Saturday 15 February 2014

Simplify GPS tracks

If you happen to record a GPS track driving on the North Dakota State Highway 46, which... a 123 mile (198 km) road in eastern North Dakota, crossing the Red River Valley between Streeter and Oxbow. It parallels and runs about twenty miles (32 km) south of Interstate 94, and is the longest stretch of straight road in North America. (Wikipedia)
...your track may have tens of thousands of points. Of course, since all of them present a straight line -- only two are important: The starting point and the ending point.

In that case you may use the new feature that is just deployed on Trackprofiler today. The "Simplify track" option will remove points where the track resembles a straight line. You can still decide how many points to choose (by selecting "More points" or "Less points" on the page).

Note that by removing intermediate points you remove the metadata, too. Most importantly the time (needed to compute the speed) and elevation.  But, sometimes those are not that important and you need your tracks to contain only the shape of the path taken. If that's the case -- enjoy simplifying your tracks!

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