Google Earth road trip. Washington D.C. to Washington state.

I woke up one day and thought it would be a good idea to drive across North America. Probably would and, if I’d had tried harder in life, maybe I could afford to. i didn’t, I can’t, life goes on.

Or does it? I must have spent months of my life looking through nowhere towns on Google Earth. So why not go on a virtual road trip…

The technical aspect wasn’t that hard. I put together a web based system to automatically pull the user from point A to B and take a picture at every frame. The images were saved by time index, so all I had to do was drag and drop them in Adobe Premiere and render.

The web system worked great. I kicked it off and watched my hard drive fill up. Problems arose when I watched the footage back in Premiere. The camera would suddenly jump around in dense cities or when gong around corners. It made watching the footage painful at times.

Turns out the only option was to watch the footage frame-by-frame and try to remove the snapping while retaining as much detail as possible. There were over 300,000 images in total so it took time and a lot of patience. A lot of patience.

The project was started in early 2015 and I kept putting off finishing it until now (mid-2016). It’s not an important project and sifting through over 300,000 images was really boring. I honestly fell asleep in my chair at times. Although that could be attributed to my real job which is also very tedious at times.

Nevertheless, I finally finished it!

Washington D.C. to Washington state. 2763.7 miles. Estimated drive time of 40 hours and 17 minutes. Video drive time, just over 9 hours. Lots of broken down cars, idiots waving, rain, night, exploded animals…

Noting that this video is no way meant to disparage the Google car drivers or other road users. It was actually meant to show the difference in terrain and landscapes when travelling across America. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much of a change. Looking back, it would have been more intelligent to do South to North.

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