Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dealing With Google Earth

Today, without any riding buddies, I went over to Charley's to see if we could get his Garmin GPS to behave with "Easy GPS" and Google Earth (GE).

You know that nearly every post here is accompanied by a Google Earth .kmz file which shows much more detail of our ride that I can put here. Sometimes there are also explanatory photos, and definitely more "geocoded" waypoints.

Download Google Earth

What you may not know is that GE has a new version which, unfortunately, contains several bugs. It doesn't display the pop up descriptions the same way, and they look crazy or don't show up at all.

Fortunately the 4.3 version is still available (which I still use); but, unfortunately it's not so obvious to find. Clicking on this link: Google Earth will take you to the download page, but you will need to look at the small writing and download the 4.3 version.

Turn Off "Show Time"

In either case, GE has a function to only display items which are labeled within a certain time frame. Some of your files which you load from your GPS are time coded so are hard to get displayed in GE. And the user interface is not intuitive.

It's best to simply turn off the function all together (until you really need it). To turn it off, click on "View" at the top of the screen, cursor down to "show time" and select "never" from the menu. That should do it, and all these files will display correctly.

Easy GPS

We were finally able to get his Garmin GPS files onto his computer using "Easy GPS." It's a free program which is fairly intuitive to use, and will import directly from a large number of GPS units and export to a ".gpx" file, which is now the standard, open source geo-sharing file type. You can download it from here: Easy GPS if you would like. Send me a note if you think you need more explanation.

Companion Web Site

As soon as we get Charley's files in order, I should be adding them to the master file on my accompanying web site: If you haven't seen all those files, you should.


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