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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Touring Google Earth

It has been a long time since my last post. I was busy with exams, projects and ofcourse with my first job! Few months back, we were supposed to do a project (topic selection was in our interest) which was essential for academic curriculum. So me and my friends were into virtual tour using available web resources and finally to provide a better user experience with GIS.




Following article was written about that project by my friend Chathika on his blog. So, I took his excuse for sharing the same article in my blog :)

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Google Earth is a magnificent GIS tool for public users but you haven’t seen or experienced half its power until you start working wit Google Earth API for javascript. Imagine all the satellite imaging and height map information  provided by the Google Earth application and then add a comprehensive API on top of it, that’s the power you get.

As part of my 3rd year group project I was required to build a virtual tour application of Sri Lanka. At the time of coding Google Earth API had not provided a custom animation mechanism and had not incorporated geo-code. This forced me to implement a lot of vector maths and a little bit of kinematics into the application (all in good humor :D).

The absence of geo-code meant that roads, and hence paths of motion, could not be built by default. So, I ripped this functionality from the Google Maps API v3 (javascript) and mashed the resulting coordinates onto the tour app using Google Earth.

Here’s the link, check it out:
http://chathikagunaratne.comli.com/tour.html

For a better explanation of how it works check out the Technical Documentation

Steps for playing the tour:
1 Enter the starting location and the destination
2 Click “Get Directions”
3 Click “Enter Tour”
4 Then Play the tour using “Play Tour”.
5 To pause the tour, click “Pause Tour”, to change camera views click “Change Cam”.
6 To move the vehicle back to the starting point and start the tour again, click “Go to start”

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