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Google Earth confusion

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Pangaea, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. Hi all... I am making some good progress with btb, however I see alot of folks talking about making tracks from google earth data. I have spent many hours reading though various forums on the subject, but they all seem a little too advanced, as in the information provided assumes you already know the basics on how to get google earth data.

    Is there any "first steps" tutorials on how this works?

    I live in ireland, and was interested in making some open ended rally tracks for RBR based on some of the roads in my local area. As stated above there seems to be good info on google earth to btb, but theres nothing at all on the very early stages of how to aquire the data in the first place. To explain myself a little more clearly, I open up Google Earth, zoom in on a region close to where I live.. I see some road layouts ide like to somehow import into BTB, but in Google Earth there dosent seem to be any options to export data of any kind, (bar location bookmark kml's etc).... How exactly to i tell google earth to export a road as a kml file to import into BTB? ... I tryed everything, things like right clicking on the road, but no right click menu comes up. None of the pull down menus in google earth have anything resembeling "export to kml" (as in road path. not location bookmark)...

    Do I have to somhow tell Google Earth to see a road as a path (for kml path export) by creating a route planner, or somthing?? If so how do I make a route? .. Or is it a case that I have to take a screenshot of the road im looking and import it into some other Google Earth Application?

    I would be great if somone could explain how to do this first step.. I do relise that there is other work involved, like creating height info in "KML Altitude Fille".. however Im not even at that stage. I need to get past the very very very first stage, which is how to make google earth see what im seeing on my screen, somhow convert what im seeing to a path, then how to export it for use in either KML Altitude Filler or BTB itself.

    Some basic basic, first step, baby step info would be fantasic :)

    Regards
    Pan
     
  2. Open Google earth and draw your path in, try not to use too many points, curves and corners can be manipulated later with control arms. Save your path as a kml. Open the btb help and look at the import bit, there will be a link there where you can upload your kml and get elevation data. Click that link, upload your kml, press the go button and wait for it to gather the info, then when its done get your new kml with altitude and in btb just follow go to file > import. Once you have done that you will understand how it works. You can use other sites for elevation, I use this site http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/elevation but it requires some editing in a spreadsheed to get it to work properly in btb.
     
  3. Is that mean to paste all the lines I get from gpsVisualizer into the kml without elevation (and keep it look like it was before)?
    I just compared some kml without elevations with one "repaired" by 3D Route Builder, and took a look what "gpsV" sended to me (plain text).

    Do you think gpsVisualizer is better than 3D Route Builder? I have no idea, so I just ask for your opinion.

    @Pangea - here's some step-by-step tutorial from Jonathan Johansson:
    http://hompe.blogspot.com/2010/09/making-rally-stage-with-height-data-in.html
     
  4. To make the path, click on the 'Add Path' button on the bar at the top of Google Earth. A window pops up, give it the name you want. Then click on the map in the middle of the road where you want the path to start and continue to click along until you come to the end. Click on OK and you will see the path listed in the Places window. Right click on it and choose 'Save place as' and select kml [not kmz] to save it. You can then import it into BTB.

    If you're making a closed circuit begin at the start/finish and leave a small gap between the first and last points, don't connect it into a closed loop.
     

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  5. I think it is better, you just copy the text you are given and paste it into open office calc or ms excel as csv and swap the lat. long. around so it's in the right format for BTB, then export it as csv.
     
  6. Im a noob who only got into rFactor & BTB a bit over a year ago but Ive discovered a VERY easy method that turns out some very nice routes WITH height data via Google Maps & 3D RB using urls.
    I'll try to list my method simply here & if anyone would like a copy of the 2 tutorials that got me going than please drop me a PM with your Email & I'll shoot it across to you....
    The first drawback I must mention is that Im using the free 3D RB & with it you can only map a route with 499/500 data points, although this is easily enough for an 80kmAussie country road (with 300-odd data points) mainly comprised of open highspeed sweepers......
    The other MAJOR drawback with this method is when it's imported, BTB REALLY hates 90degree intersections style corners & you'll have to lay out two separate routes & join them in BTB at a later date.
    Here goes....(I'll start in the next chat box)
     
  7. (Stick with me folks, this is my first tut'-like rundown & may need editing....)
    Open your Google Earth, find the area you wish to route & zoom in- you may need to just zoom to the start if it's a large track -then click Google Maps at the top.
    Close Google E for now.
    In Google Maps click on get directions on left hand side under the Google logo, then (1) right click on point you wish to start route & click in little pop-up box 'from here'.
    Now go to end of desired track if point-to-point or move a slight way from first 'marker' & repeat as above from 1 but click 'to here'.
    If it's to be a circuit use Note 2 method to create circuit.
    NOTE 1:- Some routes in Google Map data base are listed as walking paths not driving so click on the "Hiking Man" icon, it should then be able to route over that path now.
    NOTE 2:-If the auto generated route does not take the desired path, grab & relocate to desired path if possible & if it still does not than you may need to either experiment or draw a path for the offending section as this can later be added in.
    If route is larger than view, click 'Get Directions' again to auto zoom out to view full route.
    Now click on 'Get Link' on opposite side to 'Get Directions'.
    A dropdown box will appear with a highlighted URL, right click & copy that.
    Leave everything as is for now & minimize your web browser, you may need to go back sometime soon. (Im on a wireless internet & theres a serious lag time when restarting something or when using 3D RB/ Google Earth whilst the browser is open....)
    OK, thats part 1....next page please ;-D
     
  8. Part 2

    Open your free version of 3D RB, click File & click again on Open URL.
    A box will appear, paste your URL from Google Maps into here & click test- this is to check that your URL is usable, also I have never tried this with a NON Google Map URL.....
    If it lights up green all is good & you can now click on 'OK' to start importing data from the URL.
    Once data is in it will have the route but not the heights, YET!
    NOTE 4:-If you've used 3D RB before you'll know where to go from here but there is still a couple of things that need doing that left undone will cause problems for BTB later.....

