Further to our previous post on Controlling Google Earth ala Minority Report, thanks to the Atlas Gloves from was Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv, we decided to try them out for ourselves.

Using a pair of ping pong balls, that Joel our System Administrator found in a cupboard at home, a couple of led torches from down Tottenham Court Road and a touch of superglue we cobbled together our interpretation of the Atlas Glove controllers. (pictured right).

For our test we utilized a projector displaying Google Earth and the control software in a blacked out lecture theatre. This allowed a clear view of the lights which are turned on and off in combination with various hand gestures to remotely control Google Earth. The movie below demonstrates the trial, we were going to leave the movie audio free but couldn’t resist dubbing in the The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Stokowski. The controller is Joel who quickly became a master of the technique.

Linking Google Earth to a remote vision based control interface is impressive and the fact it worked first time is testament to the teams clear instructions and software.

Of note to some users experiencing a ‘Grey Screen’ when loading the software, through trial and error we found that you also need to install WinVDIG version 1.1.1 (not the current 1.5 release). This enabled the control software to communicate with the webcam.

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.

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Slow Week?

Not many updates this week as I have been called away from work to look after my Dad who fell off the roof while chasing squirrels.

Next weeks got some interesting posts coming up though – we have a series of posts on Fantasy Architecture with drawings for a Geography Class to be made into 3D Models and put into Google Earth. The drawings arrived in A3 format and we have a A3 Scanner arriving Monday.

We are also thinking of a ‘How To’ series to put together a series of tutorials on how to do the things we put on the blog. If there are any tutorials you would like see then please post a comment and we will start writing….

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.


  1. Carl Ahearne - March 17, 2006

    I use AutoCAD and ADT to produce 3D models for construction projects. It would be great to see how to get these into Google Earth correctly lined up etc. Would be a very useful tuorial.

  2. Derek Jackson - March 29, 2006

    Just came across this thanks to CGArchitect.com. Amazing stuff – I’ve never seen Quicktime VRs of that quality and resolution before!

    I work for an architecture firm and would love to be able to create similar VRs for some of the buildings we’ve done.

    Could you give some sort of guide as to how you make them?! What software do you use? What sort of camera? And what’s a “panoramic rig”?

  3. Smithee - March 29, 2006


    Thanks for comment – yep we will do a show and tell post in a few weeks i hope on panoramas.

    If you drop me a email – asmith@geog.ucl.ac.uk then i can give you some info..


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