How far apart should my GPS Waypoints be?

Q. I use your walk directions and maps and I find them very good indeed. I use my newly acquired Sat-Map 10 GPS. You supply some of your walks with GPS waypoints which I use. I also put in quite a few more waypoints myself, but as I am new to walking I have found, the extra waypoints, (being closer together) sometimes cause problems with my GPS pointer. What I mean is, if I am slightly off track, I can get some very abrupt and sharp turn instructions, instead of gradual turn instructions from your supplied, further apart waypoints. My question is, what are the shortest distances [apart] you would recommend for GPS waypoints?

Bob Livock, Leeds


A. Hi Mike, This is not a question or an answer, just a thankyou for your advice. Cheers Bob.

Bob Livock, Leeds


A. It depends a bit on the terrain - but there is little point having GPS waypoints less than 250m apart. We generally only include a GPS Waypoint at significant changes of direction or at a significant point on the walk (like a mountain summit). We have found that this system works much better than having GPS waypoints much closer together. Besides, if your next GPS waypoint is 2km away you can relax and take in your surroundings instead of having to concentrate on a tiny readout (which is why you're there isn't it?)

Our GPS waypoints are taken from on-the-spot readings and you may be having problems because GPS waypoints taken from a map (digital or otherwise) can be up to 50m in the wrong place. This is due to the inaccuracies of the original map - and the OS update their maps on a regular basis (as more and more accurate overhead photography becomes available) so it is worth buying the most recent one for the area you are walking in.

You can clearly see this discrepancy if you record your route with a GPS Device and then upload into some digital mapping software.

Hope this helps - and thanks for you comments

Mike (Editor)


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