Google Earth Pro is my current desktop solution to create high resolution 2D/3D map imagery based on my GPX data. This is primarily a solution to beautify boring contour lines and information to a visual representation that most mainstream readers can consume.
The interface is quite simple and easy to navigate. Feel free to play around with the various tools to familiarise yourself with.
Opening GPX Files
The first step to import a GPX file is to access <File> followed by <Open…>.
On the lower right corner of the dialog box, select “GPS” so that Google Earth Pro will be able to specify for GPX extensions. Then navigate to where you have placed the selected GPX file (for this example, I have place my GPX files on the Desktop itself) and “Open”.
You will be greeted with a dialog box with several options (default selections are “Create KML Tracks” and “Adjust altitudes to ground height”), just go ahead and click “Okay” for now.
You will then be transported to where your GPX tracks are located with a top-down perspective.
By holding the middle mouse button (usually combined with your scroll wheel), you can rotate and tilt your map view easily from 2D to 3D. In this mode, you can have a nice perspective view that gives a representation of terrain features and topography. Holding the right mouse button and moving your mouse, you can adjust the zoom level accordingly. Holding the left mouse button and moving your mouse, you can move around the map easily.
On the lower left side of Google Earth Pro, you see options for “Layers” that can be projected onto the map perspective. Having the “3D Buildings” can give you a decent representation of the buildings (if any) within your tracks.
Exporting the map perspective as an image is simple. Head to <File>, <Save>, then <Save Image…> and you are done!
How you wish to use the images from Google Earth Pro is really up to your creativity as it really helps to bring a more immersive experience (trying out Google Earth Pro’s Flight Simulator mode is another fun thing to do) for sharing your hiking experiences.
This is not a sponsored review/guide and does not have any affiliated links. Any link provided in this article is a direct link to the relevant app store for your convenience or a direct link to the manufacturer’s website. All opinions expressed here are from my personal perspective and experience.