~ Captain Paul's response to: ~ Mike the Tiger ~
Ok Mike, there are two ways of completing your mission. I suggest that you try both and see which one works best for your unit and your piece of mind. Both require a two part operation on your part.
Either way, you should do the first part for either of the options.
First, get a SPARE data card that will be used to ONLY make data transfers from your computer to the GPS unit. Place it in the unit and turn the unit on and change any function in the unit. Remove the card and bring it to your computer.
Then make a folder in the Google Earth client window (c: program files/google/googleEarth/client/MY GPS points). Name it something like my GPS points.
This will be the location where you save the Google “Places”. They will go to the general CLIENT file, so you may have to “move” them in to the proper GPS named folder.
Open the Google Earth program and In the VIEW link, select Tool Bar and Sidebar by checking the links. This will allow you to see a bar on the left side of the screen as well as a toolbar at the top of the view.
The waypoints will appear in the PLACES box in that bar. Organize it to your taste.
Google Earth can record and save the places in a variety of position formats. I suggest that you use the Degrees and Decimal minutes (DDD,MM.mmm) as this is usually the default setup for your GPS unit. If it is not, change it to this setting in the Google Earth Options / 3D View in the Show Lat/Long settings. They also use a WGS84 DATUM in plotting and displaying their mapping images. It is a locked in setting that you are not able to change in the Google Earth program. Your GPS system should be set to the same WGS 84 datum setting. Both categories must agree in both the position format and the DATUM settings.
Google Earth saves the positions as an .kml or a .kzm. files. These files will be the ones that you convert and transfer to the computer then to your GPS unit.
Zoom in the Google Earth program and mark your places (waypoints)
Mark and save your positions by using the ADD PLACEMARK icon link or by using the Control + shift + S key strokes.
Save your locations as a Placemark (waypoint) one at a time. You can select color of the map pins by using the right click of the mouse in the Waypoints box and selecting the PROPERTIES button.
After all of the waypoints are saved and moved into the MY GPS file you are ready to make the transfer.
Select the location where you want the data to go (MyDocuments or My Library/GPS WAYPOINTS/HOMEDALE (or DELACROIX) whichever is appropriate for the area you converted. Copy the Google Client file to that location,
On the web, go to www.GPSBabel.org
and start the download by clicking on the link. It is a FREE data internet download. Install an icon on your desk top for the program.
Open the Babel program and select the INPUT format as Google KML and select the Google place file where you placed it in the Program files/google/googleEarth/client/MYGPS/Delecroix (or Hopedale) folder. All of the Google Earth place locations you marked should be in that one folder.
Indicate that file in the Babel program. Click the WAYPOINTS box in the Babel Program and then select the Lowrance or the Lowrance version 4 for the file type depending on what version of Lowrance software your unit is running. Try the Version 4 first.
Click the OK. The data your place marks should all be converted to Lowrance .usr waypoints and should me in the appropriate folder.
Now copy the converted file to the spare memory card. In doing so, you may want to rename it or use the full name. Place the memory card in your GPS unit and using the MENU features in that unit, transfer the data from the data card into the internal waypoint memory. All of the waypoints should appear as overlays on what ever mapping program you may have.
If the unit does NOT recognize the file, you will have to use the Lowrance data program called INSIGHT PLANNER. It is a “For Sale” item on the Lowrance web site. Check out the Mapping links, or search the site for INSIGHT Planner. You will note that Lowrance offers several type of supplemental mapping that you may be interested in, including Insight Topographical maps. I like this type of mapping, as I believe that it shows the Louisiana coastal marshes with much better detail than some of the other mapping versions.
The INSIGHT PLANNER can read Google KMZ files so it saves you the trouble of having to use the Babel program. However it is a good idea to download and install the Babel program in your computer is it is a great tool for converting waypoints, tracks and routes from one manufacturer’s format to another.
From there, open the Lowrance INSIGHT PLANNER, and click on the TRANSFER button then the IMPORT then the FILE ON DISK then the GOOGLE EARTH option. If the Babel copy you first tried did not work on the memory card, you can select the Lowrance .usr file to import into the Insight Planner. If you by passed the Babel option, simply select the GOOGLE file option and import it into the Insight program.
Once there you can delete and add additional waypoints, combine several locations together and when finished you can EXPORT the USR file by selecting the TRANSFER/ EXPORT/ File on Disk and save it to the spare memory card. This program offers you several of the older versions of the USR format. You may have to experiment which version will work in your newer unit.
Contact me if you need any additional help.
~ Captain Paul ~