Train Ride Recorded on Google Earth with My Tracks App

We took a day to play tourist the day before we left the Verde Valley in Arizona. We posted a question on the Facebook group “Living the RV Dream” asking for suggestions of what to do. Within the hour we had no less than 20 responses. More came in over the next day. The consensus seemed to be Take the Train! So we did.

We called and made reservations for the Verde Canyon Railroad. We arrived the next day around noon and boarded the train at 1pm. Then I turned on My Tracks on my smartphone. This is so cool. It is GPS aware so it just keeps drawing a line on a map that plots where we are. But, more than that, you can take pictures along the way and they will be added to the correct spot on the map. When your trip is complete you stop the recording. Then you can view the tour or share it.



My Tracks is a Google product, so it integrates with Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Drive.  If you use Google Drive your Tracks are automatically saved there, so you can access them from your computer, or whatever device you like.  This also makes them easy to share with others.  I tapped the share icon at the top of the screen and chose the option to share publicly with Google Drive.


If you have Google Earth installed on your computer (or whatever you’re using to read this) you can click on this Verde Canyon Track to download it. Then, when you open that .kmz file it will open in Google Earth. You should then see something like the following screenshot. I think the most entertaining way to view it is by double-clicking the Marker labels at the left. So, double-click on Marker 1 and Google Earth will fly you to that point and open up the picture. Then double-click on Marker 2 etc.


After you record a track, you should be able to open your Google Drive and see a folder called My Tracks.  This folder can be on your computer as well as in the cloud if you download the Google Drive Desktop.

The one big problem with My Tracks is that there is no App for iPhone, just for Android phones.

I doubt that I’ll use this feature very often, but it sure makes for a ‘gee-whiz, look at that’ way to view some special trips.