There are numerous ways to load and visualize GPS tracks with one of the best being the DCR Analysis Tool by DC Rainmaker. The GPS Analyzer, however, attempts to provide a more quantitative and objective measurement when comparing tracks by computing an average error and standard deviation between one or more tracks and a designated “reference” track (usually created manually via a tool like Google’s My Maps.)
Getting Your GPX Data
Fortunately, getting a GPX format data file is pretty standard among the major device platforms. Garmin Connect, Strava, and Polar Flow all offer GPX as an export format for GPS-based activities. A few devices, like the Amazfit Stratos, may only offer TCX format but it’s a simple process to use a tool such as GPS Visualizer or GPSBable to convert it to GPX.
Creating a Reference Track
The easiest way to create a reference track, assuming your other tracks are on mapped roads and/or trails, is to use Google’s My Maps tool. The process is relatively straight-forward. Simply create a route that follows, as closely as possible, the route recorded by your device(s), export it in KML format, and use a tool such as GPS Visualizer or GPSBable to convert it to GPX format. It can then by used as a “reference” route which the other tracks will be measured against.
In addition to converting the KML format to GPX, GPS Visualizer will also add elevation data known as Digital Elevation Model (DEM). Although it’s not used at this time, comparing the elevation profiles of the tracks is in upcoming feature of GPS Analyzer.
Displaying and Analyzing Your Tracks
Displaying and analyzing your tracks is as simple as dragging and dropping them on the bottom panel of GPS Analyzer or clicking the same area and selecting the files from your file browser.
The processing is done within the browser (no data is sent to the hosting server) so the the processing time will vary depending on the number of sample points contained within the tracks and the processor of your computer. Progress bars will show the status as each track’s average error and standard deviation from the reference track is calculated. Once completed, tracks can be hidden or a different track can be selected as the reference.
Resetting, Saving, and Loading Your Track
Your tracks, as well as the analysis results, can be saved in a single JSON file for easier and faster loading at a later time. Simply click the upload icon and a “Save As” dialog will allow you to save a local copy of the results. The download icon can be used to re-load and display the saved results. The reset icon simply clears and resets the drag-and-drop zone for a new set of files to be analyzed (although the new files can be dropped in the that area at any time.)
Feedback, Requests, or Bugs
If you’ve got feedback, suggestions, or something isn’t working as expected, feel free to email me at [email protected]