Google Earth Black Box Recorder

Purely as a prototype, here’s a little script that records your flight in Google Earth for later review. (Wondering how you fly in Google Earth? See (or) here!!!)

Go here for the details and to get started.

This is recording the flight back to on my server, as that’s way easier than creating a local application. However it does mean its dependent on the net connection and my server for smooth recording. If this works out will seek better hosting! As mentioned its only a technical preview so its nowhere near perfect, but should be useful in a fun way at least :)

… technically it could be used to record movement in any mode, however it only records the camera position, which is almost ideal for the flight simulator, but not so useful otherwise.


12 Responses to “Google Earth Black Box Recorder”

  1. Chuck Yeager says:

    Super stuff, thanks.

  2. ChuckYeager says:

    Thank you, still enjoying this! And I hope others are too! Get some comments in. However I’m sure that you don’t want it to be too popular, given the strain it could put on your site. I’d certainly appreciate an off-line or self-hosting version, or even a source release that allows someone with a bottomless pocket to host it…

    Congrats for producing this fascinating add-in!

  3. Barry says:

    Yes if there is interest will package it up, at the moment its a cobbled together hodgepodge, using a few funny dependencies (like a kludged version of my php kml writer for php4) – all in all just needs a bit of a tidy up.

    The server doesnt seem to notice it as its quite lightweight. (except the one user whos recorded 22k points! – might see if there is a bug in GE causing that)

  4. Alexander says:

    Hi Barry,

    Nice implementation. I’ve been working on (and bloggin’ about) a similar idea called User Generated Orbit or UGO ( When I was looking into doing it the networklink way back in May I ran into some update frequency bugs. Are these issues resolved in GE2.4 you know? After running into these bugs, I drifted towards a standalone app but like you say it a lot more work etc so I still haven’t released anything ;) Its coming in a few weeks I hope.

  5. Barry says:

    Alexander, nice blog (subscribed) and application, not seen them them before.

    You app looks much more impressive in that it records the FoV, something not attempted here, as the data via the network link isnt rich enough (it sort of works if looking towards the ground, but as it based on LookAt its values are meaningless when skywards, Camera currently we only get a position. :( ) [Edit: just checked this on the latest beta 4.2.0196.2018, and as far as I can see the lookat values are useful now - the lat/long not of course, but the heading etc seems consistent :) :) , thanks for fixing that ]
    I wasn’t aware of any update issues, from a quick look at the logs, most clients seem to give regular recordings fine. (except one that started spitting out a couple hundred a second :( )

  6. Alexander says:

    Hi Barry,

    Forgot to look back at my comment in your blog after you posted a comment on my blog ;) Just reading your reply now, a couple of weeks later. Nice to hear the lookat values work (I am using them as well I think). No news yet from my side, just getting back into the app after having some delays due to my host.

  7. David says:

    Hi Barry,

    The recorder is quite interesting. However the latest google earth may have broken something. I just tried the Blackbox Recorder using Google Earth 4.3.7284.3916 (beta). I could not get the download to work.


  8. Barry says:


    Oops, actully it was an update on my server, so nobody has been able to download their tracks for a while – recording has been working so if you still have the link, should be able to right click on the download folder and download it now :)

  9. JoeHerwig says:

    Thank you. That’s real great stuff.
    I’m really interested to get information how i can host that on my site or how to improve the recording-duration. very good i must say!


  10. Goma says:

    I need the server. I would like to know how to make it a local aplication for not depend of the host.

  11. Goma says:

    Barry, The program is great. I was looking something for the google flight simulator like this for a long time. If you can make it a local aplication please tell me.

  12. Barry says:

    Hello all. I’ll see what can do about packaging it up. At the very least it will probably need PHP and MySQL installed to work. (php could be done via a embedded server, but possibly could convert to sqlite which would probably be more portable)