Flying stuff 11 Feb 2006 02:28 pm

View Nerd glider flights on Google Earth

I found a neat utility that converts International Gliding Commission (.igc) log files to Google Earth (.kml) files. This conversion allows any user of Google Earth to view files that would otherwise only be viewable on some very nerdy software that’s used by glider pilots.

I’ve converted the .igc files from my two long flights in January to Google Earth files. You can download them (around 100k each):

* 10 Jan 06 flight: Forbes – Narromine – Forbes
* 12 Jan 06 flight: Forbes – Bogan Gate – Condobolin airfield – Grenfell airfield – Forbes.

These Google Earth files provide an interesting look at a glider flight because the altitude data embedded in the files means that you can see a truly 3D view — just use the TILT control until you can see the red trace displaced above the ground.

You can zoom in on the trace to see details of the flight — especialy the corkscrewing turns in thermals that allow the glider to gain height.

There’s even a rudimentary ‘playback’ facility that ‘flies’ along the route of the glider — but you’ll get quickly disoriented going around in circles in the thermals. In real life, it’s not quite that bad in a glider as you tend to look at one thing for several seconds at a time by swivelling your head!


3 Responses to “View Nerd glider flights on Google Earth”

  1. on 27 Jun 2006 at 15:02 (Sydney) 1.Ron said …


    Where can I find the utility that converts the file from .igc to .kml .


  2. on 27 Jun 2006 at 23:17 (Sydney) 2.Richard said …


    I’ve emailed the converter to you.


  3. on 18 Jul 2008 at 7:32 (Sydney) 3.Kev said …


    any chance of emailing me the converter?
    Cool flights.