We love looking at our trips in Google Earth, it’s one of more entertaining things to do on the net after having gotten tired of watching Youtube video’s . So we thought to write this post in an effort to share the love.
To enjoy this too, you’ll first need Google Earth on your computer, and the free version is all you need. It works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. ‘Using Google Earth‘, the blog of John Gardiner, author of the Google Earth user guide, will give you plenty of pointers and howtos that will help you get familiar with Earth, but everything works fairly intuitively.
Now if you’re looking at or have created a trip in MTBGuru, say a hike to the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, you’ll see on the Control Panel in the sidebar of the page a menu item saying ‘Download Google Earth File’. From your GPS data we have generated a .kml file (the native format of Google Earth) that contains both the track information as well as thumbnails and links to your geotagged photos, and clicking this menu item lets you download the .kml file and open it in Google Earth (you can also set up your browser to automatically open it in Earth).
In Earth you’ll then see something as shown by the screenshot below:
Your MTBGuru trip is added as an item under ‘My Places’ in the ‘Places’ window, as indicated in the left sidebar (see blue arrow). A folder ‘mtbguru.com’ is created that has subfolders containing the track and picture information. Your track is displayed as a red solid line, and the various picture stops are indicated by the camera icon. Now the fun can begin – Half Dome is obviously an appropriate and willing victim for 3D manipulation – play a bit with the perspective and click the camera icon and you can compare the rendering in Earth with your photo:
And if you click the photo thumbnail, you’ll be pointed to the picture in full resolution at MTBGuru in your browser.