The other night I tried taking a Garmin activity and importing it into Google Earth and using the touring feature. The Way Too Cool 50K is a couple of weeks away and like the last couple years I’m going into this race a little undertrained. But a couple of weekends ago, I went out with Lee McKinley and ran a good 21 miles of it. That gave me 2 long runs for the year and I’ll try to get 1 more in this weekend. I took our run and plugged it into Google Earth and here’s the result of that run along the Way Too Cool course viewed through Google Earth.
I thought the video was pretty cool. Sometimes I come back from a run so excited to share some new breathtaking scenery or gold paved trail and I wish there was a way to capture the run. Google Earth is not about to replace the imagery of the trail but it does a decent job of giving a glimpse of some of our routes. And with today’s watches being more GPS, heart rate monitors and pacing partners than actual watches, the possibilities seem endless. Then Nicole said I should try it with my NYC Marathon run. Now, I’m not one to take a big city marathon over a trek through the mountains but the NYC Marathon Tour takes the cake:
Once I worked out some of the issues, the steps to create a Google Earth Tour from a Garmin file are fairly easy.
- Export the activity (KML file) from Garmin Connect into Google Earth.
- The activity should now show up in the Places window in the Sidebar.
- Uncheck the “Check Points” so the route isn’t covered with hundreds of dots.
- Right mouse click the activity and use Add…Tour.
- Now the hard part, you need to capture the screen using screen capturing software.
- Run the tour and capture the screen.
- Upload to YouTube.
It took me a couple of nights of playing with different configurations before it would work but it does work and now with a couple of hours of CPU processing, I can create a virtual tour of any marathon, ride or trail run. Most evenings, I’d rather be outside actually seeing and smelling the real scenery, but since it is a dark, cold and raining night it made for a good time to experiment with some of this technology.