How does TrailRunner mini import and export the GPX file format

The GPX file format ( is an open standard that describes geographic information.
Within that format there is a conceptual difference between three types of point information:

  • Track-Points: this is a raw recording representing a course. TrailRunner mini creates track-points as a result of a calculated route (the course you see on the map)
  • Route-Points: : this represents a stop point on a route and is represented as a transit location (routing pin) in TrailRunner mini. Given two transit locations, TrailRunner mini calculates a track between these using the OpenStreetMap Network.
  • Way-Points: this represents a landmark in TrailRunner mini.

Whenever you export files from external sources and import them in TrailRunner mini, try to keep the data straight within the expectations of TrailRunner mini. Some applications may export tracks as a series of wpt-tags which leads to serious misunderstandings within TrailRunner mini.

There are some type conversion tools out there that may help. Like

When you export routes in the GPX format to be displayed on other devices, the same applies. Some apps may not make a difference between track/route and way-points and may display all at the same time. To avoid this, you most likely want to export your route containing trackPoints only.

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What are landmarks and waypoints?

How can I import GPS Recordings from my Sports Watch?

TrailRunner mini can import files in the format of GPX, TCX and HRM. Whatever sports watch or device you own, you first have to export the data files onto your mac and then import then into TrailRunner mini.

There are several helper applications outside in the wild that directly connect to your device and can export your recorded data in the one of the file formats TrailRunner mini can read. A few examples of such applications are:

Communicates with GPS devices from many manufacturers to send and receive data.

Free software that converts waypoints, tracks and routes from various consumer GPS receivers.

Garmin ANT Agent, Garmin Training Center and the Garmin Connect Website
Support all older and current Garmin devices

Supports the Polar RS200, RS200sd, CS200, CS200cad, F6 and F7

What file formats can I import in TrailRunner mini

TrailRunner mini can import the following file formats:
GPS eXchange Format (GPX) this is the most versatile file format for data exchange between any devices. The TrailRunner dropbox import and export is fully based on that format.
Garmin Training Center Format (TCX) this file format is the native exchange format for Garmin devices. TrailRunner mini can import the route data of these file types.
Google Earth (KML) This file format is the native exchange format for Google Earth. TrailRunner mini can read and write this format.
Training Peaks (PWX) this file format is being used for the Timex Global Trainer devices. TrailRunner mini can only import this file type.

Fuel my run. Please note that I create TrailRunner mini in my spare-time. So if you have suggestions, questions or trouble importing a file, contact me directly via application feedback. If you like TrailRunner mini, please spend some stars on the AppStore review. Have fun.

What are landmarks and waypoints?

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Introduction: Landmarks in TrailRunner mini can be:
  • Just a geographic bookmark (or point of interest) you can set for yourself. Add landmarks to easily jump to a location by selecting the landmark in the landmarks popover.
  • A shortcut for routing. Within this context a landmark becomes a waypoint.
As the prior is pretty simple to understand, the latter requires some explanations.

Route and Landmarks. The following quick tutorial shows how you start a new route from an existing landmark. Then, during routing, the tutorial shows how a new landmark is being added and how the route returns to the point where you have started.

Please note that the route created used two intermediate transit location pins to direct the routing over the specific course of the demo.
So it's basically a route from the starting landmark over a transit pin to the newly created signpost landmark over a second transit pin and back to the starting landmark. (Expert users could have used the roundtrip setting in the left route planning pane to omit the last step)

Landmark Intelligence. When you connect two landmarks (even by placing intermediate transit location pins) TrailRunner mini remembers the course you have chosen to reach a landmark outgoing from a previous landmark. After this has happened (and as soon as you create a route that follows the same course of landmarks) TrailRunner mini will be able to directly connect the two landmarks — based on the memorized course. No intermediate transit locations required. The second quick tutorial shows how that happens:

Shortest vs. favored. If you are not very accustomed to how routing without landmarks works, just realize that routing in TrailRunner mini uses the shortest path to reach one transit location to another. But that's typically not what you want. So what happens is that you are always compelled to insert intermediate transit locations until the course matches your intention. Now as landmarks remember their connections to other landmarks, this manual correction is only required once. So what you could do now is that you place some hot locations on your map (that you regularly come along during your workout courses) and TrailRunner mini will automatically connect these with the courses you planned in the past — and not the course that is shortest.

Offroad-Routing. The other effect that comes in useful is that landmark to landmark courses can contain off-road transit locations. So whenever the underlying map source is incomplete, just layout an off-road course between two landmarks and TrailRunner mini will extend the map coverage by your means.

Offline-Routing. As landmarks memorize their past connections to other landmarks in the map, no network requests are being fired to route between two such landmarks. This effectively gives you limited off-line routing.

Export and Import. Routes created in TrailRunner mini that make use of landmarks will contain these as waypoints in exported GPX files. Importing GPX files containing waypoints (wpt-tag) will also import these as landmarks. To learn more about the GPS eXchange Format, read its wikipedia article.

Summary. That's basically all you need to know about landmarks in TrailRunner mini. To learn more, check out the additional information provided in the landmarks popover, next to the landmark attributes.

Live or let die. Please note that I create TrailRunner mini in my spare-time. So if you have feedback and questions, contact me directly via application feedback. If you like TrailRunner mini, please spend some stars on the AppStore review. Have fun.

How can I edit an imported route

Problem: You have imported a course recording and want to edit the course.

Files imported in the format GPX, KML, TCX or FIT are typically recordings. These recordings are immutable in a way that they contain many recorded points with no logical connection to the OpenStreetMap network that underlies the TrailRunner mini routing editor.

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So when you try to edit such a route, TrailRunner mini gives you the option to create a routable approximation of the route by guessing good transit locations that resemble the original as much as possible. You can even choose to display the original recording as a background route to compare and make corrections to the approximation.

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If you prefer to retrace the imported route from scratch you may also mark the imported route as flagged and start creating a new route. Flagged routes are always visible in the background. Then manually place and move your transit pins as needed.

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