Over the years, we’ve seen Google Earth used to simulate a number of aircraft scenarios. While Google Maps is adequate for many simulations, the 3D nature of Google Earth makes it ideal for air simulations. Some great examples include Flight 1549 (into the Hudson River) in 2009 and the 1977 Tenerife Airport disaster.
Today’s example comes from CTV News (via Google Maps Mania), which shows us the tale of Sunwing Airlines Flight 221. The plane lost contact with air traffic control for greater than an hour, leading NORAD to send two Canadian CF-18 Hornet fighter jets to intercept.
Fortunately, the issue was simply pilot error and there was no real threat, but tensions undoubtedly ran high for a while. The simulation on the CTV News website uses the Google Earth Plugin to show all three planes in 3D, while playing audio of the radio communication.
You can play it for yourself on this page of the CTV website. Note that the Google Earth Plugin is required to play the animation.
When Google Earth version 4 was released back in 2006, it added a great feature that allowed KML files to have time-based data. This allows you to animate GPS content as Frank wrote about soon after.
We’ve seen great examples of this over the years, such as Google’s tips on sharing your ski trips or showing replays from a sailboat race.
I recently took the family to go sledding on the fake (but fun) snow at “Snow Mountain” a few weeks ago and recorded our tracks from a few runs on my MotoACTV watch.
You can play with those runs in Google Earth by grabbing the KML file or the raw GPX file (which Google Earth can also open).
While I was out there it brought to mind the excellent 3D model of the carving that Peter Olsen build a few years ago. When loading the GPS data into Google Earth, I noticed that most of the buildings in the area were now in 3D, including the cable car system.
The majority of these models were built by Bill Molony, who has done an excellent job of creating and texturing them in a very realistic way.
If you have any GPS data from a recent activity, try loading it into Google Earth and it’ll give you a whole new perspective on what you just did. If you have a particularly compelling track, feel free to share it with everyone in the comment section below.
The folks at GP Circuits have mapped out 183 racing circuits from 27 championships in 36 countries, and they’ve wrapped them all inside of an excellent interface.
Along with providing stats, info and a great map view, every course is available in a “3D Fly-Through”, which races you along the track using the Google Earth Plugin.
The also include elevation data for each course, and photos when available. It’s quite a wealth of knowledge for those looking for info on circuits like these. As Google’s 3D Imagery continues to expand, sites like this will only get better!
Check it out for yourself at GPCircuits.com
GPS4Sport has just released a new product that combines GPS track data with action cam movies, then overlays the movie on top of the Google Earth plug-in while it all runs. It sounds complicated, and I’m sure it is on the back end, but the result for the end user is really quite cool.