Monday, July 30, 2007

Using Custom Placemark Icons

You can use your own graphic icon with any of your placemarks in Google Earth. To do this, create or edit a placemark. In the New/Edit dialog box, click the placemark button in the top right corner. The Icon dialog box appears. Click an icon or to add a new icon, click Add Custom Icon.

Note that you can also set the opacity and scale of the image. Of course, you'll want to optimize the file size of this image so as to keep Google Earth performing well.

You can set the icon in the KML source as well. Learn more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Installation Help

The Google Earth Help Center has many tips to help you successfully install Google Earth on your computer. Additionally, the Help Center has many troubleshooting tips that you can use to improve performance of the application.

If you cannot find the answer to your particular question, be sure to check out the Google Earth Help Group. This is a set of discussion forums where users read, post and share information about using Google Earth.

Finally, if you believe you have encountered an issue which pertains to a bug in the software, you can report the issue in the main Help Group. Before you do this, it is best to check out the aforementioned resources, as they may contain a solution to your issue.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Published Versus Unpublished Content

When you create content in Google Earth (such as a placemark), this content resides on your computer unpublished until you decide to share this content with others. So if you mark the location of your home, no one can see this placemark until you explicitly share it with others.

Google does not collect or view unpublished content on your computer.

There are a variety of ways to share such content, such as:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tour of Driving Directions

Once you create a set of driving directions in Google Earth, you can follow a tour of these same directions.

To do this, create some driving directions. In the Search tab, select any part of the driving directions. Click the Play button.

As with all tours, you can alter the camera angle, touring speed and other touring behavior. Learn more.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Patchwork Effect

Often when I am demonstrating Google Earth, users will ask me why surface of the Earth often looks like a patchwork or quilt. Different areas are comprised of different colors and sometimes adjacent areas look completely different.

This effect occurs because the imagery you see is made up of individual aerial images of the planet's surface. The images are often photographed on different times of the day or season, making them look disparate when they are stitched together and shown in Google Earth. For example, often images of a mountain range will show snow on certain slopes and in the adjacent region, peaks of similar elevation will have no snow at all.

It is also true that the more detail an image has, the more can it appear as brown or unrefined when viewed from a higher view point. This is particularly true of urban areas. A great example of this is the city of London. From a top down view from far up, London looks like a brown/green blob, but as you zoom in, you can see amazing detail.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mobile KML

You may know that you can create compelling custom content for both Google Earth and Maps users with KML. But Google Maps for mobile users can also view this KML content on their mobile devices.

When creating content for small devices, it is best to keep the number of placemarks and visual complexity of the KML limited, as these devices use much smaller screens. Also note that Google Maps can only display a certain subset of KML (learn more).

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

New Tutorial: Importing Addresses

I have published a new tutorial that describes how you can import addresses into Google Earth Plus, Pro and EC. With this feature, you can import spreadsheet (CSV) addresses and automatically create placemarks for each address that appear in Google Earth.

Check out the tutorial or read more in the Google Earth User Guide.