Create a user-defined buffer around point, line, or polygon KMLs has never been easier!
1) Make sure that your Google Earth data is saved as a KML, not KMZ
2) Open this website: http://www.geo-news.net/index_buffer.php
3) Select your buffer type (line, point, or polygon)
4) Select the KML you would like to buffer and choose a buffer distance (in meters). Click the globe with the up arrow to upload your KML file.
5) A new KML will be created and available via a link at the top of the screen.
6) Click the link, save the KML to a location of your choosing and open in Google Earth!
Let’s say you would like to upload Game Management Unit 1 to your GPS.
1) Download the Game Management Units KML from the IFWIS Open Data page, https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/ifwis/portal/opendata.
2) Open the KML in Google Earth. Right-click “1” in the gmu features list. Select “Save Place As…”
3) Save the feature as a KML (not a KMZ).
4) Convert the KML to a GPX file. There are many open-source software options. I like KML2GPX.exe (download from https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!msg/kml-support-getting-started/5K7vcIGUz6s/_EvtN-YqXuwJ) and GPSBabel (download from http://www.gpsbabel.org/).
5) Upload the GPX file as a track to your GPS. NOTE: for those GPS units with smaller data storage space or without a data storage card the track may be too large to upload without simplifying. Using GPSBabel, you can apply a “Filter” to the Routes & Tracks to simplify the boundary. For units such as the etrex Vista Cx, I know that the track point upload limit is 500 (otherwise it will give you a message that says “track truncated”. The Minnesota DNRGPS Application also works well for uploading data but I have not found a way to simplify the track using this software (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mis/gis/DNRGPS/DNRGPS.html).
There are many different tactics for completing this process but these are the steps that have given me the least amounts of difficulties for a number of different Garmin GPS units. These steps have not been tested on Magellan, Lowrance, TomTom, etc.
Do you have another method that works better for you? Please share in the comment below!
Although there is a tool in ArcToolbox (Layer to KML) that allows you to convert your ArcGIS file to a Google Earth KML file, this tool gives you no options for customizing how the information is displayed.
Let me present to you the opensource (aka FREE) Shp2kml tool:
Note: The Download link is actually half way down the webpage, the large Start Download button at the top of the page is part of an ad for a different product.
Step 1: Choose your input file and coordinate system.
Step 2: Decide which attribute you want to use as the label and check 'Mouse Roll over Effect' if you want to highlight a feature when the mouse is moved over it.
Step 3: Decide what color and transparency (opacity) you features will be.
Step 4: Decide what attribute information you would like in the pop-up balloon when a feature is clicked or selected and customize the balloons symbology.
Step 5: Give the kml layer a name and any descriptive information you would like and your done!
When you click a link, your browser will ask you to download a KML file (keyhole markup language, a file that Google Earth uses to show locations). Opening that file will plot your past observations within Google Earth#.
We hope this is a useful feature while we continue to enable further gis or mapping options for your observation data.
#Note: At this point-in-time, don't worry about saving the file. It is only a snapshot of your observations. It currently will not update within Google Earth with your latest observations, we plan to add this feature in the future. To view the most current snapshot of your observations, you will have to download the file each time.
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