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I recently faced the task of presenting GPX data on a web-based slippy map, so that information included as comments / descriptions in the GPX files is shown in popup boxes. After some trial and error, I finally managed to create such a map using OpenLayers. Here are two examples; have a look at the source code for more information.

Here is a simple, commented example source:

	<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
	<title>GPX Popup Example</title>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script type="text/javascript">
		var map;

		function init()
			// First of all, we need to create the map.
			map = new OpenLayers.Map ("map", {
					new OpenLayers.Control.Navigation(),
					new OpenLayers.Control.PanZoomBar(),
					new OpenLayers.Control.LayerSwitcher(),
					new OpenLayers.Control.Attribution()],
				maxExtent: new OpenLayers.Bounds(-20037508.34,-20037508.34,20037508.34,20037508.34),
				maxResolution: 156543.0399,
				numZoomLevels: 19,
				units: 'm',
				projection: new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:900913"),
				displayProjection: new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:4326")
			} );

			// Add the base layers.
			map.addLayer(new OpenLayers.Layer.OSM.Mapnik("Mapnik"));
			map.addLayer(new OpenLayers.Layer.OSM.Osmarender("Osmarender"));

			// This will enable us to autozoom the map to the displayed data.
			var dataExtent;
			var setExtent = function()
					dataExtent = this.getDataExtent();

			// Now add a layer for the GPX data. The file "Somefile.gpx" contains some GPX data - in this case, waypoints and routes.
			var lgpx = new OpenLayers.Layer.Vector("GPX Data", {
				protocol: new OpenLayers.Protocol.HTTP({
					url: "Somefile.gpx",
					format: new OpenLayers.Format.GPX({extractWaypoints: true, extractRoutes: true, extractAttributes: true})
				strategies: [new OpenLayers.Strategy.Fixed()],
				style: {fillColor: "darkred", strokeColor: "red", strokeWidth: 2, strokeOpacity: 0.5, pointRadius: 5},
				projection: new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:4326")

			// This will perform the autozoom as soon as the GPX file is loaded."loadend", lgpx, setExtent);

			// This function creates a popup window. In this case, the popup is a cloud containing the "name" and "desc" elements from the GPX file.
			function createPopup(feature) {
				var lonlat = feature.geometry.getBounds().getCenterLonLat().clone();
				lonlat.transform(new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:900913"), new OpenLayers.Projection("EPSG:4326"));
				feature.popup = new OpenLayers.Popup.FramedCloud("gpx",
					'<div><h1>' + + '</h1><p>' + feature.attributes.desc + '</p><p>' + + '° N</p><p>' + lonlat.lon + '° E</p></div>',
					function() { selcontrol.unselectAll(); }

			// This function destroys the popup when the user clicks the X.
			function destroyPopup(feature) {
				feature.popup = null;

			// This feature connects the click events to the functions defined above, such that they are invoked when the user clicks on the map.
			var selcontrol = new OpenLayers.Control.SelectFeature(lgpx, {
				onSelect: createPopup,
				onUnselect: destroyPopup

			// Finally, center the map - this will activate the autozoom / autocenter feature.
				map.setCenter(null, null);

<body onload="init();">
	<div style="width:100%; height:100%" id="map"></div>