If you use Google maps to create itineraries or check out sights to visit and own a Garmin GPS, the two are a powerful travel planning combination. It takes just seconds to download sites, including their addresses to your Garmin device.

All that’s required is a Garmin GPS and one of the following PC’s & browsers:

  • Compatible computers and Internet browsers:
    • IBM-compatible PCs running Windows® XP or Vista operating systems with Internet Explorer 6+ or Firefox 1.5+
    • Intel-based or PowerPC G3 or later Mac OS 10.4 or later with Firefox 2.0+ or Safari 2.0+
    • (Also available for Mac:  Communicator plugin for Mac

Download any Google maps location in seconds…

As I explain on the brief video a bit further below, having created a map (immediately below) of sites and museums we want to visit in Rome, I began wondering if there was any simple way to add those sites to my Garmin GPS…

By the way, if  you’d like to view the map above in Google maps (so that all the location links are “live”), click here:   Rome attractions & restaurants

To add Google maps locations to your Garmin device, you need the Garmin Communicator plugin, available here:  Garmin Communicator.

The following video covers exactly how to transfer Google maps locations to your Garmin device, once you’ve installed Garmin Communicator on your computer:

It only takes about 15 seconds or so per site, and when you’re done your downloaded sites will appear in your Favorites on your Garmin GPS:

A couple of other notes:

Google maps is not compatible with the iPod Touch, and I imagine, the iPhone.  Pity.  I can view Google maps with my BlackBerry Tour, but the result is less than satisfactory, and requires modifying a couple of settings.

Also, if you’re imagining me stumbling around Rome, clutching a GPS unit in front of me, it’s nothing like that.  Power on your unit, extend the antenna, and place the unit in your breast pocket, and listen to the directions via a pair of ear buds – it’s discreet and you only need do it when you’re unsure of how to get where you’re going.

Have you used Google maps as a travel planning tool?  If yes, please comment on how you’ve made it work for your needs!

For the record, I have no connection with Garmin or Google.

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7 Comments on Travel planning: Download Google maps locations to your Garmin GPS in seconds!

  1. Harris says:

    There is some sort of Google Maps app that comes loaded on the iPhone.


    Kevin Reply:

    There is, but you can’t access “My Maps” created with Google Maps, AFAIK.


  2. Harris says:

    I just got the iPhone and am not sure what it will/will not do. This has gotten me playing w/it, and the Google app has some sort of “bookmark” feature that will allow you to bookmark locations and maps. It appears to do the same thing as the sample you show in the post. Perhaps someone else knows more about this.


  3. Harris says:

    When all else fails, go to Google. http://www.google.com/mobile/maps/


    Kevin Reply:

    Harris: Been there, done that. I cannot identify a way to get to my custom maps on my 3rd gen iPod Touch. If anyone knows how to access “My Maps” on an iPhone or iPod Touch, let me know.


  4. Harris says:

    Further research into this reveals that Apple and Google are “working together” to get an update to the Google Maps app for the Apple to match that available for the Android. Until then, Apple users must make do with what they have. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, and as a result of this, I have learned much more about my iPhone.


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