Creating POI files with Google Earth


Many people like to create personal POI files with Google Earth. Here are the basic steps:

In Google Earth:

  • find locations in Google Earth (either by searching or clicking on the map)
  • move the locations to "my favorites"
  • save your favorites as a .KML file

The .KML file will contain data for all of the locations in your favorites area. Next, you need to convert the KML file to a format that works with your GPS. PoiEdit works well for this.

In PoiEdit:

  • Open the .KML file
  • delete any extra locations you don't want included in your POI file
  • select File / Save As, and select the file format you want (e.g., Garmin CSV)

For longer files, this is a lot easier than typing the data into Notepad or Excel; and Google Earth does the hard work of finding the coordinates.

Setting Google Earth to Display Decimal Degrees

When you’re building POI files, its best to set your tools to show coordinates in Decimal Degree format. Otherwise, you’ll need to convert them using a tool like this one:

To change Google Earth so that it displays Decimal Degrees instead of DMS, you can adjust this options setting:

Tools > Options > View (tab) > Lat/Lon > Decimal Degrees > OK

On a Mac, this setting is found at Earth > Preferences.

After you make this change, Google Earth will show coordinates in Decimal Degrees format, and the coordinates can be entered directly into your POI file without conversion.

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