Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Displaying GPS Tracks on Google Earth

For some time now, I have been showing you some of my trips. In most trip reports, I have been including a GPS recording, displayed on Google Earth. A while back I had a reader ask how that is done. So, I figured I would put together a brief tutorial. I am sure the procedure will be somewhat different for different GPS units, but here is how I do it for mine:

The first thing you need to do is download the Google Earth application. This application is a stand alone program, and is not the same as just using Google Maps. It is free to download. After you download it, open the application.

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From the top menu, select “Tools”, and then from the drop down menu, select “GPS”

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This will open a “GPS Import” menu, where you can change setting and import the data from the GPS unit. I usually deselect “Waypoints” because I find thy clutter the picture too much.

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Once you have the setting as you like them, click “Import”. The recorded track will appear on the screen. Keep in mind that the track may not be centered, or properly zoomed in. Look for the cluster of purple marking on the screen, then expand and center them to display the track.

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After the track has been displayed, you can right click on the track itself to open more option, such as displaying the elevation changes.

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And that’s about it. At least, that is how I do it. I am not particularly computer savvy, so I am sure there are better ways and techniques out there.

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