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2 de Enero 2007

Using GPS in Real-time with Google Earth

GPS Driving in Google EarthGoogle's recent GE 4 Beta release (on December 16) included a new feature for GE Plus/Pro/EC users. If you have a compatible GPS (current Garmin units work well) you can show your position in the new GE by simply turning on a new option under the "Tools->GPS->Real-time" option. For my Garmin, I used the "Garmin PVT" option with the GPS (a Garmin 60Csx) hooked up through USB to my Intel MacBook. This works on both the Windows XP and Mac OSX version of GE Pro in my tests. If you turn on the "Automatically follow path" option, GE will zoom to your current position and will automatically zoom to a level showing the path of the points most recently imported from your GPS (you can specify how many points - up to 100). I wish there was a way to set the altitude and tilt for your view while following, but the view works pretty well now. Here is a sample of a GPS track I saved after stopping at an exit off the highway. You can of course upload your entire track from your GPS and use a tool like GPSVisualizer.com to do fancier track visualizations.

If you are using this in your car (or other forms of transportation) you probably will not have Internet access. So, it is important to first load your GE cache up with imagery/data for the area you will be traveling before you leave your Internet connection behind. For example, I set up driving directions for the trip I planned and played the tour of my drive before I left the house. You need to make sure the playback of the tour is slow enough to allow each area of imagery to load into cache (check the GE options for "Touring->Tour Speed").

By the way, if you are using the free version of GE, there is a free application available called GooPs which let's you do real-time GPS tracking. It has been posted and updated by GEC member 'davidhite'. I haven't tested it myself yet, but I plan to since I see he recently supports an air-based feature (i.e. tracks with altitude). So, I will try this on a flight sometime soon.

For many other articles on GPS and Google Earth read the GPS category.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 2 de Enero 2007 a las 11:47 AM

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  • Comentarios

    It�s a really nice complement to MS streets maps, especially when cascaded horizontally. Most people don�t need that though.

    Enviado por: Ron at 2 de Enero 2007 a las 05:24 PM

    There is a program called TYRE that TomTom users can use for free to use with GE4. I found it on a google search.

    Enviado por: John Sapyta at 2 de Enero 2007 a las 09:41 PM

    Actually, the number of people with broadband (via cell fone) in the car seemd to be on the rise.

    Garmin PVT and NMEA should work equally well on this version.

    You can only upload a track to GPSVisualizer if you have a GPS that supports the capture of tracks - and of course that makes it rather _not_ realtime. GPSes that only report position (e.g. the "hocky puck" class of products like the GPS18) and carry laptops in their cars are more likely to find this feature more usefulthan, say, drivers with a GPS60CSX.

    For those that are sure to ask, PVT == Position, Velocity, Time. We didn't make that up, it's what Garmin calls it.

    Enviado por: Robert Lipe at 3 de Enero 2007 a las 02:37 AM

    Robert is the self-proclaimed "Chief Babel-head" and author of GPSBabel (which is the underlying code for GPS conversions built-in to Google Earth).

    Robert, thanks for explaining the PVT thing, I was wondering about that. Being the biggest GE fan like I am, it doesn't bother me to use GE with a 60Csx at all. :-)

    Enviado por: Frank Taylor at 3 de Enero 2007 a las 08:08 AM

    Nice track there. The only thing somehow blocking this interesting thing is that you have to go online and then log out and start tracking.
    Anyway, stil nice.
    But did you crashed at the exit of that highway ???
    looks pretty bad if you ask me.

    Enviado por: paul89 at 3 de Enero 2007 a las 09:58 AM

    this s/w lets mac users track themselves for free in GEbasic... works with all major bluetooth, usb and serial gps hardware...


    this s/w is needed in order to get the gps data into gps2geX

    Enviado por: smokeonit at 5 de Enero 2007 a las 06:16 PM

    SurveyArea3 is a PPC application that can use a GPS to log a track and email it as a KML attachment at the press of a button:


    Enviado por: wtb at 13 de Enero 2007 a las 12:11 PM

    I am interested in IR images. Can GE supply this?

    Enviado por: new guy at 14 de Enero 2007 a las 11:22 AM

    actually i've been doing this a couple of times in my car with gprs internet via my treo650 to my macbook pro on GE4 under osX. i was quite impressed that gprs is fast enough to load the data, of course not as fast as wifi or 3g, but fast enough to keep the street data and basic satellite images so one can navigate in the streets. it's so nice to have real time plugins loading from the net while your driving. there's so much stuff that could be done like this i can't even imagine what the next years will bring to the community;-)

    Enviado por: smokeonit at 15 de Enero 2007 a las 05:01 AM

    I make maps in remote areas. Does the Google mapping software 'save' the data while tracking to be downloaded, viewed and printed at specific scale for mapping?
    if not, is there another G software that will?
    There is no internet where I go. Visit my blog at
    or my website

    Enviado por: Deb at 31 de Enero 2007 a las 07:06 AM

    I have GE+ but under tools/GPS all I have is the ability to import log data, any idea how I can get realtime positioning in GE+ (build 4.0.2091 (beta))

    Enviado por: dvint1 at 19 de Febrero 2007 a las 12:28 AM

    Doh!, ok I have now updated my copy of GE+ and have real time GPS option. Anyway of setting the serial port that the GPS is listening to?

    Enviado por: dvint1 at 19 de Febrero 2007 a las 05:49 PM

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