How to transfer a Garmin GPS track to Google Maps – An “How To” Guide Update
So here’s a better update. It’s user friendly, but it’s just a start, soon Garmin and Google will make themselves a better solution (at least i hope). I have a Garmin, but the process supports Tom Tom GPSes too, just chect the file extensions to be sure about a full compatibility.
1) HOW TO USE A GARMIN TRACK WITH GOOGLE MAPS
- With MapSource, the software that comes with a Garmin GPS (mine is a Venture HC eTrex), choose to save your tracks with a .gpx extension by downloading the tracks from your Gps to your MapSource and then following this routine: File > Save As > in the Save As Type menu select the “GPS eXchange Format, .gpx”. I suggest to “simplify” your track deleting some superfluous waypoints (let’s say, keep 150 main track points). If you don’t have MapSource, use GPSBabel to convert any file extension in a .gpx file extension.
- Use the ITNCONV application to open a .gpx file previously obtained via MapSource and export it as a .kml file.
- Go to Google Maps. Creat an account if you already didn’t, and click on My Maps. Click on Create New Map and click on Import, then upload the .kml file.
- There you are, your itinerary is on Google Maps. There’s a limited number of points that the map supports, so that’s why it would be better to “simplify” your track previously with MapSource – the limit seems to be 150 points. Anyway, even if the number of points exceed the limit, the route will show up anyway, but the points will stop being showed after a certain limit (i can’t really understand what’s the limit or even if there’s a limit or not, a new uploaded track showed 196 points – is somone can clarify this to me it would be nice i don’t have time to try different tracks now).
2) HOW TO USE A GARMIN TRACK WITH GOOGLE EARTH
- Now it’s fully supported. Simply select a track on the Tracks menu in your MapSource software after downloading a track from your Garmin, then click on View > View in Goggle Earth (download the application, it’s free).You can even drag and drop the .gpx file on Google Earth. Be careful, someone experienced inaccuracies though, so double check the results.
3) HOW TO USE A GOOGLE MAP ROUTE WITH A GARMIN GPS
- Download ITNConv here if you already didn’t before (it’s free, great stuff my friends so consider a donation to the authors) [doesn't even need an installation, so move it on C:\Program Files or whatever place you like, then make a shortcut on the desktop by right clicking on the program ITNConv.exe file and choose "Send To > Desktop (create shortcut)" ].
- Double click on the ITNConv.exe (or the shortcut you created) and open it.
- Click on the Editor icon and let it connect to Google Maps. Place your waypoints and make your track, then close the “Google Maps” window with your waypoints and export it with the preferred extension. Let’s say, .gpx if you want to open it with MapSource.
- That’s it, your track is on MapSource, upload it on the Gps. Remember that every Garmin model has a limited number of points when reading a track. Mine, a Venture HC eTrex, has 500.
ATTENTION! FOR MACINTOSH USERS!!
I have a mac too, yeah. So get a software like GPSBabel instead of ITNConv (check the supported formats too). Other choiches are available, like LoadMyTracks for example, google for more resources or check sites like THIS ONE or THIS ONE for even more resources and stuff.
Remember that .gpx means EXCHANGE format, so SHARE your trips if you want to! I am opened to sharing tracks and experiences and the web is full of sites where you can upload and download tracks. Just search for it cause it really depends on your needs (backcountry exploration, bike itineraries, running, etc).