Google Earth or Google Maps?
The KML file you download from this page can be used with either Google Earth or Google Maps. Developed by Google, the programs are different yet complimentary.
Google Earth, a free software application that you download from Google, allows the user to view 3D satellite imagery anywhere on the planet. Google Earth allows you to visualize the actual terrain of most of the locations featured in our books from the comfort of your home, which we have found very useful when planning a trip.
Google Maps, accessed through a web browser on a Windows PC or Mac computer – or through an app on an iPhone or Android phone – provides real-time, voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation. With the Google Maps app installed on your smartphone, you can use our KML file to navigate to the locations featured in our books.
A note about using the Google Maps app on your smartphone to navigate:
Navigating with Google Maps differs in some important respects from navigating with a Garmin or TomTom GPS device. All three approaches use the same exact underlying data (the files we supply for download). In the case of Garmin and TomTom devices, the data file is transferred into the memory of the device using a Windows PC or Mac computer. Because the data files are stored in the device itself, no internet connection is required, only a GPS signal. GPS signals are reliably provided at no charge, day and night, by a constellation of satellites orbiting the earth.
In contrast, data for the Google Maps app is stored in the cloud, making the data (and the corresponding maps) accessible on multiple devices via the internet. Once signed in to your Google Maps account, the data and corresponding maps can be accessed across different platforms – desktop or laptop computers, smartphones and tablets – without the need to load the data onto each separate device.
For smartphones this functionality requires an internet connection in the form of a data plan with a sufficient amount of data to avoid roaming charges. Without an adequate data plan, these charges can be very high, so be sure to check with your particular wireless carrier to determine your data plan’s coverage – before you leave on your trip! T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan, offered in the US, is one example of a data plan that provides unlimited data and texting in every European country.
Using Google Earth to View Locations in Tuscany
If you’d like to visualize locations within Tuscany when planning your trip, our GPS coordinate file can be downloaded in KML format for viewing on Google Earth™.
- Download the file.
- Double-click to open the downloaded zip file.
- Double-click on the file name to open in Google Earth. (Google Earth must be installed on your computer; see download link above.)
In the Places pane in Google Earth, there will now be an entry for “Temporary Places.” Click the triangle to expand it, and then click the triangle to the left of “TBC Waypoints.” All of the TBC locations will now appear in the list of Waypoints, identified by both name and a blue flag; double-click on any of them to have Google Earth take you to that location.