More On Using Google Earth with a GPS Device Part II

Though it’s probably still not the hottest story in Hua Hin, I see that there is interest elsewhere about getting GPS Devices and Google Earth working together so I will add a little more based on some recent experience.

We did a little road trip last week and though I didn’t use the laptop and Google Earth in realtime, I did make use of the caching capabilities of GA and a utility I found called Google Earth Voyager 6.0.

GEV allows one to fairly painlessly create a cache of the area one intends to travel through. It does this by taking advantage of the Touring/Fly To option in Google Earth. As everything you see on your screen in GE is cached by GE, GE Voyager enables you to create a rectangle of the area you want to cache AND set a level of resolution of your cache. This is done with a combination of altitude, speed, and distance between points. If you want very rich detail, you’ll need to set a low altitude, a small distance between points, and a slower speed for the flyover. The speed of the flyover is also dependent on the speed of your internet connection–if you have low bandwidth, you may not be able to download the detail needed in the time allotted so you may need to give it more time. Once you’ve entered the parameters, GEV has GE fly, or more aptly, bounce over the grid you’ve outlined. It’s sorta interesting to watch at first though with a large rectangle you’ll get quickly bored and can go back to more interesting pursuits as GEV does its thing in the background. Rather than make a short story anymore endless and painful, GEV comes with good docs so it won’t take you long at all to start building up your cache sets.

One more thing on GEV and GE before we get back to the road trip. Though GE is fairly effecient in its caching, you can fill up that 2Gb limit but that’s not difficult to take care of.  GE uses two files for the cache. The cache is dbCache.dat and its index is dbCache.dat.index. These two files are found in the
C:\Documents and Settings\YOURUSERNAMEHERE\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth directory though your mileage may vary a little. Should you reach the 2Gb limit caching say, Hua Hin, you simply rename those two files so you know they contain the cache for Hua Hin and then create new cache files for Korat or Pattaya, or whatever.

OK, a little about the road trip. I didn’t expect to be able to do any realtime Google Earth and didn’t expect much internet connectivity once we stopped and I was pretty much correct on both counts. However, due to a nice cache created by GEV before we left, once stopped, I was able to load the tracks of the days’ travels from the GPS to the computer and get a bird’s eye view of what we’d done in GE, even though I wasn’t on line. Now, if only GPSMapEdit and Google Earth used the same cache, I’d be able to make maps easier during the down time on the road.

Part I is here.

If anyone has anything to add to this post or the previous concerning any tips I may not be aware of, I’d appreciate hearing about them.

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