Converting GPX Files to Other Formats for Import to Chart Plotting Software
GPX files (Click on Link to View GPX Specification) appear to have become the accepted standard for the exchange of GPS data (waypoints, routes and tracks).  All current Garmin GPS accept and generate GPX files and OpenCPN the open source navigation sofware uses GPX as its Import and Export file format.
However, I like many other navigators use Chart Plotting Systems that will either never accept GPX files as input or will only do so via an expensive upgrade.
In 2010 I first found the need to be able to import GPX files to my navigation systems, that include:
  • Raymarine C120 Multi-Function Dispaly
  • SOB (Digiboat) Navigation Software (PC)
  • Fugawi (NorthPort) Navigation Software (PC)
Each of these systems have their own import/export data formats.  SOB and Fugawi use Comma-Separated (CSV) text files, although Fugawi will also accept GPX files.  Raymarine uses a proprietary binary file format, but it does provide a program to convert waypoints in a formated Excel workbook to the proprietary file format.  Therefore my immediate need was a means to convert GPX files to either the CSV format or the Raymarine Excel Workbook.  My initial attempt at this conversion is the Excel VBA program GPXconvertVBA.  The initial release of this program was version 1.6a.
The current version is 2.02h.
It is distributed in a zip file that can be downloaded from this site at: Excel/GPXConvertVBA.zip.  The contents of this zip file is shown below.
There are six files in this zip file:
  1. Archive.xlt: This is an Excel 98-2003 workbook template to create the formated workbook required by the Raymarine Waypoint Transfer Utility (RWTU).
  2. GPXconvert2003VBA.xls: This is an Excel 2003 workbook that contains the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) GPX file conversion program
  3. GPXconvert2007VBA.  This is the Excel 2007 version of the program
  4. PCWaypoint.exe: This is the Raymarine provided RWTU that creates waypoint files for the C-series MFDs (it should also work with the E-Series MFD).  The input file for this program is the Archive.xls workbook generated by the GPXconvertVBA program.
  5. 85022_3.pdf:  This is documentation for the RWTU provided by Raymarine.
  6. GPXconvertVBA.pdf: This is documentation on the GPX converstion program.
If you would like to just download and review the documentation on GPXconvertVBA, the pdf file can be downloaded by clicking here.
I have also published a few tutorial videos on using this program, which can be accessed here.
This is just an initial version of what I plan to enhance to a more complete waypoint and route management package.  As of 2017 I have still not started work on that enhanced package.  If and when I do, it will not be an Excel VBA program, but likely written in Visual Basic or C#.