Some third-party vendors provide large GPX or KML files that map all of the trails and roads in a specified area. Typically the roads and trails are saved as tracks and/or routes and it can be difficult to view some areas due to the density of the data. Thus transforming the track and/or route data into a custom map source can allow the user to easily view the saved track as well as their own track.
1. Use a GIS program like QGIS to convert the GPX, KML, or KMZ into a shapefile (.shp)
- Open the file with QGIS
- If the file has multiple sections, a pop-up window will appear listing the sections. Select all of the vector layers, then click “OK”.
2. Save each layer in QGIS as a shapefile by right clicking on one of the layers and selecting "Save As"
- Name the shapefile and check the Extent box for each layer
3. Compress the 5-6 files produced by QGIS (.shp, .qpj, .prj, .dbf, .cpg, & .shx) into a zipped folder.
- If the original file produced several layers in QGIS, the files for each layer will need to be compressed into individual .zip files
- Start with an Empty Mapox Studio Style
- Import each .zip file as a New Layer
- Publish the Mapbox Studio Style
- Select “Preview, develop & use”
- Within the “Use style in GIS app” section, select “CartoDB” and copy the URL
- Name the custom map source
- Paste in the CartoDB URL from Mapbox Studio
- Adjust the minimum and maximum zoom level (optional)
- Enter coordinates near the custom map source to preview the import
- Add the custom map source to your Gaia GPS account
6. Transfer the custom map source to your device by syncing with gaiagps.com