File types

Overview of file types available for import and export

Footpath supports importing and exporting routes in a number of different file formats.

GPX Files

GPX files are the most common file format for sharing routes and GPS tracks between different devices, apps, and websites.

GPX can store three main types of data: routes, tracks, and waypoints.

GPX Routes

A GPX route stores a route as a series of coordinates, with latitude, longitude, and altitude information. A GPX route does not contain any timestamp information, so it is typically used for planning purposes.

A GPX route cannot be broken up into multiple segments, so you can only have a single continous route line.

Generally, this is the best format for importing and exporting routes to and from Footpath unless your device or use case requires otherwise.

GPX Tracks

A GPX track stores a series of GPS points representing a recorded GPS activity. Each of these points contains information about the GPS coordinate (latitude, longitude, and altitude) along with the precise timestamp at which the point was recorded.

These points are grouped together into segments (when you pause and resume a GPS recording, it breaks the track into segments), so you could potentially have a route line with many breaks.

This is the best format to use when importing and exporting recorded GPS activity data.

Common issues

Sometimes, apps and websites will not support GPX routes, so if you run into a situation where an app can’t read a GPX route correctly from Footpath, you can try to export the route as a GPX track instead. This will add fake timestamp information along with each point, but will generally work around most GPX compatibility issues.

FIT Courses

Footpath can export routes as FIT courses. These files are used by newer GPS devices made by Garmin and Wahoo, and has the advantage over GPX of being able to store turn-by-turn navigation cues directly in the FIT file.

Some GPS devices require this format to be able to provide turn-by-turn navigation, while other devices can generate turn-by-turn guidance from ordinary GPX files.

TCX Courses

TCX course files are similar to FIT files in that they can store turn-by-turn navigation cues directly in the file.

These files are typically only used by older Garmin devices.

KML Files

KML is a common file format popularized by Google Earth and this is the only compatible file format if you want to import your routes into Google Earth.

Many apps and websites will read KML files. However, GPX files tend to be just as widely supported and more reliable. For this reason, Footpath does not support importing KML files and prefers GPX files instead.

Cue Sheet CSV Files

Footpath can output the list of turn instructions or cue sheets as a comma-separated value file. CSV files are readable by most spreadsheet apps (e.g. Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel) or even a simple text editor.

Footpath will include information about each turn, including:

  • distance along the route
  • the turn icon
  • the street name
  • the full text instruction