Links: Planet Search, Interactive KML, FlightSim, iPhone GPS

  • Planet Search – Recently Google revealed they had added a new feature to the Sky mode of Google Earth (which lets you see the night sky instead of the Earth). The new feature lets you search for our solar system’s planets in the “Fly to” search panel. It then flies you to the location and zooms in so you can see the planet. I like the fact it lets you search for “Pluto” too. Also, if you turn on the “Our Solar System” layer, you can use the time slider to show the position of the solar system planets over the course of the next three months. I wrote a post last year about a KML file which lets you view the locations of planets discovered outside our solarsystem – aka “exoplanets”.

  • Interactive KML – Google has announced a new tool to help with learning KML. They have an interactive KML sampler which lets you simultaneously view samples of KML with the Earth API plugin. Of course, you can also copy any KML sample text and then paste it right into Google Earth to view them as well. I did notice a few of the KML samples didn’t work properly though.

  • FlightSim – A GEB reader named Jasper sent me an E-mail to let me know about his new tool for linking Google Earth to MS Flight Simulator (MSFS). His tool is called GPS60 (because it simulates Garmin’s GPS 60 handheld GPS). The application is very versatile. It lets you not only simultaneously view your position in MSFS also in Google Earth, but it also logs your track and even functions as a TCAS (showing positions of other planes in the sim). Check it out here along with documentation of the features, screenshots, and a log of the changes. He has released several updates recently. This isn’t the first time a link has been created between these two apps. Back in September of 2005, someone did something similar (no longer available). But, Jasper’s version is available now and has some cool features.

  • iPhone GPS – EveryTrail is a popular site for uploading GPS tracks (and geotagged photos) and viewing them in Google Maps/Earth. They sent me an e-mail a while back letting me know they have released an iPhone application for EveryTrail. Their new app lets you record tracks with your iPhone (I assume this is only practical with iPhone 3G with its GPS ability), and you can also take geotagged photos through their app. Here’s the link to their iPhone app page. On another note, EveryTrail’s Earth API support disappeared when they started supported Maps Flash API, but they plan to get it back in there soon.

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. smokeonit says:

    as long as your in a metro area in the U.S., E.U. and Asia/Australia covered by WPS (data scanned the “old” iPhone 2G will work with apps like EveryTrail very well…
    WPS coverage map:
    i use my iphone 2G every day and am very happy with WPS. only the GSM triangulation outside the WPS area is very unreliable and sometimes of by as much as hundreds of miles…

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