Creative cat tracking in Google Earth

Here’s a fun use of Google Earth and GPS — tracking cats. It started when Tiana Warner at found out about a way to track cats:

Where do cats go when they’re outside all day and night? What do they do? How do they entertain themselves? Is there a secret cat meeting place in every major city? When Safers found out about Cat Tracker, we couldn’t resist.

The result is pretty neat.

cat tracker

While it’s mostly a fun little project, the technology behind it is remarkably complex. Get the GPS data from Movebank in JSON format, flatten it, create a “convex hull” around the main area, clean up GPS anomalies, rank the cats based on travel area sizes, then push it out via KML. Here is a KML file to view it for yourself in Google Earth.

You can read more on the Safe Software Blog.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.


  1. Nach…I’m expected something much more accurate. My gps draw tracks like this when has low visibility of satellites.

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