thinking outside the tank

Captain Cook explores Australia in Google Earth

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Endeavour hove to off Cape Howe

Endeavour hove to off Cape Howe (20Apr1770)

Last year I started a Google Earth project to present Lieutenant James Cook’s account of his first voyage round the world. At the same time, I launched a WordPress blog to deliver the daily entries of his journal on the corresponding day of the year (the calendar for 2011  followed that for 1768, the year H.M. Bark Endeavour set off from Plymouth).

The technique  in Google Earth is to animate a model so that it follows the track of Cook’s ship. The animation is accompanied by an audio rendition of Cook’s journal. So far I have ‘sailed’ Endeavour from Plymouth to Tahiti, via Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, and Tierra del Fuego; then I modelled the circumnavigation of the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

The latest phase of the project is to present Cook’s exploration of the east coast of Australia. The difference this time is that I intend to release the presentation at more frequent intervals, rather than waiting until I have modelled the entire leg of the journey.

If you would like to follow Cook’s voyage, you will need to install the latest version of Google Earth on your computer; then go to the blog I mentioned before and click on the links on the right-hand side of the page, under the ‘Google Earth’ heading. After the animation is loaded in Google Earth, you need to expand an entry in the Table of Contents. You will see a ‘Play’ icon which you double-click to start the animation. Don’t forget to enable your speakers to hear the spoken journal.

As a sampler, here’s the arrival of Endeavour off the coast of Australia.

Copyright © Colin Hazlehurst, 2012

(Screenshot courtesy of Google)


Written by netkingcol

January 10, 2012 at 11:00 am

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