Google Maps to gps??

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by TinyBear, May 22, 2010.

  1. TinyBear

    TinyBear Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    585
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Never owned a on bike GPS before so i have always used google maps to make my plans and such.

    this summer i planed a trip to the east coast and spent a good amount of time setting it all up to plot out my stops and such on google maps as i always have.

    Well today i picked up a Garmin Zumo 220.

    And was wondering if their was an easy way to take all the work i did with google maps and put it into my garmin zumo 220?
    #1
  2. amk

    amk Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    533
    #2
  3. Tinner

    Tinner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    S.W. Wisconsin
    easy
    go to google maps, create your map. save it to "my Maps"
    once saved in "my Maps" on the right hand side clink the link tab and copy it.

    then go HERE and paste it in.

    I click to show it first. then download to gpx

    good luck
    :)
    #3
  4. Goran69

    Goran69 MNE

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    849
    Location:
    Montenegro Europe
    Great help !!!

    One thing thou. I have a problem now. Because if I do this it has way to many waypoints and Garmin zumo will not accept it. How can I do that..
    #4
  5. Tinner

    Tinner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    325
    Location:
    S.W. Wisconsin
    oh white route syndrome...:lol3

    try this

    I know, I know. you have always wanted a poni...:rofl

    Gotta go take the wench for a ride on the pirate ship.

    help this takes care of it for you.
    : )
    #5
  6. sTE610vE

    sTE610vE Looking for 7th gear...

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,667
    Location:
    Kansas
    You can convert almost anything on this website, takes a little work sometimes but this is a great site for gps users

    http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/
    #6
  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,808
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
  8. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,534
    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    Perhaps I'm not following the directions right. I've never fully understood "My Maps" on Google Maps, despite my great like of Google Maps.

    I go into Google Maps and make a route. I "save" that route to My Maps. I copy the link into the website you posted, and the GPX it gives me is essentially blank. If I try to load that GPX into Mapsource, nothing shows up. No route. No points. No tracks. :dunno I'm not quite sure why the route has to be saved to My Maps. I have a LINK button my the map whether I've saved it or not... What am I missing?

    What I use to get a Google Map route into my GPS (which I do all the time) is use GMaptoGPX. http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/gmaptogpx/

    The first time or two I used GMaptoGPX, it seemed rather tedious, but now that I know how to do it, it's a few easy mouse clicks to get the route into my GPS.

    Jamie
    #8
  9. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,643
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    For Garmin brand GPS units ...Here's what I think I understand ...

    BaseCamp is apparently Garmin's replacement for MapSource

    In the specs. for BaseCamp it says it can import KML & KMZ files starting with V3.3.1

    Google Maps can export a map to KML format if you first save the route to "My Maps" ...

    Export as KML then import to BaseCamp and push down to the Garmin unit?

    Does this make us good?

    (I have Nuvi 500 if it matters)
    #9
  10. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,119
    Location:
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    I'm using BaseCamp v3.3.2 on a Mac and it does *not* allow importing KML file downloaded from Google Maps.

    I ended up using GPS Visualizer to convert the KML file to GPX and imported that successfully into BaseCamp.

    It turns a 3.9mi "route" into 41 points. This might be an issue for (much) longer routes.
    #10
  11. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,643
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    Hmmmmmm KML import is listed as an enhancement to V3.3.1 for the Win-doze version, I wonder if they are on a different release cycle for the Macs?

    At 10 points per mile ... yeah this turn to do-do quickly.................. :eek1

    I have MapSource loaded now, not clear to me if you can have both BaseCamp and MapSource installed on the same machine... I'll try to find out.............
    #11
  12. riceaterslc

    riceaterslc Urinal Cake Engineer

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    CA
    Sorry to bump this one up, but I'm having some issues.

    I've made the map in Google, cut and paste the link to TakItWithMe, GPS Visualizer, and even tried GMapToGPX.

    When I paste the link in those sites I see the route I have created in google maps. I use the Garmin POI loader to upload the .gpx file to the GPS.

