Home Tips Creating Overland Routes in Google Earth

Creating Overland Routes in Google Earth


Google Earth is one of the best free tools for Overlanders. This is a practical guide for creating paths and routes in Google Earth to share or import into your personal navigation hardware.

To get started, download Google Earth below!

Google Earth

Google Earth is a free 3d map application with incredible detail. as a tool for exploration, there is nothing else like it.

“View satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, galaxies far in space, and the deepest depths of the ocean.”

You can get started by downloading the application here for Desktop or Mobile. This is an image link:


Pan Left & Right
Zoom In & Out

For navigating in Google Earth we highly recommend getting a “Wheel Mouse” if you do not already own one. This makes it easy to navigate, while adding points on the map, using arrow keys to pan and the wheel to zoom in and out. We have found any other configuration to be quite frustrating! Download and install Google Earth on your computer. Hardware acceleration (a good video card) makes navigation smooth and effortless.



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  1. Install Google Earth
  2. In left navigation pane, create a folder with the name of the location.
  3. Go to that location by using the search box in the upper left of Google Earth
  4. With the folder selected in the left pane, at the top of the screen, click the “path tool”. This will create a path in your folder.
  5. In the path dialogue, name the path and do NOT close the dialogue box. In the 3D screen navigate the map using the arrows to pan (or W, A, S, D) and the mouse wheel to zoom in and out as needed.
  6. Use the left mouse button to add points and the right button to remove points.
  7. Complete your path.
  8. Save the path by selecting the “OK” button on the path dialogue.
  9. You can add markers and icons to the path like, “Beginning” for example, by using the “pin” tool that looks like a thumb-tack.
  10. Once done, right-click the path in the left pane and choose “Save Location As” to save a “KML” file. KML files can be saved to gpx format. Save the file to your desktop. This file can be shared with other people who have Google Earth.
  11. To convert your file to GPX format, usable by most navigation hardware, go to this website and complete the conversion: KML to GPX It is free and easy!

That is it! If you have an y questions, please let me know in ght comments and I will answer for you!