Thursday, 30 April 2015

Creating a virtual hiking tour

Lately I'm back to hiking and when I do a route I use my mobile phone with a GPS application (at the moment I use Wikiloc) to record the track. Last week I climbed Teide, and Wikiloc offers the possibility of easily embedding the data from their site, which is nice:

But you shouldn't stop there and you can also create a guided tour of the route. Doing it is quite simple, and I list below the steps I took to create the video tour of the Teide climb:

  • First, download the file from Wikiloc in KML format, and open it with Google Earth. Then, select the route and you can see an icon in the right part of the left panel that says "Play Tour" (play it a couple of times first to cache all the necessary images). Options to modify the speed, camera angles, etc. are available at Tools::Options::Touring.
  • Then, when we are ready, we just play it and at the same time record it with, for example, Kazam (30 FPS gives pretty good quality).
  • The resulting file is pretty big. To make it smaller we can use WinFF with output as MPEG-4 (very high quality). As an example, from 656MB this turns the file into 71MB, which can now be mildly edited with Kdenlive, and we render it all together for Web site::YouTube 1280x720. The resulting video is now 51MB, and we can upload it directly to YouTube: