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Download and Install Google Earth then select a voyage:       Winter '04-'05  | Winter '05-'06

Galena's voyages on

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Would you like to see Galena's route depicted on Google Earth? This will give you full control of zoom, rotation, tilt and the amount of information shown.

The trip for the Winter of 05-06 would look like this:

And you can zoom in with the Google Satellite imagery to something like this (a view of our anchorage at Foxy's, Jost Van Dyke, BVI: 

 

The free version is good. But the $20/year version has some important additional features. One such feature allows you to connect your GPS and display your routes/waypoints/tracks.

But $20/year is a bit too high a price for someone as cheap as I.

I found that I could export my Garmin GPS files to the "universal" .GPX format files. Google Earth (GE) will read those files without modification.

But GE will only display that track information in time sequence. That is, two days of tracks will 'play' through, showing pieces of the route one after the other; but not all at once. That's a nice animation, but not what I want.

I want to show the entire route at once. Toward a solution, I found that I could save the imported route from GE as a .KML file. I used a text editor (my all-time favorite text editor is Text Pad) to combine the 'time divided' track sections into a single element. Reading that .kml file back into GE gives me the result I wanted. The whole route is displayed as a single track.

GE will 'compile' the KML into a KMZ file. I put compile in quotes because that .KMZ file is nothing more than a .ZIP file containing the KML and any other user-entered information (such as icons and graphics).

Since the KMZ file is in fact a ZIP file it may automatically download and save with a .ZIP extension. This is a function of the web server, not the browser. A web server's attributes can be set to handle this properly, but the host I use (and most others) do not. On top of that, GE isn't smart enough to see that the ZIP file is really a KMZ file. And Internet Explorer is too smart. It looks inside and sees a zip-file format and over-thinks the issue downloading and renaming the extension to dot-zip. As an experiment I just changed the extension on a kmz file to .ZIP and winzip unzips it into a kml file and a "files" subdirectory. But when GE is presented with a file named .ZIP it says "Nope, can't use it." I changed the extension back to .KMZ and GE works fine.

So now I have to publish the kmz and that "zip" file will not automatically download properly from my host.

But I found a solution: Use a host that is properly set up. And GE itself is on such a host server. Go to Google Earth Communities and start a new topic in some relevant community (i.e.: Transportation, or Sports) saying "Here's my trip!". After entering a description and hitting 'continue' button, GE will allow you to attach a file to the bulletin. That's the key. That is where you upload your .kmz file. GE will store the file and give it an index number. Then you can view your new entry and, hovering over the link in the bulletin, copy that HTML link-code from the bulletin to your web site. One of my files was uploaded to the Transportation Community and the bulletin can be seen here

The link looks like this: http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/download.php?Number=746583
and the "href" comes out like this:

  View Trip 1 (Winter 04-05) in Google Earth
  View Trip 2 (Winter 05-06) in Google Earth

Oh, before any of this works you have to download Google Earth and install it first, of course. But it's free and fun and seems non-threatening to me although it is about 14MB.

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