Tag Archives: Google Earth

#23 Sounds, Notifications, and Ringtones. What Does this Button Do?

For the best viewing, be sure to click the FullScreen button image in the lower right corner.


There are show notes below which document what was covered in the show and include timeline links, so you can watch just the part of the video that you want. If you are not a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch Episode 23 video on YouTube, but you won’t get the show notes. Become a member here. This episode covers:

  1. Quick Tips: How to reject a phone call and stop it from ringing,
  2. How to share a Contact’s info
  3. Beginner’s Lesson: Setting Ringtones and Notification sounds
  4. App of Week: Google Earth


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Train Ride Recorded on Google Earth with My Tracks App

We took a day to play tourist the day before we left the Verde Valley in Arizona. We posted a question on the Facebook group “Living the RV Dream” asking for suggestions of what to do. Within the hour we had no less than 20 responses. More came in over the next day. The consensus seemed to be Take the Train! So we did.

We called and made reservations for the Verde Canyon Railroad. We arrived the next day around noon and boarded the train at 1pm. Then I turned on My Tracks on my smartphone. This is so cool. It is GPS aware so it just keeps drawing a line on a map that plots where we are. But, more than that, you can take pictures along the way and they will be added to the correct spot on the map. When your trip is complete you stop the recording. Then you can view the tour or share it.



My Tracks is a Google product, so it integrates with Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Drive.  If you use Google Drive your Tracks are automatically saved there, so you can access them from your computer, or whatever device you like.  This also makes them easy to share with others.  I tapped the share icon at the top of the screen and chose the option to share publicly with Google Drive.


If you have Google Earth installed on your computer (or whatever you’re using to read this) you can click on this Verde Canyon Track to download it. Then, when you open that .kmz file it will open in Google Earth. You should then see something like the following screenshot. I think the most entertaining way to view it is by double-clicking the Marker labels at the left. So, double-click on Marker 1 and Google Earth will fly you to that point and open up the picture. Then double-click on Marker 2 etc.


After you record a track, you should be able to open your Google Drive and see a folder called My Tracks.  This folder can be on your computer as well as in the cloud if you download the Google Drive Desktop.

The one big problem with My Tracks is that there is no App for iPhone, just for Android phones.

I doubt that I’ll use this feature very often, but it sure makes for a ‘gee-whiz, look at that’ way to view some special trips.

RVer’s Favorite Destinations Plotted on a Map at FMCA Convention

imageFor the last several FMCA conventions, Jim has provided computer support for an interactive session named RV Destinations.  People attending the sessions share their favorite destinations from their RV travels, and Jim finds those destinations using Google Earth.  Now you can have the results!  If you click on the map at right, it will take you to Google Maps with all the data as live markers. 

If you use Google Earth on your computer, you can download the Google Earth File to your computer, then double-click it to open up Google Earth with all the markers listed in your Temporary Places with a heading of IN12 – for the FMCA Convention in INdiana 2012.

The IN12 destinations recommended by our fellow RVers include: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Cherry Hill Park, Crater of Diamonds State Park, Colorado River State Park, Johnny Appleseed Park, Lost Colony … and many more.  Just click on the map above to see them all.

How You Can Share Destinations in a Map Like This

If you use Google Earth, you too can package up all your favorite destinations and share with friends.

  1. First make sure all the placemarks you want to share are being shown in your Google Earth viewer.
  2. Turn off any and all layers that are not necessary
  3. File –>Email –>Email View: This is the step that will package up all your placemarks and create a .kmz file out of them.  Use the email dialog box to send it to whoever you want, including yourself.
  4. When your friend receives the email, they can download the .kmz file to their computer, then open it and view your places in Google Earth.
  5. If you want to share it using Google Maps, there’s another step.  If you have something like Dropbox, you can save a copy of the .kmz file on the web.  Then, give your friend the URL to that file.  They can then go to Google Maps and paste the URL to your .kmz file into the Google Maps Search box.
    you can paste that URL into a Google Maps Search Box.  When you see all the placemarks showing, click the Link icon image at the top of the My Places list and copy the link to your map.

Past FMCA RV Destination Maps:

If you don’t use Google Earth, it’s actually easier.  Just go directly to Google Maps, log in with your Google account and create your placemarks in My Places.  Save it and then use the link icon to share it.