    Step 3
    Maximize 3D RB window if you have not already & click on 'Embed Google Earth' icon under 'Help' next to 'Show Altitude Profile' icon which should also be active.

    Step 4
    Double click on the little box on the left hand side with the arrow in it next to your first rout data way-point information bar which by default should be highlighted.
    This will zoom the now 'Embeded' window into your starting point.

    Step 5
    Now hold onto shift & scroll down to select all way-points.
    NOTE 5:- Make sure to keep your cursor off this window otherwise it'll move as slow as a wet weekend!
    Once all are highlighted, click on 'Edit' icon on left hand side, second bar grouping under 'File' icon & then click on 'Altitude Update from Geo Tool' icon.
    NOTE 6:- Long route is it? kickback & wait a bit but don't go to far as it may- due to 'net connection - stall in which case an 'Error box will appear with 3 options.
    Just click on the 'Ignore' icon for now as this is only a preliminary scan, I prefer to do 2 or more.....

    Step 6
    You will notice that in the highlighted way-point window that some of the way-points have a tick that corresponds to an annoying 'star' in the 'Embed' window.
    These will hold no height data even when 'ticked' off (as far as I can work out) & need to be deleted or else they will cause BTB to create a 'double node point' & BTB will fail to Export.....
    Double click on the first one numbered '0' (zero) to bring you back to start delete & work through your data correcting location of each data point to desired location as need be using the 'left, forward, backward & right' icons located on the third bar down, the 'mini-window' between these icons & 'Edit' icon is the value in meters that you wish these icons to move.
    The other value window on the same bar further to the right is for altitude & will by default (from memory) be set at 1 or 1.5meters, set now to 0.5 or less if possible to get more accurate height data.
    (There's tutorials on the 'net for adjusting route data so there's not much point in going to much further into this step, besides I cant really think of much else to add right now)

    Step 7
    Done it?
    Awesome....
    Now go & repeat Step 5 again & try to make sure that instead of clicking 'Ignore' when an 'Error' occurs you try the 'Retry' icon a few times as this will be your "Export" .KML (Your not allowed to "Save" with the free version of this program) route this time.
    That said you can always redo your routes height at future points by importing through 'Open Route'.

    Step 8
    Open 'File' icon, click on 'Export As' & follow on from there making sure you (A) stick it where you can find it again easily in BTB or Google E &
    (B) also make sure you save as a .KML file.
     
  9. Step 9
    Shut it all down (3D RB & then Google E) & open BTB.
    Click on 'File' & then click on 'Import', switch from CSV tab to Google Earth Tab.
    Is it to be a point-to-point or circuit track?
    Make sure 'All' is selected & my personal preference is for 100 for a long track (As in counted in multiples 10's of kilometers or miles OR 'Bathursts', hehehehe!!!)
    Once imported click the 'Take a Drive' icon & have a quick view.
    Like it?
    Save As, then add some quick terrain with a slight upwards inclination, Append racing line, set your gates, pits, pit driveline, Export.
    It works? You like the results so far? Congratulations, all but one of mine work so far at this point.....
    Only the one that REALLY matters to me wont & it's not a doubled-up 3D RB data point forming a doubled-up Node in BTB thats causing the problem.
    Ive gotten to this stage SO MANY times with Bungonia (80km's) that I could REALLY use some help please, Im going bald & starting to dribble due to it! ;-D
    D'oh!
    If anyone would like a (quicker) rundown on my method for inserting a route into another please let me know but it is fairly simple now you've mastered this.
    Thank you & enjoy!
     
  10. Here's some routes that I've done using the above method.....

    1.The Bungonia behemoth that's destroying my sanity.....I MUST DRIVE IT!
    2.The Bungonia short course (10-odd km's)....it works but is a bit boring in present form.
    3. My loading screen for my current project until I can get Bungonia working, Peel Alternate(33.7km & Alpha or Beta will soon be up for testers....).
    I have no intention of building Sunny Corner(100.4km) at anytime soon nor Vale(11.635km).
    These are real tracks from the '20's & 30's, the routes work in BTB if anyone wants a crack although Sunny Corner needs a clean up.
    Mount Panorama, Bathurst is in the lower left hand corner to add a bit of scale!
    4.Hartely Vale, Lithgow(6.035km), one of Australia's oldest circuits dating from before 1918 & finished in 1936.
    VERY pretty area, someone else is welcome to the data as my hands are full & I couldn't do it justice....
    5.A network of roads from near where I used to live currently being mapped & tidied up, main tar route measuring in excess of 90km & unknown km's of dirt (not included in shot) interlacing throughout.
    I threw these together in under half an hour (preliminary) while chatting to legendsatlunch.
    6.A network of roads near my current abode(total distance unknown but approximately 60kms).
    I dont know if anything will come of this....Four routes were needed to map this & they work separately....
    7. Oxely Highway-Motorcycle Nirvana(226kms!). I will never do this although parts of route have been tested & work in BTB!
    At least 8 mappings were needed to accomplish this, it was done as a dare....
    All preliminary routes were knocked out in under an hour besides the Oxely Highway....
    I've posted these to show that even a noob like me can throw these together quickly & easily using this method!
    Best of luck folks,
    BLeeK.
     

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