Row the Head of the Charles on your Erg

If you will not be in Boston this weekend you can still row the Head of the Charles (and other races) by using a program called ergTour. It uses the Concept II Model D rowing machine to guide Google Earth along the race course.

1.Start Google Earth and let it initialize. It is very important to do this first.
2.Connect the PM3 to the PC via USB cable.
3.Select your workout.
4.Run ergTour.
5.Start rowing.

Note: It is very important to have the Concept II PM3 connected before running Erg Tour.

Full instructions are in the documentation, including command-line options for creating a file for your own river. The program is installed by downloading and executing this setup.exe.

The program is free but will run for 45 days only.


11/04/2006 Erg Tour Version 0.5 uploaded. Note that many command-line paramters have changed. Also now includes Head of the Charles, Head of the Cuyahoga, and the Doggett’s Coat and Badge
10/22/2006 Renamed the program to Erg Tour and included a second map.

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13 Responses to Row the Head of the Charles on your Erg

  1. PhilT says:

    Thats fantatstic, I read a post on the Google Earth forums a long time ago where somebody was asking just how to do this. There where no replys.

    Now all I need is to get the Erg and an internet connection in the same place!

  2. kpd says:

    I haven’t tried this but Google Earth reports to cache the images, so if you run the included .kmz file in Google Earth first on the same machine you may be able to row the race without a direct connection to the Erg.

  3. PhilT says:


    I’ll give that a go and let you know.

  4. Jason says:

    Howdy. Tried to run ErgTour – received “your trial period has expired” – please contact 🙁

    I’d love to row the Charles, and maybe add a few of my local rivers for the ‘ol winter training. Help?


  5. kpd says:

    Jason, Thanks very much for pointing that out to me. I have fixed the problem. If you install the current version of Erg Tour at the same location the problem will be fixed. Details on creating your own tours will be coming soon. The team has a race this weekend so it may be early next week before I can get them posted.


  6. Pingback: Ogle Earth

  7. Daniel says:

    Can you post a demo video showing exactly how it works?

  8. Frank Taylor says:

    This sounds like a great project. Do you have a picture of the rowing device being used with Google Earth? I’d like to write a story on my blog about it.


  9. Pingback: Toes to the Edge » New Erg Tour: Doggett’s Coat and Badge

  10. kpd says:

    I’ll see what I can do to create a screencast.

    Sure thing, I’ll check with the company for their press shots.

  11. Pingback: Donnagh McDonnagh » Blog Archive » links for 2006-11-07

  12. What a brilliant idea. Would you write a version for Rowperfect? Justus is the king of the software and would happily collaborate with you, I’m sure.
    his site is

    Rebecca Caroe

  13. kpd says:

    Thanks. I will consider it for the Row Perfect.

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