HoudahGPS 1.0 freeware GPS track log downloader and converter for Garmin, Magellan or Wintec devices

HoudahGPS is a freeware front-end to the open source command line tool GPSBabel for Mac OS X.

HoudahGPS 1.0 allows you to transfer track log and waypoint data from your Garmin, Magellan or Wintec GPS devices. It connects via USB to the Garmin and Magellan devices. It interfaces with the Wintec WBT-100, WBT-101 and WBT-201 devices using Bluetooth.

HoudahGPS also allows users to convert between the GPX, NMEA and KML log file formats. The Sony GPS-CS1 track logger uses a special variant of the NMEA format which can also be read.

Possible uses of HoudahGPS include:
• Creation of backup copies of track log files for later use with HoudahGeo
• Conversion of track logs to KML for visualization in Google Earth.

HoudahGPS is a freeware product based upon the open source command line tool GPSBabel.

More info, screenshot, and download link: http://www.houdah.com/houdahGPS


  1. Speaking of Navs-

    My new pickup doesn’t offer a Nav option.

    I’m wondering how robust iPhone’s Nav will become… The idea of simply placing it on a cradle on the dash and being the Nav sounds great.

    Maybe even integration into the stereo system for the voice… hmmm

  2. Several months ago I took a 4-evening course in using a GPS. Granted, it was geared to sailors, but that you needed 4 evenings of instruction, with a textbook and a (PC-only) simulator speaks volumes.

    I hated the course, so I just bought a unit from a shop that would give me a 100% refund upon return, and I did all the course exercises over a weekend. I fought through a very long user manual, and a wretched user interface. All the while I was thinking about how over-priced and kludgy these things were. Over 300 bucks for a unit with a COLOR SCREEN and a whopping 64 MEG CARD!! For the same price, a 30 Gig iPod has over 400x the capactiy. Then you are locked onto the manufacturer’s proprietary maps and software, which they can charge you a ransom for, and they do.

    I thought that Apple really needed to take on the GPS industry. I hope that’s coming.

  3. vv,

    The only reason I haven’t bought a GPS system is because I needed Windows to upgrade the mapping information. With this free option I can now make the purchase.

    I’m sure there are commercial options but I kind of hate shelling out all those roubles and then have to spend more money just so I can have up-to-date information.

  4. not sure what unit u bought, but the Garmin product is very easy to figure out. the only reason u would take a course such as you did, is if you are using it for marine purposes, which as you stated, was the primary purpose of the course. As a professionally certified ship’s navigation officer, i can attest to the much more detailed knowledge required for that usage. Especially since the GPS is tied into electronic charts and radar. I think you will find that with a model such as the C340 from Garmin, that there is a lot more than just the SD card for memeory, which is used for adding to the built in maps, which is street level for Canada and USA with about 6 million POIs. this unit used to ship with a 2.2 gig HD init. Solid state now. The fact that you made an easy thing hard, speaks volumes as well.

  5. The problem with this solution, I think, is that it still doesn’t allow the Garmin Mapsource Topo software to run on a Mac unless you also run Parallels. This only allows your Garmin to connect to your Mac and download info. You still can’t plot your course on a topo map. It is regretful that Garmin won’t port their Mapsource maps to Mac. I tried MAC GPSPro and it is really difficult to use so I went with Parallels and just go to Windows when I need to use my Garmin maps. Other downside to the Garmin Mapsource topos is that it is 1:100,000 resolution vs 1:24,000 which is what the USGS topo maps have.

  6. I just purchased a Magellan Roadmate 2200T over the weekend (retail price was $399 – Costco had it it for $219!). I bought it mostly for road trips, but it’s really easy to use and has worked very well so far. The only thing I don’t like about it is, the software isn’t Mac compatible. I have Virtual PC, and it worked fine on it, but I’m hoping that maybe HoudahGPS will work with it on the Mac. It also has the ability to play/store music and photos, which obviously, this software won’t help with, but I’m not interested in those features anyway.

  7. I have my Garmin Edge 205 Bike Computer/GPS. There’s already a free solution, LoadMyTracks, which works great. It automatically generates KML files for use in Google Maps.

    Garmin should also be applauded for creating a Mac version of their Training Center software, though the software itself sucks.

  8. I have a Magellan e-Trex Legend Cx, which I use primarily for sea-kayaking. I have to echo the earlier posting–for what it is, its overpriced, and you have to go through way to many screens to get simple, frequently-used things done. And the good maps and charts are way over-priced and tied to the manufacturer…

    Just 1 example of a poor interface design–you can set an alarm to go off when you are in the proximity of a way-point. So far so good. On the display, this activates circle which surrounds the way-point. Now, when changing the alarm proximity setting so that the alarm goes off either closer or farther away from the way point, does it change the radius of the circle to match the new setting? No! Come on, this is a computer. How hard can that be?

    Another example is if you skip a way-point and move on towards the next one, it tries to point you back to the one you missed, instead of having the intellegence to realise that’s not what you want.

    Macaholic’s post reminds me of people who used to champion DOS. They liked mastering an unnecessarily difficult system, and it made them feel superior to put down anyone who pointed out it didn’t need to be that way. Do he work in corporate IT?

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