User Treks: Instructions

Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 at 02:26


What are User Treks and How are They Used?

User Treks have been available through ExplorOz since at least 2012, which was 4 years before our app (ExplorOz Traveller) was developed. They are still a feature available for public use either in our app (created by the driver) or on the website (to view by all). However, you cannot download another person's User Trek and put it in the ExplorOz Traveller app. This is because our app ExplorOz Traveller goes one better and allows you to build your own route files with auto routing guidance - User Treks do not contain auto routing or waypoints so don't bother with this outdated service if you are an app user for anything other than "inspiration only". User Treks should be considered as a log of your own treks, and used to illustrate where you've been by displaying on a map. You can also embed any of your User Treks (or any one else's User Treks) into your Blogs.

Originally, User Treks were the only way that we could give people to share/download routes created by others however this is quite limited in practicality because when you open another person's User Trek in say OziExplorer or on a Hema Navigator, you are only seeing the route line on the map of their trip - you don't get any waypoints or auto route guidance.

Things have moved along significantly in the last few years with routing and we are very proud to provide ExplorOz users with access to our own auto routing navigator via our app ExplorOz Traveller. This allows you to create/route a Private Trek that contains turn by turn route guidance and the route will display allow the course of the road - this function was not available in any other app/mapping software until 2016 when we launched ExplorOz Traveller and even OziExplorer and Hema Navigators still only provide straight line navigation for the offroad/4WD mapping.

User Treks is a collection of user submitted GPS data files and descriptions. These are available for view and download. The Download option is available to ExplorOz Members only.

Why would I use another person's User Trek?

A User Trek is a type of track file (also known as a plot or .plt file), that can be opened in some mapping software and used as a reference line. This service is a little outdated now that apps like ours (ExplorOz Traveller) and others can provide you with auto routed guidance, because User Treks do not contain routing or waypoints. This means they are mostly of use as inspiration or a guide to finding new adventure pathways.

Creating your own User Treks

If you have our app ExplorOz Traveller, then you can create User Treks for your own reference purposes, as a way of cataloguing and archiving where you've been. There are 2 ways this can be done:-
1) if you have a subscription as an ExplorOz Member, then can activate the Trek Logging feature in the app to sync your positions data during your travels to a map on your Member profile for your family/friends to watch your trip progress. A User Trek is created once you press the SAVE/ARCHIVE button, which is an alternative option to the CLEAR/DELETE option on your tracking map. This Archive function converts your tracking data to a USER TREK. Travellers might like to then embed the USER TREK into a Blog, which will display the trek as a route map and allow you to add photos and text to provide a complete story about your trip to share with the ExplorOz community, or share to Facebook etc.
2) if you don't have our app ExplorOz Traveller, but are using very basic track logging tool via EOTrackMe, then you will also create USER TREKS exactly as above.

Finding User Treks

User Treks are displayed under the Treks in the ExplorOz Site Menu, simply hover over the Treks heading, then click on the User Treks option.

There are three easy ways to find User Treks relevant to you. If you know the name of the User Trek, enter the name in the search field. Alternatively, you can browse by state, and then refine via Region if needed. Or you can view all User Treks via map, then zoom into areas of interest. For your convenience, the Most Popular and Recently Added Treks are also displayed on the User Treks home page.

Downloading User Treks

You can either select to download a Trek in the following formats:-

GPX - this is an open or non proprietary format that can be read by most devices
GeoRSS - a web based format
OziExplorer - format designed to work best with OziExplorer
CSV - an Excel list format
Hema Navigator - format designed to work best with the Hema Navigator (HN6, HN7, NOT HX-1).
If you have your device connected, you can transfer the file direct to the device, or you can save all files onto your computer's hard drive for transfer at a later date.
Other people's User Treks are NOT compatible with our app ExplorOz Traveller. However our app users can CREATE user treks.

Compatible Devices

User Treks files can be utilised by Handheld GPS Units, "All In One" Navigators such as the Hema and VMS devices, as well as Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops running GPS software such as OziExplorer and TrackRanger. User Treks cannot be used by our app users ExplorOz Traveller as our app has a better system for creating your own nav plans which will provide auto routing guidance. If you are unsure, look at the device's instructions to find out which format it accepts for uploading track files.

User Treks for Navigation

Note that these files have all been submitted by other ExplorOz users, and therefore caution and common sense must be used when using these files for navigation. We have recently done a clean up of this system to remove any "dud" sections of tracks, and will continue to do so periodically, however please ensure you have done your research on the area and have back-up hard copy maps. Please see this blog for details on creating, saving or uploading your own files.
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