Weekend project: Atlas Gloves for Google Earth

Finally! After a few months of tweaking, Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv are ready to go public with the code for Atlas Gloves, their DIY hand gesture interface for Google Earth that let’s you pretend you’re fighting precrime in Minority Report. Get a webcam, make some ping pong ball lightbulbs, download the free Java application for Windows, Mac or Linux, and try it out. (Here is a short video demo if you need an introduction.)


I haven’t have a chance to try it yet (I’m on the road) but I didn’t want to keep this all to myself in the meantime. If you try it, do let me know how it goes. Source code is also available.

7 thoughts on “Weekend project: Atlas Gloves for Google Earth”

  1. I’ve had a little play and found it to be sketchy at first. I’m trying with two torches and it has some trouble deciding which one is higher than the other and it crashes a lot, I think it is when my arms reach outside the webcam area. So I’m going to have a go at make some proper globe-gloves and be further away from the camera so I don’t reach the sides of the screen.

    Mac OS X 10.4.6

    Google Earth 4


  2. It’s definitely better with better light sources, and being further away from the camera so the lights don’t go out of shot made it more stable, but I still got a few crashes.

  3. Hello this is my first post, i really wanted to try out this program, but it did not work or something went wrong, When I launch the exeutable it just stays grey, like there were no components in a new project. The problem might be that I’m using not a webcam but my camera used for filming, but it has such a feature that you can use as a webcam. Any ideas? And another question, do you just launch the exe or something more?


    Camera: Sony DCR-TRV 240

  4. Make sure you read the read-me’s and also the instructions that accompany the making of the gloves.

  5. I am using google earth V4, maybe this could be the problem, but I dont think so, because the program window is all grey.

  6. Well after I installed WinVDIG, the screen was not grey. But now there are other problems. The video stream colors are messed up. The colors are yellow green blue. I tried 2 cameras. Maybe someone knows how to solve this.

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