Why we like it: runtastic is using Google Earth to show a user 3D Earth View video playback of every run or GPS activity they track with runtastic PRO for Android. In addition to retracing a route, runtastic displays the time, pace, elevation, places of interest, and more. Users can also choose to review their activities with three zoom levels and three playback speeds.
[Editor’s note: For this week’s “Map of the Week” post, we’ve asked Stephan Brunner, Head of Android Development at runtastic, to write a guest blog post about what his team used to create runtastic Earth View - Paul Saxman]
Whether you’re running your first half marathon, biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, or hiking in Nepal, runtastic’s Google Earth playback feature allows you to hold on to the memory and imagery of your activity.
How do we make this happen? The runtastic app captures GPS coordinate data and transforms it into a KML file, and then starts the Google Earth app with an Android Intent, passing a reference to the file in the Intent URI. The Google Earth app loads the track and takes it from there.
The <gx:Track> and <gx:Tour> extension to KML are the perfect tools for making the new 3D experience happen. The <gx:Track> element contains the entire GPS data recorded by the runtastic app, and <gx:Tour> defines the camera animations, overhead view and angle. The Google Earth app matches the elements of both lists using the time-span information from each list element. The result is a smooth animation of the track being painted based on the data from a run, which makes the user feel like they’re flying along it!
With this great new 3D Earth View, we think that there is no reason to stay on the couch. Get out there and record some amazing activities!
Posted by Paul Saxman, Google Maps API Developer Relations Team