Garmin Supports Google Earth

Garmin has released a beta of their MapSource software which supports Google Earth directly. You simply pull down the “View -> View in Google Earth” and you can see your tracks, waypoints, and routes in GE directly. You can download the beta version of MapSource here. I was just playing with MapSource this morning and was thinking I should see if there was an update, and then I saw this blurb at OgleEarth. This new beta just continues to show how influential Google Earth is becoming. Nearly all of the primary geographically oriented software products are rushing to release convenient features to either support the GE file format (KML/KMZ), or direct access to GE.
If you don’t have a Garmin GPS, or don’t want to download the beta, then all you need to do is save your track (or get it converted) into the GPX file format. Google Earth allows you to open GPX files and will convert them for you. This is how I’ve been getting my GPS data into GE for months now.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Bob Kusik says:

    View>>View in Google Earth is gray’ed out in MapSource Beta. Is that because it only works with the “Pro” version of GE?

  2. Bob Kusik says:

    Operator error …. if there are no routes or waypoints in MapSource, View in GE is gray’ed out because there’s nothing to display.

  3. Hi,
    I created a script to convert Garmin maps into Google Earth.
    Check it out in:

  4. read it do it read it do it read it do it read it do it read it do it

  5. It’s not working for me. I click on the “View in Google Earth” and it tells me that Google earth must be installed first and provides a link to Google Earth so I can install it. Trouble is: Google Earth is already installed. Now what?

  6. Is it possible to get a Google Map into a Garmin etrex Vista? Normally, I use MapSource but it would be nice to use the actual image as background when i am out GPSing…..

  7. Perhaps it doesnt work in microsoft’s latest operating system. I’ve used mapsource for nearly 10 years and am familiar with its functionality, and I have google earth plus installed. I am, however, running Vista 64-Bit edition, which is even poorly supported by microsoft at present. I can imagine that mapsource has trouble finding google earth in the redesigned vista architecture.
    ps- gary, i believe the only garmin gps’ that support raster based maps are the G1000 glass-cockpit series and the marine 4xxx/5xxx series. All the rest potentially only support vector maps, such as street/marine/topo charts.

  8. I wrote a little program that converts a MapSource export to Google Earth KML. Screenshots, download and instructions are here:

  9. I’ve written a small program that converts mapsource exports to google earth kml files. Works great with aviation gps as it shows your altitude as well. Screenshots, download and instructions are here:

  10. How do I draw a route in GE, then export it to MapSource? I can import Tracks/Route/Waypoints into GE, but when I try to export new Placemarks back into MapSource, it won’t let me copy & paste. I have GE Plus….. Perhaps I need GE Pro or other?

  11. See also for great tips on converting google map directions to routes and tracks. Works great (except since yesterday, possibly google changed the format?)

  12. It’s not working for me. I click on the “View in Google Earth” and it tells me that Google earth must be installed first and provides a link to Google Earth so I can install it. Trouble is: Google Earth is already installed. Now what?

  13. I use a Forerunner 305. All my tracks, waypoints and routes on Google Earth are 40-50 metres off to east. How can this be fixed?

  14. It is likely that your waypoints are off because of the datum in which they are stored. By default, most Garmin units are in WGS84. By interfacing mapping software with disparate datums, the points may be offset.

  15. I use a Garmin etrex Legend C. It has always been set to WGS84. I downloaded tracks directly to GE, using the GE interface. My tracks are all offset to the NE. What causes this when datums are not disparate, and how can it be corrected?

  16. I need to urgently convert points in Google earth in kmz/kml format to mapsource vversion 6.15.7.
    Is there a way to do this without having to buy software.

  17. I am trying to find software for GE that can pinpoint addresses in France from GE. Is garmin able to provide this?

  18. Justin new GPS units of Garmin now provide what you really need. Even GPS cell phones are now getting this interface.

  19. simon froggatt says:

    hello. i’ve just started using a Garmin 310 for running, does anyone know if you can access your route on Google Earth on any computer once the run has been uploaded to your home PC using the ANT stick? the route transfers to my home PC & can be seen on Google earth perfectly, i’d just like to know if i could then “log in” to “my” google earth from any pc, i.e. at work to show friends etc which route i have done etc..
    make sense?

  20. rosli6sqn says:

    Simon Froggatt, try My Tracks. Cx out the following

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