Upload file size limits and troubleshooting

Has your file upload failed?

There could be a number of reasons:

  • The most common reason for file uploads not working is that the files are too big.
  • File formats other than .gpx and .tcx are not currently accepted in the systems for validating by GPS; but may be contained within a compressed (.zip) folder.
  • Although all .gpx files will be accepted by the uploader, please don't use 'routes' - only tracks.

Why do we have file size limits?

  • It's quicker for you to upload smaller files.
  • Your uploaded files need to be stored on AUK's servers and the space available could soon be swamped if everyone uploaded multi-megabyte files.
  • When organisers come to look at the files, the processing time is proportional to both file sizes.  If both your planned track and your ridden tracklog are three times as big as they need to be, the processing time is NINE times longer than it needs to be.  Potentially that's a lot of time for the organiser to be looking at an 'egg-timer'.

What are the upload limits?

  • Your file of the planned track for a mandatory route DIY that you upload with your entry form should be no more than 250kb.

Depending on what software or website you use to prepare your track, that could contain about 5000 trackpoints.  
That is more than enough to navigate from Land's End to John o'Groats.

  • Your file containing the riddden tracklog that you upload after the ride should be no more than 1000kb (1mb).

Without zipping, that's about 8000 trackpoints to which time and elevation data have been added, should be enough for a 300km tracklog.
If extra data like temperature, power, or heart rate, are recorded then fewer trackpoints will hit the 1000kb limit.
It is also depressingly easy to create HUGE files by increasing the frequency with which trackpoints are recorded.

The 'Default' or 'Normal' frequency will give more than enough data for most Audax riders.


What can I do to make my files smaller?

Planned track (for Mandatory Route DIYs)

Use fewer points.  
Users of older generation Garmins will be familiar with the 500 point per track limit - and know that 500 points is more than adequate to navigate a 200km or even 300km route.  Track planning tools like Bikehike & Garmin's Mapsource & Basecamp offer the option to reduce the number of points.

Some planning tools add elevation data (which is not necessary for navigation) or even spurious time information to the track file based on a theoretical average speed. You can strip these from a track file with a number of utilities.  Try Simple GPX (written by an AUK member) which can also reduce the number of points in a track.

Finally you can "zip" the file.  That works extraordinarily well on gpx files - often reducing the size to one seventh or even one tenth the original.  

Ridden tracklog

Simplest is to check the settings on your GPS unit before you set off.    If you are recording your position once every second ask yourself why?  What are you going to do with all that data?  A "Default" or "Normal" recording frequency is more than enough. 

If you've recorded your heart rate, cadence, or power output you can clean these from your data with Simple GPX. This can also pre-filter the number of trackpoints (making your upload quicker and considerably speeding the task of the organiser) but you must choose to retain the time-stamps and the elevation data.

If, despite this, your tracklog still exceeeds the 1000kb limit you can 'zip' it.

If your device records only the minimum information of time, latitude, longitude, and elevation, at a normal frequency ("Smart Recording" on some units), and then you zip the file the 1000 kb limit gives enough space for over 2000 km of riding.

Special Note for Satmap Active users

These devices produce two files for each ride, one (with the word Raw at the end of the file name) contains a huge amount of unnecessary extra information.   AUK would prefer you to upload the other one - which is a MUCH smaller file. 

Still struggling to get the files small enough?

If despite following all the advice above your files still exceed the limits you can email them to your DIY or Perm organiser.
HOWEVER please do remember that your organiser is then going to have to:
Save a local copy of the attachment.
Upload files manually to the validation tool.
(which could be a lengthy process if they don't have a fast broadband connection)
Wait while all those thousands of trackpoints are compared.

This can all take several minutes for a single ride, whereas when files are kept within limits, and uploaded correctly, the processing times are a very few seconds.