Connecting Google Earth to GpsGate Client!
Connecting Google Earth to GpsGate Client
GpsGate fills the gap between the GPS and Google Earth, and enables real-time GPS tracking in Google Earth. You need GpsGate 2.0 or later.
1. Setting up the Google Earth plugin
To set up the Google Earth plugin, follow these steps:
1. Make sure you have GpsGate for Windows 2.0 or later installed. If not download here
2. Start Franson GpsGate 2.0 and open the output tab of the settings dialog. If the wizard appears when you start GpsGate, you can reach the settings dialog by clicking the “Advanced setup”. Otherwise, you can reach the settings dialog by clicking on the GpsGate tray icon and then clicking “Settings”.
3. To enable the real-time GPS tracking support in Google Earth, you need to add the “Google Earth” output in GpsGate. See image below.
Figure 1 - selecting the Google Earth output in GpsGate.
4. When you have added the output, a settings dialog appears as illustrated in the image below. This dialog allows you to control parts of the tracking experience in Google Earth. See section 2 for more information on the configurable parameters.
Figure 2 - the Google Earth plugin configuration dialog.
5. Check the “Start Google Earth automatically” checkbox. This will ensure that Google Earth is started as the plugin is activated, and that Google Earth is setup to receive the GPS data.
Figure 3 - setting allowing you to start Google Earth when the Google Earth output is enabled.
6. Finally, click OK and Google Earth will be launched, if not already running, and will be tracking your position!
2. Plugin Settings
This section explains more about how you can configure the Google Earth plugin to enable and disable various features.
2.1. Camera Settings
The Camera Settings group (see figure 4) allows you to control the viewing perspective used in Google Earth. If Follow placemark is checked, the camera will be locked onto the position marker, and the position marker will thus always be the centered in the view. When you check this item, you have the option to configure the parameters in the camera settings group.
Figure 4 - the camera settings section.
By changing these parameters, you can change how you follow the marker in Google Earth. If you do not wish to follow the marker, simply uncheck “Follow placemark” in the camera settings section. You can see some examples below.
The tilt determines the vertical angle of the camera, relative to the vertical axis. For instance, if you set this to 0, the camera will be aimed at the marker directly from above. If you set it to 65, you will get the angle illustrated above.
The altitude, or more correctly range, determines the distance between the camera and the marker. If you increase this value, you will get further away from the marker. The picture above illustrates a range of 5000 meters.
The angle setting determine the angle between the camera and the axis defined by the direction of travel (the bearing). The example above illustrates a 90 degree angle (“from the left”). To follow the marker from behind, set this to zero.
2.2. Misc Settings
The Misc settings section (see figure 5) allows you to control how the GpsGate output should be started. GpsGate needs to let Google Earth know that there’s data available by opening the correct kml-file. There are two options available:
- If you check “Start Google Earth automatically”, Google Earth will be started and set to use the proper kml file as soon as the plugin is enabled. If Google Earth is already started, the kml file will simply be opened in Google Earth when the plugin is enabled.
- If you check “Open automatically if Earth is started”, the GpsGate output will be opened in Google Earth only if Google Earth is already started. If Google Earth is not started, nothing will happen.
If you uncheck both options above, you need to remove and add the plugin at a later point.
Figure 5 - the misc settings section.
2.3. Appearance Settings
The appearance section (see figure 6) lets you control the marker that displays your current position in Google Earth.
- The palette is an ordinary png image that generally contains a set of smaller icons.
- The icon is where you select an icon within the palette above that should be displayed in Google Earth.
- The name is the text that is displayed next to the marker in Google Earth.
The Show Altitude option allows you to decide whether or not the altitude of the marker/track should be visible, or if it should be projected onto the ground.
Figure 6 - the appearance settings section.
2.4. Track Settings
The track settings allows you to configure whether or not a track should be visible in Google Earth, and if so, how it should look. If enabled, a tail will be drawn after the marker, indicating the points it has passed.
Figure 7 - the track settings section.
- If “Enable track” is checked, there will be a track drawn after the marker. If not checked, none of the other settings will be available.
- The “Track Name” allows you to decide the name of the track, as it appears in the Places panel in Google Earth.
- “Track width” determines the width in pixels of the polygon representing the track. Note that tracks in Google Earth 3 are always 1 pixel wide.
- Track color determines the color of the polygon representing the track.
- Max points determines the maximum number of points that should be used. When this number is exceded, the oldest position will be removed. Thus, you can get a “tail” by setting this number fairly low.
- If you check “Show shadow” (only available if “Show altitude” is checked) you will get a flat track in addition to the one with altitude. This can be useful if you only want to see the position on the ground.