In early January, a very cool video was released showing a guy assemble a remote controlled aerial drone with a digital camera and then fly it using virtual reality goggles. A company called Pict’Earth is selling the technology. Shortly after the video was published, an innovative member of the GE Community by the name of Valery Hrosunov joined forces with Pict’Earth to demonstrate the aerial photo data using his SuperOverlay tool. The SuperOverlay tool lets you take large images and break them up into regions so they can be viewed elegantly in Google Earth. As an example, they have flown the drone over a gravel pit near Gardanne, France and you can view the imagery with Google Earth. The resulting image is less than a foot in resolution, so it will take a while to load all the layers of images. You can see how a low-flying drone can capture so much more detail. They have purposely outlined the images in GE so you can see how it tiles the images as you get closer. Once the imagery is loaded you can zoom in and out smoothly. You can read the Pict’Earth blog to follow their progress as they commercialize this technology. Great work guys, but I really need to fly one of these myself to do a proper review! *hint* *hint* 🙂
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.
When I click on the link, nothing happens inside Google Earth. What am I doing wrong?
Valery Hronusov says
You need to click on Network Link to turn it on.
Patrick Egan says
While technology like this is exciting “flying under the hood” (with goggles on) is unsafe to say the least. Any and all commercial UAV/UAS activity in the NAS (National Airspace System, U.S.) post February 13 2007 requires either an experimental or COA issued by the FAA.