Geeks on Tour Newsletter March 2011: Sending Email without an Address, RV Destinations, Screenshots

Geeks on Tour
imageOur main event for March was the Family Motor Coach Ass’n International Convention in Perry, GA March 14-17.  Although not the record attendance from several years ago, the numbers were up from recent times (nearly 3,000 RVs), and most vendors we spoke with did quite well.  From our perspective, the economy, and the RV industry, are definitely looking up!
We offered our new Facebook seminar to a crowd of nearly 400, and people told us they learned a lot.  The Picasa seminar had over 600 in the audience. 
I think my favorite story comes from our Blogger seminar.  We always hear of people starting a blog the same day that they take our seminar, but this time, someone made a blog *during* the seminar – using her smart phone.  And, in our Google Earth seminar someone with an iPad downloaded Google Earth and followed right along with us.  Technology keeps marching on!  We just try not to get too far out of step.

RVing: Learn more, enjoy it more

Our next rally is a special one … All RVers are invited to sign up for the 2011 RV Lifestyle, Education & Safety conference and learn about all phases of RVing. The conference is slated for May 6 to 8, 2011, at the Carroll Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green, Ky.
What’s special about it from our viewpoint is that it’s small.  If you sign up and come to our seminars you’ll be in a room with 20 people rather than 600!  Lots more personal attention. And, if you’re looking for RV Education, it just doesn’t get any better.  Here’s the lineup of instructors

imageimage Follow us on Facebook!



Other Articles this past month
So you don’t miss out on anything, here’s a list of other articles we wrote this past month.

How to Send an Email without Knowing the Email Address

fb-messageI met a woman in a campground last summer and I really wanted to keep in touch with her.  We both wrote down our email addresses on slips of paper and exchanged them. 

Now … *where is* that slip of paper?  Nowhere to be found of course.  But, I do remember her name. 

Using Facebook, I can search for her name and Voila!  there she is!  There is a picture of her, so I’m sure I have the right person.  Now comes the cool part, There’s a button in the upper right corner that reads, ‘Message’ click that and you can compose a message to be privately sent to this person.  It will go to their Facebook messages area, *and* to their email.  Facebook acts as the middle-man, sending the message to the person’s email address of record, without ever showing you the actual email address. 

You don’t need to be a Facebook member to look up a person’s name – just go to www.facebook.com and click ‘People’ in the  menu at the bottom of the page.  You will then see a ‘Search for People’ box where you can type in the name you’re looking for.

You do need to be a Facebook member in order to send a message.  If you’re not a member now, you will have the opportunity to sign up after you click ‘Message.’  It’s free, and the only information you need to supply are your name, email, gender, and date of birth.  Don’t worry, you can specify that these items not be shared.

No Messaging Available?

If you find your acquaintance on Facebook, but don’t see a ‘Message’ button, it could be that they have blocked that feature from showing up to anyone but friends.  Remember this when you set your own privacy settings.  Messaging is available to Everyone by default, and I think that’s a good thing because it allows you to receive messages without giving away your email address.  I have never received spam thru my Facebook account.

If you have more questions about Facebook, we recommend that you watch our Tutorial Videos listed below.  Notice that two of them are marked as *Free* meaning that anyone can watch them.  To view the others, you need to be a paid member of Geeks on Tour.  You can join now if needed – it’s $39 for one year.

Read this article online and add your comments.

RV Destinations on Google Earth

GoogleEarth_ImageAt the last two FMCA (Family Motor Coach Ass’n) Conventions, Jim has assisted in the presentation of a seminar called ‘RV Destinations Exchange.’  The audience takes turns telling of their favorite destinations and Jim finds them on Google Earth and records the location.  He promised to make the Google Earth files available for free download, and here they are!

Using Picasa to Post a Screenshot in a Forum Question

screenshotIf you’ve ever used a forum to ask a questions, you know that a picture is truly worth 1,000 words.  Let’s say for example that you want to ask, “What are the buttons at the top of each folder in Picasa?”  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a picture of those buttons, so your reader knows exactly what you mean?  That’s called a screen capture and there are several ways to do it, but one of the easiest is by using Picasa and Picasa Web Albums. 

Here’s how: Read article online and leave comments.


Discuss this in our forum.

imageWe’ve added a topic to our Forums specifically for this newsletter.  If you’re a Geeks on Tour paid member, please visit and leave your comments.  Even non-members can view the forum to see what’s going on.


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