GPX for Developers

What is GPX?

GPX (the GPS eXchange Format) is a light-weight XML data format for the interchange of GPS data (waypoints, routes, and tracks) between applications and web services on the Internet.

Why use GPX?

GPX was designed from the ground up to be the standard XML format for exchanging GPS data between applications. Because GPX is based on XML, it inherits all of the benefits of XML. XML is an open standard, with a rapidly growing base of developers and tool providers. GPX defines a common set of data tags for describing GPS and geographic data in XML. GPX is simple enough to learn in an hour, yet powerful enough to describe complex geographic objects. In addition to the standardized, public definition, GPX allows developers to define their own private objects and attributes. The GPX standard is designed to grow over time, and developers are encouraged to participate in the GPX Developers Forum, where new extensions to the GPX standard are reviewed.

The GPX Developers Mailing List

GPX is an open standard, and anyone is welcome to participate in its development and evolution. The GPX Developers Mailing List includes an email discussion list, an archive of past discussions, and a file depository for storing example GPX files.

Requirements for using GPX

GPX is an open standard. Anyone may use it, and there are no fees or licensing involved. To keep the standard from fragmenting, we ask that you:

  • Validate your GPX output.
  • Use the GPX tags the way they were intended.
    Example: <sym>8197</sym> might be a convenient way for your application to store a Garmin waypoint symbol, but it defeats the purpose of a common format. Use <sym>Golf Course</sym> instead.
  • Participate in the GPX Developers Forum.
  • Submit your private extensions to the GPX Developers Mailing List.
    If enough people find them useful, we'll add them to the public specification.

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