Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Panoramic Google Earth
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As you may know, Google offers a free downloadable program called Google Earth that lets you explore our planet. With it you can experience a nice visual presentation of geography and geographically linked items, such as photos or 3-D models.

You can also add your own placemarks and create collections of photos or points of interest or models to link in to the program. And you can upload these to Google's site for sharing with other people.

The World Wide Panorama project has taken advantage of this system for some time, and you can download a Google Earth file for each event, or one that covers all of its events. The WWP files also link to all the panoramas so you can easily find where it was shot on the planet, then open it for viewing.

While up in Berkeley, seeing what some people have down with this, I've been inspired to take a shot at my own collection of panoramas. To this end, I'm going back through almost every one I've shot and manually using Google Maps and Google Earth to find their latitude and longitude coordinates and putting these into a database along with a link to the panorama and some basic information about it. I then run a script to generate a Google Earth file (.kml) which can then be used by anyone to see all my panoramas.

Not only that, but you can set Google Earth to play a tour of the locations. It starts at home and then, by date, flies around the earth to show where each was shot, zooming down to see the site from the air. It's really pretty cool, especially Bamburgh Castle. If anyone wants a copy of the .kml file for use on their own system with Google Earth, let me know.

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