Long Way Down Add-on

Many moons ago I created an Add-on based on the popular TV series called ‘Long Way Round’, starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, this was one of my first add-ons for World Wind and was a real pain to make, there were no gmap route pages back then so I had to watch each episode of the show and work out the route myself, you can find the add-on here.

When I discovered they were making a new series which travels from Scotland to South Africa I was very excited, I visited the BBC website and saw a current position displayed, cool, and wow an online map, I eagerly clicked it but ughh it was gmaps, but oh well it couldn’t be too bad. I zoomed in and very quickly noticed the low resolution of gmaps for nearly all the markers, and eww the pop-up for the markers was ugly too, right I knew Virtual Earth had better imagery, I also knew it could be viewed in World Wind and so if I could get accurate positions from this gmaps thing I could make an Add-on, clicking on the log entries then show on map gave me the lat/lon in the url of my browser, ok this may be easier than I thought.

I then decided I may as well use all the new add-on features I had been meaning to try, first off I needed a track, this could be done easily with the new LineFeature tag, –

<LineFeature ShowAtStartup="true">
-3.10793212890625,58.9472924173077 -3.33793212890625,58.75729241730768
-3.26793212890625,58.6372924173077 -3.06793212890625,58.6372924173077 -3.09402465820313,58.5474779457336
1.28814697265625,51.1104199102926 6.85684204101563,45.9081665819168 11.14013671875,43.7710938177565
14.6023750305176,40.6351896519523 5.7928466796875,39.8211942264745 16.0400390625,39.3470425112174 15.64453125,38.0394388918217

Simple, track done, now for some icons, I used my favourite Add-on tool WINK Spots

About 10 minutes later that was done, next I had to copy the linefeature code into the add-on created by WINK Spots, which was created pre linefeature, simply open the xml in notepad and paste the linefeature stuff before the first icon tag.

Now to pretty it up a bit, add a nice screen overlay

<ScreenOverlay ShowAtStartup="true">
<Name>Long Way Down click to visit site</Name>

Next I realised this was going to need regular updates, so I uploaded the xml to my web space and created a network xml which pointed to the add-on –

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
Long Way Down Add-on for NASA World Wind 1.4.x
version 1.0
28 May 2007
Data from http://www.bbc.co.uk/longwaydown
Add-on created by Daniel Baker (Bull_[UK])
For more information please visit http://www.worldwindcentral.com/wiki/Add-on:Long_Way_Down
<LayerSet redirect="http://www.theowl.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/remotexmls/LWD.xml">

All done, but one more thing I’d been meaning to try was an undocumented feature in 1.4 called QuickInstall, this means by clicking the following link Install the long way down add-on World Wind will automatically download and install the add-on for you, cool huh?

You can find the official page for this add-on here which includes a standard exe installer for the add-on.

I wish the track was more accurate, but unless the BBC send me more lat/lon pairs there isn’t a lot I can do, other than that I’m pretty happy with the add-on, it’s not bad for a few hours work and sure beats the online map on the BBC site.

Screenshots –

Long Way Down Add-on
Standard i-cubed view



Long Way Down Add-on

Ewan’s first post, imagery from the virtual earth plugin


Long Way Down Add-on

Florence, imagery from the virtual earth plugin


Long Way Down Add-on
Florence, from the BBC’s gmap


Long Way Down Add-on

Paola Sunrise, imagery from the virtual earth plugin


Long Way Down Add-on
Paola without sunset from the BBC’s gmap

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