Import GPS data in Google Earth

Google Earth is a free application developed by Google that lets you view the Earth as a virtual globe and as a map. Google Earth is a very popular utility that has a myriad of features including importing GPS data. There are two methods you can use to do so: using your handheld GPS device or via a GPS file. Here's how you can import GPS data directly from your Garmin or Magellan gadget:

  • Connect your Garmin or Magellan handheld GPS device to your computer.
  • Go to the Tools menu and select GPS.
  • In the GPS Import window, go to the Historical tab and choose your device: Garmin or Magellan.
  • Check the boxes if you want to import Waypoints, Tracks, and/or Routes.
  • Click Import. Your data will be downloaded from your device directly into Google Earth, where you can view and save it as described below.
  • Data imported from a GPS handheld device can be animated because it has time stamps (date and time) of when it was collected by the GPS device. Simply select the GPS data in the Places panel, and click Play on the Time Controls.
  • Save your GPS data to a KML file by right-clicking on your GPS data folder in the Places panel, and selecting Save Place As... or select the GPS device data in the Places panel, go to the File menu, and select Save Place As...

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