So you are back home after an epic hike/bike/ride/ski/drive and you want to share a high quality online map that shows your track. If your track data is in a GPX file then the step-by-step instructions below show you how to make a GISsurfer map link that will display your GPX route after you upload the GPX file to Google Drive.
The simplest way to make a GISsurfer map link to display track data from a GPX file is a link like the following. The map will automatically be centered and zoomed such that all the track data is on the user's screen when the map opens.
Don't have your own server where you can host GPX files? No problem! Google will host your GPX files for free. A Google account includes Gmail, Google Drive and various other things. So if you have a Gmail address, then you already have access to Google Drive.
1. Sign in to Google Drive
This Google Drive link should open in a new browser tab. The other links on this page should open in the browser tab where you are reading this, so if you open those links then use you back button to return to these instructions.
2. Upload a GPX file
3. Right click the filename and select "Get link"
Change "Restricted" to "Anyone with the link"
Copy and save the link. Here is an example link.
4. Make a new link. Use the long string of gibberish.
If you paste the above link into a browser bar then you will either see the content of the GPX file or be able to download it.
5. Modify the link you made in step 4. Add a name that you make up and give it a value that has .gpx at the end. If the name has a space, use an underline _ character instead. It will likely help you stay organized if the name is the same as the file name you uploaded to Google Drive, however that is not required.
6. Make a GISsurfer map link with the data parameter set to the address for your file.
Here is another version with a title, USGS topograhic basemap and custom line style. Zoom in for detail.
Tip: If you are hosting GPX files on a server where the link to the file ends in .gpx then including a file name in the GISsurfer map link is optional. The file name is only required when you host GPX files someplace like Google Drive where the link to the file does not end in gpx.
To learn more about GISsurfer click Menu > Help. Scroll down past the video and pdf sections and read the "Overview" section. Or open any of the recreation maps I mentioned above and read the "Map tips" (link is in upper left corner).