Trekking Blog for ultralight and outdoor – Trailblaze

Transferring Garmin Tracks to Google Maps/Earth

March 23, 2009 by · 6 Comments 

It is, unfortunately, not yet possible to import Garmin Tracks and waypoints directly to Google Maps regardless of whether you are using Mapsource under Windows or Garmin Roadtrip under Mac OS.
The aim of the following step-by-step instructions is to provide some assisitance in transferring data.

At the end of the article, instructions are also given on how Garmin Tracks may be transferred to Google Earth. Even though this is now directly possible via Mapsource, it may in some cases be helpful not to transfer (existing) tracks via Mapsource. This applies, for example, to Apple users, who are not able to use Mapsource.

Transferring Garmin Tracks and waypoints to Google Maps

1. Google Map import (Windows)
1.1 Export the tracks and waypoints from the Garmin receiver as usual.
1.2 Save tracks as .gpx: File > Save as> save in .gpx Format under the “Save as” menu
Important: check whether more than approximately 200 tracks or waypoints are involved. If this is the case, delete interim points within the track leaving, for example, one track point every 100 meters (this may be done automatically via the GPSBable software if using the Mac OS). Google Maps unfortunately appears to experience problems if it has to deal with too many track points.

1.3 Download the free program ITNConv at this point.

1.4 Open the .gpx file you have created with Mapsource in ITNConv and save it in Google Earth format (.kml).


1.5 Open Google Maps (
1.6 Create a new account if you do not already have one.
1.7 Select “My maps” -> “Create new map”.
1.8 Select “Import” and upload the .kml file.

2. Google Maps import (Mac OS X)
Transfer to Google Maps is much simpler under Apple Mac OS. This provides a good opportunity to use GPSBable instead of the ITNConv program under Windows. GPSBable offers the additional benefit of automatic reduction of tracks which contain too many track points (can be set under Filters). GPSBable also enables direct import of tracks and waypoints from the Garmin GPS receiver.

2.1 Download GPSBabel at this point.
2.2 Receive track directly from the GPS receiver or import the .gpx track from Mapsource as described in 1.4 above.
2.3 Save the track as a .kml file.
2.4 Google Maps: as described in points 1.5 – 1.8 above.

GPS Babel Screen

3. Google Earth Import
Even though it is now possible to access Google Earth directly from Mapsource, it may make sense to import (older or existing) tracks directly to Google Earth. Again, only a few steps are required to do this.
Follow points 1.1. to 1.2 above.
3.1. File “Open” and load the .gpx (or .kml) file.
3.2 Make the following changes under “PLACES” in the left-hand column.
Deactivate “Points” so that not all track points are displayed for a track.

Google Earth Einstellungen


6 Responses to “Transferring Garmin Tracks to Google Maps/Earth”
  1. michal says:


    I wanted to show my trip map to my friends. You cannot import kml data to the google maps, but you can upload the file anywhere in the web and then just paste the link in the google maps search field.

    Took my ages to discover it…
    Try it!


  2. trailblaze says:

    Hi Michael,
    thanks your your comment!


  3. Bill Elliott says:

    Thank you SO much for this detailed assistance!!

  4. greg rudowsky says:

    ok i imported (open gdb (or gpx)) garmin file . 2700 tracks.. how can i get rid of the “points” and just leave path? (dleting them 1 by one not work (i also have a BIG file i want to load in). it works, but would be quicked if i could get rid of them..(i deleted the small imports (200 ish by had a real pain)

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