The SydneyClimbing.com web site released a Google Maps mashup which allows you to view their database of climbing sites in and around Sydney Australia. The map mashup is pretty nice with lots of placemarks, good information in the descriptions, and a link to their full database details. But, what is really interesting is the ability to see the same database in Google Earth. Click here to see their GE Sydney Crag data.
Garmin, the largest maker of GPS systems, has announced it has acquired MotionBased Technologies, a popular developer of software and web based applications for GPS devices. This was a significant move for Garmin, because their application MapSource mostly provides the most basic functionality for manipulating your GPS device tracks, routes and maps.
In fact, I’m surprised I had not discovered MotionBased myself. According to their blog in the 15 months since they released their first beta, they grew to over 11,000 customers and 150,000 activities (by this I assume they mean GPS tracks). They emphasize fitness applications like mountain biking, running, and hiking. But, it can also be used for any other activitiy where you might carry a GPS. Their applications basically make it easy to upload your GPS tracks and be able to visualize the tracks against maps; analyze and chart your elevation changes, speed, and duration; and many other tools for analyzing your trip/run/bike/etc.
There are certain sports which are difficult to watch in person. Examples include the Tour de France, round-the-world sailing races, paragliding races, and more. Google Earth is an ideal solution for these difficult to follow sports. I watched portions of Lance Armstrong’s last race using Google Earth earlier this summer. I had never realized the real extent and amazing geographic conditions of the Tour de France until someone mapped the courses in Google Earth.
Although the race is long over, you can still get a feel for what it was like. You can download (large file – 350K) the course with many interesting details and actually fly each of the 21 stages. After you download it Stage 11 should be highlighted. Click on the subfolder “Tdf2005 Stage11” to highlight it, then hit the F10 key (or select the “View -> Play Tour” menu item). Stage 11 goes through the French Alps and Google Earth will take you through every step of the stage. The labels will tell you how much distance is left in km, and how far they have travelled in km. You can do this with all 21 stages if you like. You can also speed up the tour if you use the “Tools -> Options -> Control” panel. Just remember, even at the slowest setting its a lot faster than watching it live over 2 weeks.
[NOTE: the Football Stadiums collection was deleted by its poster, but it is still available at Google Earth Hacks]
thread at the GE Community a lot of football fans around the world are helping to identify and Placemark their football stadiums. Many of the placemarks have details and links to web pages about the stadium as well. Nearly 3000 downloads of the file have occurred and over 16,500 views of this thread with 160 replies. From ths picture here, you might get the impression that a few people in Europe are interested in this sport. Try out this collection of 1650+ Football Stadiums (found now at gearthhacks.com) around the world.
This is actually another interesting way to do some sightseeing in GE. In many cases where there is only low resolution photos of the stadium, a fan has created a link to a better photo from a web site somewhere. You are likely to notice other interesting things as you zoom in on different cities. Especially if you also turn on the BBS Layer.
Rather a spectator oriented form of using Google Earth for sports. But, I’m planning to write about some interactive uses of GE in sports. I’ve already seen some cases where the sport itself will be changed because of the ability to visualize it like never before.