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Drawing with Google Earth and a GPS

Drawing with Google Earth and a GPS

I’m on my way to the Where 2.0 conference, I’ll be hosting an area at the Where Fair with all my GPS projects I’ve been up to. Coincidentally, Google released Google Earth (free) and I downloaded it and started to tinker. The plus version ($20) allows you do use a GPS so of course I’m already working on a 3D GPS drawing project. Here’s a quick video of how it works (6mb QuickTime MOV). Link.

0 thoughts on “Drawing with Google Earth and a GPS

  1. RevDanCatt says:


    Here’s a quick one. I’ve updated geobloggers to supply a Google Earth feed. So geotagged Flickr Images can be pulled down onto Google Earth.

    There’s more info over here…

    Screen Shots…

    Google Earth URLS…
    Around Where 2.0
    Grand Canyon
    A single users photos plotted on Google Earth

    I’m sure you can figure out that the URLs are most hackable :)

    And I’ve been told by the Google Earth people to keep an eye out for the “view-based refresh”, which I’m assuming will allow you to call custom URLs, triggered by the view changing and access to some Google Earth variables (i.e. $lat or %lon or some such).

    Video looks great, good luck with the conferance!

  2. RevDanCatt says:

    Oh. Around Where 2.0 link should be…
    This instead
    Centered on lat/lon via the URL rather than using a range.

  3. RobbyB says:

    If you have a account and upload your GPS tracks there, they will automatically export a Google Earth (Keyhole) file. Save it to your computer and then open it in Google Earth. It shows up just the same in the free version as in the pro version. It’s an extra step, but at least it’s free.

    Here’s the blog entry about it

  4. philliptorrone says:

    rev sent me this– neat!

    Just a quick one I thought you may be interested in.

    In Google Earth, if you right click under My Places you can add a
    “Network Link”, and get Google Earth to call a webserver based on a
    couple of settings, i.e. every 60 seconds or once the map has stopped
    moving and so on.

    It appends BBOX=minLon,minLat,maxLon,maxLat to the URL (the bounding box).

    So as you move around with your GPS unit wired into Google Earth, it can
    request data (in KML format) from a server based on your location.

    I’ve done this with geotagged Flickr Photos, if you add…
    …as the network place and get it to refresh when the camera stops,
    it’ll download the nearest 50 tagged Flickr Photos (I think it only
    works under 800miles altitude).

    There’s all sorts of neat location based services that can be hacked
    together with this :)

    Happy Hacking, and good luck with Where 2.0

  5. blackrazorus says:

    Wow! That is fantastic! Am I the only one who wishes that there was a Linux version? I would even settle for a Mac version! :-)

  6. dogzilla says:

    *yawn*. Wake me up when it runs on something besides Windows.

  7. jason.sutton says:

    I went to the Google Earth download page and it says that the beta is closed and I can’t download anything. Does anyone have a link to the Google Earth software that works? Or, can someone post a copy of the software they have already downloaded on a server so all of us “latecomers” can take a peek?

  8. wtb says:

    The link below is a Pocket PC progam that makes it really easy to create KML files using GPS. With the press of a button you can create the KML files and send it anywhere as an email attachment. If you have mobile email capabilities using GPRS or WiFi, then you an do this instantly. Otherwise the email will be sent as soon as you synchonise your PPC with your desktop computer through ActiveSync.

    The program is called SurveyArea3 and can be downloaded at

  9. vcao says:

    Importing the data from your GPS to Google Earth is simple:

    1. If you are using a Garmin USB device and a Windows computer, please install the Garmin USB driver from the CD that came with your GPS device or download this driver from the Garmin website.
    2. Connect your device to the computer running Google Earth.

    You can use either a serial cable or USB cable, depending upon which one came with your device.
    3. Turn on the GPS device. Once your device is on and activated, it is not necessary to wait until it connects to satellites.
    4. From the Tools menu, select GPS. The GPS window appears.

    5. Select the correct manufacturer type for your device.
    6. Under Import, Select the types of data you want to import.
    7. Under Options, choose your drawing preferences. Check Draw icons at track and route points if you want an icon to be displayed in the 3D viewer for every track/route point recorded by your GPS device. Check Draw lines for tracks and routes to draw each GPS track and route as a solid line.

    8. Check the Adjust altitude to ground height check box to adjust all recorded point to ground level, such as when importing a track taken on foot, car, or bike. However, if your GPS track was recorded while hang gliding or flying, make sure this option is not selected so that your points will appear as above-ground points.
    9. Click OK. When your GPS data is finished loading into Google Earth, a confirmation dialog box appears.

    Your data appears in the Places panel with the label Garmin GPS Device or Magellan GPS Device, depending upon the device used (see Supported Devices). If you expand that folder, you can see the data sorted into the appropriate folders depending upon the type of data, as illustrated in the example below.

    You can expand those folders and explore the information within as you would any other type of places data. This includes organizing, editing, sharing, saving, and more.

  10. avandalen says:

    See here my new site Edit GPS tracks in Mapsource and Google Earth:

  11. alex tony says:

    “Your data appears in the Places panel with the label Garmin GPS Device or Magellan GPS Device, depending upon the device used (see Supported Devices). If you expand that folder, you can see the data sorted into the appropriate folders depending upon the type of data, as illustrated in the example below.”

  12. Justin Brown says:

     I am unable to download too, can anyone give me an idea of how to download?

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