Edujoser has a website dedicated to European castles, and has created a collection of placemarks showing the locations of 100s of castles in Italy. According to Edujoser, the collection includes all medieval military constructions (castles, towers, ruins…) built before XVI Century (inclusive) or more recent ones with defensive features (forts, citadels…). Newer chateaux-palaces built on the site of a previous medieval castle are also included. The collection does not include any castle, palace or chateau built after XVII Century (inclusive) without defensive features not matching criteria above. Palaces or revival XIX century neo-gothic castles not included.
More information can be found at the Google Earth BBS and Edujoser’s web site.
Gerardo64 at the Google Earth BBS has created a file containing global overlays of several datasets available from the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory. The data used to create the maps is collected by satellites and is updated every day.
The following layers are included.
- Land Surface Temperature
- Sea Surface Temperature
- Snow and Ice Cover
- Precipitable Water
- Ozone Concentration
- Drought Risk
- Nitrogen Dioxide Concentration
- Monthly Temperature
Here is a satellite image acquired January 7, 2011, showing the flooding at Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. The flooding from the Fitzroy River can be seen throughout the city and adjacent countryside. You can barely make out one of the runways at the airport as the rest of the airport is shown underwater.
You can use the transparency slider in Google Earth to compare this satellite image to the underlying Google Earth imagery to see which areas would normally be homes and farmland.
The greyish-green areas are underwater.
The source data was obtained from:
GE Map Overlays will add 18 additional sources of map data to Google Earth, including Google Maps, Bing Maps, Open Street Maps, and several others. In order to use these overlays, you must first login at the Google Earth Map Overlays website so the developer can control the resources used by the scripts. If you already have a Google account, it’s very easy to login.
Apollonius at the Google Earth BBS has compiled a list of over 300 places related to ancient Greece. This list spans the Minoan and Mycenaean periods up to the end of the Hellenistic age.
Most of the places have ruins or other features that are visible in Google Earth.
The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service has compiled detailed soils data for approximately 95 percent of the counties in the United States. The soils data contains information such as the texture, drainage, depth, and chemical characteristics of the soil. This data can be accessed by reviewing hard copy Soil Surveys (which can typically be found at the local library or local NRCS office), or online from the NRCS Web Soil Survey.
The University of California Davis Soil Resource Lab recently compiled this data in KML format, which can be viewed directly in Google Earth (using the button below the screenshot), or via a Google Maps interface. Once you zoom in close enough to the ground, you will see the soil unit polygons appear. Click on the dot to open a balloon with detailed information about the soil unit.
There are several other interfaces (such as iPhone/Android apps) available from the UC Davis Soil Resource Lab Soil Web Homepage and it looks like the soils lab is also experimenting with several other methods of visualizing soils data in Google Earth.
The ac network weather blog has created a Google Earth layer to display current METAR weather conditions from NOAA for many regions throughout the Earth. Just find the location of interest and click on the dot. The pop-up balloon contains a link to a website with additional information about the station/airport.
METAR weather reports are typically generated every hour and are generally used by pilots. A typical METAR report contains data for the temperature, dew point, wind speed and direction, precipitation, cloud cover and heights, visibility, and barometric pressure. METAR data is presented in a format that takes a bit of experience to understand. The Weather Underground has put together a great tutorial for decoding METAR data.
The GlobCover Land Cover Map was created by the European Space Agency GlobCover Project. The map displays land classification information for most of the Earth’s surface at a resolution of approximately 20 acres (~9 hectacres) per pixel. Each pixel is color coded to represent one of 22 different land classifications, which are based on the predominant type of vegetation found at that location. The data was collected from the MERIS sensor on the ENVISAT satellite during 2009.
The Google Earth version of the map was created by the Google Earth Library, and is presented at the full resolution of the original. A color coded legend can also be displayed as an overlay. The legend is also provided below. The map can be downloaded into Google Earth from the button at the bottom of this page.
The map data is Copyright ESA GlobCover Project. The source data can be obtained from their website.