This is something that I’ve stumbled upon when planning for my next backpacking trip, the difference between a GPX (GPS exchange file) and KML (keyhole markup language) so maybe I’ll just share a bit.
Honestly, I’m not an expert nor interested in delving in the technology, science or the mathematics. In layman terms, basically they are the files that we use on GPS devices which in my case, suunto ambit2 watch. Google map as well as google earth.
What I do know is that at the moment of this writing, when I create or plot a route in google map, Google exports in KML, I upload the data to the “route planner” in movescount.com and synchronize my watch later. I am positively sure there are many other devices on the market now days which can do the same if not even better.
Also vice versa, Any movement that I record with my watch, can be uploaded later into google map but the difference is, my watch can export data in GPX, KML and few other file format. Which brings me to the main topic.
GPX data have more information and KML files have less when the records are used on google map. Example;
Compared to the kml file;
Both are directly from my movescount account site and uploaded to google ‘mymaps’ without any edits. The GPX downloads comes with more data. Depends on what you need, both works fine with me, for presentation purposes, I prefer GPX.
Taking advantage of this, I can use it to easily find my way even without an offline map.
Backpacking, travelling, hiking etc, is made simpler and more efficient… like when I’m going backpacking for the first time to a new place, I just book a hostel, get the location on the map and if its practical, from the airport or train station, walk, you can’t get lost, in fact trying to get lost is almost non existent. Of course, if you purposely want to get lost that is still possible but you can always find a way back. I sometimes do get lost on purpose for adventure.