Virtual Litchi Missions in Google Earth – The Fast Way

Using Virtual Litchi missions to test your flights in 3D in Google Earth has always been a great time saver.

Two years ago I created a lesson on how to do that which has easily been one of my most popular. But, now, there’s a new sheriff in town in the form of a Chrome Browser plugin that lets you do most of the things that the original VLM does…but instantly!

Fast Virtual Litchi Missions

This is a huge boon for Mac users because the old VLM was limited to just Windows machines.

The old version still has merit as it provides additional information in the form of a graph showing altitude etc. But, if you want fast, there is no better way to get there than this.

Get the chrome plugin here:

9 thoughts on “Virtual Litchi Missions in Google Earth – The Fast Way”

  1. Pingback: Virtual Litchi Missions in Google Earth - Avios Aerial MediaAvios Aerial Media

  2. Great video Barry
    I’m not able to view the playback of the mission from above? – it keeps switching to just a ground view when I playback the mission in the google chrome extension on my mac that I added.
    Is there a setting so I can view the animated mission from above instead of just the ground view?
    Mike Emmer
    Bridger Productions, Inc.

    1. Hi Mike,

      Is it a ground view or are you just getting a 2-dimensional view?

      Depending on the answer there are a few options.

      – The area you are viewing does not have 3D information in Google Earth yet. There are some places, particularly remote areas, where 2D is all there is.
      – You don’t have the 3D option selected in Google Earth
      – The chrome browser plugin has reached the limit of their free altitude data for Google. This happens from time to time and the mission altitudes go crazy. There is a solution for this, but that is complicated and something that would require a whole video to resolve.

  3. I’ve been using CVLM successfully until recently when something changed in the way it writes (rewrites/interprets) mission altitude entered/shown in the mission hub. Now all waypoints on GE are MSL even though Litchi hub still shows them as AGL. In this case GE altitudes are all about 150 meters above where I want them. The KLM files show the altitudes as being ABSOLUTE (i.e. AGL) but the actual number is MSL. What’s happened?!

    1. Peter,

      There are a couple of possible reasons for this.

      The first (and easiest) – go into the mission settings and make sure that Use Online Elevation is checked.

      If that is then the next most likely scenario is a lot more complicated. The system uses altitude data provided by Google. Google provides this for free for a certain number (large number, but a real one) of calls per month. If they are not using a paid service then all of those hits go to a single user account at Google and, once the limit for the month has been reached, it will start returning MSL instead of the ground altitude. In extreme cases, this can have the mission showing as actually underground!

      There is a way around this using the original VLM program, which allows you to replace the default Google API key with your own, but that is too complex to discuss here.

      Ultimately, if you wait, it should start working properly again once the limit resets.

  4. I have installed the Virtual Mission plug-in. I am flying a Phantom 4 (standard) which has a 12MP camera. The options available in the plug-in are Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 4 Advanced (both of which are 20MP cameras) and something called Phantom 4 2.0. Is Phantom 4 2.0 a shortened reference to Phantom 4 Pro v2 (i.e. the 20MP camera) or does it refer somehow to my drone, a Phantom 4 w/ 12MP camera? If all of the Phantom models included in the plug-in are for 20MP cameras, does one of the other models in the list have optics identical to the 12MP Phantom 4 camera? Thank you!

    1. Hi Tom,
      The drone selection relates to the field of view, not the MP.
      That said, the Phantom 4 has an FOV of 94° 20 mm (35 mm format equivalent)
      That compares to the Phantom 4 Pro/Adv which have a FOV of 84° 8.8 mm/24 mm (35 mm format equivalent)

      Based on that it would seem your drone would give a slightly wider field of view. If you can find another drone that also has a 20mm equivalent you could use that instead but I don’t think the difference is going to be significant, so I would just use the P4P selection and you should be fine.

      Thanks for the comment.

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