Viewing GPX files in Embedded Google Maps

May 28, 2011

While making field recordings for the August 23, 1966 project two years ago, I carried along a small GPS logger. I sat on the resulting GPX file while the project wrapped up, but now that I’ve posted an in-depth recap of the project I thought linking the location with the audio files would be an interesting experiment.

A quick search led me to Kaz Okuda’s project on Google Code, gpxviewer - a perfect match. From the project’s page:

The GPX viewer is a 100% client-side JavaScript GPX file viewer that uses Google Maps to map waypoints and tracklogs.

GPX files are a standard GPS data format that is supported by many software applications. It is an XML based data format which lends itself nicely to being parsed in JavaScript.

Since it is written entirely in JavaScript, this script can be added to any web page with minimal effort and little or no server code. Just copy a GPX file to your web site, make a web page with an embedded Google Map, include the script, and initialize it.

The script works fine, but it hasn’t been updated since 2007 and is only compatible with the now deprecated Google Maps API v2. I forked the project to GitHub and added support for version 3 of the Google Maps API. I also changed the coding style of the library has been changed a bit, for clarity.

(Kaz, I hope you don’t mind - I’d be happy to get this work merged back in with your project. Google Code just doesn’t lend itself well to parallel development.)


With jQuery, using the library is as simple as:

function loadGPXFileIntoGoogleMap(map, filename) {
    $.ajax({url: filename,
        dataType: "xml",
        success: function(data) {
          var parser = new GPXParser(data, map);

$(document).ready(function() {
    var mapOptions = {
      zoom: 8,
      mapTypeId: google.maps.MapTypeId.ROADMAP
    var map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map"),
    loadGPXFileIntoGoogleMap(map, "myTracks.gpx");

Source Code