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I know this is not the optimal type of question. Sorry for that. However I think it can be answered by listing some alternatives.

So I want to make videos about travel and I am looking for a tool for making animated maps.

I use Magix Video Pro X8 for editing my videos. It has a "travel animation feature" included, however I think it is too cumbersome to use, some of the features seem to be no longer working and it does not allow me to do more fancy animations (like just showing the shape of a country and the main cities)

I also tried to use QGIS with OSM data, but again it seems that there has to be an easier way.

I found the geolayers plugin for Adobe After Effects, but it is just too expensive for video editing being just my hobby. Also After Effects is only distibuted as a monthly subscription which I don't like because I only do video editing once a month.

I think the following videos show approximately what I want to achieve, especially the third one:

What tools could I use to achieve similar results? (I am using windows)

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I have recently started using Google Earth Pro for Windows (free app). It has the ability to export a recording, using the "Movie Maker" tool (under the tools menu). This will record your actions. Strangely it cut off "Google Earth at the bottom right ("Google Ea"), I wasn't sure if this would cause them to complain about attribution.

I tried Google Earth with the Screen Recorder in PowerDirector, this works well and I am not limited by Google's speeds. (And the attribution was not clipped).

I find I fight with small things and can't quite get things just the way I want. However, it is free, and it does work.

  • My big issue with Google Earth is that I cannot style it the way I like. I could also take a screenshot from OpenStreetMap or something like that, but this is all very limited. Right now I don't have much time for the project, but when I have again I might find a better solution. – T. Watzl Jul 22 at 19:47
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In my opinion, you need two programs to achieve that. It is quite simple btw.

First, a program to prepare the assets, let's say, you already have a map, but you now need to prepare the "road" over the map.

For this part, you can use for example Inkscape (to make the roads as a vector line), then you need to export the two versions of the map, one clean, and the other with the road.

And second... Any video editor that has transitions!

If you pay attention, you can simulate the road being drawn with a simple wipe. The first example can be done with a wipe from left to right (or the other way around, depending on the trip)

The third video can be done using a radial wipe, or even just a dissolve.

There are several free programs that can do this and more refined effects. Blender, Davinci Resolve, Hit Film.

One interesting option is Open Shot, which is also free, but you can have "personalized transitions. It uses grayscale images to define where the transition is coming and going, so you can make a more acurate animation of the path.

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If you don't have any budget, then building maps like this is going to take longer than using a tool like GeoLayers in After Effects. Google Earth Studio is brilliant, and free, but it's better for aerial satellite views rather than vector maps.

Otherwise, you're down to looking for nice vector maps (maybe from Open Streetmap?), and overlaying them in Illustrator with satellite views to give texture. (That's why people use dedicated tools like QGIS for this type of thing)

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If you can start from a GPX file, Google Earth Pro is an alternative as proposed above. I found that there were several small details to learn in the process. I was creating an inset map based on a track recorded in a GPS. (GPX file.)

If you didn't have that input you can manually create a track in Google Earth Pro.

I made a video covering some Tips and Tricks from my process. See:

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