23 november, 2005

Volvo Ocean Race Tracker

When the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) started a couple of weeks ago, I tried to figure out how to best follow this massive sporting event. I found that the only way for me to follow this event is using the internet, since the media here in Denmark has decided to completely ignore VOR.

Because of the scale of the course it would be great to be able to visualise the boat positions on a world map and VOR acutally have created an application called "Virtual Spectator" which will present the current boat positions on a 3D globe and it looks really great - except I have tried to install it on 4 computers and only been successfull on 1, it appears the application has high requirements for the graphics card.

So I decided that such a visualisation would be a great hack for Google Maps and luckilly Google has made a great API available so everybody can make their own Google Map and overlay any information they want.

Since I never have used the Google Map API before I have given myself good time to make my "Volvo Ocean Race Tracker" and it is still work in progress, but I think it is now ready for you to use.

You can find it on my new Google Map Mashups page or go to it directly at the Volvo Ocean Race Tracker.

I find following the VOR really fascinating, there is an amasing number of stories available on the VOR site, but also the websites for individual teams are great resources for finding great stories, videos, audio and photos.

As I have written earlier, there is actually a hidden RSS feed available from the VOR website, so this is also a great way to follow the stories posted on the VOR website.

Disclaimer: My fascination with this race can be slightly biased by the fact that I am an employee of ABN AMRO and that we have entered two boats in the VOR.

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