TrodTrack icon TrodTrack

TrodTrack (Windows download) (Debian/Ubuntu download) is a PC/Windows/Linux program that allows you to view, edit and manipulate Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) data and to tag JPEG pictures with GPS latitude, longitude and altitude information.

TrodTrack displays the GPS information graphically in Google Maps form.

TrodTrack displays a graph of speed, altitude, and heart rate if the GPS information includes such data.

TrodTrack displays the GPS information in a list of "points" in "tracks". (A "point" being an individual location including latitude/longitude/altitude/time/etc. A "track" being a list of points.)

And TrodTrack can combine a camera's JPEG picture time information with known GPS points to embed ("geotag" / "geocode") the picture's location in the picture file.

TrodTrack reads and writes .gpx, .nmea, .kml, and .kmz formatted files.



Unzip the files from to a directory/folder of your choice.

The files, TrodTrack.exe and, are the program.


Erase the files.


TrodTrack creates files named tz_trodtrack.ini and trodtrack_pns.pickle (and backups of them) in a directory under your Windows user "Application Data" directory. You may remove these files or leave them. No harm either way.



If a double-click on the downloaded Debian package file does not lead to an installation pop-up, in a terminal/shell run:

$ sudo apt-get install trodtrack{whatever version you have}.deb


The .deb file (which is really a simple, compressed archive file containing compressed archives) puts the TrodTrack program in /var/lib/trodtrack/, a symlink to the program in your PATH, and a few other files in scattered locations.

A clickable icon to run TrodTrack will be put on your desktop.


From a terminal/shell run:

$ sudo apt-get remove trodtrack{whatever version you have}.deb


TrodTrack creates ~/.trodtrack.cfg and ~/.trodtrack_pns.pickle (and backups of them) in your home directory. They record your current TrodTrack state and information. Do with them as you wish.

How TrodTrack works:

TrodTrack is a normal program - the icon for which may be double-clicked.

TrodTrack takes optional command line options. They may be displayed using the command line parameter --help or from the menu choice, "Help | Command line options...".

The menu choice "File | Open..." may be used to open and view .gpx/.kml/.kmz/.nmea GPS track/location files or .jpg/.jpeg picture files. Ambiguous input file names may be given on the command line.

TrodTrack also understands text files containing lines of decimal latitude, longitude information.

The menu choice "File | Save all points..." may be used to save all or selected tracks/location data currently opened in TrodTrack to a .gpx/.kml/.kmz/.nmea file.

What are these file types?
  • .gpx is the (preferred format) text file containing all of the information (but some obscure .nmea data) known to TrodTrack.
  • .kml is a text format understood by Google Maps and Google Earth. Some information is not included in .kml files.
  • .kmz is a binary format understood by Google Maps and Google Earth. It is a compressed, binary version of a .kml file. Some information is not included in .kmz files.
  • .nmea is a text format output by many GPS devices. Some information is not included in .nmea files.

TrodTrack's TODO list is very, very long. In particular, several menu choices are not functional (or even coded) yet.

TrodTrack will not affect your files except in these cases:

Scary information with respect to geocoding the picture files:

Extra, meta information about a photo, including GPS location information, is stored in .jpg files in a format called "exif" data.

It is usually not possible to geocode a jpg file using exif data without "breaking" something. The exif data format was, ah, not thoroughly thought out. If TrodTrack must "break" something in the exif data, then TrodTrack is very, very conservative about how it's done. In particular, only two types of things are known to "break":

  1. Very incompletely written programs that read the exif data. Oddly enough, one of the image packages that is a part of TrodTrack has a problem reading the exif data that TrodTrack has changed. That package and other such programs will generally not "see" the changes that TrodTrack has made to the exif data.
  2. Poorly designed custom exif data output by particular cameras and/or image software. It's possible for programs to write exif data that cannot be shifted inside the file. Such data may seem to disappear after TrodTrack adds GPS information to the file (if GPS information was not already in the file).

Each time TrodTrack geocodes an image file, a ".bak" version of the file is created containing the previous version of the file. If you tell TrodTrack to geocode your images more than once, though, the original image file will be lost.

Anyway, your best bet is to use copies of your original pictures if you wish to push TrodTrack's "Geocode pictures" button.


Trodtrack is filled with bugs in the UI area. In particular, the window management package TrodTrack uses presents many odd bugs. You will see them, mostly, if you drag panes out of TrodTrack's main window, and when you "view" or "unview" the various panes. They are cosmetic bugs. Other cosmetic bugs involve the window management package mistreating the mouse. For instance, the status bar information may not be updated when it should be blanked.

Under Windows, if you do not have Internet Explorer's Advanced, "Disable script debugging" options checked, TrodTrack - or more exactly, Google Maps' javascript code - may cause a trap to the Visual Studio debugger when TrodTrack starts up. If this happens, start TrodTrack with the --clear_map_position command line option and all will be well - until the problem randomly comes up again.

Firewall / network use / security / etc.:

TrodTrack contacts the internet, if possible, when it starts and does this:

  1. Gets the current GMT time and fixes a wrong (Windows) PC time if you say so.
  2. Checks for program updates.

Neither net access is required for TrodTrack's operation, but ...

You want TrodTrack to check the time, as your PC's clock can easily be wrong.

Windows: If TrodTrack finds an update, it downloads the new ZIP file to the directory/folder that TrodTrack.exe is in. TrodTrack notifies you about the new file after the download is complete.

Linux: Not implemented.

Trodtrack makes queries to to fill in location names for points.

TrodTrack is a web "server" - able to take requests from browser/user-agent programs such as FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera.

This ability is key to TrodTrack's operation, as TrodTrack communicates with its own, embedded or extenal Google Maps display using a client/server mechanism.

In fact, you may be able to see an "echo" of TrodTrack's mapping window pane in a browser program on your own PC that is pointed to: http://localhost:12399/.

Using this mechanism, your normal browser (or anyone else's) cannot control or affect TrodTrack as TrodTrack's internal communications is tightly controlled.

Linux note:

Currently, the Linux version of TrodTrack uses an external FireFox browser window. This special browser window is the only browser that can control TrodTrack.

For technical reasons, TrodTrack cannot shut down the browser window when TrodTrack exits.

Screen shots:


    --copyright--   Copyright (C) 2008, 2011    Tranzoa, Co.    All rights reserved.

    This file is at:

    --version--     This is version v0.13.

    March 13, 2008      bar     Initial version
    March 26, 2008      bar     web icon name right
    May 31, 2008        bar     --labels and --labels_near and --latest cmd line options
                                input nmea files with $GPGGA and $GPRMC records
                                various fixes
    June 26, 2008       bar     v0.03
    June 26, 2008       bar     v0.04
    June 29, 2008       bar     move to (without httpS 'cause of cert)
    July 5, 2008        bar     put label names in saved GPX files
                                DEL ^X cut
    July 6, 2008        bar     link to todo.txt
    August 31, 2008     bar     Linux version kinda working (needs firefox on the path and uses it externally to display map)
                                save selected points
    September 2, 2008   bar     linux
    September 4, 2008   bar     v0.07
    September 9, 2008   bar     text clipboard working under windows, working in linux while program is running
                                linux picture icons (but tooltips don't show in Firefox)
    September 10, 2008  bar     less crashing at startup with pictures
    October 28, 2008    bar     kmlz
    March 28, 2010      bar     update for python 2.6 and wxPython
    March 20, 2011      bar     v0.12
    July 5, 2011        bar     v0.13