1. Goal

Here I describe how to edit MapSource GPS tracks in Google Earth and open them again in MapSource.

2. Solving incomplete tracks in MapSource topographic maps

Many topographic maps are far from complete; at least 20% of the (foot) paths are not up to date. To overcome this, we can use Google Earth, where we are able to find the missing tracks. When drawing tracks in MapSource, the missing tracks can be completed in Google Earth.

To simplify this job, I made a batch file by which we can switch easily between MapSource and Google Earth.

3. Batch file GoogleEarth2MapSource.bat

This batch file converts a Google Earth track to a MapSource gpx track and opens the track in MapSource.

@echo off 
cls
echo This batch file sends a track in Google Earth to MapSource.
echo See http://www.avdweb.nl/gps/garmin/google-earth-tracks.html.
gpsbabel.exe -p "" -t -i kml -f "C:\Temp-GPS-tracks\temp.kml" -o gpx -F "C:\Temp-GPS-tracks\temp.gpx"
C:\Garmin\MapSource.exe C:\Temp-GPS-tracks\temp.gpx

4. Installation procedure

  • Install MapSource and Google Earth if not already done.
  • Download and install the GPS track conversion program gpsbabel from www.gpsbabel.org.
  • Create a folder C:\Temp-GPS-tracks.
  • Open the batch file text in Notepad.
  • Change the file and folder names as desired.
  • Save as "GoogleEarth2MapSource.bat" to the folder "C:\Program Files\GPSBabel".
  • Create a shortcut to the batch file and place the shortcut on the desktop.

5. Sending a track in MapSource to Google Earth

Here we have a track "temp" in MapSource which we send to Google Earth (here in Dutch).

  • View > View in Google Earth.

Sending a track in MapSource to Google Earth
Sending a track in MapSource to Google Earth - Sending a track in MapSource to Google Earth

Sending a track in MapSource to Google Earth - Sending a track in MapSource to Google Earth

6. Open the GPS track in Google Earth

Google Earth should automatically open now with the track "temp":

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth
How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

7. Disable the waypoints in Google Earth

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth
How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

8. Select the track in Google Earth

Put the mouse on the track, not on a track point > right click > select Properties from the pop-up menu. The cursor changes to a square. Don't close the Edit dialog box! Now we can edit the track.

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth
How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

9. Edit the track with Google Earth

We can move, add and delete track points. Use the navigation controls (top right) for zooming and moving around. The navigation controls are visible when the cursor is over it.

  • Move: left click and hold on a track point > move it.
  • Delete: left click on a track point > delete with the Delete key on the keyboard.
  • Add: left click on a track point > add a new track point with left click.

When finished, close and save with the OK button.

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth
How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

10. Save the track from Google Earth

  • Select the track "temp" on the left bar.
  • Right click on temp > Save Place As... >

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth
How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

  • Type = (*.kml).
  • Filename = "temp".
  • Save "temp" to the folder "C:\Temp-GPS-tracks".

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth
How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth - How to edit a GPS track with Google Earth

11. Run GoogleEarth2MapSource.bat

MapSource should open automatically now with the track "temp" displayed.

Track from Google Earth opened in MapSource
Track from Google Earth opened in MapSource - Track from Google Earth opened in MapSource

Track from Google Earth opened in MapSource - Track from Google Earth opened in MapSource

Finish the track in MapSource or edit the track again in Google Earth if you want.

12. Google Earth accuracy

Google Earth and MapSource don't fit precisely on each other. The shift can be 10-20m. At this image boundaries we can see the shift clearly:

Google Earth accuracy
Google Earth accuracy - Google Earth accuracy

Google Earth accuracy - Google Earth accuracy

13. Starting a new track in Google Earth

We can also start with a new track in Google Earth without importing from MapSource: Add > Path.

Starting a new track in Google Earth
Starting a new track in Google Earth - Starting a new track in Google Earth

Starting a new track in Google Earth - Starting a new track in Google Earth

Do you have any comments? Please let me know.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.