As in the previous two years, biking enthusiasts have put together the details on the routes for all stages of this year’s Tour de France. Someone called “Timetxu” in the Netherlands has published this TdF 2007 KMZ file in this forum post (Dutch).
Viewing the Tour de France routes in Google Earth is one of my favorite examples of the power of Google Earth. With GE’s 3D terrain, you can tilt your view and truly get a feeling of how challenging this race really is – even if you have never been to see it in person. An important difference this year for Google Earth viewers is that the imagery for the French Alps has been greatly improved now that Google Earth includes medium resolution 2.5 meter resolution imagery from Spot Image. Still fuzzy up close, but better than it was last year. Also see a thread of posts with some other KML files showing some of the different stages for this year’s Tour de France.
The GE file for this year’s TdF posted above is not as detailed as some previous versions of the Tour de France, but it gives a good overview of all the stages. Last year Google helped develop an official Google Earth file (in four languages) for the stages for the official TdF web site. And someone even developed a live tracking capability of the race for 2006 (see below). Maybe we’ll see some other innovations before the race begins on July 7th.
[UPDATE: here is a Google Maps mashup for live tracking of the 2007 Tour de France].
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.
If Google fitted a gps device with cellphone capabilities to each bicycle to enable live uploads it would make a fantastic supplement for anyone watching the race either live or on tv. It is often hard to judge the distances being covered and the distances between riders when watching a tv broadcast and the usually only follow the front riders etc so you don’t get a feel for where all the other riders are etc.
In fact, if done right, they might even persuade broadcasters to use it in the tv coverage thus getting exposure for Google earth. They could also run one of their street view vehicles along the route prior to or even during the race!
This is absolutely going to happen this year…team CSC will be expanding the use of this technology and each rider (at least in Team CSC) will have a streaming GPS device with, I understand, 5 second updates.
Take a look at http://www.csc.com/features/2007/258.shtml
which shows a pilot of this solution at AMGEN tour in California.
Thanks Frank for the heads up on this year’s kmz file. I’ve added it to my 2007 Tour de France Dashboard:
I here that CSC is doing a Tour Tracker for this year’s Tour de France, but I know they aren’t doing with the Adobe Tour Tracker people and I haven’t found a link or a news update on what they plan for this July. Anyone know of some recent news or a link?
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/cycling/livematch/171221.html has a GPS tracker that includes the time difference and distance between groups. It also has text updates.
Tim Vergoossen says
Hehe, I’m Timetxu and the one who has created. Thanks for the appreciation 😉 .
Hey everyone, if you want to find more of these files, including the upcoming Tour de France file (finished in June 2008) go to my website http://www.freewebs.com/timetxu where I’ll make files of all the major cycling stages.
See all the stages of the Tour de France 2008 on Google Map: