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This tutorial shows you how to visualize your Valarm data in 3 dimensions (plus time) using KML and Google Earth™.  You can see your Valarm data with topography and any other available layers.  Download and install Google Earth if you haven’t already.  Also check out our other articles on Valarm data with ESRI ArcGIS, Quantum GIS, and Microsoft Excel.

Here is a quick step-by-step (more details and screenshots further down this page):

  • In Valarm Tools, go to the Analytical Mapping page.
  • Select your Device, and a date range that will pull up your data.
  • Modify the date range to include only the data you wish to export.
  • Scroll down the list of data points, and select a checkbox on the RIGHT side of the list.
  • This will select and plot all the data points that are a member of the same session (between Arm/Disarm)
  • If this is not the session you want, uncheck any of the checkmarks on the right, to deselect the session, and scroll on down until you find the session you want.
  • Checkmark the session to see it on the map.
  • In the — Date Shortcurts — dropdown, select “Span Selected Alerts”. This automatically adjusts the date/time range to include only the alerts in the session you have selected. The screen will refresh, and the list will now include only the alerts within that date/time range.
  • Click the ‘Download KML’ button on the right. Check the “Render Paths” button, and select a sensor to visualize from the sensor list.
  • Leave the Base Elevation at Ground Level.
  • Select ’100′ or ’1000′ from the Altitude Multiplier (this exaggerates the spikes/dips in your graph)
  • Click Download. This will save a KML file to your computer.
  • Open the KML file in Google Earth. Note that you can turn the Paths and Points off and on in Google Earth. Clicking the points will show your Valarm sensor data.
  • Have fun learning to navigate Google Earth! Try dragging while holding each of the three mouse buttons to get a feel for it!

 

1.  First select a date range in Analytical Mapping.

 

2.  My friend David thought it would be fun to run around 100 miles through the desert and the example data here is part of that trip from Death Valley to the Sierra Nevada mountains.  Traffic won’t be useful in this scenario but a 3-dimensional view will give a better idea of relief and elevation change!  Here is our path passing by the Racetrack Playa.

 

3. Once you have your Alerts selected for download click the Download KML button on the right.

 

4.  You will be asked which options you want for your KML download.  If Render Paths is checked then lines will be drawn between your points showing your route in Google Earth.  If it is not checked it will download only the point data. For path rendering you can select which sensor to use for the height of the line.  Here we’ll visualize accelerometer data and select the motion sensor which uses the accelerometer to measures changes in angle and position of the device.  Base altitude allows you to set your data above ground and the altitude multiplier extrudes your data points vertically to make them more visible (e.g., an accelerometer reading of 1.3 with an altitude multiplier of 100 will draw a line vertex at a height of 130 meters).  Feel free to play around with these values until you find what works best for you as it will vary by sensor and geographical area.

 

5. After you click Download then open your saved KML file in Google Earth.  Turn on and off layers on the left and notice your Valarm data export is available in the upper left under Places. Zoom in and out and change your view angle to see your data from a different perspective.

 

6.  All of your Valarm sensor data is available by clicking any of the data points.  Here is an example with a table showing information collected in the field.  Also notice the time slider in the upper left that allows you to show the Valarm data collection points through time.  If the times in the time slider seem off then click the wrench to open the Data and Time Options settings window and specify to display time in “Time zone on my computer”.

 

7.  Here I’ve turned off the Valarm point data to better see the peaks and troughs of the dataset.

 

8.  A more urban example below shows roundtrip path data. Notice the traveling on one side of the road to the destination and on the other side during the return.

 

9.  More examples of Valarm data from multiple devices in the city.  Try mapping potholes by finding spikes in the accelerometer data.  Let us know what you’re using Valarm for and send us pictures of Valarm in the Wild and we’ll post them on our site!