Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Google Earth Quicktime Object Movie

This little experiment captures a tiny corner of Google Earth in a Quicktime object movie. I chose London's Battersea power station as the subject, though with hindsight that was probably not the most glamorous of places I could have picked. Nevertheless it is instantly recognisable (to the British and Pink Floyd fans at any rate ;) and there's a very good model of it in the 3D Warehouse.

It will need a few seconds to load, then, provided you have Quicktime installed, you will be able to change the view point by dragging on the image:

The object movie was created with Pano2QTVR, a utility that allows both QTVR panoramas and object movies to be constructed.

An extension to Pano2QTVR allows the object movie to be output in flash format:

The source images for the object movie have to be laboriously captured one at a time with Ctrl+Alt+S (or the mac equivalent) from Google Earth. View positioning is accomplished via the use of this kml file. This will allow easy positioning over most of a hemisphere in 24 azimuth steps at each of 7 elevations. It stops a couple of degrees short of ground level to avoid plunging the viewpoint underground. Note that the values of YOUR_LONGITUDE, YOUR_LATITUDE and YOUR_RANGE will need to altered to your chosen location before the file is any use!

If anyone knows a way to automate the image capture process, please drop me a line.

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