Author Topic: GPSBabel is Free software for GPS data conversion and transfer for Most Systems.  (Read 2354 times)

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GPSBabel is Free software for GPS data conversion and transfer for Most Systems.


GPSBabel lets you move data between popular GPS systems such as those from Garmin, Magellan or a large number of map programs.

GPSBabel is Free Software. You are free to use it within terms of the GNU Public License. The punchline of this license is that it lets you modify the program and redistribute it, but you also have to share your modifications with others.

What is GPSBabel?

GPSBabel converts waypoints, tracks, and routes between popular GPS receivers and mapping programs. It also has powerful manipulation tools for such data.

By flattening the Tower of Babel that the authors of various programs for manipulating GPS data have imposed upon us, it returns to us the ability to freely move our own waypoint data between the programs and hardware we choose to use.

It contains extensive data manipulation abilities making it a convenient for server-side processing or as the backend for other tools.

It does not convert, transfer, send, or manipulate maps. We process data that may (or may not be) placed on a map, such as waypoints, tracks, and routes.

Does it run on my computer?

Almost certainly. GPSBabel runs on Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, and Vista plus POSIX OSes such as Linux, UnixWare, OpenServer, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OSX.

The Problem: Too many incompatible GPS file formats

There are simply too many gratuitously different file formats to hold waypoint, track, and route information in various programs used by computers and GPS receivers. GPX defines a standard in XML to contain all the data, but there are too many programs that don't understand it yet and too much data in alternate formats.

Perhaps you have an Explorist 600 and your friend has a StreetPilot 2720. You've collected a a list of your favorite locations as waypoints and you'd like to be able to share them. Unfortunately, his copy of Garmin Mapsource won't read data created by your copy of Magellan Mapsend DirectRoute. What you need is a program that converts data bewteen the two programs.

GPSBabel actually solves that problem for you and much more...

The Solution

The original author of GPSBabel, Robert Lipe, needed to convert waypoints between a couple of formats, so he whipped up a converter and designed it upon an extensible foundation so that it was easy to add new formats and made the program freely available. Many others have contributed to the program since then.

Most file formats added so far have taken under 200 lines of reasonable ISO C so they can be stamped out pretty trivially. Formats that are ASCII text delimited in some fixed way can be added with no programming at all via our style mechanism.

GPSBabel for Linux, for OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard), Windows and XP, and Source is provided as gzipped tarball.


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