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Trinidad Estrada's blog


Week 10... Finally it has all been done. The most stressful part for me of this week has been the presentation and the final paper. After having finished all those tasks, I got to say it was very liberating. Below I have attached, the final outcome of my Google Earth tour, which is the one I showed at the presentation in case any of you may be interested in watching it on your computers.

It's been nice working with you all the interns.
Goodluck to you all '09 CMOPers!


So this week I discussed with my mentors the final pieces to my project, of what could and could not be done by the time I’m out. And I also got useful suggestions of how to calculate the speeds for the glider’s movement and also the angle tilt. One of the biggest mistakes I did in my calculations was omitting the depth.  Once again, for some reason I was thinking 2-dimensional. However, now I am glad to have figured out the problem.  Also, something that was ruining this week was my molar tooth ache.


Aside from the infernal weather conditions (not to mention, the record high temperatures), this week I accomplished something that I’ve wanted to complete for the past weeks. I actually got the glider moving along its trail at Google Earth. It looks so happy… I fixed the bearing, making it seem perfect as the glider makes turns on the line. The problem I had before was that I was looking at the angles from a flat surface point of view.


This week I’ve accomplished a lot more compared to the previous weeks, and there is yet more to come. Now that I got the line, this week I focused on putting a model to follow that line. I first started this by making a placemark to follow the line. After the placemark, I decided to place a 3-d model. However, this came with its price, because unlike a 2-d placemark, a 3-d figure has many other variables that one has to keep in mind.


This week I have spent most of my time just watching lines. As exciting as that sounds, it was actually quite frustrating, because the lines were not being shown as I was expecting them to. They seemed too spikey at some parts, and sometimes they would go to who knows where, and then back to where they were at. I managed to eliminate a large amount of points which made the lines to look somewhat decent.  Having done this, it allowed me to  put more work into my Python to actually get a tour to follow the line which represents the trail of a glider mission.


At week 4, I had the zigzag mission put on Google Earth, but without depth. Now this week I had to figure out how to add depth to that line. It was a tricky approach, because I had to eliminate certain points in order to draw the line on Google Earth. As exciting as this may sound, it took me quite some time to figure out what to do, because I could’ve done this in two ways: one way would be to eliminate those points by using SQL and the other way was by using Python to get rid of those points.


Week 4 for me has been rather interesting, because I have now reached the stage where I am making scripts in Python for Google Earth. Since this is my first time using Python, I found it to be quite difficult, because it is indeed different from many programming languages that I have used before. It is a good thing that I have taken a class of Data Structures before, where now I can see where that comes into relation with Python. I started my week by installing the Apache server to my laptop. After I was done with that, I installed Python and then the modules (mod-python).


As of this week I have finished making my final tour of the CMOP stations, and now looking forward on making scripts for retrieving data directly from that database, that way the information displayed at Google Earth is up to date, rather than static. Another accomplishment I have done for the week is making an improved model of the Glider. Rather than 2-d, I decided to make a 3-dimensional figure of it. I used the Google Program “Sketchup” to draw it during my sparetime at the apartment. It is rather neat, especially when it is animated.


Well as for me, this week I have progressed to another level in kml. This time I focused on making things to move, in other words animations. I first worked with images which I grabbed directly from the CMOP website, where the amounts of salinity were displayed. Then I had to find a way to display those images through Google Earth in a way where one can see a visual interpretation of the amounts of Salinity moving into the Columbia River through a 24 hour period. The approach I took was by using <TimeSpan>.

Week 1

In the beginning of the week I was introduced to Google Earth version 5 and all of its new functions with the markup language KML. KML is very closely related to XML. Nevertheless, KML is only meant to be used with Google Earth. There is also .kmz, which is a file type that can be used when saving a .kml file. The only use that has is if you have images included with your .kml, and you would want them to be displayed on any computer.

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