CUCC Expedition Handbook

Saving GPS tracks and locations

The end-result you are trying to achieve

What you are trying to do is to get your recorded locations (waypoints) and wanderings (tracks)
  1. recorded somewhere,
  2. eventually appear properly in the cave survey database.

To make this happen you have to transfer the tracks and waypoints in a GPX file to the right place.

If you are really lazy (or really a beginner) you can use the simple upload method, but there are some unavoidable complexities in getting the GPX file out of your device.

(If you are looking for how to upload some photos instead, those instructions are here).


The form to make this easy is not yet written [March 2022]. So use the Photo Upload Form which temporarily will also work for GPX files.

Instructions: contents

  1. Get the GPX file that holds your locations and wanderings from your phone.
  2. Upload the GPX file to the proper place.

Getting the GPX data out of your phone or device

  1. Use the "Wikilocs" app (or another app with GPS tracking function) to record your track as you walk across the plateau.
  2. When you have finished your walk and are back on the internet, publish your track using the app.
  3. In the app, if there is an option to "share" your track by email:
  4. On your laptop (or possibly on your phone) look at the email and visit the web page by clicking on the link.
  5. The web page has a "Download" button: click on it.
  6. It may give you options such as "Garmin", or "File". Choose "File".
  7. It will ask for a filename to use. Pick something like "northplat-asmith-2018-07-29" (if your name is Aaron Smith)
  8. A GPX file "northplat-asmith-2018-07-29.gpx" will be downloaded to the Downloads folder on your laptop.
  9. Write a note in the expo logbook to say what you have done with a short description of what you saw and found.

Congratulations. You now have your track recorded using GPS as a GPX file.

Simple upload instructions

  1. Email the public link from the app to someone who knows how to do it.
  2. Email the GPX file to someone who knows how to do it.
    GPX files are small enough for email systems, so don't be shy of adding them as attachments.
  3. Write a note in the expo logbook to say what you have done with a short description of what you saw and found.

If you can't find someone who knows how to do it, find the most extreme nerd you can find and point them at the Expert instructions below.

Slightly less simple upload instructions

Using your own laptop on expo, or after you return from expo, use the "more complex" instructions for uploading photos to /uploads/, but upload your GPX files instead. But none of this will work on your own laptop until you have also done the key-pair setup procedure.

More complex upload instructions

OK you now have a file produced by your device, something like XTR20170714X2345.GPX .

  1. First you rename it to something recognisable such as 'top-camp-to-toilet-grike.gpx' (all lower case).
  2. On the expo laptop copy it to a folder in/home/expo/Downloads/gpslogs/YourName/
  3. Tell someone you have done it.
  4. Write a note in the expo logbook to say what you have done with a short description of what you saw and found.

Experts only

GPX data is stored in two places.

GPS tracks are voluminous and we also get a lot of repetition as people tend to follow the same routes for part of their walks. So the initial raw data is kept in


and you can create sub-folders for raw data and edited data, or for different parts of the plateau. You should always keep the raw, untouched data as well as any hand-edited data.

The process for uploading the GPX files to a specific folder expofiles/gpslogs/... is exactly the same as for uploading photographs, so go to these "more complex" instructions to learn how to do it.

Note the naming convention for this folder created by Philip Sargent in 2018. Human names in folders in expofiles are written in CamelCase; not lower-case letters. This is for consistency with the naming for uploading photos.

If you have edited GPS tracks and waypoints with no extraneous data then, after agreeing this with other people as to its qualityand appropriateness, it will go into the Loser git repository in folder /gpx/<year>/ e.g.

Note the naming convention for this file created by Anthony Day on July 12th 2018. Everything in any repository is always named using lower-case letters.