In The Desert
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Google Earth Maps
Adding GPS tracks to the map
You need to download the Google Earth software to put your GPS tracks on the satellite map. A lot of you probably already have this great map on your computer. Google has allowed a feature to be used now that before had to be purchased with a pro account. This is a really neat feature.
Once you've downloaded the Google Earth software and opened the program your next step will be to upload a GPX / KML file, topo track. Magellan and Garmin both work. In the upper left of the window click on File and then on Open. See the capture below. NEW update below!
This will open the standard Browse window over top of the Map - as seen below. Find the topo track that you want to upload.. Also note that in the Files of type drop down box we chose All files (",") to be able to see all the file types. Now click open once you've highlighted the track in the folder you want to open.
NEW - The Data Import box will open. Check all the boxes then click OK. Google Earth has changed so follow these instructions for Data Import.
The track will open almost immediately in the satellite map. It's surprisingly fast. A few more steps and your done.
Google Earth will put your GPX / KML track file in the tree in the left side of the map window. It'll look like this capture on the right. It will not name the file! This is important to note, because if you don't name it, later on you may want to turn the track off in the satellite view map and you won't know which one it is. Or you may want to e-mail it to someone -- this will cause the same problem. No descriptive name!
Right click on the name "GPS device" and you'll get a small window that allows you to rename the GPS track file. See the capture to the left.
This is pretty self explanatory. Just type in the name you want for the GPS track file. Now in the future you'll have them named and they will be easy to find. If you don't name them as you go, well it could become a nightmare finding the one you want. Also we should note here -- when you double click on a GPS track file in this left hand column Google Earth will fly you right to that track file no matter where on the Earth it's located, another reason to have them named!. If you have way points -- in this same area of the window you can shut them off and on as well, this also includes routes. You have a lot of options here. Turning them off or on is just a simple click -- unchecking or checking the box in front of the feature
This next capture is activated by your mouse. Mouse over it to remove the track and then by clicking on it you can put the GPS track back on the satellite map. Also be aware of the check box that says Tracks. You'll notice it's checked and the track is visible until you mouse over it -- then the check box is unchecked and the track is gone. This is real handy for seeing roads and features on the satellite view that the tracks may cover up.
You've got your tracks loaded on your Google Earth, map but now you want to send it a friend, or other off-road club members. This is very easy to do. Just right click on the named track and in the window that opens click on Email. This will open your E-mail program and attach the .kmz file. Send it to a friend (s) and when they open it, it'll take them right to the track on Google Earth. They need to have Google Earth on their computer for this to work. Below is a .kmz track file you can click on (if you have Google Earth) and it'll take you to the Mud Caves area of Anza Borrego State Park. This track has way points and it'll show you exactly how this works.