Real-Time Google Earth GPS Tracking – via Bus

Stefan Geens of OgleEarth writes about his experience using software to make his Nokia N95 into a blue-tooth enabled GPS and connect it to his Macbook Pro running Google Earth. He had a wireless 3G modem for Internet access so he was able to track in Google Earth in real-time as he was driving on a bus in Sweden. He’s got a picture in his post showing his computer running GE from inside the bus.
Google Earth can be a great 3D navigation tool when connected to a GPS. One concern a lot of people have when thinking of doing this is Internet connectivity for Google Earth. But, you can actually use Google Earth when it doesn’t have connectivity – it will show what’s currently stored in your cache. Read more about using Google Earth offline. So, you just make sure to load up imagery for an area you plan to travel, and you can still use Google Earth whether or not you have a connection.
Last summer I used Google Earth on a sailing trip with a GPS and charting software (GE charts from EarthNC) as an experiment in sailing navigation. It worked quite well. Read about how it was done here. Also, here is a story about my first experiment using a GPS with Google Earth in a car.

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. I’ll have to try that gizmo.I’ll follow up by reading your story.
    Thanks for such an informative post.

  2. For those of us with less than perfect eyesight, we need contrast. “Black on White will do”. The newsletter appears to be light blue on white. If you have any pul with the sightseer news letter let them know. The news letter is light gray on white. Very bad on poor eyes.
    Thanks,I enjoy the blog and the newsletter.

  3. I was evaluation some time for software showing my exact position. If you know a solution working for ppc as well as symbian, that just would autoconnect on next free wifi connection and give me a string I cold parse through google map. please contact me at

  4. For those interested in doing a similar GPS application in C++ from scratch or more generally an application capable of interacting with Google Earth using KML data and the “network link” feature for periodically update something in Google Earth, you can find free C++ source code and a binary for windows at

  5. I had had great luck with Google Earth and GPS tracking. If anyone wants to see the mapping and GPS vehicle tracking integrated so you can see family or employees locations, speed and more overlayed onto the google maps – just stop by and ask for a demo. We’d be glad to help.

  6. The new Google 3D capabilities are astounding. When integrated with GPS tracking, the user can look around in 3D as if they were actually at that location on the map. This new technology will assist in government operations, rescue operations and business tracking for fleet owners.

  7. Have they devised a way to use an actual GPS unit, like a Magellan GPS, rather than a phone, to sync with Google Earth or upload location data from a unit like that?

  8. It’s just astounding how Google is providing Google Earth to everyone for FREE. GPS Tracking is still years away from really being taken advantage of. good read!

  9. It doesn’t work for me with a standard NMEA GPS dongle. Looks like Google have got together with Garmin and Magellan so it only works with expensive American crap.

  10. Thank’s for sharing this informative post,
    I am from networking profile that why I want to learn more and more related my profile. after goes through your post i am confident to track mobile.

  11. Thanks for Sharing informative post. I am trying but not success. What’s the Issue ?

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