Tapiriik GPS data synchroniser tool review

Tapiriik is a handy little utility that will sync GPS files between a whole host of online services (at the time of writing: Runkeeper, Strava, Garmin Connect, SportTracks, Training Peaks, RideWithGPS, Endomondo, Motivato, VeloHero, TrainerRoad, SmashRun, Beginner Triathlete, and Runsense). It also gives you the option to automatically backup a copy of each file to Dropbox.

How does Tapiriik work?

Head across to https://tapiriik.com/. You’ll be presented with a screen showing all the services you can connect up:

The various available Tapiriik services

Click on the Connect icon below any of the services and you’ll be prompted to log in (either directly or more securely by authenticating with the service using a token – there’s a list explaining that here). Sign in to all the services that are relevant to you.

Note you don’t create a login for Tapiriik itself – if you come back to the page later on, you just need to log in to one of the services again and it will have remembered all the rest.

Now we need to decide how we want our data flow to work. In my case, all my GPS tracks come from either a Garmin watch, or a Garmin Edge. Both automatically upload data to Garmin Connect using a bluetooth connection to my phone or over wifi. I want Tapiriik to copy anything that appears in Garmin Connect over to Strava, and also put a copy in Dropbox.

To do that, mouseover one of your connected services and select reconfigure:

Tapiriik configure button

Then, select the appropriate checkboxes and hit save:

Tapiriik reconfigure options

The default is for data to flow everywhere, so remember to open up each service and configure appropriately.

Tapiriik will then merrily sync all your data. If you’re happy to pay $2 a year, syncronising happens automatically in the background. Otherwise you’ll need to login and hit the rotating arrow button to trigger a sync.

20160731--tapiriik syncing

That’s it!

You mentioned Dropbox?

I did. Most of these services (Strava, RideWithGPS, etc) have pretty good bulk import functions, but bulk export is much rarer. Therefore having a handy copy of all your .gpx and .tcx files automatically backed up in Dropbox means that if a service ever disappears (or if you want to switch), you don’t lose everything.

The setup is slightly more complicated for Dropbox as you have to define how to name and store the files. Under reconfigure, click “setup”, and then faff around with this menu:

Tapiriik dropbox menu

The default is fine. Note (from Tapiriik’s FAQs): “GPX and TCX files in your Dropbox don’t include information about the type of activity they contain. You need to include the type of the activity in the file name, or place the file in an appropriately named folder.”

The Good

It (normally…) just works. It doesn’t create duplicates, it normally notices new activities within a few minutes, and it never corrupts or loses data in transit.

It’s also dirt cheap at $2 a year (and was even cheaper before sterling crashed…). I’d pay that for the Dropbox backup alone.

The Bad

Some activities can take a little longer to sync across (particularly if they happen at an unusual time compared to your normal stuff), although they do always eventually get there. The developer is also perhaps a little lax when it comes to the quality control of updates – the Twitter account (@Tapiriik, oddly enough) has rather more “oops” posts that is ideal!

Still, it’s only $2 and works 99% of the time. Can’t grumble too much.

The one line “would I buy Tapiriik again” conclusion

Even though quite a lot of services (eg Strava) now have built-in integration with Garmin Connect, I still like the Dropbox backup that Tapiriik provides, so it’s a yes from me.

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