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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Google Earth Tour of First Excursion to St-Ferreol

Declan Lyons describes an excellent excursion into the the hills north of Castlenaudry on pages 79-83 in his book "Cycling the Canal du Midi." You can see the route as the left most loop on this Blog's header and also here for the "fast" segment and here for the "slow" segment (previous postings).

But it is also fun to "fly" over this route in a Google Earth Tour. I've found that this kind of tour is better in Google Earth itself rather than in the Google Earth plug-in launched in your browser. So how to do it.

First of all, download the most recent version of the bundle of placemarks, routes, and tours referenced earlier.

 the button.. It is the "CanalNow.kmz" file

What happens next depends on your device and operating system. I found that clicking on this file in my iPad 3 actually gives me the option of opening the file in Google Earth. So far so good. In my iPad, Google Earth independently launches the first tour file in the bundle. Looks like the St-Ferreol Tour is correctly chosen, launched and plays. Pretty smooth here. You can exit the tour anytime (the "X" at the bottom). After exiting, you can see all of the old and any of the new placemarks that may have been added to "CanalNow.kmz". But, alas, in the iPad, you aren't able to see the masthead of placemarks and tours i.e., the contents of the kmz file you have just opened.

If you have a PC, you may be prompted to save the file rather than having it launched. If that is case, save it in a place you can find, then launch Google Earth and "open" this file under the "File" tab. In this format, you can see in "Temporary Places" you will see placemarks of key days and places of our tour, including at least two tours.

Look for the tour to St-Ferreol on this list in "Temporary Places" (on left hand side column). Highlight it. Then activate it by clicking on the "Tour" button below and a little to the right of it. You should then see a description of the tour.

You have plenty of time to read the contents of the text balloon. When you are ready, mouse over the controls the tour controls at the bottom left of the screen. Click "Play". That should start the tour. You will encounter a text box at Guerre. Read that text box at your leisure. It's a long pause, but be patient, the tour will pick up after that.

The tour will proceed north to the reservoir, then west to a "key turn", then south back to Castlenaudry. This completes this silent tour.

Remember, you can pause or exit the tour at any point and stop and look around in this virtual terrain. Enable "Places", "Borders and Labels" layers, lower down on the left hand side. This will enable you to see additional features of the terrain that we will be visiting.

Don't forget to "Save to My Places" before you exit Google Earth. That will keep the bundle of placemarks and tours for the next time you open Google Earth. (Continued...)

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