Posted on May 14, 2016

Ships 2 Career - progress on Facebook

Well, ships 2 Career starts to sound like the "Duke nukem" gama that took forever but progress is being made. In anticipation of the planned release in a few month I started a facebook page where the latest news and later your antics in Ships 2 Carreer can be shared. Go and check it out.

Posted on June 30, 2014

Ships 2 Career

Ships 2 Career is nearing completion. Finally after years of development the new Ships 2 is finally getting close to release. The new browser based ship simulator is a gigantic leap forward in simulation realism. You will be able to progress from small vessels to the giants of the sea. Each vessel with it's own challenges. Below a demo showing a river barge being steered in close quarters.

Posted on May 14, 2014

HID Server

Often I have a need to access input devices such as joysticks from javascript in the browser. There is Gamepad API but it has been under development forever and simply doesn't work. I decided to take a more generic approach and write a HID Server that forms the link between all your USB devices and the browser. At the moment the server is only available in Windows. It is a work in progress but here is the first cut.

Posted on April 3, 2012

Perpetual Ocean

Explore the ocean currents that have been visualised by the Goddard Space Flight Center. As soon as the video from NASA hit the internet we were looking at a way to bring this data into Google Earth and allow interactive exploration of the oceans currents. We did not produce this data. All we do is visualise it in Google Earth the way we think it is supposed to be seen.

Posted on February 27, 2012

Diorama - Your stories in your world...

Now you can tell your stories right here in Google Earth. Over the years Google Earth has become a rich and beautiful model of our planet and now Diorama offers the tools to put your stories in it. Use Diorama to tell stories about your world. The places you lived, an historic event or your favourite holiday spot.

Everything in rich 3D. Animation, sounds, music, images, 3D models and video all tightly integrated into one compelling experience.

The detailed town of Getaria is a brilliant example where Diorama brings life to the prsentation. Pedro Domecq with some help of Josetxo Perez build the 3D model of Getaria under their "Virtualsim" brand. Pedro produced a fine example of what Diorama is capable of. Good luck with your modeling competition Pedro.

Posted on February 15, 2012

G.E. Flight Simulator

Untill today everything on this site is produced by and although we are proud of our achievements, it doesn't mean we are the only ones that do cool things with Google Earth. Already Two years ago, Xavier Tassin published G.E. Flight simulator. This is not to be confused with the little sim Google build into their Google Earth software, here we are talking about the real deal. A full featured multi player flight simulator right in your browser. This program is not getting anywhere near the attention it deserves and I am hoping that promoting the application here will help more Google Earth enthousiasts find their way to it.

Posted on January 20, 2012

Costa Concordia. The last hours.

Two years ago produced tour generator software for cruise retailer Clean Cruising in Brisbane, Australia. For that project we build 3D models for most of the big cruise ships. One of which was the Costa Concordia.

Immediately after the disaster, Clean cruising compiled a comprehensive list of freely available track data and together we set to work to reconstruct and visualize the last hours of this magnificent vessel. Below is a video of the disaster and here you can download the kmz file to view in Google Earth. Google Earth blog has some more information as does

Posted on January 19, 2012

Skycomp traffic flow in Google Earth just delivered the first stage of a Traffic Flow Visualization tool to Skycomp.

Skycomp is now introducing a new "fly-around" visualization tool that fuses its new wide-area video tool (WAV) with the GoogleEarth 3D plug-in for web browsers. WAV has such a wide field of view at such a high resolution that many movie clips at many different spots can be cropped out for playback on ordinary desktop viewers.

Supported by, Skycomp can now align and drape video clips over imagery from Google Earth, enabling users to rotate views and display traffic flow in the context of very high resolution GoogleEarth imagery.

Try it yourself here or watch the demo video below.

