Drawing a GPS track on a web map

15th August 2011

A few weeks ago I took a driving test near our head office in Aylesbury. Thinking it might look interesting on a map, and being the ever dutiful GIS geek, I decided to create a GPS track of the route. You can see the result on ArcGIS.com.

View the map


Most GPS loggers can create a reasonably accurate trace of a driving route if the GPS device’s position is recorded often enough. I logged my location once every 3 seconds on a GPS-enabled mobile phone, which was a compromise between having a high level of detail and having too many points to display on a web map.

Some of the highlights from the test:

A bay parking manoeuvre at the Driving Test Centre at the beginning of the test. No, I didn’t go into the hedge. The GPS lies, I tell you!

This is not the proper way to do a roundabout:

(Actually the aerial imagery is slightly out of date: the roundabout above has been replaced by a crossroads)

If you have your own GPS data (in GPX format) then ArcGIS.com makes it easier than ever to draw it on a map. No programming required! Simply create a new map, select the “Add” dropdown menu in the top left and “Add Layer from File”.

After you’ve finished building your maps, don’t forget to share them with other users. Have fun!