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DNRGarmin - A Tool for Converting Data to KML

DNRGarmin was originally designed to provide users the ability to directly transfer data between a Garmin GPS receiver and various GIS software packages. As technology advanced, the good folks at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources updated their software to include the option to save data to KML. Data can be downloaded from a GPS or imported from a file stored on your computer's hard drive, and then converted into various formats, including KML. It's simple to use and best of all it's FREE!

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Getting Started With DNRGarmin

There are many useful functions of DNRGarmin, particularly for use with Garmin GPS receivers. For our purposes however, we are going to focus on its ability to convert geospatial data stored in various file formats (textfiles, database files, shapefiles) to KML that can be viewed in an Earth Browser such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Bing Maps. Follow the steps below for an overview of how to import and save files to KML. Then try it on your own using the Activity posted at the bottom of the page.

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That was way cool! So, what did I just do again?

DNRGarmin is a tool that you can use to convert your geospatial data from GIS, database, text, or GPS files to KML. It's simple to use and it's FREE, thanks to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources!

Do It Yourself

Activity Link Try it on your own! Click the activity link to open an activity that takes you stepwise through the process of converting an existing data to KML.

More Tools for Converting Data to KML

Are there any other software programs that can convert data to KML?

Yes. DNRGarmin is a good program because it's easy to use and free, but there are several other software packages that do similar functions. Check out some of the links below. Some are freeware, others come with a pricetag.

Software Functions Cost?
GeoSetter Allows a user to integrate digital photographs into a KML by geolocating the photo by a point-and-click method, or by synchronizing the timestamp with a GPS file. Free!
GPS Visualizer Allows a user to import an existing GPS data file or textfile and create KML for an Earth Browser. It also allows a user to create KML image overlays so you can add your own aerials or topo maps to Google Earth. Free!
GPSBabel GPSBabel allows a user to convert various formats of GPS data to KML. Free!
TopoGrafix Expert GPS Converts data between several different file formats including: .gpx, .dxf, .shp, .csv, .txt, and KML. ~$100
Manifold Tools Manifold is a GIS package which allows a user to convert data from a variety of formats to KML. Because it is also a GIS, the software has a number of other tools for viewing and analyzing geospatial data. $245