Custom Format for reading IGC (International Gliding Commission) data

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

FME Version

  • FME 2015.x


The custom format reads IGC data, a common format used to store GPS tracking data.

IGC stands for "International Gliding Commission" and is an ascii text format. It is primarily used to archive flight data but several vendors also use it for export of data from GPS tracking devices (Garmin,...).

An extract from the top of an IGC file looks like this:

ACAM00547 <br>HFDTE250806 <br>HFFXA050 HFPLTPilot:  Hans          Meier    <br>HFGIDGliderType: DG 808B   <br>HFGIDGliderID:  73 <br>HFDTM100Datum: <br>HFRFWFIRMWAREVERSION: 6.0    <br>HFRHWHARDWAREVERSION: 39 <br>HFSITSite: Sundre                           <br>HFTZOTimezone: 0 <br>HFUNTUnits: km,m,m/s <br>I033638FXA3941ENL4247REX <br>C150704173000250806000100 <br>C0000000N00000000E0000TAKEOFF     <br>C5019910N11552410W0041FAIRMONT HOT <br>C0000000N00000000E0000LANDING     <br>B1819525019698N11552319WV0076400000000003000192 <br>B1820005019698N11552319WV0076400000000001000224 <br>B1820095019698N11552319WV0076400000000001000224

The custom format reads "*.igc" files and evaluates the header records "H..." and the waypoint records "B...".

It extracts waypoints both for GPS and barometric height, holding the header information as attributes. A path for GPS and barometric data is extracted as a line feature connecting all the waypoints.

The mapping file styles the data for GoogleEarth and adds a "wall" feature for each track which displays the "wall" i.e. the connection from the track to the ground. This enables a better 3D impression of the flight track. In addition the time of each waypoint is displayed as a label.

The GoogleEarth KMZ files of the demo data for Canada, Switzerland are attached.

The IGC format is described in detail on:

The demo data were downloaded from the WEB site:

The following screenshots were taken from GoogleEarth.

Screenshot of flight in Canada

Screenshot of flight in Switzerland

Was this article helpful?



Please sign in to leave a comment.