Google Earth: How?
I see how everyone is trying to work with Google Earth for GPS. I don't get how this is good for an in car app......Doesn't it require a live internet connection? Is there anyway I can make Google Earth look like Google Local and skip the satellite imagery? I would rather just see a plain old map. Thank you.
Google Earth can cache its images for use offline, but you can't skip the satellite imagery.
I plan to try the Kyocera KR-1 EVDO (and 1X too) Router for in-car updating and an internet connection (weather map updates and such). There are some folks trying to add gpsd to it too:
I drove a 4000-mile road trip on google earth's cached file alone.
Granted to do that I had to make google earth travel the trip and cache the data. It took GE about 4 hours to cache it all using the "play route" function.
But the reality is, there really isn't any good GPS for the Mac.
Google earth has so much potential.
I have a T-Mobile account with a $6/mo unlimited internet package. It restricts me to port 80 (http) access, but this is what GE uses anyway so it all works out. T-Mobile has a GPRS network so I get ~12KB/s on my Motorola V330, which granted is not broadband, but it suffices.
If you want to ignore GE altogether, you can use a program called GPSDrive (available on fink) that uses offline maps. I used that for a road trip last weekend and although kinda inconvenient (mac version kinda buggy), it did the job. You gotta download the maps beforehand, and it automatically chooses the proper one for the current position.
How about somebody puts together a quick "How-to" for using GE in the car? A lot of people are asking questions about it. I can put it in the FAQ if you'd like.
Folks need to know:
1. What software do you need?
2. How do get their GPS position to show up on GE
3. How/what tools do they use to cache the data ahead of time
4. Anything else you can think of.
And about the map overlay thing.....My area and almost all of Michigan has a very very poor satellite image over it. To see what I'm saying, type Petoskey, MI into Google Earth and try to zoom. It's absolutely horrible.
It is very distracting with the above and I wish I could just get it to overlay a map. I understand the ache and how there is that one third part software, but I would rather have it like cache the route and like a 10 miles radius or something around the route, incase I got sidetracked. I know about the GPS and everything else, but I just hate the satellite imagery.
There is a borders layer and everything, but i just wish you could "fill" those borders in with an opaque color or something. I realize you can make an overlay, like a straight grey one, but it makes everything the same color including the water, and sometimes the roads disappear below it when your zoomed in.
So, that was lengthy, but does anyone know how this can be accomplished?
Google Earth How-To
On request, here's a short intro on using your GPS receiver to plot your position on Google Earth.
1: The Main Idea
As of this post date, the only way to get data into Google Earth is through a kml file (Google's version of an xml file). This is a file that contains info about placemarks: where to put them, what icon type to use, etc... The programs that send GPS data to GE do so by saving the data to a kml file, which GE reads regular time intervals.
2: Get Prepared
You currently have 2 options for GPS to kml programs that you can use:
The first is an Applescript written by zapwizard; you can find it http://www.zapwizard.com/GPS.scpt. You'll need to edit the script to specify where you wanna save the output file. You'll also need to download SerialPortX and XML Tools.
The second is a program written by me, called GPStoGoogleEarth.
3: Run the GPS Program
These programs work by connecting to your GPS receiver and saving the GPS data to a kml file. The file is updated regularly, so that it's always up to date (as long as you have a GPS signal). Make a note of where the kml file is created.
4: Connect to Google Earth
Start Google Earth, and choose "Add -> Network Link". In the resulting dialog, specify the kml file created by the GPS program. You should also set a refresh rate, and if you like you can select "Fly to view on refresh" to have GE automatically center on the GPS position.
5: Helpful hints
If you're going on a road trip and won't have an internet connection along the way, then you my friend are living in the stone age (cell phones provide internet now, you old fogie :lol: ). Nevertheless, you can get by. In GE, you can map a route beforehand and save it in your "My Places" list. In addition, you can also have GE fly a virtual tour of your path, gathering and saving satellite images as it goes along. Get a route by specifying your origin and destination in the "Directions" tab, then clicking on the "play tour" button. You can specify in the GE preferences to play this tour slowly so that GE will have time to download all the maps.
Yeah but like I said....the maps in michigan are horrid........they are just a bunch of green field like images. Type in Petoskey, MI to see what I'm talking about.
Also, a data plan for my cellphone is way to much as I live up north and only have Alltel and CellularOne, and am currently in contract with the slower one (CellOne) so I can't do the cell data right now.
Thanks for the post, ravidavi! I'll put it up in the FAQ Emporium.