HOW TO NAVIGATE THE ROUTES BY USING GPX-FILES
Every route/stage in the 360 Roadbooks comes with its own GPX navigation file.
A GPX file, also known as a GPS Exchange Format file, is simply a text file with geographic information such as waypoints and routes saved in it. You can use GPX files to transfer this route information to GPS units and mobile phone apps.
There are two or three ways to access the GPX file of your chosen route/stage.
1) By scanning the QR code on the route/stage page in the book.
2) By typing the direct link below the QR code into your browser.
3) By visiting the online file depository for the book. You will find the link and password in the chapter called ‘Understanding this book’. (APPLIES ONLY TO 360 DANMARK)
Below you will find a step by step guide on how to start navigating with GPX files.
PS: Please note that QR codes in the 360 NÜRBURG book link directly to the Calimoto app. In this case, download the Calimoto app and follow steps 1, 2, 3, and 7.
PS2: This guide shows the process on IOS. The process is roughly similar on Android.
Download a navigation app that supports complex GPX files
I have extensively tested the GPX files in Calimoto, MyRouteApp, and Maps.Me. Therefore, I recommend using one of these apps.
Calimoto and MyRouteApp are premium navigation apps with loads of functionality. Both have been developed for motorcyclists, but they are excellent in cars and small vans as well. Calimoto and MyRouteApp are paid subscription apps with trial periods and/or short-term subscription options. MyRouteApp is unmatched when it comes to route planning on a stationary computer or laptop.
Personally, I like to load the GPX files in Maps.Me. Maps.Me is free to use and works well when offline. The navigation functionality of Maps.Me is limited, but the route and your current location are clearly shown on the map. I enjoy this combination of old-fashioned map reading and modern practicality. Taking detours and exploring alternative roads is a breeze when using this app.
You can find additional apps that support GPX files in your app store. Some suggestions are BikeGPX and Detecht.
Alternatively, several GPS navigation devices (e.g. Garmin, TomTom) support GPX files. Download the GPX file to a PC and upload it to your device using the instructions provided by the device manufacturer.
No matter which app or device you choose, please verify, before you start driving a route, that the app loads the route as displayed in the book. If the app doesn’t load the route correctly, this is almost certainly NOT a defect in the GPX file. The scope for errors in GPX files is very small and rarely the cause of issues. The navigation app you are using probably can’t handle enough waypoints (e.g. Google Maps, Waze), or it is not configured correctly for the type of GPX file. Deviations can also be caused by temporary road closures or construction if you use an app with awareness of current traffic conditions.
NOTE: The GPX files do NOT work as intended in Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps. Unfortunately, these apps have strict waypoint limits and cannot handle complex routes. This is not a defect in the routes. On the contrary! The complexity of the routes is what ensures that you get to experience all the best roads, without getting directed onto boring roads, highways, or into busy cities. If you try to load my GPX files into these apps, the routes will get distorted, and the experience will be less enjoyable than intended.
NOTE 2: It is a known issue that navigation apps tend to be a bit unstable, especially when used on Apple CarPlay or AndroidAuto. Occasional app crashes should be expected while navigating. This is unrelated to the GPX files, which are just simple text files with waypoint information. The scope for errors in GPX files is very small and very rarely the cause of issues.
Your camera app should show you a clickable link; click this link
PS: Some phones and camera apps have difficulty reading QR codes. In this case, try scanning the code in different lighting or at other distances. If this doesn’t work, please download an alternative QR code reader app in your app store.
Locate the downloaded GPX-file on your phone
The file will probably be automatically downloaded to the default ‘Files’ folder where all recently downloaded files are located. In IOS, I open the ‘Files’ app and find the downloaded GPX file in the ‘Recents’ folder. The app or folder might have different names depending on the language settings on your phone or your operating system. If you have difficulty locating the file, please consult help forums related to your phone / operating system.
Open the GPX file
You will probably see a confusing text file. This is normal. You should have the option to share / open the file in an app of your choice. On IOS, this option looks like a box with an arrow pointing upwards.
Your navigation app might already be shown as an option. If not, choose to see more apps. On IOS, I press the ‘ … More’ button to see a list with additional apps. This list includes my navigation apps.
PS: If you have previously used GPX-files, the file might automatically be opened in your default navigation app. Make sure that this app loads the routes correctly, precisely as displayed in the roadbook. As mentioned before, not all navigation apps support the complex routes in my roadbooks. Google Maps, Apple Maps etc will change the routes.
If you want to force your phone to open the file in another app (e.g. Calimoto, MyRouteApp, Maps.Me), you can long-press the file to get more options. On IOS, choose ‘Quick Look’ and open the file in your preferred navigation app as described above.
The route should now be visible in your navigation app. Verify that it has loaded the route correctly, precisely as displayed in the roadbook.
In Calimoto, click ‘Start Planning’. On the next screen, click ‘Start Navigation’ and you are ready to go. In Maps.Me, the outline of the route is clearly visible. Just follow the blue line. In MyRouteApp, the route has been placed in your route library. Find it there and start navigating. Have fun!