Obviously if you are using a smart phone you can look up your google map any time. So why use a GPS? Smart phone battery life has simply not advanced as quickly as most would like. I find that my Android phone is out of juice within a day. Ok for short rides but no good if you are planning on camping for a few days.
Which brings me to the next problem. How to get the Google Map into a working file format and onto the GPS unit. Fortunately it is not too difficult.
Step One – Save the Google Map as a KML File
On your google maps page you will see a link to the KML file (see image below). Download this file.
Step Two – Convert the KML file into GPX format
Before the path can be loaded onto a gps unit it must first be converted into a readable file. GPX, or GPS eXchange Format is a common GPS data format for software applications. Fortunately there is a completely free online service that will do the conversion for you.
1. Select the output format “gpx”
2. Browse and choose the KML file that you downloaded
3. Click Convert
You will then be taken to a page where you can cut and paste the output or click the link to download the file
Step Three – Upload to GPX file to your GPS Unit
I can’t really help you with this step other than to tell you that in my case my Garmin eTrex Legend® HCx uses Map Source Software to upload the gpx file. I import the file to Map Source, connect my garmin and click upload data. This should be very similar for all devices.
And your done. You now have the tracks and waypoints that your created using Google Maps.