Monday, October 26, 2009

Help with Google Earth tours

I've searched everywhere I can think of, and I've tweeted about it, and I've even been able to communicate with Frank over at the gearthblog (I point folks there frequently) but I have not been able to find the answer to this question about tours in Google Earth. Maybe a reader can help.

You've seen the Google Earth tours, I'm sure, where you're flown to various places around the world and when you arrive there, the balloon opens then closes when you move on. All the while, the narrator's voice can be heard talking us through the tour.

I want to make one of those - and I can - but I can't share it.

I can set up a folder of locations with each location having a balloon for information about that place. I can click the Tour folder icon and it will do as it's supposed to do, flying me to each location. I've set the preferences up so that the balloons will show, as well. I can even click the record button and record audio with it. And, I can play back the tour on my machine and it's wonderful! But, I'm not able to share it.

When I right-click to save the file I am able to save the tour. But, if I send that file to someone else, the audio isn't there, And, frequently, the balloons don't display. Yet, it works fine on my own computer.

I REALLY want to resolve this issue, so if anyone can offer a suggestion as to what I must do to ensure that the audio gets compressed into the kmz file and the balloons show, I would LOVE to hear from you.

Update 10-27-09

With the help of Mickey Mellon, one of the authors on the gearthblog, I was able to make SOME progress. Mickey suggested that I change the .kmz file extension to .zip and open it. It opened into a folder that contained a .kml file as well as another folder that contained the audio file. That audio file had a .aac extension, supposedly a supported file type for Google Earth. I then did the same thing for one tour that did work correctly, and that file had a .mp3 extension. Hmmmmm...

So, I renamed the .aac audio to .mp3. I then opened the .kml file in a text editor and changed the reference to point to the newly named audio file. I saved the changes, then opened the file in Google Earth. It played PERFECTLY!

This means that it just doesn't like that .aac file type when it comes from someone else, because it likes it just fine on your own machine. I'm thinking that we're (I'm including you and Mickey in on this) getting close.

Can anyone help now?


MrsE said...

Maybe someone over at the Google Maps Mania blog can help?

Alma Row said...

Jim, when using version 5.0.11733.9347 as you save the tour folder with all the stops in it, there is an additional file in the kmz with a movie camera icon that contains the movie with audio. The file gets large, of course. The touring bubbles are settings on the local machine so the viewer must check that box under the touring options.

Jim Gates said...

Yes, we get that file. And it gets large, too, and it's included in the kmz. We dble click the tour icon and the tour begins - but without the sound that's supposed to be in there. The kmz appears to be large enough to contain the audio, but it won't play

Daniel Rezac said...

I have this same problem. I did not record any audio, but when I share the file and open it up on a different computer it flies around without any of the Bubbles.

I can't find out how to change that. Is there an option I need to click?

Thanks!! Help!

Daniel Rezac

Jim Gates said...


In the Options/Preferences>Touring tab there is a checkbox that tells it to show balloons while waiting. Make sure that's checked. No idea why it's not the default setting.

Mark said...

I guess you haven't solved this problem yet. I have only tried with images and loose these as you describe.
If I can't share it makes the whole thing pointless. It seems such a fundamental problem that it can't have gone unfixed for so long. Is it only an issue with the free version of GE I wonder.
I use a mac - I guess that is not part of the problem.
Mrs E
Did anything come of Google Maps Mania?
So much work trapped on my own machine; let me out!