A highly-dispatch-oriented emergency services customer recently asked us to add arrows to the icons in Google Earth (3D Mapping) so they could better see the ambulance’s direction of travel.
We made some additions to allow for this, shown below (this is me at the mall after work this afternoon):
Here is a map of multiple vehicles, and provided you’re looking at them with the map faced “North -> Up” they are going to be helpful.
The problem is once you “rotate” the Earth within Google Earth’s 3D mapping, the icons still point the same direction, even though that direction has moved. These two pictures illustrate that point:
When North faces “Up” then the arrow is headed in the correct direction (in this case West by SouthWest, or down toward the bottom left of the screen).
But when the Earth is “turned” to where West is now “Up” (or North is “Left”), the icon still looks the same.
This is a problem unless you know to ignore the arrow. The “WSW” is still accurate, which is why we included it.
Also notice that the direction “circle” is available for all icons, as shown on this “truck” style icon above.
When you leave North “Up” the direction isn’t ever a concern. It’s just worth mentioning.
My preference is to put a “trail” on the vehicles so that that 5-15 minute trail (configurable) gives an intuitive feel for direction of travel within GPS Insight’s 3D Google Earth Mapping:
Which looks like this:
Have it your way at GPS Insight! We provide multiple options so that regardless of what you and your users of our product prefer, you have those options (speaking of, we are adding an option to hide the arrow/direction text which will be there shortly as well, if you like the old style better).