Google Earth plugin showcase: Trans Taiwan Ultra-Marathon

This is the thirteenth in our series showcasing the Google Earth plugin. Today’s story demonstrates that although the Google Earth plugin has been deprecated it is still very much a working product and can be used for projects that do not need to be kept alive beyond its expiry date of December 12, 2015. The biggest downside is that most browsers nowadays require you to allow the plugin to run, which may put off your website visitors.

Today we are looking at a project from Steven Ho, whose excellent work we have looked at many times in the past. He has created a set of Google Earth tours for the 2015 Trans Taiwan Ultra-Marathon which can be viewed here using the Google Earth plugin.

In addition to a map of the route and tours of each leg of the race, when the race is in progress the live positions of some of the runners is displayed. This is achieved via an app on their cell phones. We have noticed that even during a leg of the race, not all racers are on the track, suggesting that some have either dropped out, or lent their cell phones to other people. He has also included the option to see ‘rabbits’ which are a set of markers used to indicate the minimum pace expected of the runners. Read more about it here.

The race has been running since the 28th of March and continues until this Saturday April 4th, 2015. Each leg starts at 6 am Taiwan time.

waiting to start
Runners waiting to start a leg of the race.

A leg of the race in progress.

For those wishing to view the tours directly in Google Earth rather than via the plugin, Steven has also provided a KMZ file to download.

Read more about it on his 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. Cool

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