Program Your Factory Installed GPS With The Help of Google

Program Your Built In GPS With The Help of Google


You can't connect your computer to your built in navigation unit, so what can you do? Its hard to sit in your vehicle and fool around for an hour or more trying to get your route programmed exactly where you want to go.

For example, if you want to go from Nova Scotia, Canada to Panama City Beach, Florida, if you just input the departure and destination points into your GPS it will send you via I-95 all the way down the eastern coast, through the heaviest traffic you can imagine, Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. - you get the picture.

You want to go via I-84, and miss all that for a more comfortable drive. How can you do that?

Well you can input the name of towns along the way, often called way-points and change it further down the road each time you get close to the named town. Bothersome to say the least, and if you are not careful it will lead you right into the centre of those towns you use for reference.

There Is A Better Way

Map view


Go ahead, plan your route on your computer using Google. Drag the marked line to the roads and interstates you desire.

In our sample route from Nova Scotia to Panama City Beach, we wanted to go via I-84, not I-95 where the normal programming will take you.


Once you get everything set up the way you want on the computer, pick a point on I-84 in the direction you want to go.


Get coordinates


Zoom in real close at some point, zoom in close enough that you can see both lanes of the interstate.


Make sure to keep the mouse pointer right on the middle of the interstate in the direction you are traveling.

(Blue arrow)

Get Coordinates

Right click and select DropLatLng Marker. (red arrow above)




A marker will appear with the coordinates listed.

(Later when you zoom out again, the marker numbers will be in a small box near the interstate or roadway where you marked it. It may look like it is not on the exact highway point where you want to go, but it is.)

In our sample, that is all we need.

Program the Vehicle GPS using coordinates

Mark down the coordinates you were given on the Google map.

Now go to your vehicle and input the information. Depending on your GPS you may have to use the Trip or Waypoint feature.

1) First your departure point.

2) For the next destination input the coordinates from the Google map.

That's the first part of your trip, which puts you on the correct interstates to avoid I-95 traffic. 

3) Now program the next part of the trip. Departure point is the GPS coordinates, and destination is the final point, Panama City Beach address in our sample.

When you are driving on a trip programmed in this manner, voice directions and all work as normal. When you reach one of these coordinates it will say, "you have reached your destination." Then it will carry on with the rest of the trip, to the next coordinate you entered, or to your destination.

This method won't lead you into any strange towns you don't want to be in. In our sample case, we only use the coordinates once. You could use them several times depending on any variations you desire during your travels.

Depending on your built in GPS you may have to program each leg of your trip as separate trips. Or as in the case of our Grand Caravan, you can program trips and add as many destination points as you want, all in one trip and it will just lead you from one on to the next.

It is even practical to make your own printed map booklet if you tend to repeat a trip yearly or more often, with these coordinates saved on it. You can have variations marked as well, and you have a printed backup that will work on most GPS brands should you lose the programming or change vehicles.

It takes a little practice, but is much easier than sitting in the car using paper maps and trying to use the GPS map to input towns and places by trial and error to get to where you want to go.



About Us | Top | Contact Us | ©2006