Google Earth was released for Windows XP at the end of June last year. Playing around with the software, I created a few of the beginning stages of the 2005 Tour de France. The effort was quickly picked up by the Google Earth BBS community who completed the routes and improved upon my initial attempts.
This year, with plenty of time to spare, the stages for the 2006 Tour de France have been completed and it appears to be the work of Satan. Ha!
One noticeable difference between last year and this year is the addition of Google Earth for the Mac. That means—and I’m spitballing here—there’s potential for a lot more coverage of the virtual event due to the influence that Mac-using designer-developer-bloggers have on the blogosphere. I think this is a good thing. Money follows the news.
Here are some ways you can get involved in the Google Earth coverage of the 2006 event and help create a richer experience for everyone:
- Upload and geotag your event photos to Flickr (you can view geotagged photos in Google Earth by grabbing the kmz file from the GeoTagging Flickr group)
- Also, be sure to tag your photos with “tdf2006″
- Extend the Flickr photo proximity scripts by focusing on Tour de France photos (i.e., photos tagged “tdf2006″)
- What about pulling down geotagged videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and Google Video?
- Create a networked link that gets the current position of the pack, the teams, and the major riders
- Find a way to recreate the race using the above data so that historical replays can be preserved
- Are you involved with the Tour de France or one of the teams? Provide Google Earth data feeds from the race (race positions, times, current location, speed, etc.)
- And finally, spread the word! Do you want to see the technology get better (or cheaper)? Talk about it. Money follows the news.
Update: I just found a super simple method for geotagging photos in Flickr and it appears to work worldwide.
If you’re already working on stuff like this for this year’s TdF, please provide a link in the comments. And be sure to share your work with the Sports and Hobbies forum of the Google Earth BBS. Cheers!