What Everybody Ought to Know About GPS Babel

Breaking down the tower: GPS Babel

Another potentially useful tool to employ in conjunction with the usage of the GPS unit is the GPS Babel system.

Tower of babel

GPS Babel, for those who don’t know, is an open source, cross-platform program that can be used to transfer routes, waypoint data, and tracks both to and from any consumer GPS unit. It’s also able to convert between many varying types of GPS data formats.

GPS Babel has a graphical interface, as well as a command-line interface that works for many different Operating Systems. A Command Line Interface, or CLI, is a mechanism that is used for interacting with computer software, or with a computer operating system, by typing the commands to conduct the system instead of using a mouse pointer.

Connectedly, Graphical User Interfaces, or GUIs, do that same thing, but obviously with the use of a graph. Upon completion of the entering of a command, typically some form of output will be returned to the user, generally in the form of text lines with CLI, or graphs, naturally, with GUI. The concept of CLI evolved with the appearance of teletype machines in the 1950s, which were connected to computers and offered results on demand. The tool has evolved since, and is rather powerful today.

Notably, GPS Babel is also part of Fedora and Debian GNU/Linux, as
well as part of the ‘fink’ system for installing Unix software on a Mac Operating System.

In addition, a lot of contributors to OpenStreetMap use GPS Babel for the
conversion of track data from proprietary formats in the GPS unit itself to the GPX format used in OpenStreetMap.

Similarly, GPS Babel is a hit with the Geocaching community because it allows people to share data despite any incompatibilities in their GPS devices. And lastly, GPS Babel enables its users, who typically own a wide array of different GPS unit brands, to view their GPS data in multiple popular map programs for consumers; for instance, Google Earth and Microsoft Streets & Tips are top choices.

Phew! As you can see, cracking the tower of GPS Babel may not be as difficult as it once was.

You can Download GPS Babel from here:


You can use the online tool here: www.gpsvisualizer.com/gpsbabel/

Sourceforge: sourceforge.net/projects/gpsbabel

If you have a Mac: www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/22695

Linux/Debian: packages.debian.org

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