    Once loaded onto my GPS I open the file under Custom POIs but it calculates the fastest route, not my custom one.

    What have I missed? Thanks in advance:beer
    #12
  13. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,643
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    I don't know how this stuff works either, but in the interest of another thread bump if nothing else...

    I would have thought you would need to "import" the custom route file first?
    #13
  14. Wired

    Wired Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    302
    Location:
    Grand Junction, CO
    I've used this before to plan a route, but it looks like they've updated it since I've used it. Not sure if it's still as easy as it was.

    Before I would simply put in a point for each turn I needed to make and then that created my route and I could send that to my GPS.

    http://www.harley-davidson.com/wcm/...anner&camp_id=16&source_cd=Vanity_rideplanner

    ETA: It does appear to be just as easy. Just enter each point on your route, then select GPS Sync in the top right and follow the directions.
    #14
  15. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Greater Hampton Roads, VA
    There's two different things to think about when converting between GMaps (or KML) and routes. Garmin has both ROUTES and TRACKS. Routes are a series of waypoints (just like a track) but with a "start" and "end" along with some other metadata if your GPS supports it. They are specified in the XML file with different tags than tracks or KML lines. TomTom has the exact same thing, but they call routes "iteneraires" and use a different file format.

    Basically, a route is a track with a defined start and end, plus extra data such as photos, elevation, geocache info, etc. To really see this in action, take a route in basecamp with multiple points and change the route calculation category of the route (from say Motorcycle to Biking or something). It'll show straight lines from point to point until you recalculate the route. This is how every Garmin sees a route, and you don't get the fancy turn by turn stuff or squiggly lines until the GPS (or Basecamp) calculates the route.

    Google KML routes are just basic tracks, for all intents and purposes. Conversion programs see them as tracks, and when converting the KML track into a Garmin route just do a 1:1 change of each waypoint, then make the first waypoint a start and the last an end. This results in a route with globs and globs of waypoints, which chokes the GPS thinking that its a route and not a track (the GPS unit handles each differently). A Garmin GPX file with route-only data should be only a few kilobytes in size.

    More advanced programs will let you limit the number of waypoints in the track>route conversion, but can split the route into several parts. Better apps will trim the excess midpoints and still keep the start/end points so you don't wind up with a mass of waypoints or multiple routes. Basecamp can do the same thing, though it's better to convert the KML file to a plain GPX tracks file, then use Basecamps native ability to convert a track to a route. There you can specify the maximum number of points to convert, which should then cull the excess.

    For turn-by-turn Google->Garmin Routes where your Garmin has a valid turn-by-turn basemap, I've found the best way is to define your route in GMaps with waypoints or "shaping points" even if the route is going where you want. This helps to make sure your GPS navigates your intended route as it does all point-to-point calculations internally. Then, export the Google Map to KML, and use Tyre to calculate the route and convert the file to a Garmin route. Alternatively, you can use another webapp or program (GPSVisualiser, etc) to do as I mentioned above, and use Basecamp to convert from track to route. I try to stick to doing much processing in Basecamp as I can since it tailors to Garmin XML structures.

    In offroad stuff, I'd rather just keep the raw track file and let the GPS follow the track. My 76CSx, for example, can take a plailn track file and turn it into a turn-by-turn route. Most GPS units support many more points in a track file than a route file. Basically, just convert the Google Maps KML file to a GPX file sticking to tracks.

    Now, keep in mind that different bits of software might handle things differently, and how Google exports your KML file can affect things. If you use Google Maps to create an actual directions page (by the Get Directions and entering points/addresses) then export to KML before saving, it tends to save only the start, end, shaping, and waypoints. Once a Google Map is saved, the navigation instructions convert to a line, which is basically equal to a track.

    It's been a while since I've actually done a conversion, and I don't know if I've ever done a saved Google Map export to Garmin route or not. Though I do have an upcoming conversion for next week, so I could do a screenshot tutorial if anyone wants.

