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Difference between a GPX Route and a GPX Track?

28 Oct 2020
by Peter H
in forum
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I'm finding this website very helpful as I'm fairly new to this. I can't understand the difference between a GPX route and a GPX track when I download a cycle route that my group leader has devised. I initially tried a GPX ROUTE, as that was smaller and marked the turns, but that often seemed to take me in a straight line across fields, and confuse my Garmin which said I was off course a lot of the time. When I looked at the generated GPX files, I also noticed a 5 metre difference in the elevations between a ROUTE and a TRACK for identical latitude /  longitude co-ordinates. Perhaps someone could explain this? Thanks very much!


Thu 29 Oct 2020, 21:13

A GPX route is just a marker at each turn, so it doesn’t have the line plotted between turns.

A GPX track is a plotted line, but without turns marked.

You might want to choose a TCX course instead, which has both the turn markers and the plotted lines.

Alternatively, if you have a newish Garmin (one with Bluetooth) and the Garmin Connect app on your smartphone, the easiest thing to do is to set up a Garmin Connect account and register your GPS to it. From then on, you can click “Send to Garmin Connect” on, and the route will be wirelessly transferred to your GPS.