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.

SO….

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.

- Download a great free software called ITNConv HERE, it’s in the “Telechargements” section

- 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).

About these ads

~ by Toto on July 21, 2008.

10 Responses to “How to transfer a Garmin GPS track to Google Maps – An “How To” Guide Update”

  1. Thanks for sharing that! Nice post. I just glanced through it.

    http://www.gps-systems.co.cc

  2. Dear Alessandro,
    many thanks for your excellent advice on how to xfer .gpx trax
    to Google Maps.
    I have tried it, unfortunately every point on my track was
    shown on the map with a large placemark which made the track
    hardly visible.So far I have been unable to delete the placemarks.
    Best regards, Uros

    • Allessandro:
      This post kicks so much ass! I’ve referenced to it many times in the past year. This time I couldn’t find ITNConv on my computer, so I decided to google “gpx to kml conversion”, and this site http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/map_input?form=googleearth does it all!. All you do is save the track as a gdb rather than gpx and upload it with default settings.

      Mr. Uros Flego:
      I had the same issue when using ITNConv, but for some reason this online service, when opening the kml file in GM, takes out all of those annoying waypoints.

      Thanks again Alessandro!

  3. Thanks for the comments, feedback is always appreciated.

    I still have to come back to my PC @ home to try better ways to refine this methods, this post was just a quick start, but i’m glad it turned out to be useful.
    Let’s try different solutions together and see what we can do.

    Actually, i made this guide to maximize the number of offline procedures needed to make a .kml to GM because i’m not really sure that i want to use online free services to make a conversion.The point is, that probably those services are still the ones giving the best and most quick results.

    In a few days i’ll be at home and i’ll soon make a new update on how to optimize even more this method.

    About the tries you made: what about the number of waypoints showing? Is there a limit or not? Did you try different methods for “simplifying” the track in Mapsource?

  4. Regarding the problem of removing placemarks: I opened a .kml file in google Earth and in the “places” folder on the left, there are two separate check boxes for the file I opened. One for the place marks and one for the route. I deleted the placemarks and re-saved the file and reopened it. That got rid of the placemarks. Hope this helps

  5. Regarding point limit in google maps :-)

    http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:kgV3xKWhCxwJ:code.google.com/apis/maps/documentation/staticmaps/+point+limit+google+maps&cd=1&hl=da&ct=clnk

  6. yo – thanks for the info. It is funny that I never thought to check for an import button on Google maps! It makes so much sense. I was going to be bummed if I had to subscribe to another service to share my tracks.

    Cheers,
    Andy

    findandyleonard.com

  7. [...] about routeable maps or maps for navigation… You can use Garmin tracks in GM, using this or this and others You can also use OSM maps in Mapsource There are any number of ways to [...]

  8. I agree that it’s best to do the conversion from GPX to KML locally, on the desktop, or however a person likes to refer to their own computer. There are a lot of reasons for that – here’s just one. Many people use a heart-rate monitor with their GPS, and that data ( your heart rate ) gets recorded into the GPX file. This private, quasi-medical information is not something you want to be uploading to web sites when you don’t know what they might do with it. Personally I think this won’t be a problem for some time to come ( how many of these services expect to ever find heart-rate data, or would be able to profit from it, and anyway most of them should be run by honest people ) but I do think it pays to safeguard one’s privacy.

    Also, I’d like to point out that Garmin seems to have replaced MapSource with a new piece of software called BaseCamp. BaseCamp is horrendously slow, so I haven’t looked much into its capabilities.

  9. [...] The Grampus [...]

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