We’ve talked before about how you can use Google Earth to record and show GPS tracks from various events, such as off-road running races and biking across Poland. SFGate has a great story about using Google Earth to show realistic replays from a sailboat race.
Using the new “track” feature in Google Earth 5.2, they import the GPS data into Google Earth to make it work. They also took the time to model the area with 3D boats and buoys (available in the 3D Warehouse) to make it more realistic.
Google Earth product manager Peter Birch is referenced numerous times in the article, because he often races on a Catalina sailboat and Google Earth is obviously a huge part of his life. He’s quoted as saying that the track technology “is something we’ve been working on for a long time“, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Birch used data from races like this to help test the features as they were being developed.
Being able to watch replays of the race from any angle gives the teams a great way to understand (and hopefully correct) their mistakes before the next race. Check out the SF Gate article for the full story.
To learn more about creating tracks, this section of Google Earth Help has a lot of great information.
Have you made any neat tracks using Google Earth 5.2? Tell us about them in the comments!