    DISCLAIMER: This all orients around Google Maps to Basecamp. Some other programs and webapps (such as what Wired mentioned) let you plot your route and do a direct conversion. These tend to work better than converting from a saved Google Maps file to a Garmin route file, though I haven't really played with them all that much. Nowadays I either just follow the raw track on the GPS, or do all my plotting in Basecamp since it's so much faster.
    #15
  16. DiasDePlaya

    DiasDePlaya Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2003
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    I'm using Google Maps directly on the bike, I replaced my Zumo 500 for a Samsung tablet. It is much better.
    #16
  17. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,643
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    Kyle:

    Thanks for the awesome post!
    :clap

    I guess I need to download Basecamp and mess around with it... If I can do it all in Basecamp that would be fine!
    I would hope that there is no conflict between having MapSource and Basecamp loaded on the same computer...
    I'm about to find out ......... :lol3
    #17
  18. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,643
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    I'm not sure this is a "legal" solution .... :lol3 but I really like it ...........

    How did you mount the Samsung tablet? :evil
    #18
  19. kamikazekyle

    kamikazekyle Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    Greater Hampton Roads, VA
    I have a Google Nexus Tablet that should be coming in soon. $200, roughly equal to the iPad 2 and 3 in performance, built in GPS, 10 hour tested battery life, 7 inches, and readable in the sunlight. I already have a CoPilot license on Android along with some other GPS programs. It should fit nicely into my tank bag's map cover. Too bad my UClear only connects to one audio source at a time besides hands free :p

    No problem. I fought with the route/track thing for a bit till I just opened up a GPX file in Notepad and realized the thing was just an XML file with Garmin's additional XML info added on for routes. Basecamp actually replaces MapSource, but it won't conflict if you have both installed at once. It does all the things MapSource did and more, plus it should work with all your older devices. Garmin's MapLoader and POILoader are still separate entities, but POI loading can be incorporated into Basecamp. I like creating a list for a trip containing all relevant routes, waypoints, POIs, and notes then just sending the list to the attached GPS unit. Keeps things organized.

    I have a lifeproof case on my iPhone, which makes it waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. Obviously all within reason, but it works very well on the motorcycle. Unfortunately, no program I've found offers a combination of importing routes/tracks along with turn-by-turn navigation. I can either get the GPX importing then look at the map to make sure I'm following the track right, or I can get the turn-by-turn but no importing. I use a 76CSx which is a bit of a compromise, allowing easy import of tracks and routes plus turn-by-turn navigation, but I loose the ability to hear spoken turns and prompts.

    CoPilot lets you save routes in their own format and I've done some work on writing a program that'll convert between a Google KML file, a Garmin GPX file with route info, and CoPilot's proprietary format. It kinda sorta worked but needed debugging and I haven't invested any more time into the matter.

    Oh, and as to some mounting options for tablets. Tank bags are usually easiest to work with. My Givi has a huge transparent map pocket on the top which is too small for an iPad, but should fit a 7" tablet fine (as mentioned above, I'm giving it a shot soon). RAM also makes a variety or mounts for tablets along with universal mounts. Though I'd imagine plopping anything bigger than a GPS unit on your average moto's handlebars would be a bit cumbersome. It doesn't mean it wouldn't fit nicely behind the windscreen or fairing, however, especially on a full touring bike.

    Bit off topic, but for those interested, give the TomTom smartphone app a try. It has an option for curvy roads during navigation and offers three levels of "curviness." It's worked very well, and is great for going from Point A to B on the street and hitting curves without having to preplan a route first.
    #19
  20. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,643
    Location:
    The great state of confusion
    Thanks Kyle!

    I'll download Basecamp and have a go with it!

    I have the Nuvi 500 waterproof unit. I considered using my iPhone, but like you could not find software that worked...
    Also, I think in many conditions on my bike at least the screen of the iPhone would not be bright enough...

    Jim
    #20