Saturday, May 02, 2009

Boise Downtown Photo Tour in Google Earth

I have been using getagging applications to place my photographs on maps for a few years and hope to do a lot more in the near future. 

 This spring, after attending a meeting in downtown Boise, I decided to take several photos of downtown buildings and try to create a     3D Google Earth Tour   highlighting these.  (The link here provides a rough draft of this tour that I will try to improve on later.  

  Note, there are quite a few buildings in Boise that are viewable when the Google Earth 3D building layer is turned on and this makes the tour more interesting.

I submitted these images to my Panoramio web site and they have now been included on the Google Earth panoramio layer.

Also over the past year I have been interested in the new Gigapan robotic image device that allows a photographer to shoot dozens or even hundreds of single telephoto shots and software that helps stitch these together into one single photograph that can provide zoom views into magnified detail in any of the single photographs.  A few weeks ago I purchased one of these devices and have started to learn how to use it.  After experimenting with it I have finally created a couple of pretty good Gigapan images of downtown Boise and the foothills skyline in the distance.  One interesting interactive feature of the Gigapan image is that other viewers can find interesting details and create a thumbnail snapshot that will zoom right to that detail.  Another interesting feature of the Gigapan process is that they also provide a way to look at and zoom into these "panorama" images in Google Earth via a KML file.

Please Note!  The navigation features on the image below are live.  You can zoom in, pan and click on the thumbnail snapshots to move automatically to the detail in that view.

Today, I decided to try to merge a Gigapan KML with the Boise Downtown Photo Tour Google Earth KMZ file.  (Note this merger did not work.  For some reason the file only wants to show the Gigapan KML.)  If this would work it would provide a tour in which you can investigate details in the Gigapan image, and also move around through the 3D downtown buildings and see my photos pop up while the building is in the Google Earth view.   For now you can use the KMZ link at the top of this post to look at the 3D Tour.  (Please remember to turn on the Google Earth 3D layer)