Part 4 - Import Waypoints into Google Earth

Step 1 Launch Google Earth and Set the Waypoint Information.

After collecting the waypoints with the GPS you will import them into Google Earth, (version 5 or higher), for analysis.

  1. Launch Google Earth by clicking on the icon in the doc or start menu.
  2. Change the Waypoint Settings
  • On a Mac, choose Google Earth > Preferences...
  • In the Preferences window, choose Decimal Degrees for the Show Lat/Long option.
  • On Windows PC, choose Tools > Options... >Decimal Degrees > OK.

Step 2 Connect the GPS unit to the Computer

  1. Connect the GPS unit to the computer with the appropriate cable for the model of GPS and computer.
  2. Make sure that the GPS is turned on.

Step 3-Import Waypoints into Google Earth

  1. In Google Earth, select Tools > GPS
    GE GPS tool menu

  2. Under Device, click on the radio buttons for the type of GPS used. In this example Garmin is selected. Under Import, leave only the Waypoint checkbox selected. Click Import to transfer the waypoints from the GPS to the computer. A "loaded - waypoints" screen will appear when the download is complete.
  3. Open the the Places folder with the imported waypoints.
  4. Once the waypoints are imported you will see them displayed on the map.
If you do not have a GPS unit, or were unable to complete the steps above, you can download this practice kmz file to complete the exercise in Google Earth. Litter Retriever Practice file (KMZ File PRIVATE FILE 2kB Aug18 10).

Step 3 Edit the Placemarks

  1. From the list of Placemarks, which represent the waypoints of litter and trashcans, edit each of them to give them a more descriptive name, a short description of the placemark and change the icon.
  2. To edit a placemark, single click to select the placemark to be edited. Right click on the placemark, select Properties (Win) or Get Info (Mac).
  3. In the Properties (Win) or Get Info (Mac) box change the name of the placemark to something more descriptive, such as GB-trash1 for Gina and Bob's 1st piece of trash. In the description box, also describe what type of litter was found. Don't click OK just yet.

  4. edit placemark and name
  5. In the edit properties window, click on the icon (to the right of the name) to change the color and style of the icon of the placemark. Choose a red paddle with the letter "T" in the middle to represent trash cans.
  6. Click OK when finished editing and OK again to exit the Edit placemark dialog box.
  7. Repeat these steps to change the placemark names for all waypoints and trashcans.
  8. When you are finished editing, your map window in Google Earth should look similar to the one below.

  9. In Google Earth, choose File > Save > Save Place As... to save your edited file with a new name. Save the file to your documents folder or another location that you can easily return to.