Armageddon Pills in Google Earth

[UPDATED June 25, 2009: Name change for the book]
360 Degrees Longitude in Google EarthYesterday I spent some time viewing a really excellent Google Earth travel documentary. The story is about a family who took off for a year to travel all the way around the world. They’ve written a book and a web site called “360 Degrees Longitude” (originally called “Armageddon Pills” – they were stuck in a desert with nothing to eat but a bag of M&Ms which they ended up dubbing Armageddon Pills). Anyway, they’ve had a very well-done KML file developed which lets you see the route they took, and includes placemarks with snippets and photos from the book. Open up the 360 Degrees Longitude KML . You can simply start with any placemark and view the description. You’ll usually see a photo, and a snippet describing their experiences in that location. The descriptions are engaging. I spent a few minutes scrolling through the placemarks to find out when and how their daughter broke her leg. There are arrows in the placemark descriptions that let you follow each placemark in sequence. You can also click on one of the “Menu” placemarks which lets you view several sections of the books and choose a story that grabs your attention.
The 360 Degrees Longitude KML file was developed by concept3D, which in addition to making great SketchUp 3D models, also creates very professional KML files. I really like their work on this documentary. It works well, looks very pleasing to the eye, and with the excellent writing from the book, is quite fun to read. I think I’ll have to buy the book when it’s available.
I think Google Earth is a great way to document trips. My favorite being the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton. On a personal note, I documented our voyages in a sailing catamaran in 2002-2003 with a KML file. I may have to seek out concept3D to make a better version since I haven’t upgraded the file to use any of the fancier KML 2.2 features.

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