Steven Ho, whose work we often cover has recently updated a Google Earth animation he first created back in 2007 showing the Maokong Gondola of Taipei. We covered his original 2007 version in this post.
Below is a YouTube video of the tour, but we highly recommend also trying out the KML tour, which you can download from Steven’s blog.
It is excellent work and shows off some of the capabilities of Google Earth tours. It also highlights a few of the limitations. For example, it is not possible to stop and look around without pausing the animation, so you can only really see the animation from the angles provided in the tour.
A lot of work clearly went into getting it all right. There are 147 cable cars all moving correctly along their cables, which follow a long twisting route. He also notes that he does some tricks with the satellite imagery, switching between the default view and ‘historical imagery’. He does this because the default view shows a more uniform view from high altitudes, but actually has quite old imagery when you zoom in. Google has kept imagery from 2006 in the default layer because it is better quality than more recent imagery. However, the Maokong Gondola was opened in 2007, so for the closeup section of the tour, Steven switches to the more current imagery (from February 2016) found in ‘historical imagery’.