Many GPS devices come with software that lets you upload files from your device to your PC, and display the data in interesting ways. But none have the display power of Google Earth. This software, downloadable for free, lets you import directly from select GPS devices, or from data files you've saved using your GPS software. Here's how to get your data into Google Earth so you can display and share spectacular 3D routes.
Time Required: 30 minutes
- Download and install Google Earth on your computer. Be sure Google Earth supports imports from your GPS, or determine that the software that came with your GPS is able to export to the GPX format.
- With Google Earth installed and activated, you are ready to import and play with data. If you have a supported Garmin or Magellan GPS, you may import routes directly into Google Earth. Connect your GPS to your PC with its USB cable. Click "tools" in the Google Earth top toolbar, then "GPS" and then select your import options.
- If you can't do a direct import, check the instructions that came with your GPS software on how to save data as a GPX (.gpx) file, which can be imported into Google Earth Plus also.
- Now comes the fun part. Once you have opened your route and waypoints in Google Earth, you can zoom in or out, view the route as an overlay on amazing satellite photos, show other features (or not) including roads and 3D buildings, and best of all, rotate the image for a side-on 3D view.
What You Need
- GPS device that can be connected to a PC via a USB cable.
- Supported GPS device or software that can export to GPX (.gpx) format.
- Free Google Earth software downloaded and installed.