So, yesterday I wrote the story about the new time gadget. I wanted to take a GPS track in mountainous areas and show it with the new time animation. As I thought about the process, I was wishing my favorite GPS tool GPSVisualizer.com supported the new time stamp features of KML for GE. So, I sent an E-mail to the author of GPSVisualizer. Three hours later I get an E-mail back from him “Done!”. Now that’s good hacking! It turns out he couldn’t even test it because the Mac version
is was not yet supporting the time gadget properly. (NOTE: Updated Mac version now works – see this). But, it worked anyway. Amazing!
Last spring I wrote about a GPS track I made while skiing Snowbird in Utah. I used GPSVisualizer’s handy newly updated GE form (instructions below) to upload and timestamp my track. You can load the resulting new GE file for the ski trip , and if you are using the new GE 4 beta (Windows version 4.0.2080+, or Mac 4.0.2093+) you will see the time gadget appear in the upper right (left of the nav gadget). I recommend you select a small range of the data (grab the little handles and make the range small). Then, here is the really cool part: push the “Play” button on the far right of the time gadget. It will animate through the track of my skiing and riding up the lifts. You will even see when I paused for lunch at the restaurant mid-mountain. The data loops automatically. If you click the “clock” gadget on the left side you can set the animation speed slower (although even at slowest it is still fast). Try moving your view while it is animating. Very cool!
To use GPSVisualizer to make your own time stamped GPS track, here are the minimum steps (you have lots of other choices on the form).
- Go to the GE Form of GPSVisualizer
- Browse to the GPS file you want to upload (GPX is preferred)
- Choose “Colorize by:” either altitude, or speed preferred. Or, alternatively choose the “Track options:” as “Draw as waypoints“.
- Choose “Add time stamps, if possible” to “Yes”
- You can now “Create KML”
After a pause, as it generates your file you will get a link to your KML file. Load that in GE and you should see the time gadget appear. Very nice work by Adam at GPSVisualizer!