Make Your Way with Google Earth

PCQ Bureau
New Update

Recently, I was travelling from Delhi to Jodhpur by road and my trip was

perfectly fine till I reached Jaipur. After reaching the Jaipur Bypass, my

driver goofed up and drove away from Ajmer highway. We continued on the wrong

path for the next one and a half hour. It was only when we landed at a lonely

patch of desert did we realize our folly and took three hours to get back on the

right path. These days such mistakes can be avoided easily. How? With technology

playing savior against most of the problems that we face, there are gadgets that

help avoid such goof ups. In fact you can devise your own astonishing gadget for

this purpose, and no, you don't need Q's lab (to refresh your memory, Q was the

scientist in James bond movies who provided gadgets and gizmos to him) for

creating it.


To create such a device you require a GPS receiver unit, which you can

connect to your laptop using COM port/USB/Bluetooth. One such device could be

Garmin's GPS 18, a USB based GPS receiver whose online price is less than $130.

Along with the GPS receiver, you need Google Earth Plus, a paid, personal

version of the popular and free Google Earth. It comes embedded with

enhancements such as GPS support and costs about $20. By using Google Earth

along with some free plug-ins that can make it GPS ready, this additional cost

can be avoided .

Direct Hit!
Applies To:

Laptop users

Price: Google Earth Plus: $20

USP: Convert your laptop into a
GPS navigation system

Primary Link:

Google Keywords: Google Earth, Mehere, Garmin

One may question why to use Google Earth with a laptop and a GPS module?

Especially when you can buy a complete GPS device that comes preloaded with maps

and is even compact in size.It's because of the utilities that you get with such

a setup, such as a 'Community layer' and more detailed maps.


To add on details to the maps one can use Google Map software. This can be

used to upload one's address, mark a building, and name a highway. This makes

each map detailed, and when you enable the 'Community layer' in Google Maps, all

these marks and addresses appear on screen. Just like you find your friends on

Orkut by searching names, you can find paths and directions to someone's office

or residence through Google search.

And if you have a GPS device integrated with your Laptop and Google Earth, you
can track any address in this world. Sounds great doesn't it? But for this

luxury you need detailed maps to be uploaded on the Web.

Uploading an address to Google Earth

First manually search for the location you want to tag, and click on 'Add

Placemark' button present on the tool bar. You can use any of the two available

versions of Google Earth. A Pin icon followed by a dialog box appears. Place it

on the location that you want to tag, and give it a suitable name in the dialog

box. Provide address and brief description of the place in the Description field

and click on 'OK'.


Further, get yourself registered with Google Earth or keyhole. For this right

click on the Pin icon and select 'Share/Post' option. This opens up a wizard. If

you are already a registered member then click on 'Continue,' else click on

'Register' and complete the registration process. Next, check all options

present at the bottom and click on Continue. On the next screen, upload the

location for community use or else move over to the next step. Now, you will be

asked to login. Provide your credentials and your 'Forum' page will open up.

Here,give a subject to the location you have just created. Now, submit the page

and you're done.

To process and upload the location that you have added, Google will take

approximately between two days to two weeks.

To upload your

location on Google Earth, click on the location that you have added and then

share it by following the wizard

Connecting GPS with Google Earth

For locating new places you need a machine with Internet connection, and a

handy GPS receiver. While buying a GPS device for Google Earth, make sure that

it either comes with a COM interface or you should have a driver to convert the

USB input to a virtual COM port ( Google Earth doesn't work well with USB or

other devices). We used Garmin's GPS 18, which comes with a USB port.

To see the locations uploaded

by other users, you have to turn the 'Community layer' on

For creating virtual COM ports for the device, download 'Spanner' from

Garmin's website. Install Spanner and follow the installation wizard. After

installation is done, start the Spanner application which will detect the GPS

device automatically.

Now to integrate your GPS device with Google Earth you have two options.

Either use the paid Google Earth Plus, which is pretty cheap and costs you

around Rs 1000 or you can go for free options such as MeHere or Geepeeyes.

Amongst the freely available options I recommend 'Mehere.' It works perfectly

with both Google Earth and Google Maps. It can be downloaded from

To install it extract the ZIP file, run the exe and it will get included in

your task bar. At the same time it will also open up a browser showing your

location on Google Maps.


To see your position on Google Earth, just click on the 'View in Google

Earth' option at right. A yellow balloon with a name 'You' appears pointing to

your exact location.

Select the type of location

under which you want to upload the location that you have created

If you want to use the Google Earth's inbuilt GPS feature, then you have to

buy Google Earth Plus. It's again simple to use. Just go to the Tools menu,

select GPS, and click on 'RealTime' tab. Then check the 'Automatically follow

the path' option and click on 'Start.' A green balloon pointing to your location

will appear with the name 'Position.'


After using both the apps, I found MeHere a better option than Google Earth

Plus. Not just because it's free, but because of the stable maps that it

displays. In Google Earth Plus the map moves, zooms in and out a lot, which

results in less readability while driving.

So, now have fun while locating new places. But before I end my article here,

a word of caution. When using these devices while driving, please handover your

laptop along with the fancy gadgets to the person sitting next to the driver's

seat and let him navigate the way!

The GPS navigation software

Mehere provides the longitude and latitude status of your laptop, thereby

helping you navigate your way