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  • Google Earth -Programming

    Does anyone know if there is a way to built a frontend / programming interface for Google Earth?

    Volkswagen did it (With Google's help) for a concept demo:
    http://gadgets.autoblog.com/2006/02/...on-technology/
    Supposedly that interface was running on OSX

    There is some other info here:
    http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/macc...front-end.html

    I wrote a script a long time ago that did some neat stuff with GPS inside Google Earth, but it would be nice to integrate Google Earth directly into a front-end.

    Any programmers know if it is possible?

  • #2
    Here's all I can think of:

    1. Build the control components into the front end like GPS2GE does.

    2. Run GE separately, and control it with the front end. Use a transparent window to show GE running underneath it.
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    • #3
      Sensible integration of GE is not easy, because it is not that open. It is much easier to work with Google Maps in a front-end. The Google maps API gives you like 90% of Google Earth functions and ca be integrated extremely easily using WebKit and JavaScript.

      BTW: unlike some people, I find a normal map (such as the one provided by Google Maps) much more useful for navigation, especially in the car, than the Google Earth's imagery or even the hybrid display of aerial photos combined with roads.

      Comment


      • #4
        I hadn't thought of that Bugbyte.
        The catch is that I would like to extract information from Google Earth, such as waypoints, distance to destination, etc...
        It would also be hard to ensure the window was always in the proper location.

        I think the google maps interface is good for city driving, but when I took my road trip with google earth is was handy to be able to locate landmarks on the photos that arn't there on Google Maps.
        There is a network link that loads the Google Maps overlay dynamically so you could have both. (At the cost of internet bandwidth)

        But google maps can't save paths and extra information as well as Google Earth. I planned my entire 4000 mile road trip using Google Earth at home, plotted all the attractions we wanted to see along the way, entered phone numbers for hotels that I made reservations at, etc.... all on the home PC.
        Then I just loaded the KML into the car and it was all there.

        The funny part is even though I want all this in the car I just bought the wife a TomTom.

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        • #5
          I've tried all types and find that using GE the way you describe, zapwizard, is the best and easiest for me.

          I prefer the fluid motion that GE gives, I appreciate the way it shows and hides detail as you zoom in and out, and I particularly like the way it shows you what is around you in the satellite view. Ah yes, it's over here next to that parking lot or just after the rail yard. Google maps doesn't even show you that there's a river nearby. You have to guess.

          I also prefer the 3D view as you travel along. The faster you go, the more it should tilt down. When you slow up to look for stuff, zooming way in and going to an overhead view is very helpful. And 3D is really 3D, not some weird warping of the map over a horizon.

          To me, there's no disadvantage since you need connectivity for both, anyhow. Actually, you can at least cache GE data if you don't have it on the road. And since you can lay out the route to travel, even if you aren't getting updates, you can tell if you're following the line or not.

          I think you can't beat it for free. If a map view is important, I'd actually rather extract the Google map images and lay them down on GE as a layer.

          I'll be taking a course in developing applications using kml for GE in late June. If I find anything amazing, I'll post it.
          Originally posted by ghettocruzer
          I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
          Want to:
          -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
          -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

          Comment


          • #6
            Google maps can do routing, directions etc. True, the API is not available in the public version, only professional, which is not free :-(

            For now, we use the same approach - generate a kml file using Google Earth (or another software shortly) and download it to the car. Then our navigation module tracks your progress and gives you turn instructions.

            I have a TomTom Go as well by the way. Pre-programmed with attractions in our part of Holland for use by our guests from other countries.

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            • #7
              Bugbyte: you can cache Google maps too. I am working on a script which, if it works the way I want it, would enable you to use Google maps without an internet connection.

              I agree regarding the views and animations, I just do not consider these that important myself.

              Comment


              • #8
                a recommendation

                As a proof of concept, I have been using NASA's OpenSource World Wind http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/ with success. It is easier to automate than GE since, well, you have the source code. I have a separate database of point of interest that I have been using that work quite great. Alternatively, if you have Internet Access yould could just query for the POI that you want from Yahoo Maps or Google Maps and overlay them in World Wind. I basically read coords from the GPS port and tell World Wind to zoom in the area that I want. I do use some imagery that I got from my area though.

                Just wanted to give you an alternative, since there are actually many.

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                • #9
                  can you post a simple app for this?

                  nm its pc based.
                  Cant code cause I dont know how, but give me the paint bucket and my eraser and have at you!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    checkout the plugins section at

                    http://www.worldwindcentral.com/wiki/Creating_add-ons

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My other reason for wanting to use Google Earth is that it fills a lot of functions in one program that other map only, or navigation only programs don't do.

                      This sounds cheesy, but since it has the power of google behind it you can do location based internet searches.

                      For example me and the wife love to eat a Cracker Barrel when we travel. I had no choice on my way home from my trip but to make a overnight stop in El Paso, TX. There were three Motel 6's in town (pet friendly).
                      Logic told me I should stay at the one on the far side of town to beat morning traffic. But looking at the location on google earth, it was between what looked like a junk yard and a rail station.
                      Then I noticed that one was right next door to a Cracker barrel because it popped up automatically on GE. I was able to survey the area and find it was all new shopping and was a nice area of town. It made the stay much more enjoyable. (Morning traffic sucked of course though)

                      BTW here is a link to the google maps overlay
                      http://bernhard.sterzbach.de/googlemapsoverlay.html

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                      • #12
                        I like Google Earth for all of the extra info you can add to it, such as live weather data and storm warnings. This info is very important in the central part of the US this time of year. We spend a lot of time driving between Nebraska and Texas, but not enough to know the names of every county we pass through. A weather radio lets us know a storm is somewhere, but Google Earth lets us see the warning box and whether or not we're in it or traveling toward it.
                        The Mercenary Missileer's 2000 Toyota 4Runner Highlander Edition

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                        • #13
                          WW and GE

                          Don't get me wrong... I also love GE. Functionality wise, it is great. However, if you want to use it as a front end that can be automated it is not there. WW, to me, is a great barebone 3D engine that can be sculpted to do whatever you want it to do.... you want location based searches or traffic? It's all here http://code.google.com/apis/ or here http://developer.yahoo.com/

                          If you don't want to have that level of control and are just interested on GE itself (i.e. not a GE-like raw platform) then by all means use GE.

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                          • #14
                            Using Google-Earth for user interface

                            Any ideas of where to get stared in developing tools based in Google Earth?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Like, what kinds of tools?
                              Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                              I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                              Want to:
                              -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                              -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                              Comment

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