The topography of a hilly commute



If you have ever wondered what it is like to ride on one of my commutes through Birmingham, I’ve included a map and video from my commute yesterday. I discovered that Google Earth Pro (the trial version) lets you record a 3D flyover movie of an imported GPS route. Enjoy my 1 hour 45 minute commute home condensed into a 17 minute video. Or check out the 3D annotated topocreator map below the video. You really get a sense of all the rolling hills in Mountain Brook from minute 5 until minute 12 in the video. The only Cat 3 climb on the route is at the beginning climbing Old Hwy 31 to Hwy 31 to Vestavia Dr. When the arrow is moving fast, that means I was going downhill fast. When the arrow is moving slow, that means I was climbing slowly.

3D annotated commute route home from work. This view is looking southwest.


4 responses to “The topography of a hilly commute”

  1. Rick Schultz Avatar
    Rick Schultz

    I recently found your blog and love all the content. Climbing is my favorite thing , 6Gap is my main event every year, and your posts are inspiring. Please keep posting !

    1. kartoone Avatar

      Thanks Rick! I really enjoy writing up about all my adventures on my bike so hopefully there will be plenty more to come. Six Gap is a really great event – the topography there is really different than here in Birmingham, but I enjoy both types of climbing (the long ones like Six Gap and the short ones like we have here in Birmingham).

  2. Mark Liversedge Avatar
    Mark Liversedge

    You can create flyovers with normal Google Earth (v5.2 or higher anyway). If you export your ride to KML in GoldenCheetah you can view that in GE and flyover .. you can also show a graph at the bottom of the screen that has power, speed etc.

    I posted a screenie on my blog last year about that:

    1. kartoone Avatar

      Wow, that is really cool about the export option for Golden Cheetah so that it overlays the data from the ride onto Google Earth. I knew that the regular version of Google Earth can be used to view the flyover, but in order to save it to a movie file to upload to youtube I was having to use screen capture software that wasn’t working well. The nice thing about Google Earth Pro is that it has a Movie Maker mode that allows you to automatically export the flyover to a video. I’m not sure it’s worth the $400, though.

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