Hereafter you find a list of 7 free programs I used or I use to modify the GPS tracks of my excursions or trips. Before listing them however I suggest that you have a look at all the articles already written on our web-site relating to technology and specifically to GPS... there are many resources which I believe may interest you! Fine, now let’s see which, in my opinion, are the best free programs to modify GPS tracks:
The most experienced ones will turn up their nose! Sure, Google Earth isn’t the best editor of GPS tracks. If you want something more complete continue to read and go to the other programs. I personally find Google Earth useful to get an overview of the route created or downloaded but also to modify the details of the route itself adding points of interest, modifying the description and color of the track. In addition it’s very convenient to open and convert a GPX file to the KML format, that is what I use for the visualization on the maps on the web site.
QLandkarte - QMapShack
One of the first programs I started to use frequently and one of those I still use is Qlandkarte GT. Rather intuitive and quick, it’s useful to modify your own GPS tracks: the graphic outlook isn’t extraordinary but its functions are remarkable even if after using it for a long time some gaps have emerged. Recently QLandkarte hasn’t been updated any longer and in its place a new program, QMapShack, has been developed. I didn’t have the opportunity to test it fully but by a quick glance it seems again a good software, more modern and with updated features to fill the clear flaws that in some cases its predecessor showed. Given the reliability of the developers I’m sure that QMapShack will not disappoint me as soon as I will deepen my knowledge about it.
I believe it is the most known and used software for planning your own excursions by bike, on foot or outdoor. It’s been developed by Garmin and this is a guarantee (but it can also be a limit!). Complete and intuitive, I use it very often. You can create tracks, upload free maps like OSM or others, it is possible to connect directly to your Garmin GPS device to upload or download tracks and much more. There are some defects but also in this case they are easily fixed using other online services or softwares together with Basecamp.
Another useful application to modify GPS files once you've finished your excursion or your trip is GPSPrune. The advantage, in this case, is that there is no program to install: you have to download a jar file that works as Java application (usually already installed for many other features on your computer). Quick and intuitive, the other side of the coin is that it’s almost mandatory to have an Internet connection to use GPSPrune: but modifying the GPS is really intuitive, especially if you have to move track points.
A quick, lightweight, but interesting software. You can download the executable file, which does not require installation, directly on your computer or make use of the Java application from the web. The possible operations are basic but convenient and easy. Deleting points, dividing or merging tracks, viewing google maps, osm and other maps... The side bar allows to move from one track and point of interest to another and view your own data while the main screen is divided between map and altimetry of the route. For those who don’t need any frills, this program could be a great starting point.
GPS Track Editor
Another software I have used sometimes is GPS Track Editor. In this case it is necessary to install the program on your computer. The maps viewed all use OSM data (open cycle map, mapquest, openstreetmap...). In this case the possible operations are basic, from track inversion to modification of the points (shifting, deleting...). As for the previous programs, also this one could be a good starting point for those who want to start to modify their GPS tracks.