Google Earth is cool. They took an excellent product called Keyhole and bought the company last year. The first resulsts of that were the satelite image detail available in Google Maps. Then they recently release Google Earth in three versions, two paid, one free. The free version is pretty powerful and lets you create animations on the screen, but you can’t save the output as a video file.

I created a DVD last year from the video I shot in China when we brought Laura home and I want to update that video with our flight plan. The current version of the video uses some static maps with flight paths drawn on them, very low tech. It would be really cool to use Google Earth to generate the video of the flight path, but you need the commerical version ($400 a year) to export video. I figured it was a matter of time before someone would hack a way around this. And sure enough, someone (David Scotch) did.

It appears to be pretty straight forward, but I haven’t tried it yet. You need to install a program that can save the video in memory to a file. In David’s blog article, he used FRAPS. The free version of Fraps will watermark the image, but it should be a good test to see if it works. He then used VirtualDub to edit the video and reduce the size.