Heli-Ski Tour in Google Earth

A few weeks ago, Oliver Davis, who is CEO of Concept3D (which does 3D modeling for Google Earth for one thing), took a holiday trip to British Columbia and went on a Helicopter Ski run. Being a savvy Google Earth user, he took along a GPS device and recorded his track both in the air, and while skiing down the snowy mountains. He got one of his engineers to produce a Google Earth 5 tour of the heli-ski GPS track which lets you fly along his trip. You’ll have to use your imagination for the sounds, and the pauses for putting on skis, and the strenuous, but exhilirating, runs down the mountain. But, you get to enjoy the views, and really get a sense of what a heli-ski trip would be like. Oliver posted about his trip and the tour at his blog, and they created a video showing the tour here:

To get the full experience, you should download their GE 5 tour file here . Once it loads in GE, open the folder “OliversHeliTrip” and look for the “Tour” placemark. Double-click that to start the tour. NOTE: If you are prone to motion-sickness from watching fast moving flying scenes, watch out. If not, I suggest you can speed up the tour by using the fast-forward button during the playback. You can also grab the land with the mouse during playback to take control of the view so you can look in all directions (a very cool feature of GE 5’s tour controls).

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. Here’s another nice mixture of Google Earth GPS track and skiing video:

  2. Just a minor niggle in that it is quite difficult to visualise you skiing over the terrain as we see it without the snows… difficult I know but…
    Another little niggle, surely it wouldn’t be too difficult to take the spikes etc out of the track so that when we view it there’s not all this flipping and turning inside out that makes it so jerky and even more difficult to view…
    Great fun to see though 🙂

  3. Hey what a great idea – I could use Google Earth to plan my ski holidays and check out the terrain and resorts. Way cool. Thanks folks.

  4. This is a great idea. Although I haven’t ever been on a helis ski trip, being able to record an entire days trip, including all the runs I took could be quite useful..

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