Sunapee Lake Loop Google Earth Flyover

Watch the Video(wmv) – be patient, it takes a while to download

As suggested by Jon Udell the above is an “animated map flyover” for the Sunapee Lake bike loop he referenced here. This was put together with Google Earth Pro, using the Movie Maker add-on.

Basically, I recreated the route of Jon’s bike loop as a polygon in GE ProGoogle Earth Placemark and then set up the movie maker add-on to record the path with a frame rate of 30fps, at 640×480 pixels, with a viewpoint 1km from the route and a viewing angle of 55o (that’s a 35o dip from the horizontal for all of the structural geologists in the audience). The resulting movie is about 220M in WMV format and runs just under six minutes (for an average airspeed velocity of about 320mph) and is basically what Jon describes as a Mode 1 or simple flyover (based on a pre-encoded route – no interactive navigation). A smaller resolution or frame rate could obviously cut the file size (I have no idea what the screen resolution of the Sony PSP is), but it’s hard to justify shrinking the resolution after you’ve seen the full glory of a GE flyover on a bigger monitor. Certainly the movie maker add-on (which allows recording at frame rates of 10, 20, 25, 30, 50, or 60fps) is a big (though costly) improvement – much smoother than basic screen capture utilities (such as Camtasia) which only capture <5fps. Jon’s mode 2 navigation (interactive flight controls) would also be possible in GE Pro with the movie maker add-on, though the quality of the resulting movie might be reduced depending on how much data is locally cached/how fast new data is streamed across the ether – with the pre-encoded route each frame is rendered and captured at full detail before moving on to the subsequent frame.

By the way, my apologies to the non-Windows users out there. I tried to capture the flyover in GE Pro in AVI format first, but ended up with a corrupt file. I also tried to transcode the WMV to Flash, Quicktime, and AVI with Camtasia Studio, but the results were discouraging – the Flash transcoding crashed before completion, the Quicktime version is a bigger file, yet loses a lot of resolution (here’s the Flash transcoding of my QT transcoding – smooth, but crappy resolution), and the AVI file is too huge to comtemplate putting on the web (just under 5G – though it looks great).