Monday, July 18, 2011

Your Own Google Earth Web Page Screensaver in C#

Here's my latest blog post... I'm saying 'post' instead of 'article' because this is more of a showcase than a tutorial. Code is provided as usual so the learning process is on your side at your will and your pace :)

What the screensaver actually dipslays is shown above (Earth plugin required). The screensaver is continually fetching the latest North American Tweets containing the #Google Hashtag from Twitter and displays them. Pretty nice!

How it works

Well the title says "Google Earth Screensaver" but the screensaver portion of the demo can actually display any web page:

Web Page Screensaver Architecture

The screensaver is actually a big browser window that navigates to an URL (specified in the configuration file). That's it, it is pretty simple! For this demo, I used the Google Earth plugin in the web page to add to the coolness factor ;) But you can use the screensaver right away with any web page you like.

You can download each files separately: the screensaver itself, and the web page used for this demo.

Related Downloads

File Name Description Size
screensaver.htm Google Earth Page 6.58 KB download
license.txt WebSaver license 723 bytes download WebSaver ScreenSaver 6.06 KB download
(copy the .scr and the .config files in Windows System32 directory) MS Visual C# 2010 Express Sources 20.6 KB download

Recommended Reading

was written by Chandler Evans, an Eighth Grader in Franklin TN, with his grandfather, to help other students and young people expand and enrich their knowledge about our Earth and Universe. The book encourages you to organize your scattered information into a cosmic world view. You are also urged to prepare to change your world view in accordance with your best new information. The author suggests that you join the Google Earth Society and teach others how Google and other Internet programs can be used for educational purposes.

Google, maps, and mashups, three hot technologies brought together in one beginning level learning guide. Written by the professional for the professional, with Mapplets, KML and GeoRSS is the first beginning level book that covers Google’s new Mapplets APIs as well as KML and GeoRSS.

Happy screensaving!


Castors said...

ur blog very nice and interesting,

paskud said...

This is most awesome Google Earth screensaver i've managed to find on internet.
I played a bit with it but I'm not programmer at all.
Did you think about taking coordinates from wikipedia instead of twitter? The locations would be much more interesting. After few days spent on it I can only assume that I can't do it myself...

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comment! Maybe I'll try to interface the screensaver with Wikipedia, that's an excellent idea!

Thanks again..

paskud said...

It may be hard to figure the right distance as wikipedia describes objects of different sizes. Starting at distance and slowly zooming might do it. Also baloon should be on side not covering the view.
I believe you can do it :)

Unknown said...

That's a good idea!

Are you currently running the Twitter screensaver on your computer?

paskud said...

I changed many options inside the .htm file from you but yes - it's still the same core screensaver. I was playing mainly around parameters - distances, angles, also modified twitter api query and earth api options to see more places with more data - borders, placenames etc. Still got problem that twitter mainly moves me to big cities which is lacking a bit of diversity. Tried random coordinates but it mainly moves me into the ocean ;)

Rich V said...


When trying to implement this screensaver we are presented with an error message - "Unable to find a version of the runtime to run this application."

We are running .Net v4.0.30319

When right clicking on the screensaver and choosing test it runs ok, but when setting within Windows personisation (Win7) we get the error message.


Unknown said...

I'm sorry but I've never played with the Win 7 personisation feature...

I think you'll have to look around on the Internet for that one..

Is it a 32 bit versus 64 bit issue?

Good luck and thanks for trying it out!

RichV said...

Hi Mike,

It happens on both x64 and x86...

We've done a search and come up blank unfortunately...



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