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PFPS Google Earth Tool

18 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi all,

I'm a C-17 pilot at McChord, and have recently authored a piece of software that lets military pilots load airspace, waypoints and PFPS routes into Google Earth. The software is free--I have written it purely for the benefit of my fellow pilots who may wish to use Google Earth to help with mission planning. If you're interested, I invite you to vist www.googleearthpilot.com. The software is available for download, as well as a quick PowerPoint that showcases what the product can do.

The software is a beta release. I've done extensive testing myself, but I'm eager to get the product into pilots' hands for hands-on testing and feedback.

Enjoy! If you do try the software out, please let me know what you think.

Capt Mark Jacobsen

10th Airlift Squadron

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Posted

nice! Definitely saves time

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Posted

Got anything that will export PFPS/Falconview GPS tracks into Google Earth?

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Posted

Got anything that will export PFPS/Falconview GPS tracks into Google Earth?

I have looked into exporting other data types from PFPS/FalconView, but can't find a way to do it. PFPS stores most of its data objects in binary proprietary formats that are impossible to work with unless you have the specifications for them. The only reason I can work with route files is that CFPS has an export feature that creates XML text files, which are very easy for outside programmers to open and maniuplate.

I don't think GPS tracks have this kind of export functionality, but I will definitely take a look at it.

Mark

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Posted

Sounds awesome, if your base doesn't ban Google Earth. I spent months at Hickam getting told STFU up no matter the number of tactical reasons I/we came up with.

Standard Air Force, lagging behind on adopting new technology. However, I think over time you'll see the Air Force adopt Google Earth. The Department of Defense already has a number of intelligence-sharing applications in development built around Google Earth. In the C-17 community, we've used Google Earth pretty regularly to supplement airdrop planning in the AOR. The new Chief of AMD is a WIC graduate and is enthusiastic about Google Earth, and I'm told that the C-17 WIC does a lot of experimentation with the software. When you have a tool as powerful as Google Earth out there, I think its eventual acceptance is inevitable.

The main problem right now (which I mention on the website for my spftware) is that it's a copyright violation to install the free version of Google Earth on government computers. The government either needs to spend $400 per copy per workstation, or else pilots need to be creative in finding ways to use personal copies.

Mark

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Posted

From GoogleEarth's Terms and Conditions...

5. U.S. GOVERNMENT RESTRICTED RIGHTS

The Software and any related documentation are deemed "commercial computer software" and "commercial computer software documentation," respectively, within the meaning of the applicable civilian and military Federal acquisition regulations and any supplement thereto. If the user of the Software is an agency, department, employee, or other entity of the United States Government, the use, duplication, reproduction, release, modification, disclosure, or transfer of the Software, including technical data or manuals, is restricted by the terms, conditions and covenants contained in these Terms and Condition. In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulation 12.212 for civilian agencies and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement 227.7202 for military agencies, use of the Software is further restricted by these Terms and Conditions.

So we need an acquisition officer to role in and decypher this...unless someone here is intimately familiar with Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement 227.7202!

Cheers! M2

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Posted

Google earth also now has a "flight simulator" built in...kind of fun to zoom through terrain and swoop in on the imagery.

Here's a guide on how to do it.

Kind of fun, and if you don't have a stick handy you can still fly with the mouse.

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Posted

Our planning guys use www.flashearth.com. It combines all the different imagery sites out there into one page.

I'm sure they'd love to get their hands on this software, I'll send it along. Will it work on, say, Terraserver or any of the other imagery options on Flashearth?

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Posted

have you looked at using the Excel2FV2 program to see if it exports files into usable formats for you to code into your Google Earth thing?

http://www.mission-planning.com/ to download the program. Among other things, it's EXCELLENT at merging multiple drawing files.

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Posted

Our planning guys use www.flashearth.com. It combines all the different imagery sites out there into one page.

I'm sure they'd love to get their hands on this software, I'll send it along. Will it work on, say, Terraserver or any of the other imagery options on Flashearth?

The PFPS Google Earth Tool is specifically designed to work with Google Earth... it generates a .KML file, which is a proprietary data format used by Google Earth. So it won't work on Terraserver or Flashearth, but that's not really what it was designed to do. I'll check into it, though, and see how difficult it would be to add that kind of support.

Mark

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Posted

have you looked at using the Excel2FV2 program to see if it exports files into usable formats for you to code into your Google Earth thing?

http://www.mission-planning.com/ to download the program. Among other things, it's EXCELLENT at merging multiple drawing files.

Thanks for the tip... I've looked for options to get exports of FalconView data objects, but haven't yet found a way. I've never used Excel2FV2 before, but I will definitely look into it. That sounds like it could be a good option.

Keep the ideas rolling...

Mark

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Posted

Our unit is using Google Earth for our Tac Briefings and Debriefings. Our Commander had the foresite to buy Google Earth Pro for one year and let us see what we could do with it. One of our guys then went off and built our routes in Google Earth (I wish that I had know about Mark's tool). Our guy then made videos of our run-ins (with voice-overs).

One of our flight docs flew with us the other night. She made the comment that, for the first time, she actually knew what we were talking about.

Next, at the end of our flights, we save the GPS track data (a PFPS option). We then have another program (2 actually) that takes these PFPS tracks and converts them to Google Earth format (kml). It's really like being at the sim. You fly the route and then go back and see what you actually did. It really comes in handy when you have to do something non-standard (e.g. deviate for weather on the route). Depending on what we are trying to show, we show the planes actual size, huge or we put in a 500 foot spheres inplace of the planes (TFM).

We use the "1" icon for lead, "2" for number two, etc. We can then look and see exactly when lead was where. I have attached 4 Word documents showing some examples.

I have also used this tool on locals and assault flights.

David

Screen_Shots_1.doc

Screen_Shots_1a.doc

Screen_Shots_2.doc

Screen_Shots_2a.doc

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Posted

Our unit is using Google Earth for our Tac Briefings and Debriefings. Our Commander had the foresite to buy Google Earth Pro for one year and let us see what we could do with it. One of our guys then went off and built our routes in Google Earth (I wish that I had know about Mark's tool). Our guy then made videos of our run-ins (with voice-overs).

Do you know any of the details of getting the year's license for GE Pro? You're using it on NIPR? How'd you get it by the CS? What was the price tag?

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Posted

Do you know any of the details of getting the year's license for GE Pro? You're using it on NIPR? How'd you get it by the CS? What was the price tag?

I don't know the details. I do know that the person that ordered it talked to the Google Earth Pro Rep and worked the deal through him. Yes the NIPRnet. I'm not sure about the CS negotiations. I do know that CS had to approve it. Sorry, but I don't know the price tag either. I just know that our guy contacted the Google Earth Pro Rep and the discussions went from there.

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Posted

Version 1.0 is finally here! Building on the successes and lessons learned from version 0.5, PFPS Google Earth Tool v1.0 integrates better with CFPS and FalconView for 3D flight plan visualization in Google Earth. With a few clicks, users can convert PFPS routes, threats, local points, and airspace into Google Earth. Please view the linked briefing for an overview of new features. Screenshots, support information, and free downloads are available at the websites below.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this product, please spread the word. This is a grassroots product; interest thus far has been generated by word-of-mouth.

NIPRNET: www.googleearthpilot.com

SIPRNET: http://gis.geoint.nga.smil.mil/GoogleEarth/googleearthpilot

JWICS: http://gis.geoint.nga.ic.gov/GoogleEarth/googleearthpilot

Best regards, and fly safe!

Capt Mark Jacobsen

10th Airlift Squadron

McChord AFB, WA

In Partnership with the USAFA Institute for Information Technology Applications (IITA) and the Warfighter's Edge (WEdge) project

NEW FEATURES IN VERSION 1.0

* Import .RTE files directly--no more CRD conversion necessary

* FalconView Threat File importer

- Probability Ellipses

- Threat/Engagement Rings

- FalconView Icons/Symbology

* FalconView Local Point File importer

* FalconView Drawing File importer

* New elliptical and rectangular airspace types

* Now supports airspace floors

* SIPRNET compatible

* Improved, streamlined user interface

- Organize your objects in a folders

- Cut/copy/paste and drag-drop support

* Custom waypoint icons

* … and much more!

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Posted

:rock: Was messing around with this earlier today. Amazing product, leaps and bounds above version 0.5. :thumbsup: Great Work.
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Posted

Hello Everyone! The Warfighter's Edge (WEdge) Team at USAFA has taken ownership of Mark Jacobson's Google Earth Pilot software. . . it's now called the WEdge Viewer and the BETA is available to you. Just send me an email. . . Email me

Check out our website at www.wedge.hpc.mil. We've got a slew of certified and accredited software applications built by Warfighters for Warfighters.

We've already made many enhancements to Mark's original software. By end of CY 2010, we hope to release an upgraded version of the WEdge Viewer that increases DAFIF rendering times tenfold (through the use of a spatially enabled database).

The software is GOTS (government-off-the-shelf) so it's free to you. . . make use of this!

I look forward to helping you!!

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Posted (edited)

Wedge. Sounds appropriate, somehow.

Can you fit another "warfighter" in there somewhere?

Edited by The_Ginger
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