Using Google Earth Track Files

Help for using Google Earth Track Files (.kml or .kmz files)

I’m happy to publish files that contain our GPS track data from our hikes. Google Earth provides an amazing capability to ‘see’ the terrain, almost in 3D.  Using a mouse, one can zoom in or out, pan left, right, up, or down, rotate the viewing direction, even change the viewing angle as tho’ the viewer is changing the altitude of the ‘camera’.

If you are new to Google Earth, then go to the download site and install it – it is free.  I’m most familiar with it on a PC (download here), but there are versions for OS X (Macintosh computers), and for versions for Mobile Devices –  IOS (iPhones) and Android (Smartphones).  Google Earth works best on desktop computers; it’s features are somewhat limited on Mobile Devices.

The .kml files that I am providing are ready to load into Google Earth.  When you click on one of those links, the .kml file will be downloaded to your computer via your web browser.  There are many ways to get the file loaded into Google Earth; here is one:

  • Save the file somewhere, say on your desktop or where you keep your documents.
  •  Then start Google Earth, and either
    • drag the file and drop it on the Google Earth window,
    • or use the File menu to Open the file.

Then enjoy exploring our hikes, almost like you are with us.