Google Earth is a free application that runs on your computer and downloads data from Google to display satellite photography overlaid on a terrain mesh.
If you have a PC running Windows XP/7 or a Mac running OS X, you can install Google Earth and view the track logs and route plans you've saved to your profile. You can also make your track logs shared, so your friends and family can see them, or public, so any vfrPlanner user can see them.
There are two ways to download track logs and route plans...
Download a single file
To download a single track log or route plan into Google Earth, click the "marble" icon that appears next to it. This will launch Google Earth and display the file.
Downloading track logs one at a time allows much more detail to be displayed - markers can be displayed at every recorded point showing the groundspeed and time at that point, and if your GPS file contained altitude information the track line will be colour coded accordingly.
Set up a network link
Network links allow you to see all your logs and plans in one file, with new and changed ones automatically downloaded each time you start Google Earth. Network links can contain many files so each one has to be quite small - so track logs downloaded this way won't include altitude colour coding or point markers.
- Visit the Google Earth website. Check your computer meets the minimum requirements, then download and install the application as per Google's instructions.
- Once you've started the application, you'll see a 3D image of the Earth. It takes a bit of practice, but you can zoom in to any point and view it from any angle.
- Go to the menu bar, and choose Add > Network Link. A popup window will open.
- Enter a name such as "vfrPlanner" or "My track logs" in the Name field.
Copy and paste the following address into the Location field. This is a sample file, containing
two plans and two track logs. Log in or register if you'd like to import your own track logs.
Sample file (contains two example plans and track logs):
Member's track logs file (contains logs uploaded and made public by our members):
- Sample file (contains two example plans and track logs):
- Click OK, leaving the other settings unchanged.
Under the red Places bar to the left of the screen, there should be a new folder with the name
you just entered. Click on the arrow next to it to expand the folder. Within it there will be two
more folders named Route Plans and Track Logs.
- To view a route plan or track log, tick the box next to it to display it on the map, then double click the name to zoom in to it.
- When you add new route plans or track logs to your profile, right click the folder name and choose refresh from the menu.
- Sometimes when Google Earth starts it might not load your information. If refreshing doesn't help, try right clicking the folder, choosing Edit, and pressing OK.
- * If you share a track log, and have a route plan associated with it, remember to share the route plan as well so it will be visible alongside the track log.