GPS add a different prefix (e.g. a letter) for each route.
The GPX files we provide can include the walk instructions for each waypoint in the 'Comments' field. Sometimes these will not export properly to your GPS. If so download the GPX without the instructions.
Finally please note that the digital mapping files are routes made up of a series of waypoints and exactly correspond to the waymarks in the printout guides and map. Note that when you follow the route on a GPS it will give you an ‘as the crow flies’ direction to the next waypoint - it will not follow the exact pathway on the ground – which is why you need the printed map and instructions as well.