Posted on October 30, 2011

Spring cleaning

Although most of you are heading into winter, not so here down-under. The warm spring weather has made us have a long hard look at our site and tidy up the site and the applications in it. After a few iterations of browsers, Flash players and Google Earth plugins, we found that some of the programs no longer worked. If you find your applications run slowly, you should really have a look at this speed test article.

Posted on September 14, 2011

GExplorer is now open source

GExplorer is a physics based 3D view controller that allows precise and smooth control of the camera. It does this by combining keyboard and mouse input. Camera movement is in 6 degrees of freedom meaning you can look anywhere and go anywhere.

GExplorer has been purchased by Google and is made open source as a result of it. It is used in Google Earth Studio but can be used in any 3D environment. Maybe we will see it one day build into Google Earth.

Posted on August 10, 2011

Drive the A-Team van is Back!

In 2010, Twentieth Century Fox International hired us to write a promotion game for The A-Team movie. The game was published in 17 languages and hosted on their youtube brand channel but it has been taken down since. Now you get to play this game right here on at Full screen resolution.

Posted on July 8, 2011

Texture animation demo

New commands in the Google Earth API have made it possible to perform texture mapping on KMLIcons. We are of course the first to give these new features a good push to see what can be done with them. In this demo we demonstrate fast text rendering and animated bitmaps right inside Google Earth. Check it out for yourself and bomb the city of your choice or watch a short demo video below.

Posted on April 26, 2011

"Ships" 1.5

"Ships" 1.5 is an in-between release. We are well aware that Ships 2 has been taking it's time so we thought to dust off "Ships" and put some long time user requests in it.

It is now possible to set a ship on a course, switch on the Autopilot and shut down the computer. The next day you can come back to the same PC and check to see where your ship got to.

While your containership is taking days to cross the ocean you may as well drive any of the other ships. That is why now you can have all the ships moving at the same time. You do need a fast PC though.

The anchor now also really works. You can drop the anchor only when you move slow at less than 1 meter per second. The ship will come to a halt and if you shut down your PC at this point you will find your ship back at the same position when you come back to the page. Make sure to have browser cookies turned on.

For a decent performance it is best to use Firefox 3.x or apply the speed fix to Firefox 4.x. More details on how to do this here

This new version of ships also has two new ships. The cruiseship Celebrity Century replaced the Queen Mary 2 and at the other end of the scale we now have the Sailing catamaran "Tahina" on which I had the pleasure to crew last year

And a very cool video made by Tom van Dinther.

Posted on April 2, 2011

Google Earth API speed test

With the many browser updates of the most popular browsers it became apparent that some browsers run the Planetinaction games much slower than others.

The slowest browser is Googles own Chrome browser but the new Firefox 4 is also very slow. Microsofts IE8 and IE9 browsers are fast but suffer from intermittent slowdowns. At the moment the Firefox 3.6.16 browser performs best on

In order to illustrate browser to Google Earth performance, we decided to write a API speed test page where you can check your browsers performance and generate performance graphs.

Try the speed test here

So until engineers fixed this problem: Stay away from Firefox 4. Go here to download the last fast version of Firefox (3.6.15)

Posted on August 27, 2010

3D Sound in Google Earth


Normally Google Earth won't do much more than playing a basic mp3 file as part of a tour. Yet, Google Earth is all about Geo-locating data so why not sounds? We decided to take our experience with Google Earth a step further to see if a true 3D sound engine could be developed for Google Earth. And what do you know, we can!

There is not much point talking about this, you need to see and hear it for yourself. Click on the "Explore" button to let us take you to the picturesque port in San Sebastian, Spain where you can explore the sound landscape. It is an auditory and visual extravaganza.

If you don't have the Google Earth plugin installed, you can at least check-out this video. After that you will want to install Google Earth.

Posted on August 24, 2010

Ship tour generator


Clean Cruising is worlds most innovative cruise retailer in Australia. We already built a tour generator for them that produces HD cruise videos utilising Google Earth. Hundreds of cruises have been rendered and uploaded to Youtube already.

