How to use the Google Earth GPS toolbar
A. Introduction: The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of satellites placed into orbit. These satellites circle the earth twice a day and transmit information back down to earth. GPS devices take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user's exact location. Users save locations onto their GPS device as waypoints, tracks or routes. Waypoints – are points entered by the user that shows a single location. They are imported into Google Earth as points. Tracks – are points automatically recorded by the GPS device periodically along the recorded route. They are imported into Google Earth as paths. Routes – is a list of waypoints, normally set up to be traveled in a specific order. These are setup by users using the “go to” command on the GPS device. They are imported into Google Earth as paths. To better view GPS data, users can connect their GPS device to a computer and import their data into Google Earth. Users have the option of viewing data that they’ve collected in the field or real-time data. You need either a serial or USB cable to connect the GPS device to your computer. B. How to View Collected GPS Data? Open Google Earth. Connect the GPS device to the computer. In the Google Earth menu, select Tools > GPS. In the GPS Import window, select the Historical Tab. Select the GPS Device (Garmin or Magellan), which data to Import (Waypoints, Tracks, Routes) and the desired Options. 6) Click on Import. 7) The imported data appears in the Places panel located on the left hand side of Google Earth and is labelled after the device used to import the data. Expand the folder to see different data types. (tracks ,waypoints, routes) Google Earth supports Garmin & Magellan GPS devices only.
Prepared by SS– March 2009
1) 2) 3) 4) 5)
Google Earth Toolbar Info Sheet
C. How to View GPS Data in Real Time? 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) Open Google Earth. Connect the GPS device to the computer. In the Google Earth menu, select Tools > GPS. In the GPS Import window, select the RealtimeTab. Select NMEA (National Marine and Electronics Association) for protocol. Select your Track Point Import Limit. This is the maximum number of points imported per poll of the device (smaller number = faster upload) Select your Polling Intervals – the frequency that Google Earth collects data from the GPS device. Select Automatically Follow Path to have the 3D viewer center on and follow the current real-time GPS track. Click on Start.
Real-time data can be collected in Google Earth by connecting a GPS device to a laptop while riding in a car. D. How to View GPS Data in a Timeline? Use the Slide Timer to visually follow the sequence of GPS data collection. 1) Import time-related GPS data. (see above) 2) Select the data from the Places panel located on the left hand side of Google Earth. 3) A Slide Timer will appear automatically at the top of the screen with a time range corresponding to the data. 4) The Slide Timer will allow you to play the sequence, change the time range to an earlier or later date, or re-define the time range. E. Troubleshooting: If your GPS data fails to load in Google Earth, please try these troubleshooting steps: For a Magellan serial device such as the Map 330, SporTrak, or Meridian series, ensure that your baud rate is set to 4800 baud/sec. For a Garmin device, select Garmin as your interface on your GPS device. Please note that Garmin DGPS is not the same as Garmin. For a Garmin USB device on a Windows machine, please install the Garmin USB driver from the CD that came with your GPS device. Still Not Working? Use the software that came with the GPS device and export a .GPX file. Open this file by either going to the Google Earth menu File > Open or by dragging and dropping the file into the Google Earth Places panel.
Prepared by SS– March 2009