View GPX Track / Path on Google Earth from GPS

   Posted by David Kirk in Google

After a long hike, I like to share my trails with my friends and family — virtually. Google Earth makes it very easy to show others exactly where you have been.

I love to hike; however, it is a difficult hobby to share with others. With pictures alone, it is difficult to share the magnitude of a lengthy hike or the great distance taken. Using Google Earth, this is actually very simple.

1. While on your hike, enable the Track or Path feature in your GPS
2. After your hike is over, export your travels as a GPX file onto your computer.
3. Drag the .gpx file onto Google Earth. It will appear under the Temporary Places section.
4. Make sure the Tracks and Path sections are enabled as in the flickr picture below. You can decide here if you want your saved waypoints to show as well.


5. Double dlick on that same Path link and google earth will swing around to the location of your path.
6. If the path does not appear, slide the Timebar at the very top of the screen to the date of your hike.


7. With your hike on your screen, you are now free to give a virtual tour of your adventure.

Here’s a flickr example of a path below:



About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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The Conversation

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  • Hi there,

    Are you aware of a way of generating an elevation profile of a route/path/track using GPX data in Google Earth?

    I’m using OS X.


    • Shannon

      Right click on track, choose “Show Elevation Profile”

  • Martin Rosevear

    I’m Director of a multisport event.

    I need to generate routes of the event overlaid over GOOGLE earth to include:

    1. Route
    2. Marshal locations
    3. Photos of the route
    4. Ability to edit GPS route data downloaded from mobile device

    What application software can best meet my needs?

    I currently use the ‘path’ tool in GOOGLE Earth to generate routes, which is good but I haven’t managed to do everything I need easily and put it up on our event website. Any thoughts?

    • David Kirk

      Martin: That’s an excellent question. I haven’t explored that process in 2-3 years when I was last building my hiking site so there may be better tools available now. Like you, I would default to using Google Earth would be my best bet.

      I did find it very useful to perfect my GPS route data before I uploaded it to Google Earth. I use Garmin’s software package for my GPS and similar tools to do that.

      Sorry that I’m not more helpful.