Thursday, August 30, 2007

Adding Photos

Lost in all the excitement about Sky is the new Add Photos feature in Google Earth version 4.2. This allows you to add photos in Google Earth that you can fly into and browse. This feature works great with high definition photos, as you can zoom deep into these images and view tremendous detail. Learn more about adding photos.

If you are just interested in viewing high definition photos, in the Layers panel, check the Featured Content > Gigalpxl and double click any Gigapxl icon (see below) in the 3D viewer. This layer includes some truly breathtaking images. Learn more about navigating photos.

Gigapxl icon

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sky and KML

Google Earth 4.2 includes Sky, which allows you to view and browse stars, planets and more. A fellow Googler has posted an excellent guide to publishing KML-based content in Sky. Complete with examples, this document describes how you can display objects in Sky and how KML elements work in Sky. View this document.

If you just want to view Sky in Google Earth, be sure to download the latest version and take a look at these resources:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Detail Area

You may have noticed that when you browse the globe in Google Earth, the center section of the 3D viewer is sharp, while the areas close to the edge are not.

This sharper area is called the detail area. You can change the size of this area or make the entire view detailed. Click Tools > Options > 3D View (on the Mac, click Google Earth > Preferences > 3D View) and choose an appropriate Detail Area size.

However, choosing a larger detail area can slow down your computer if you have an older, less powerful video card on your machine. Setting an appropriate detail area is a trade off between an overall better image on your screen and performance. Try different settings and see what works best for you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Unknown Layers

This blog posting is dedicated to lesser known layers. One of the challenges of our work here is to make Google Earth users aware of the compelling content we have available in these layers. So here is my contribution to that effort:

Appalachian Mountain Top Removal - Under Global Awareness. This layer brings public attention to the devastating environmental effects of mountain top removal in the eastern United States.

Volcanoes - Under Geographic Features. View information from the Smithsonian Institute about volcanic formations around the world.

Alternative Place Names - Open this folder and check the appropriate language to view names (and spellings) of places around the globe. You can use this layer in conjunction with the Populated Places layer to see interesting contrasts of how place names are spelled (example "Al Qahirah" versus "Cairo".

European Space Agency - Under Featured Content. Check this to view stunning alternate satellite imagery of places around the world, such as active volcanoes, flooding, mountain ranges and more.

Learn more about using layers.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Emailing Views

You can quickly email a view to others Google Earth users.

To do this, navigate and tilt to obtain the exact view you want to share. Click File > Email > View or click Ctrl + Alt + E (Command/Open Apple Key + Alt + E on the Mac). This creates an email with a placemark attachment. Note that you can also email an image.

Learn more about sharing places.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Searching the Places Panel

You can search items in the Places panel by pressing CTRL + F. This opens a search field at the bottom of the Places panel where you can enter your search terms (see left).

This feature is particularly useful if you have a large number of items your My Places folder.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Snapshot View

The Snapshot View command allows you to assign a specific camera angle and altitude to a placemark or folder. For example, if I want to create a placemark of a mountain to share with others, but want to ensure that users see the mountain at specific angle to emphasize its topography, I would tilt and navigate until I get an ideal view and then use the snapshot view command. Anyone who views my placemark will see the precise view I set.

This can be a powerful feature if you area creating tours or movies in Google Earth, as a tour of a set of placemarks can use the precise camera angles that you want.

To snapshot a view, do one of the following:
  • For a folder or placemark, right click (CTRL click on the Mac) the placemark and choose Snapshot View
  • In the Edit Folder/Placemark dialog box, choose View > Snapshot current view