CTC Maps > Website > Help > Glossary


If you download a file, you get it to your computer from the CTC maps web site. Think of the CTC web site as being up in the sky somewhere!
Short for Global Positioning System. The system uses satellites to locate where you are, anywhere in the world. You need a GPS receiver, which displays your position and often also directions to follow a route and sometimes even a map. Hand-help GPS receivers are available from Garmin, Magellan, Silva, Lowrance and other manufacturers.
GPS eXchange format - a computer file format, using XML, designed for storing and transferring information between GPS receivers and mapping programs. The format is described at http://www.topografix.com/gpx.asp so that anyone can write software to read and write GPX files.
If you upload a file, you send it from your computer to the CTC maps web site. Think of the CTC web site as being up in the sky somewhere!
In everyday language this means any way of getting from one place to another. But in GPS-speak “Route” has a particular meaning. It refers to an ordered list of “Waypoints” that you pass. The distance between waypoints can vary from a few metres to several kilometres, and the GPS “Route” takes a straight line from one to the next, so it’s not good for calculating distances or elevation profiles. But because Waypoints can have additional information associated with them, Routes are useful for following with GPS receivers.
A trackline shows the actual shape of a route, including bends in the road. It is the "line of the track", made up of “Trackpoints” along the route. These points are usually only a few tens of metres apart, in order to define the shape accurately, so Tracklines are useful for plotting on maps, and for calculating distances and elevation profiles. Tracklines are often generated by GPS units recording where the user went, but are not so good for following a route because you cannot add instructions to a Trackpoint.
A waypoint is a location with information or an instruction to help you to follow a route. It is a "point on the way". Waypoints are usually on, or at least near to, the actual route and are usually placed at junctions or places of interest.