Google Earth Resources

I recently finished updating the Google Earth Resources page.  This page contains a list of Google Earth related blogs, developer/user tools, etc. that will be of use to the casual Google Earth user and the advanced KML developer.  The resources have been organized into various categories, and a short description is provided for each.

I’ll continue to add to the list of resources as I find them.  I’m sure I have just scratched the surface of what is out there, so i you know of any good ones that I’ve missed, let me know and I will add it to the list.

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California Geologic Maps

This collection contains 28 1×2 degree geologic maps covering the entire state of California.

The 1:250,000 scale maps were produced in the 1960s and 1970s by the USGS and State of California Division of Mines and Geology.

California Geologic Maps

California Geologic Maps

Download With Google Earth

Credits

Google Earth Library

California Geological Survey

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TerraLook Archive

The TerraLook Archive contains 1,000’s of satellite images from the Terra and Landsat satellites. Many of the images covering environmentally sensitive areas (South American rainforests, etc.) throughout the Earth have been converted for viewing in Google Earth by Dr. Mark Mulligan of King’s College London.  The images in this collection date from 1972 to 2006.

Simply select the year you are interested in and zoom into one of the areas covered with imagery. The imagery should appear automatically.

Terralook Archive

Deforestation

Download With Google Earth

Credits

Kings College London

USGS TerraLook

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Metros of the World

Overlays showing the locations of metro lines at major cities throughout the world. Currently there are about 40 cities included in the collection.

The author (fleckman at GE BBS) appears to be adding more every couple weeks. I checked a few of them and it appears that they are color coded appropriately and the locations of stations are shown for some of the cities.

Metros of the World

Download With Google Earth

Credits

fleckman

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Marine Vessel Tracking

www.marinetraffic.com tracks the locations ships equipped with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponder, which is now required for ships over 299 gross tons. The data for presented for each ship includes:

  • Name of ship and flag
  • Type of ship
  • Speed and course
  • Photo of the ship
  • Link to further details about the ship

The data is collected by about 500 land-based receiver stations throughout the world, so it doesn’t include ships that are far out at sea or in remote areas. But it’s still an impressive amount of data.

Many other features can be found a their website, including a Google Maps version of the data that displays a bit more information and has a few features lacking in the Google Earth version.

Marine Vessel Tracking

Download With Google Earth

Credits

www.marinetraffic.com

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Golf Nation

Golf Nation makes extensive use of Google Earth in providing information about golf courses throughout the United States.  No surprise since it looks like the website is run by the same person that runs Google Earth Hacks.

A handy little network link is provided by the website that will populate Google Earth with information for golf courses.

Some of the prominent courses have a special “Detailed KML” overlay that will show detailed information about each hole, such as distance and par.

Golf Nation

Download With Google Earth

Credits

Golf Nation

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USGS Topographic Map Update

Looks like a lot of people are using the Google Earth USGS Topographic maps.  Couple updates that I thought I’d pass on.

First of all, I recompiled the index to be much easier to use.  You no longer have to navigate through two index levels.  Now, simply zoom down and the index will appear automatically as you navigate around the US.  Click on one of the map outlines to open up a window with a button to download the map.

At the same time, the new index fixes a major bug that prevented many maps from loading.  You should now be able to view all of the maps south of 48 latitude.  If you find one that doesn’t work, please let me know so I can fix it.  I hope to have the remaining maps north of 47 latitude done by next month.  When done, this collection will have about 55,000 maps (~150 gigabytes) available to view in Google Earth.  I’m also going to try to add Alaska.

Several people have asked about Canadian Topo Maps.  I have been downloading them and I could add them to the collection.  But I think those will be another 200-300 gigabytes, and I don’t want to push my luck with my web host.  So that project is on hold until I figure out a way to host them.  If you happen to have a 200-300 gigabytes of server space laying around and want to help out please contact me.

I have also added some instructions on the Google Earth USGS Topographic maps page to show you how these topographic maps can very easily be embedded on your own web page or blog using the Google Earth Browser Plugin.

Lastly, I am still working on my Historic Topographic Map collection.  I know there are some maps in that collection that are broken.  The update I’m working on will fix those and probably double or triple the number of historic topo maps in the collection.  Sorry, but no time frame on when that will roll out.  The historic maps are a lot more work than the current maps.

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Panoramas Theme for iGoogle

Update 10/11/2009 - Added new version of theme optimized for monitors up to 1,920 width resolution.

For the iGoogle users out there….I have created a theme that adds a panoramic photograph to the header of your iGoogle home page.  Every 15 minutes the photograph will change and ever month or two, I run a script that mixes up all the images so that the same photograph won’t show up at the same time of the day for very long.  The script pulls from a pool of about 200 panoramic photographs (96 are active at any one time) and I’m continuing to add more as I have time. None of the other standard Google colors or theme options are changed. Just the panoramic photo is added.

The photos are all from Flickr users and the original photographer and location of the photograph is shown in the footer at the bottom of the page so you can get an idea of what you’re looking at and who the original photographer was.

As you may know, Google has a large collection of user submitted themes for iGoogle.  However, due to technical limitations, this theme cannot be submitted to the iGoogle Theme Library.  However, you can still use it simply by updating your default home page (don’t worry if you decide you don’t like it, just change your homepage back to what it was before and nothing will have changed).

To give it a try, simply click on one of the following URLs (you must be logged into iGoogle).  If you decide to keep it just use one of the URLs as your homepage.

The first URL is the fastest (All images are under 40k)

http://www.google.com/ig?skin=http://www.gelib.com/theme/theme-40k.xml

The second URL is optimized for 1,280 width resolutions (Images are typically between 50k and 100k)

http://www.google.com/ig?skin=http://www.gelib.com/theme/theme.xml

The third URL is optimized for 1,600 width resolutions (Images are typically between 75k and 125k)

http://www.google.com/ig?skin=http://www.gelib.com/theme/theme-1600.xml

The final URL is optimized for 1,920 width resolutions (Images are typically between 75k and 125k)

http://www.google.com/ig?skin=http://www.gelib.com/theme/theme-1920.xml

Below are a few screen shots of what the iGoogle header will look like:

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