OT: More Map Madness

wwaag wrote on 1/3/2016, 7:01 PM
I'm a map nerd. Awhile back, I posted a demo of how to create map animations from Google Earth. http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/forums/showmessage.asp?forumid=4&messageid=925516 While doing some drive cleaning a few days ago, I ran across a project I did a few years ago trying to integrate out-the-windshield road trip video (another passion of mine) with Google Earth which enables one to see exactly where the footage was filmed. Here is a YT link to a short drive from Astoria to Port Angeles It was uploaded at 1080 60P. Any comments or questions would be welcomed. Just thought I'd share.



Nick Hope wrote on 1/4/2016, 3:20 AM
I like it. Thanks for sharing. I'm a map nerd too, with a slightly unhealthy obsession with Google Earth, and I'm interested to use some of your approaches in some hiking videos, using tracks that I export from ViewRanger via gpx.

For windshield videos like yours, rather than jumping between clips, it would be cool for the video to run continuously, changing to fast-motion on the less-interesting parts, slowing down to real time for more interesting parts. How did you record the placemark on the map? Is it just screen grab stills? Would be cool if that could also move continuously. Failing that, long cross-dissolves would smooth things out and signal the time delay.

Lots of possibilities for integrating maps in videos now that Google Earth Pro is free. You can record high quality videos with it, including 1920x1080-60p uncompressed AVI. I may try a YouTube slideshow of landscape stills interspersed with video of a Google Earth track of a hike I did last year.

Google Earth permissions for online video are still a bit muddy, especially for a monetized video, but it looks like attribution should be enough for most purposes.
wwaag wrote on 1/4/2016, 7:06 PM
@Nick Hope

How did you record the placemark on the map?

For this footage, rather than keeping the camera rolling, I used a wired remote for start/stop. Using the time stamp from each video clip, I was able to pinpoint the location in Google Earth using some freeware--Geosetter. Since Geosetter only works with stills, I exported a snapshot of the first frame for each clip using the date time stamp as the filename. Another piece of freeware, ExifTool GUI allows writing the Exif tag, DateTimeOriginal, based on the filename. Then Geosetter to match the image files with the gpx file from the GPS I was using. I then wrote a macro to step through the images and take a screenshot of the Google Earth display with each placemark. It's a bit involved, but really pretty straightforward.

I may try a YouTube slideshow of landscape stills interspersed with video of a Google Earth track of a hike I did last year.

Here are some excerpts from a slideshow I did last year for a trip to the Alps back in 1980. It shows the map animation using Google Earth that I referenced in the original post and also incorporates Google Earth imagery of the highway over the Furka Pass. The hardest part for me at least was creating the desired paths in Google Earth. But overall, I was quite pleased. Now that we can use the Pro version, it does open up lots of possibilities.

john_dennis wrote on 1/4/2016, 7:21 PM
Especially "going downhill, wearing out the brake pads."
Nick Hope wrote on 1/4/2016, 10:15 PM
Love it wwaag. Those Google Earth fly-throughs are so realistic, it's almost not worth bothering shooting it!

I'm wondering if there's a semi-automated way to get a coloured, animated track displayed on a Google Earth 3D fly-through. Not really necessary for a road trip where the road is obvious, but could be useful for the sort of stuff I want to do, such as hiking trails that aren't obvious and run through jungle etc., or routes by sea.

I love Geosetter software. Great for editing regular image metadata even without the geo data functionality. I added loads of metadata to my website's images with it when I was trying to boost the SEO.
wwaag wrote on 1/5/2016, 11:47 AM
@Nick Hope

Here's another excerpt from that same trip that included a walk. It seems to me that for hiking at least, there is so little movement over time that a still background would suffice rather than an actual "fly over", although there is no reason you couldn't introduce some motion. . Both tracks in this demo were "semi-automated" in that the tracks were generated in Google Maps and simply exported as a kmz file. In fact, there is no reason you cannot take any gpx file and convert it to a kmz using GPS visualizer. I've done this with tracks from my automobile GPS. Once you have a kmz file, it can be opened in Google Earth and the tracks easily generated and exported to Photoshop.

Nick Hope wrote on 1/5/2016, 10:52 PM
Another nice example wwaag.

Actually Google Earth (inc. the non-pro version) will open gpx files directly and it works. Did it the other day with tracks I recorded in ViewRanger on my phone.
Nick Hope wrote on 2/11/2017, 4:05 AM

So I finally made a video with some Google Earth "tours" (fly-throughs) in it. The first tour starts at 0:56, then further Google Earth bits are at 03:17, 04:04, 05:50, 07:14 and 16:10.

I really wanted to include the 3D fly-throughs, rather than a still image, and at first I was greedy and attempted to do a gradual reveal of the GPS route on top of that, using an animated mask in pan/crop. That approach was reasonably effective, but simply too much work, so I abandoned it and decided just to have my route showing in full throughout.

I spent many an hour fiddling with the official video recording function of Google Earth Pro, but whatever settings I tried, my place labels would flicker all over the place. They didn't do that when simply playing the tour, so I tried just screen-recording it. Unfortunately the old version of Camtasia I used to use (that I think Musicvid shared some years ago from GAOTD) would only record up to 10fps. However I switched to OBS Studio and it would record a smooth 30fps, so I used that.

The clarity of doing a screen-recording isn't quite as good as properly recording a tour (which is not done in realtime and takes at least 10-20 times as long), but I reckon it's good enough if you pre-cache as much of the imagery as you can, and it's worth it to get rid of the flickering labels.

Another thing I might try for a future video is right click on a path > Show Elevation Profile, and then scrub along the route, like in the following example. That can even be done in combination with a moving fly-through, but again that might be getting a bit greedy.

p.s. Excuse the awful audio in the YouTube video. It was the best I could rescue from the almost non-existent, horribly noisy video that my new DJI OSMO's built-in mic recorded. Also its batteries drained really quickly so much of the video was recorded with old phones and resampled to 24p to match the OSMO.

Video_flaneur wrote on 2/11/2017, 5:17 AM

Where building renders are available, Google Earth is capable of some good fly-throughs.

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