“Trip View Bowls” are porcelain bowls painted on the inside with a 360 degree landscape of a real world location. They are essentially what you would get if you painted Street View image on the inside of a bowl. Back in 2011 GEB reader Steven Ho, whose work we often cover created a 3D model of a Trip View Bowl and placed it in Google Earth.
Steven has recently updated the concept to work with the new browser based Google Earth and created a tour featuring Trip View Bowls of various locations around Taiwan. Read more about it, and find the KML tour on his blog.
The tour does not appear to work in Google Earth Classic, and makes use of what appears to be an undocumented feature of KML gx:streetViewPanoId in order to show the panoramas from Street View in the new Google Earth. It’s great to see creators starting to experiment with the new Google Earth to see what new features can be exploited.
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’.
Steven Ho, whose excellent work we have covered many times in the past, has recently produced a tool for creating Street View tours. The tool and details on how to use it can be found on his blog here. The instructions for how to use it are a little hard to follow as English is not Steven’s first language, but he provides a number of examples so if you wish to use the tool, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out how to use it.
In addition to a number of samples produced with the tool provided in the above post, he has also used it to create a tour of Kumamoto Castle, Japan which was severely damaged in the Kumamoto Earthquakes in April, 2016. See part of that tour in the YouTube video below and read more about it on his blog.
The tours he has created can be played back in Google Earth, but due to a bug in Google Earth they do not always enter Street View automatically. If this happens he suggests pausing the tour and manually entering Street View by dropping the yellow man on the map before continuing.
Here at GEB we have traditionally celebrated the new year with a Google Earth fireworks animation created by Steven Ho. This past new year we decided to expand on the idea by allowing you to create fireworks at the coordinates of your choice. This, in turn, has inspired Steven Ho to create a new animation to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival, (also known as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year).
His animation shows Chinese couplets falling from the sky, with the camera slowly rotating around the location you select – all set to music. Chinese couplets are a popular form of Chinese poetry that consists of a pair of lines of verse that match up in a number of different ways. You can learn a bit more about them on the Wikipedia page. They are popular for decorating doorways and also often used during celebrations, such as the Chinese Spring Festival.
He has also created a similar animation for the Taiwan Lantern Festival, which shows lanterns flying up into the sky at night.
Today we are showing you his latest creation, which involves animating multiple paths at the same time, something he says he has not done before. Steven was inspired by this video created by the NCKU Mountaineering Association showing the routes of hikers that ascend a mountain in different groups and meet at the summit. The video shows an animation of the routes, made by overlaying an animation created separately and then overlaid on a static background image from Google Earth. Steven thought it would be much better to do it in Google Earth using its Tour feature. The result is these two Google Earth Tours: