Google Earth: Chart Plotter

Did someone mention a chart plotter? If so have a look-see:

Google Earth: Map Plotter

Its hot off the presses so don’t know what options it will need yet, just used three example zooms levels – other options would include the mobile map style. (You can change it by altering the link in Properties)

Also its standard Google Maps, as that is all the API offers. Ideally would be proper flight plan data, but would need a Static Map API to work.

Note: The map is centered on the camera position (so is ideal for the Flight Simulator) – and while it can be used in other modes it wont make much sense. If interest could make one that shows the center of the view itself.

Disclaimer: this is entering the gray area of what is possible with the Static Maps API, so might get pulled, etc.

More flight sim tools

13 Responses to “Google Earth: Chart Plotter”

  1. Frank Taylor says:

    Nice job Barry! I agree the static maps API limitations may prevent you from using this method if it becomes popular. Maybe we can convince Google they should add it themselves though!

  2. Barry says:

    A number of people (including Frank!) have contacted me suggesting moving the map to the right side. So I think will move it to the right side – same vertical position.

    Shout NOW if you dont like this idea, or if it should be a config option.

  3. Joe Davis says:

    It is neat but at high zoom when you fly over water the map is all blue but where you are looking at (out of the front window of the plane as opposed to looking straight down) is land so your map shows what is BELOW (all blue) you but not what is in front (the land).

    In short, you need an offset in the direction of travel that is proportional to the zoom level (and finer grained levels of zoom – 10 would be great).

  4. Barry says:

    Interesting idea – but my understanding that would not be a ‘plotter’, which by definition shows your current position.

    Would need some interesting maths….

  5. JM says:

    hi. i tried using it since yesterday but today i experience some problem..instead of showing the map there is an X appearing on the map…any suggestion about it? what is it actually?why the X is appearing instead of the map? thanks!

  6. Taylor says:

    Nice work on the Chart plotter! I was looking for something exactly like this. Do you have a reference or for how to get started on a project like this? I understand the screen overlay syntax, and network link, but I do not understand how to get the right google map view as an image I can overlay.

    For my project I would like to iterate on your solution. I have a flight boundary as a kml file and I really need to be able to see that boundary in your 2D google map, while I navigate in google earth.

    Awesome job!

  7. Barry says:


    Its ‘powered’ by the Google Static Maps API

    You can plot paths on the map, but you will need to read your KML file (or store in a database) and pick the appriate bits to go with your map.

    Checkout the Maps API Google Group which has more information on working with static maps ‘server side’ to get bounds etc.

  8. Tim says:

    This map plotter was great, it allows you to fly long distances. However after few days my plotter turned unresponsive, with a big red cross in the middle. If anyone knows how to fix it, please reply!

  9. [...] A more specified extension of this application is a static Google Maps overlay developed by some guy named Barry Hunter. It is a small map located in your flight simulator GUI that updates itself every 5 seconds, with varying levels of zoom capability on the map. You can find it here. [...]

  10. onl says:

    Hello. This is the most needed feature for the google flight simulator! I was thrilled to have it, but for some reason after I started using it, my GE has begun to freeze.

    It’s just after I have flown from a minute to 5 minutes, the screen freezes, and I have to close the whole GE. ctrl+alt+b is responsive, and I can change the zoom level or turn the map off, but still the actualy GE is unresponsive in flight simulator and in the normal GE mode. I have
    Google Earth 5.1.3533.1731

  11. onl says:

    Ummh. I’m also having the same problem as JM. After few plays and freezes, after I started the GE, there was a ‘cross’ in place of the map. I tried switching the video mode from opengl to directx, enabling safe mode etc, but the GE keeps freezing and now the map is only showing + instead of a google map image.

  12. onl says:

    Hello again.

    Now on the next day I experimented more. I deleted the myplaces.kml, myplaces.kml.tmp and myplaces.backup.kml from the C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Google\GoogleEarth and started the GE and the flight sim without this chart plotter kml.

    I put it fly for an hour without freezing. After this I ran the chart plotter .kml file with the exception that I edited it to update itself every 10secs. 10 … and 1000000000 … on all the 3 different zooms.

    It managed to fly for over an hour aswell! I pretty much don’t fly, I just plot a course and make adjustments when necessary. The most used buttons are ctrl+down/up/left/right. However just about after an hour or so, I was moving the cam with ctrl+arrow and suddenly the updating google maps image flickered 4 times in a row quickly and the screen froze there. I quited GE and came back. I managed to fly few minutes with the map after and then at one update of the map, it updated the + instead of the map!

    After this I went and deleted the myplaces.kml, tmp and backup files again and when I came back, i’m again still only seeing the + symbol instead of the map.

    Now I went to Local Settings/Application Data/Google.. to delete the dbcache.dat and ..index. This didn’t change things. Now there remains the + symbol instead of the map, even if I delete cache and myplaces files.

    I’m not sure of whether the freezing problem persists, after the deletion of cache+myplaces, because I would first like to get the map working again this time..

    Any tips ?

  13. onl says:

    Today, once I fired up the GE, the map worked again now. After an hour or so GE froze. Restarting it, the map worked, but after some minutes the + appeared in place of map once again.

    Does it have something to do with the chart.kml that is loaded by the setupchart.kml by pointing to this address (for medium zoom):

    This chart.kml has following maxSessionLength tags


    I tried editing the 1200 value and firing up the chart.kml directly, but the + persists