Google Earth overview


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Speaking notes for a Google Earth tour and demonstration. I wanted to show my colleagues how GE can be helpful in civil, environmental, and related projects on a daily basis.

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Google Earth overview

  1. 1. G o o g l e Earth: Poor Man’s GIS, Fabulous Tool!
  2. 2. Where to Get Help and Info <ul><li>Google Earth User Guide: </li></ul><ul><li>Google Earth Help Group: </li></ul><ul><li>Google Earth blog: </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Basics <ul><li>Finding locations </li></ul><ul><li>Using layers </li></ul><ul><li>Adding locations and layers </li></ul><ul><li>Navigating </li></ul><ul><li>Getting coordinates </li></ul>
  4. 4. Opening View Searching for locations
  5. 5. Search for Location <ul><li>Works like in Google Maps: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Named location or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Latitude and longitude </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Zoom or “fly” to location by double-clicking </li></ul><ul><li>Save desired locations to “My Places” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Opening View Saved locations
  7. 7. Saved Locations <ul><li>Same as any other file management: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drag-and-drop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create folders to organize site information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give meaningful names </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Anything under “My Places” will be saved </li></ul><ul><li>Anything under “Temporary Places” is gone after you shut Google Earth </li></ul>
  8. 8. Opening View Ready-Made Layers
  9. 9. Ready-Made Layers <ul><li>Lots of pre-compiled information </li></ul><ul><li>Can make it really slow to load </li></ul><ul><li>Can make it confusing to navigate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unselect most or all to navigate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select only the ones you need, once you’re close to your location </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Some Useful Layers <ul><li>Geographic Web: </li></ul><ul><li>Roads </li></ul><ul><li>Borders and Labels </li></ul><ul><li>Terrain (3D effect) </li></ul><ul><li>Earthquakes </li></ul><ul><li>Volcanoes </li></ul><ul><li>Parks </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Schools </li></ul>And as usual: Garbage in, garbage out (i.e., the databases are not 100% accurate)
  11. 11. Getting More Layers <ul><li>National Wetlands Inventory: http:// </li></ul><ul><li>USGS Earthquake Hazard Program: http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Humboldt Bay Trail network: </li></ul><ul><li>Google Earth Gallery: </li></ul>
  12. 12. Navigation - 1 <ul><li>Mouse left-click lets you pan: drag or spin the globe while your point-of-view remains fixed </li></ul><ul><li>Mouse right-click lets you fly: move your point-of-view up, down, and around a fixed location target </li></ul><ul><li>Scroll wheel lets you zoom straight in and out vertically </li></ul>
  13. 13. Navigating - 2 <ul><li>Sliders let you pan and fly as well </li></ul><ul><li>Double-click “North” to reset orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Vertical slider tilts the point-of-view </li></ul><ul><li>Arrows pan north, south, east, west </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers pad: + and – let you zoom straight in and out vertically </li></ul>
  14. 14. Getting Coordinates <ul><li>For the new project initiation procedure, we’ll need project coordinates. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigate to the project site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Place your mouse cursor over the location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Read the latitude and longitude off the bottom status bar </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Mouse cursor Coordinates
  16. 16. Fun Stuff <ul><li>Inserting placemarks </li></ul><ul><li>Inserting polygons and paths </li></ul><ul><li>Measuring distances </li></ul>
  17. 17. Placing and Moving Points <ul><li>Use different markers </li></ul><ul><li>Add labels and colours </li></ul><ul><li>Right-click to edit </li></ul><ul><li>Possible project uses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Points of interest (e.g., water tank, hospital) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sampling locations </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Add Placemark tool button Marker style Add label and description
  19. 19. Proposed monitoring wells
  20. 20. Creating Polygons and Paths <ul><li>Polygon: Closed shape, filled or outlined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., Site boundary, building footprint </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Path: Curved line, open shape </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g., Road, trail, fault line, groundwater levels </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Both can be drawn point-to-point or freehand (create lots of points) </li></ul><ul><li>Can edit, delete, add or move points </li></ul>
  21. 22. Measuring Distances <ul><li>Line (btwn two points) or Path (multipoint) </li></ul><ul><li>Choose units: feet, yards, miles, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Move the nodes to desired locations </li></ul><ul><li>Follows surface (“walked” distance) </li></ul><ul><li>Check “Mouse Navigation” to move around, then uncheck to continue measuring </li></ul>
  22. 24. The Really Cool Stuff <ul><li>Importing maps, site plans, and aerial photos </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing files and collaborating </li></ul><ul><li>Saving images </li></ul>
  23. 25. Overlays 1: Inserting a Map <ul><li>This is what you use when your map has latitude and longitude </li></ul><ul><li>Map needs to be in a recognized format, such as PNG , GIF , JPEG, BMP, or TIFF </li></ul><ul><li>Map needs to be in cylindrical projection (or small enough to be close) </li></ul><ul><li>Memory hog: keep your images small (<2000 x 2000 pixels) </li></ul>
  24. 26. Inserting a Map (Cont.) Find the map then convert it to the right format
  25. 27. Navigate to known latitude and longitude
  26. 28. Importing a Map (Cont.) <ul><li>Show grid (under View drop-down menu) </li></ul><ul><li>Google Earth automatically re-projects cylindrical projection </li></ul><ul><li>Line up the map’s longitude and latitude using the handles </li></ul><ul><li>Slide image transparency to make it easier to align </li></ul>
  27. 30. Overlays 2: Inserting a Site Plan <ul><li>More fiddly, inexact, but useful! </li></ul><ul><li>Same file formats </li></ul><ul><li>May need to capture a PDF or ACAD file and save it to a usable format </li></ul><ul><li>Include some reference points to line up with the terrain </li></ul>
  28. 31. Site layout from ACAD file
  29. 32. Inserting an Air Photo <ul><li>Patching up the record with better or more recent air photos </li></ul><ul><li>Photos need to be ortho-rectified </li></ul><ul><li>Works the same as inserting a site plan </li></ul>
  30. 33. Air photo to fill obscured area
  31. 34. Google Earth jazz <ul><li>Adding it all together, e.g.: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Draped maps over contours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site map plus sampling locations plus wetland polygons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project footprint plus fault lines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support project decisions </li></ul>
  32. 35. Geology draped over terrain
  33. 36. Wetlands and wells
  34. 37. Sharing Google Earth Files <ul><li>Keep your files organized </li></ul><ul><li>Save the folder containing files to share: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Points, polygons, paths, map overlays, photos </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Saved as a single .KMZ file, can be kept in the project folder </li></ul><ul><li>Saves small, easy to e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Other people can edit and re-save </li></ul>
  35. 38. Saving as JPEG <ul><li>Allows you to save screen content as just an image (can’t edit points in Google Earth) </li></ul>