Doing More with a GPX File

Blog Post created by pross-esristaff Employee on Jul 29, 2014

Now and then I’ve taken GPX files from my GPS (a Garmin 810) to create some nice maps of cycling routes, hikes or even some runs.  It’s really easy to take a route you record on your GPS and make a web map to share, make it into an app or even as part of a story map with some pictures.  You can also get the GPX files of your activities from sites like or the Garmin Connect site - I’m sure other sites have this ability too.


So, what’s new? Well, with this months’’s update to ArcGIS Online you have some new editing capabilities - not to the GPX file itself, but with a few steps you can create either a feature collection or if you want to include the ability to query the data you can create a feature layer.  Either way it makes the GPX data you imported a lot more useful and gives you the ability to make some edits - for example fixing or correcting the path that the GPS saves because it’s sometimes bit off.


Here are the steps to do both … starting with a feature collection:


1. Login to your ArcGIS Online subscription, and open up a new map

2. Now add the GPX file.  In the Map, click on “Add —> add layer from file and choose your GPX file.  It will then be added to the map (alternatively you can just drag and drop the file onto the map).

3. Now create the feature collection from this so we can edit it.  To do this just click on the drop down next to the layer and select Save Layer.



4. Now enable editing on the layer:



5. You will now see “Edit” at the top.  Click on edit, and then anywhere on the line.  You can then edit and change the geometry by clicking and dragging on the points to make the edits you want.  Here’s are some edits to the path I made (exaggerated to make the point):




Now what if you want to make it a feature layer, so you can not only do editing but maybe even apply queries or mobile editing?  Try this:


1. After you created the feature collection (above steps) find it in your contents, and using the publish command create a feature layer.



2. Now add this feature layer to the map.  

3. Since it’s now a feature service you can query the feature, in this case I’ve used a filter to show where the elevation was greater than 500 feet.