On Wednesday, Google released high resolution terrain for the Swiss Alps, and new high resolution imagery for Google Earth. The Swiss Alps are really beautiful to view in GE yourself, but I occasionally like to show YouTube video demos for 3D content like this. As I was considering my approach, my friend Scott Madry (the Armchair Archaeologist) sent me a link to a cool video showing a real-life jet pilot taking off and flying through famous places in the Swiss Alps. At this point, I had to do the geeky thing and see if I could make the same flight sequences in Google Earth! So, I spent all day trying to coerce the “G-Force” mode in Google Earth to fly in a rough approximation to this military pilot (not easy at all!). The main point here is that the GE terrain looks VERY close to the real thing.
Anyway, you can watch the real video on the top, and my video below using Google Earth. If you play both at the same time you can see I managed to get them to play close to in sequence (you might want to turn off the audio on mine since it’s just a crude mono-copy of the sound from the original).
Some notes: Google’s imagery of the alps is summertime, but the jet video was in the winter. It took me like 50 tries to get the upside down turn over Mont Blanc with the mouse-based G-Force interface and no throttle control. The meticulous among you will notice other little flaws in my flying, but hey – it was only 8 hours worth of trial and error! Hope you guys like it. Digg it!
[UPDATE: Some have asked me - I just used the mouse with G-Force to control, and MS MovieMaker to splice the clips together and create the video. It took me a few minutes to figure out where each flight sequence was located and the flight path, and a bit longer to practice the right speed and approach.]