Yen's Blog

Lens, Wheels, Skates, Keyboard

Quickly Editing Waypoints on a Garmin GPS Device

When we traveled by car in Spain and Portugal in 2007, it’s hard to believe that we managed to get around several cities using only a Michelin road atlas and a bunch of printouts of online maps. This time we’re fully embracing 21st-century technology and bringing along a GPS device. To help save time, I like to enter destinations or waypoints ahead of time. On my Garmin nüvi 255W, it’s a time-consuming process to enter waypoints (which Garmin calls Favorites). Fortunately, there’s a way to create and edit waypoints on a PC, then later download them to the Garmin.

The Garmin stores waypoints in a GPX file (kudos to them for using standards-based format). This is a good thing, because there’s an excellent application for editing a GPX file on a PC—GPX Editor.

The first step is to connect the Garmin to the PC. After that you’ll be able to browse the Garmin’s memory card. Locate the current.gpx file under Drive\Garmin\GPX.

Copy current.gpx to the PC. You can also back up the file this way.

Open the copy of current.gpx in GPX Editor. Select the Google map tab, then select the plus icon to add a waypoint.

Once the waypoint is added, it shows in the list on the left. You can edit it and give it a more meaningful name.

Once you’re done, just copy current.gpx back to the Garmin. Your new favorites should now show up.

This process works for my Garmin nüvi. I would suspect it would apply to other types of Garmin devices as well.