Home > camping, computer, family, offroad, Uncategorized > How to create route in Google Earth and transfer to Garmin GPS (part 1)

How to create route in Google Earth and transfer to Garmin GPS (part 1)

NOTE: Latest version of this guide as of 9/21/2012 is in the part 2.  Google Earth has some significant changes since this post, so it needed to be updated.


Lesson #1 General overview

I figure this is the most effective way to show people how to get started with creating and transferring google routes to your Garmin GPS.  This tutorial is for those that don’t like reading a manual. Follow these steps and leave me question if you have any:

1.  Install GoogleEarth for your computer

2. Install Garmin Mapsource

3.  Reboot your machine

4.  Start your GoogleEarth

5.  Create all your “Placemarks” first.  This sets up a point to point connection of your path


6.  Create routes by connecting placemarks.  If you rightmouse click on a placemark, it will give you option to route to/from.


7.  Here is what it would look like after you connect everything up.  My routes are in white, also notice all the connections I made on the left side of the screen


8.  Once you are happy with your newly created route, its time to get it ready for your Garmin GPS.  Click on File/Save-as/<route_name.kmz>


9.  Open up your web browser to GPSvisualizer.

10.  Browse for your .kmz file, be sure to set output file to .gpx, and hit convert button.  Your form should look like this.


11.  Click on your shiny new .gpx file and do a save-as to your computer


12.  Open up GarminMapsource

13.  Open the newly created .gpx file from above step.

14.  Connect up your Garmin GPS to your computer

15.  Click Transfer/send to device.

16.  That is it…Gratz.

17.  If you got this far, least you can do is leave me a friendly comment below Smile

Lesson #2

This will be published dependent on if there is a demand for it.


  1. mike allsup
    January 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Thanks for the info! If I have all the routes designated and placemarks input will it be able to navigate to each specific placemark from anywhere on the route. I have to make all new routes as it will be for use on cart paths. Thanks again.

    • January 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Its also pretty amazing how they match up so nicely with each other. I’ve seen other gps system where location on google maps are off by a big margin, but Garmin lines up beautifully.

  2. September 8, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Sweet info…thanks Chris.

    But what about LA? What happens when the TdF titles are stripped, does the money awarded have to repaid? Do the new winners get more money? What does that do to team standings?

    btw…you are my go-to-guy for all things cycling. 🙂

    Be encouraged!

    • September 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      oh man! thanks for the great complement on “the go-to guy” for cycling stuff…lol. Its definitely an encouragement!
      I don’t know about you, but I was really upset at the news that Lance was not going to fight the latest allegation. He is still a hero in my little brain for all that he has done for cancer research.
      There should be some written law that says, if you pass all the stringent drug tests for over 20years its time to leave it alone. This really sucks for all the cycling fans. I was actually planning on blogging about this specific topic, but I’ve been so busy catching up with all my backlog of work from 2months of “sport-fest”…lol. How have you been? When will we see your new book in Amazon?

      • September 10, 2012 at 6:03 pm

        Stupid, ignorant, pain in the ass, #@*$ book…oh hi there…the book you ask…umm coming along just fine…thanks for asking.

        Be encouraged!

        • September 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

          lol…now THAT is how you properly promote a book!

          • September 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

            You know I think I need to work on presentation…hahaha.

            Be encouraged!

            • September 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm

              no such thing as negative publicity, right? lol

              • September 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

                All I need to do is work that philosophy into the presentation

  3. Anonymous
    November 14, 2012 at 3:14 am

    Thanks for this . Very helpful.

  4. Anonymous
    November 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

    God bless you, thanks

  5. Anonymous
    December 20, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Thanks man! Exactly what I was looking for. And so neatly explained. There are not many routes for the Western Sahara (no roads in the first place), so with your help I will make my own. Forever grateful.

    • December 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Western Sahara? man! that is so cool. Whatever you are doing out there is worthy of a blog, because it sounds intriguing has heck. Glad this tutorial is able to help you out. I am so thankful this kind of gps technology is available to regular consumers to take advantage of.

  6. Dave
    January 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Just bought a Garmin GPS and was doing some research on the net when I came upon your site. Excellent, glad I stumbled upon you.

    • January 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      That is great, you’ll have lots of fun with the gps. I’m still amazed by the fact that an ordinary consumer is able to purchase a state of the art scientific device like the Garmin tracker type of GPS.

      • Dave
        January 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        I got an eTrex 20 for Christmas but have not got it figured out yet. However, I have used google maps a lot and looking forward to now using it with my gps.

  7. January 10, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I have this and love it…! 😉

    • January 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      I’m just glad somebody actually ‘liked’ this.lol

  8. January 12, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Hey Chris, Love the background of riding through a field of black eyed Susie’s. Hope all is well with your loved ones and you.

  9. Jim
    February 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Chris, Trying to do some mark some reefs in Galveston bay and laid out places and track but track keeps starting on shore at the end of a road and not out on the reefs. Google to Mapsourse to garmin legend. Tried using walking but no difference .

    Thanks again Jim

    • February 3, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      hey Jim, excellent question. The above method is valid for roads, what you are trying to do is just slightly different. Try this:

      steps 1-4 are the same.
      5. use tool called “Add path”. This allows you to freehand draw your path anyway you want. This is the tool you want to use for offroad or waterway navigation.
      6. Follow steps 11-15 from my GPS (part2)

      Let me know if that works out for you.

  10. Anonymous
    February 25, 2013 at 9:05 am

    very useful .. nice presentation

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  12. Anonymous
    June 27, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Thank you !

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