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Google Earth Dropbox Sync

Google Earth - Dropbox Sync

Synchronise Google Earth places across multiple computers using Dropbox. The instructions are currently specific to OS X but can be extended to Windows and Linux.

Process Description

The ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google\ Earth is moved to a google-earth-sync directory under a Dropbox container directory. A symbolic link is then made to this directory.

The entire Google Earth data directory needs to be synchronised instead of just the myplaces.xml file because of how Google Earth backs the file up. During the backup process after quitting Google Earth, myplaces.kml is renamed to myplaces.backup.kml and then copied to myplaces.kml. If only the myplaces.kml file were to be synchronised with a symbolic link then the synchronisation process would break after one cycle because the backup file would then be the symbolic link.

Migrate to Sync Directory

These instructions should only be performed on one machine, with the initial version of the myplaces.xml file that should be synchronised.

Ensure that the Dropbox container directory exists:

mkdir -p ~/Dropbox/Apps/Google\ Earth/

Move Google Earth data directory to Dropbox sync directory:

mv ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google\ Earth ~/Dropbox/Apps/Google\ Earth/google-earth-sync

Reference Sync Directory

These instructions should be performed on all machines.

Back existing directory up:

mv ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google\ Earth ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google\ Earth\ backup

Create a symbolic link to Dropbox sync directory:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/Apps/Google\ Earth/google-earth-sync ~/Library/Application\ Support/Google\ Earth

Google Earth will now read and save to the Dropbox directory. If multiple copies of Google Earth are open at the same time then the saves will conflict and overwrite each other (no merge capability).

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