Dynamic Clock – Big Ben

A guy named ‘SidneyWinstonSmythe’ from London, UK decided to put Big Ben into GE. The model itself is very simple and not very realistic, but what is neat is that the clock actually works live in Google Earth! The second hand even moves. This is an application of the network link to dynamically update a drawing in GE based on time. Sid is using a PHP script to provide the dynamic data.
There are many more serious applications of the network link to provide dynamic data waiting to be found out. GE has only been out for a few months, and already we are seeing serious applications like what the City of Portland GIS group has been doing. In the coming months, and especially as Google Earth goes out of beta, we will see a flood of serious applications with powerful useful features reaching a global audience.
You can read the thread in the GE Forums where Sid posted this application. Although, he doesn’t explain very much about how he developed the application.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Thanks for the comments on “Big Ben”. I posted a few comments in the Google Earth thread on how it was put together. – Sid

  2. That’s a nice write up explaining how this was done. I encourage people to go to the thread and find Sid’s response to my post dated 9/19/05.

  3. Sanjoy Mitra says:

    Simply great !

  4. Sarel Snyman says:

    Hi There
    Is there anyway possible to get a time clock linked to google earth to show you the exact time around the world as you click in an area? It will be a great tool to use for international business.

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