09 February, 2008

GPS Babel

If you are interested in GPS or Google Earth, GPS Babel is a program that you should look into. It is compatible with Windows, OSX, and Linux operating systems and will download GPS data from Garmin and Magellan devices via serial port (COM3) or USB and will then save the data in any of 90 GPS formats (including Google Earth .kml, National Geographic .tpg, and many, many others). It will also translate from any of the 90 formats to any other of the 90 formats, and transfer data to Brauniger, Garmin, Magellan, or Wintec devices. Basically, this program eliminates the problem of the huge number of DIFFERENT GPS formats.

I also suggest downloading GPS Babel if you are a Google Earth user, because unless you have purchased a Google Earth Plus ($20 per year) or Google Earth Pro ($400 per year) license, both of which include the capability of downloading GPS data directly from a GPS device, it is the cheapest way to get GPS data from a GPS device and store it in a Google Earth compatible format.

Here is how to get your GPS data from your GPS device into Google Earth using GPS Babel:

1. Connect your device

2. Run GPSBabelGUI (it is easier to use than GPSBabel because it has a nice user interface)

3. Check the “[Device]” box under the “Input” section

4. Choose your device format (Garmin or Magellan) and the port type (USB or COM3)

5. Set the “Output” format to “Google Earth (Keyhole) Markup Language”

6. Choose where to save the new file and name it

7. Click “Let’s Go”

8. Open Google Earth and click “File” > “Open” and choose the newly created file

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