Watch Weekend Boating Live in Google Earth

EarthNC DestinSharks boating in Google EarthMy friend Virgil from DestinSharks has been doing some serious hacking again and has pulled together a really cool-sounding project for this weekend. Virgil is also the guy behind EarthNC which is a company which provides detailed nautical charts for Google Earth from the official NOAA digital chart data for the US, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands. Virgil is going to be participating this weekend in the Billy Bowlegs Poker Run in Ft Walton Beach, Florida. He will be navigating his 27 foot Regal power boat using Google Earth software, but he’s doing way more than that – live geotagged flickr photos, live GPS tracking, combined with GE’s satellite photos, and more. Let me share with you his description:

In a nut shell, we’re going to use the new GooPs Pro ( to capture our realtime position to Google Earth from a USB GPS on my laptop, transmit our track/position KML to our webserver every 2 minutes using cellular EVDO, and to the extent possible – geotag photos while aboard using GPicSync, upload them to my Flickr account, and then use the Flickr API to create KML from the photos to push back to the map. Obviously, I’ll be leaving most of the driving up to someone else tomorrow.

The combined network link – – includes the realtime track updated every 2 minutes, the flickr layer updated every 5 minutes, the poker run stops (the big playing cards), and the EarthNC Online chart for the local area. We should be leaving our dock around 11am EDT and will be about for 3-5 hours most likely.

So, I encourage you to save the network link in your “Places” folder in GE, and check it out tomorrow to watch his trip.

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.

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