Google Earth .kmz to BaseCamp .gpx

A slight update to Creating a GPS cycle route on Google Earth.

Things have a habit of moving on, and that includes converting a Google Earth .kmz file into a Garmin BaseCamp file I can then transfer to my Garmin GPS unit. Things move on but they don’t necessarily get any simpler. I still use Google Earth to plan the trips, which takes a little longer than something like GPSies but I think it’s better – you see things on the ground and that is a big advantage. The only thing – Google Earth doesn’t produce .gpx format files.

That’s where RouteConverter comes in, or it did. I’m not saying it’s a bad program (I’ve used it for several years) but it doesn’t seem to like my newish Windows 8 PC, probably something to do with Java (what’s Java anyway?). Garmin MapSource doesn’t seem to like the computer either (I’ve used MapSource for years as well). Rather than install another unknown (possibly dodgy) program I am now using the GPSies file conversion facility online. That works. Upload the .kmz and download the .gpx.


Planned course in Google Earth – save as .kmz

Garmin BaseCamp replaces Garmin MapSource. BaseCamp doesn’t do File / Open as just about every other program does. Opening the .gpx file that was saved from GPSies needs File / Import into ‘My Collection’ to open the file. In Mapsource you right-click the course (via the menu) to view its properties, in BaseCamp you double-click the footprint symbol.


Garmin Basecamp menu


Planned course .gpx opened in Garmin BaseCamp for transfer to GPS

The course illustrated is from Philip’s Cycle Tours Yorkshire Dales by Nick Cotton: ‘From Skipton to Ilkley Moor and Bolton Abbey’ listed as 26 miles but BaseCamp reckons about 27.5. The plan is to do this soon, tomorrow perhaps. My version is a little better than Nick Cotton’s because, seeing the Google Earth imagery (including vehicles on the roads), I’ve subsituted some minor lanes for his medium roads.

As for simplifying things in the future, my money is on Google, not Garmin.