Create Tracks on your Mac

TrackGuide GPX creator is a free companion application to TrackGuide for iOS. It lets you edit, import, modify or create guided walks that you can export as GPX files or share with TrackGuide on iOS/Apple Watch.

Starting Up for the first time

If you start up the first time, you will see the screen below:

Empty library help

Here you can select some sample walks. The walks through Leuven, Rotterdam and Ostend contain tourist information and photos. If you want to import a few, click on them (the list scrolls horizontally) and click on the ‘Import x’ button (the “enter” key also works. You can close this screen without importing walks via the escape key.). If you click on ‘Support, you will arrive here (Which you found out yourself.)

Adding your own walks

‘Add Walk’ menu open. “Plus” button (+ at the right) does the same as ⌘K.

To add walks to your library, you can

  • Drop a GPX file on the main window.
  • Choose one of the options in the “File=>Add Walks” menu. More info on these options in the iOS manual.
  • Click on the “+” at the top right and choose an option from the menu that opens. The options are the same as those from the “Add Walk” menu. Those who have used TrackGuide iOS will feel at home immediately.
  • Type ⌘K to open the worksheet – ready for a new walk to be created.

We’ll concentrate on the creation of walks here.

Create a walk yourself

By hand

If you choose the option “Create one” (⌘K), you will see this screen (the map that you see can of course differ – not everyone lives in Belgium):

We did type “Barcelona Discovery”.

First of all you give your walk a name (1). It is best to start the name with the location you want to walk: if you use the search function to position the map at the starting point of the walk, the first word of that name is presented as a default term. And it is Barcelona you want to find on the map, not Discovery.

Once you have entered the name, you can start zooming, dragging and clicking until you see your city (Barcelona in the example above). But you can also use the search function (⌘F):

“Barcelona” was copied from the name of our walk. We added Catalonia Square ourselves (we remembered that there is a metro station there, and that it is pretty central. Hence). Next press the “Enter” key and the requested location is displayed:

Plaça De Catalunya found in Barcelona! First point clicked.

And then you can start clicking: a mouse click on each turn until your walk is finished. Then click “Save” (or ⌘S) and your walk is saved. To cancel click on “Cancel” (or hit the Escape key).

Help, my fingers are cramping

Of course you don’t have to click on every turn. You can have TrackGuide GPX editor calculate intermediate points yourself. This is what the magic wand at the bottom right is for:

“Calculate intermediate points” turned off (standard)
“Calculate intermediate points” turned on (after you clicked it)

Click on the magic wand and bingo: intermediate points between the previous point and the point where you click are now automatically calculated – with turn-by-turn instructions! Do you want to cross a park halfway? Turn off autocompletion for the next clicks (click on the magic wand again). Are you not satisfied with what Apple says is the best way? Type ⌘Z or select “Edit-> Undo” from the menu, or just click on the “Undo” symbol at the bottom left.


I know nothing in Barcelona. I’m from Belgium

Fortunately, Apple knows some intresting points in Barcelona. If you have clicked on your first route point – and not yet on a second one – then the standard magnifying glass changes to one with an Atomium in the middle:

Now you are looking for tourist attractions

Click on it (or tap ⌘F) and you will see the screen below (content depends on the location of the first point. If that point is located in Barcelona, then you are not going to get the Statue of Liberty in the list, but the Sagrada Familia will be in. Proposed landmarks are ordered closest to the first point first.).

Places of interest close to the starting point. Found by Apple Mapkit

Click the places you want to pass (not too much or you will soon have over 20 kilometers to go) and click ‘Add POIs. Wait a while and… :

Which is nice, but not quite aware of the existence of roads. To stick the walk on roads, we can… :

  • Click on the three dots at the bottom left and choose “Complete” from the menu. This adds the missing trackpoints between all selected – with turn by turn instructions.
  • The disadvantage of this method is that overlapping trajectories might be generated. Alternatively, you can select a point on the map end then tap the magic wand on the top right of the map. This will only generate the segment from the previous point to the selected one. Not happy? ⌘Z to undo and click on the line between the points to add a new TrackPoint in between. You can move this new point (click-click-drag) in order to avoid overlapping segments.
  • So you add an intermediate point by clicking between two arrows on the track. You can then select that point (click) and pick it up (click again and hold.) The arrow changes into a green circle jumps up a little bit. Drag it to another location on the map. Next, select that new point and tap the magic wand.

