It is my data from Google Earth.

Additional info / update:

First issue, I "misspoke". It is my data that I store in Google Earth. My point was that the data will be exported from GE to the above mentioned file formats. I own the data. I created all of the data without violating the GE terms of service. I only store it in Google Earth so that I can see where I have been relative to their maps. This has taken me 7 or 8 years to accumulate this data.

Thank you for pointing me to a web page! It has several possibilities and I will look them over to see if I can use them.

My objective is to take these many tracks that I have collected and put them all on my Garmin etrex 20 for my personal use. The etrex has a limit of 200 tracks so they won't all fit on it. If I could convert these tracks to a .img file (a map file) I could easily load all of the tracks onto the etrex without any problem and they would show up on the etrex map. The only reason I went in the direction of osm was because I found a page on YouTube that explained how to get from osm to img. I can't seem to find anything about going from kml/kmz/gpx/gdb to img.

Also, if going to osm means I would have to share my data globally then I wouldn't be see that as an option.

Thank you for your help! Now that you know all the facts, if you can help me with any additional information I would be very grateful. Thanks!

asked 15 Aug '14, 21:18

DanHargrave's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 16 Aug '14, 00:01

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦


I thank you both very much for your response. I used to be a software developer so most of the processes are not foreign to me. However the lack of tools for troubleshooting problems may make me choose to cancel this project.

I found that GPSBabel will create an osm file from a kml file so I converted a kml file with some tracks in it to an osm file. I installed as per the instructions in the YouTube video. Not only did it not work, but now all the osm streets for my State that I downloaded the other day are not visible. Bummer. I've tried some fixes but I can't seem to get anything back. I can see the streets in Basecamp but not in the etrex. I would just be happy to get the osm street data back. It's probably not worth the effort to get all my track data into my gps. Sure would be nice. Too bad that after so many years this gps stuff in some ways still seems to be in it's infancy.

Thanks much! Take care.

(16 Aug '14, 01:41) DanHargrave

This site is meant as a question-answer site, so forum/mailing list-style discussion does not really work here.

Thanks for sharing your experiences! I did not know that gpsbabel can do this, and I am not sure what it does inside that function.

For your OSM data problem: have a look which maps are switched "on" in your garmin device settings. Instead of using basecamp you also could download a pre-made .img file (based on OSM data) (see my links).

I think in the long term you might be best off to help improving the OSM data … and then using it (on your gps, on your mobile, …).

(16 Aug '14, 01:56) aseerel4c26 ♦

There are two issues here:

1) origin of the data: data traced from Google Earth is not legal for use in/with OpenStreetMap. If it is actually -your- data, as in independently recorded with a phone or other GPS device and simply stored locally in GE, it is likely to be OK, but you need to check googles terms of service.

2) importing KML see note that your question indicates that you may not quite understand the difference between OSM data and displaying your own data in conjunction with it

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answered 15 Aug '14, 22:17

SimonPoole's gravatar image

SimonPoole ♦
accept rate: 18%

edited 15 Aug '14, 22:18

The copyright issues are only really interesting if you want to contribute to OpenStreetMap (OSM) (which may also have been your question in its initial version. Please be sure to not upload anything to the OSM servers if it is not really useful and copyright-problem-free data. Most questions and answers here on this site are about contributing to OSM. If you collected tracks with your GPS by walking, cycling, driving on roads/ways (not by mousepainting on a google satellite image or google maps), then it might be useful for OSM. But, that is not your question now. However, you could help OSM with your GPS tracks if you want to.

Yes, you can make Garmin maps (.img) from OSM data (.osm). That process is called rendering. Not easy! See section "Creating your own maps from OSM data" on OSM_Map_On_Garmin if you are interested.

And before that … you need to get from gps tracks (we often call them gps traces) to osm data: you could use an OSM editor (do not upload!) like JOSM for the conversations (gpx track → data layer way and add a highway=whatever tag to all). Merging all gpx files into one before might save mouse clicks in JOSM. However, that will not really be a map then, but likely usable on your etrex.

All in all, as Simon already said, you are not really at the right place, I think. But it may work, if you put much effort in it. … And while doing that you get to know the OSM tools which you may need for contributing later on. ;-) This would be the better way: become an OSM contributor and help to improve the public OSM data with your collected gps traces and knowledge. This will take a while and needs some learning and a slow start. Then you can use any OSM-based Garmin map (after they have updated their databases) and have very good maps.

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answered 16 Aug '14, 01:13

aseerel4c26's gravatar image

aseerel4c26 ♦
accept rate: 17%

edited 16 Aug '14, 01:21

Hello. I might be a bit of topic, but I just wanted to recommend a free conversion tool ( for these two formats: kml and gpx. The software works both ways, converting kml to gpx or gpx to kml. Hope it's useful, thanks!

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answered 03 Sep '14, 10:50

Jullie's gravatar image

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I figured out how to do this but then forgot by the time I wanted to do it again. So I figured out a different way to do this and this time I wrote it down. Here it is:

How to use Paths from Google Earth to create a map (img file) that can be loaded into a Garmin etrex 20. This is if you have too many tracks to be loaded at once for your etrex.

  1. In Google Earth save folders containing paths into .kml files. If you want the colors to come thru, save different colors in different folders.

  2. Convert the .kml files you created into .gpx files. I use KML2GPX.exe.

  3. Use IMGfromGPX to create a single img file from the gpx files. Here is where you add the color back in. This creates gmapsupp.img.

  4. Use JaVaWa Device Manager to install gmapsupp.img onto your etrex 20. Push the install button on JaVaWa Device Manager. When the dialog comes up, locate the file gmapsupp.img on your computer. When asked if you want to Overwrite click No. It will still install gmapsupp.img but will rename it to gmapsupp1.img.

  5. Later if you change something in Google Earth, go into JaVaWa Device Manager and remove the gmapsupp1.img and redo everything starting at number 1 above.

  6. Probably want to donate something to JaVaWa. (No I'm not affiliated with them).

This >appears< to work. If anyone knows of any potential problems with this way of doing it, please post it here. Thanks!

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answered 07 Oct '14, 16:52

DanHargrave's gravatar image

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edited 07 Oct '14, 17:01

Note that the web site distributes FREE shape files in KMZ or SHP format, but archives are kept only in KMZ. If we need them in OSM editors, we need such conversion tool. KMZ files are not necessarily owned by Google, they are open formats that can, should be supported in import tools.

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answered 11 Oct, 19:33

verdy_p's gravatar image

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question asked: 15 Aug '14, 21:18

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