GPSBabel+ simplified

What doesn't it do? 





















 Input type

 Input file



 Output type



Output file



(Not-so Advanced) Advanced Mode


 Going crazier





 Quick Mode

Handy Info

Note: I seem to have problems with version 1.3.3 of GPSBabel, as have others. Use version 1.3.2 instead.

"The needs of probably 90% of the things people *really* do are easy to do with the quick mode and advanced mode covers probably 8% of the rest."

-Robert Lipe, Chief Babel Head

This thing can do it all. Simply. Some examples of its superpowers:

On another page I covered converting file types and uploading to your GPSr in one step. This page will teach you how to be a little more autonomous and therefore perform even more miracles with GPSBabel+.

The cornerstone of GPSBabel is just reading files and writing new ones. To use it you need to understand these. There are two basic steps for reading, and two basic steps for writing:

1.) Tell GPSBabel what kind of file you'll give it to read.

-i <format code>
-i gpx

2.) Tell it the name of the file you want it to read.

-f <file name>
-f skeleton.gpx

3.) Tell it what kind if file you want.

-o <format code>
-o magellanx

4.) Tell it what to name it and where to place it.

-F <file name>
-F skeleton.upt

Here's an example of me converting and moving a .gpx file from my desktop to my eXplorist as a .upt file (it should all be on one line).

/Applications/GPSBabel/gpsbabel -i gpx -f /Users/chimbisimo/Desktop/skeleton.gpx -o magellanx -F /Volumes/Untitled/My\ POIs/skeleton.upt

The really cool capabilities are activated by sticking additional commands in between the reading and the writing.

You'll notice that in the Advanced window (Window>AdvancedGPSBabel), the left-hand column contains commands in the order I just outlined. It is important to create your workflow in the correct order, so start at the top and work your way down. Use this mode by dragging commands and dropping them into the Execution Order pane - just like Automator. It doesn't get much easier.

In the Mode menu:

  • You'll almost always use Format.
  • Use Shortnames if you'd prefer to work with the long names of geocaches rather than their waypoint code.

In the Input menu:

  • Use File, even if you want to access your GPSr.

In the Filters menu you can start to do some crazy stuff. Filters crawl through the files you've input and... filter... away the stuff you don't want. The info given in the Properties pane describes what each filter can do for you and lets you define the filter. Some tips for the less-self-explanatory:

  • An Arc is another name for a route, which is a list of waypoints that are connected together like dot-to-dot drawings and form a path, route, trail, freeway, street... see what I'm getting at? Arcs are single files may have a .arc or .txt file extension, among others.
  • A polygon is an arc whose first and last waypoints are connected by a line and therefore form a shape. If your arc is a U shape, the polygon using the exact same coordinates will look like an O.

In the Stack menu:

In the Output menu:

  • Use File, even if you want to write your file to your GPSr (so ignore Port).

How is easy is that? It's awesome. Now, try some experimenting: multiple Input files? Multiple Output files? To and/or from different locations? Multiple filters? You bet - it can do all of that and more. The h@rdc0r3 stuff is all done from the command line because, even using the Advanced mode, we don't have all of GPSBabel's capabilities at our displosal. The documentation goes over ALL of the things GPSBabel can do.

The Quick window won't work for reading or writing multiple files/locations, although you can use the shortnames command and/or throw some filters in there.

If you want to use it for uploading using the Quick window, don't choose "Use GPS receiver" option but use the "Use file: Magellan SD files (As for eXplorist)" and save the .upt (add the file extension!) to the POI folder of your choice, located on the GPSr's mounted volume icon. I would just rather use the Advanced mode instead.

GPSBabel documentation on several eXplorist-pertinent file types:

GPSBabel+ Automator actions- Create your own workflows, although I can't get the "Convert File type" action to work reliably for converting to .upt. Let me know if you can.


















You don't need to know command line codes but if you want to see them, you can - they're right in front of you.








Caution: Entering optional area





 Leaving optional area.





Is your eXplorist is hooked up and in USB File Transfer mode?






Have some points but don't have an arc? GPSBabel it. Use "GPSBabel arc filter file" for your output file type and give it a .txt file extension.