What is the difference between a route and a track?

When creating REVER, it was important for us to create something that could integrate with other systems. One of those was the ability to export GPX files after you had planned your ride.

It seems there are a couple of different uses for GPX files, these are routes and tracks. Basically they are sets of GPS information designed to help you in your navigation. There are a few key differences to keep in mind when using routes and tracks.

There are also different devices that accept different amounts of data. So we have given the ability to download a condensed version as well as the full version as planned on the site. Essentially what we are doing here is taking out the extraneous track and waypoint information.  A couple of key features with the condensed version.

  1. We limit the trackpoints to  We limit the number of waypoints to  

Please be aware though, when you use one of the condensed files this may significantly change the route you created because of the need to reduce the information in the gpx file. Please check your route before heading out to ensure it is correct.  

  • Routes are pre-defined paths created from a group of location points entered into the GPS receiver in the sequence you desire to navigate them.
  • Location points can be user generated waypoints or points of interest that have been loaded from a map or from a Garmin program
  • Routes are created on the computer and/or on your device
  • Tracks act like breadcrumb trails, allowing you to see where you or another individual traveled in the past. This allows you to navigate a path previously taken.
  • Tracks contain track points, not waypoints or points of interest
  • There are two different types of tracks:
  • Active Track Log:
  • Contains track points for your current activity
  • Can be cleared at the start of a new activity
  • Can be set to wrap around (overwrite older track points as device runs out of memory)
  • Saved Tracks:
  • Created typically from the active track log
  • Can have a limit to the maximum amount of track points based on the device (for example: 250, 500, 10,000 track points maximum)
  • Creation can result in points being consolidated (on device) or truncated (from computer to device) depending on the source, to meet above device track point limitations
  • Creation can result in data removal based on the device (for example: date, time, speed and accessory data)

Having a proper understanding on the key differences of routes and tracks will allow you to choose the best GPS information when exporting out of Rever.

If you want even more details please take a look at a great site here.


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