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OpenStreetMap by Jonathan Bennett

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What's a GPS trace?

A GPS trace or tracklog is simply a record of position over time. It shows where you traveled while you were recording the trace. This information is gathered using a GPS receiver that calculates your position and stores it every so many seconds, depending on how you have configured your receiver.

If you record a trace while you're walking along a path, what you get is a trace that shows you where that path is in the world. Plot these points on a graph, and you have the start of a map. Walk along any adjoining paths and plot these on the same graph, and you have something you can use to navigate. If many people generate overlapping traces, eventually you have a fully mapped area. This is the general principle of crowdsourcing ...

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