Now we are up to new tricks. This time Clean Cruising wanted tours that would show of the immaculate detail of their 3D ship models (Models built by us of course). So we extended the cruise tour generator and enabled it to generate Ship tours. With this program the client can record amazing camera sequences in Google Earth and import them into the program. From there, these camera sequences are translated to the intended ship location and rendered into a ship tour.

This video is one of their first auto generated ship tours. Camera motion synchonisation, ship wake and shadow are all managed by the application.

Posted on May 18, 2010

"Helicopters released."


Helicopters is released. Following on the success of "Ships" we decided to step up the game a little and push Google Earth a harder. Where "Ships" was a mere exercise / tech demo, "Helicopters" is the real deal. A complete helicopter simulation game right inside your web browser. The aim is simple...get rich

In "Helicopters" you take control of a small charter helicopter and after your initial training at Oakland airport you will be send downtown San Francisco to provide transport services. As you progress through the game your reputation will increase and with that your pay. Your game state is saved every time you complete a mission.

At this stage "Helicopters only contains 2 mission types. One is your flight training and the other is Taxi services. But stay tuned. We have a long list of very cool missions lined up for you that we will release every month. You will be chasing cars into town, locating lost boats in the bay. Night-time, rain, fog. You get it all. You may even be send down-under where you help to drive cattle on a ranch or shoot deer in the mountains of New Zealand. How about ski helitours or testing low level radar detection systems. The list of planned missions is long.

Helicopters implements a unique form of navigation in Google Earth that is easy to learn and a great wau to explore the rich Google Earth content. Make sure you listen to Brian the instructor in your flying lesson. He knows what he's doing

Expect "Helicopters" to be dynamic and changing all the time. New helicopters, new missions and once you are good enough, who knows, we might let you lose and fly with others.

Posted on May 15, 2010

Drive the A-Team van


Out of the blue just while were flat out working on "Helicopters" a call. Can you do us a cool promotion game for our new A-Team 2010 movie. When a large company like Google and Fox call you, you sit up and listen. Despite Murdock style deadlines, we pulled it off thanks to the amazing help we received from Google engineers. "Drive the Van" is a Google Earth based game made by as part of a YouTube brand channel created to promote the A-Team 2010 movie of course where you get to drive the A-Team van anywhere on earth. We selected the most fun places of course and made them available in a nice list. Technically the most impressive feat on this game are the improved car physics borrowed from a Google Engineer and the unique way the sound effects are mixed in real-time. Not much point talking about it. Click here and play the game.

Oh, before I forget. You just have to select Mount Everest at the bottom of the location list. You start right at the peak of this giant. As you slide down the slopes you will realise how big this mountain really is.

Posted on April 3, 2010

"Helicopters" a quick peek

For quite a while we have been working hard on a new PlanetInAction game called "Helicopters". In "Helicopters" you will be assigned a fun range of missions as a charter pilot while flying in day-time and night-time conditions. In "Helicopters" we pulled all the stops. Below a video if the alpha version of the game. Notice the incredible level of detail and all that in Google Earth. "Helicopters will be released during the Google I/O 2010 conference in San Francisco. So it is fitting that the below patrol takes place in San Francisco.

For the eagle eyed. Indeed, no instruments are working....Yet

Posted on January 20th, 2010

San Francisco here we come

How can we possibly turndown an invite from Google! On 19 and 20 May 2010 we will be present on the Google IO developers conference where we will be showing off our new stuff in the Developer Sandbox. Over the next few months we will be releasing little bits of information about our new projects. Of course on the conference all details will be revealed.

Posted on December 16th, 2009

Announcing the release of Virtual Cruise tours

Clean Cruising commisioned us to build a cruise tour generator and associated imagery and 3D ship models. These tours have been turned into HD videos and made available on youtube. Read and view more about this amazing project and how the Google Earth tours have been incoperated in the Clean Cruising web-site.



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