And finally, you get something like this:

The final result.

Other options

Controls at the bottom of the worksheet

At the bottom of the editor worksheet you have some controls. From left to right you find

  • Three dots. Tap the three dots to get some options that change the walk : clean removes points that are not needed, reverse changes the direction. A new option – August 2020 – lets you (re)create turn by turn instructions. (Like “turn left onto Via Appia”). It takes quite some time on long walks (more than 1 second per trackpoint). But
    • If you reverse a walk that already contains routing instructions, these instructions will point you into the wrong direction. So you should recreate them.
    • If you want instructions in your own language, you should recreate them.
    • No use to create routing instructions for walks through forests : there are no named streets in forests.
  • Next you find the undo button. (tapping ⌘Z does the same as clicking that button)
  • Next control toggles between TrackPoint modus and POI modus
    • Use TrackPoint modus to add points to your walk or delete points from your walk.
    • Use POI modus to add, delete or change Points Of Intrest (POI) . In POI modus, clicking on the map will not add trackpoints. You can only select (and move) existing points.
  • We covered the magic wand already. In POI modus, this button is unavailable.
  • The arrow on the right hides or shows the table.

Right-click (or Ctr-Click) on one of the points in the table to get an action menu :

The action menu. Note that routing instructions are generated in the language of your machine. We changed the language from Dutch (when the points were generated) to English (when the screenshot was taken). You can add multiple translations using the ‘Edit Interesting Points’ option from the action menu.

You do not always get all options. If there are no interesting points linked to a walking point, you will not see ‘Delete All interesting points’. The meaning of the different options is the following (from top to bottom) :

  • Add directions… : More info here. (iPhone version – but highly equivalent to the macOS version).
  • Delete all interesting points: All interesting points linked to this trackpoint are deleted.
  • Add interesting point …: To add interesting points with a name, a description in multiple languages, a location on the map and – optionally – a photo.
  • Edit interesting points: To edit the points of interest linked to this trackpoint. If several POIs are linked, then this option allows you to delete some of them.
  • Delete trackpoint : Deletes the trackpoint (with all linked instructions and interesting points) from the track.

Manage an interesting point

If you right-click on the trackpoint named ‘Sagrada Familia’ and choose ‘Edit interesting points’ from the menu, you will get the following screen:

Tap “+” to add a description and name in another language.

Share your walk with TrackGuide iOS

See the ‘Upload to iCloud’ icon? That is where you must click to share your walk with your iPhone and your Apple Watch.

Simple! Click on the cloud at the bottom right of your walk in the main screen and it will be uploaded in your iCloud database. (attention, takes up space). You can download them on your phone by choosing the “Import from iCloud Databases” option under the plus sign. If you have an Apple Watch, any walk on you iPhone will end up on your Watch. So you can be guided by your watch or by your phone.

Share Your Walk with the rest of the world

You clicked yourself a brilliant walk and you want to share it with the rest of the world? You can (if you payed the 2€/$ for TrackGuide Pro)! Just right-click the walk and select “Copy to Public iCloud (max4)” from the menu. You currently can copy up to 4 walks to our public database.

The option to copy walks to the public cloud database was also added to the menu you get if you tap the 3dots below the preview map.

Import walks shared by other users

Just tap the ‘+’ in the upper-left corner and select “Import from cloud databases”. You find that option in the file menu as well. (file->Add Walk->Import from cloud databases). 30 walks from the public database will be shown

If the device you are working on is location-aware (like an iPhone), walks close to your current postion are on top of the list. If your device is not aware of your location, you get 30 random walks (and the distance from your current position is shown as “=>???”).

You can set this list to show walks close to a location by clicking the filter button on the top left of the import screen. This opens the filter section of the import sheet :

  • Enter a location in “Close To”. (We typed ‘Barcelona’)
  • Tap enter to search for matching locations. (only ‘Barcelona, Spain’ was found). Matching locations will be shown in the list.
  • Select the location you want as the base for your selection from the list.
  • Close the filter section by tapping the filter button again.

The list of public walks will be refreshed, walks close to the location you selected on top.

If you check ‘Only My Walks’, you’ll get only the walks you uploaded yourself. Yo can delete your own walks from the public database by right-clicking them. This will open a menu with only one option : “Delete”.

Delete your own walks from the public database