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Tutorial:

Introduction to Google Earth


Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and even explore galaxies in the Sky. You can explore rich geographical content, save your favorite places, and share your map with others. This tutorial will introduce you to Google Earth software, including how to use it and how to create a map. Contents Part 1: Using Google Earth What is Google Earth? Learn about Google Earth and what it offers. Navigating in Google Earth Learn how to zoom in, zoom out, move, and tilt the 3D Viewer. Exploring the Google Earth Panels Learn about the different panels for searching, organizing, and viewing the various data layers and information in Google Earth. Part 2: Creating a Map with Google Earth Creating a Placemark Learn how to create a placemark, or data point, in Google Earth. Creating a Path, or Line Learn how to create a path, or line, in Google Earth. Creating a Polygon, or Area Learn how to create a polygon, or area, in Google Earth. Creating an Image Overlay Learn how to overlay an image or scanned map in Google Earth. Saving your Google Earth Project Learn how to save your project files so you can share them with your friends and colleagues. Using Network Links Learn how to use network links to Google Earth projects on the Internet so the data is always refreshed.

Part 1: Using Google Earth


What is Google Earth?
Google Earth is a software application you install on your PC or Mac computer, which allows you to explore the world and its rich geographic information electronically. Much of the data, including the imagery, roads, borders, and other information are stored on Google servers and the software dynamically downloads only the data you are viewing. For this reason The imagery in Google Earth is not in real-time -- most of the data was acquired 1-5 years ago.

Navigating in Google Earth


To navigate in Google Earth, use the navigation tools in the upper-right corner of the 3D viewer.

1. Rotate the map by clicking and dragging the gray ring around. To return the map to north as pointing up, click the "N" once. 2. Move your view, or tilt the viewer and look around from a different perspective, by clicking the arrows around the eye. 3. Move (or "pan") around the map, by clicking the arrows outside hand. 4. Zoom in or out on the map, by clicking and dragging the zoom slider. You can also click on the zoom in or out buttons to zoom in, or doubleclick these buttons to zoom in or out all the way. You can also use your mouse! Navigate by double-clicking with your left mouse button (to zoom in) or your right mouse button (to zoom out). You can also use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Exploring the Google Earth Panels


The Search panel Use the Search panel to search for places, businesses and organizations, and get directions.

Use the Fly To tab to search for places, including: Cities and Addresses Places of interest (parks, monuments, etc.) Coordinates (latitude, longitude) Type nairobi, kenya into the search box, and click the search button:

Use the Find Businesses tab to search for business, or organizations. Use the Directions tab to search for directions between two places.

The Layers Panel Use the Layers panel to view the permanent layers in Google Earth, including borders, roads, and other data.

Please note: Layers are viewable by everyone who has Google Earth, and they appear in the Layers Panel on every Google Earth. Some of it is dynamic, and is updated automatically over time. Some of it is static, and does not change. Most of the data layers are purchased by data providers and are LOCKED (you don't have control over it), including Roads, Border and labels, and Terrain. Some of the layers are created by users, including Panoramio and Wikipedia (under Geographic Web), and the Google Earth Community and YouTube (under Gallery).

The Places panel Use the Places panel to organize and save your places that you visit, your favorite locations, address or listing searches, and more. The Places panel is also where you view your own Google Earth data that you've created, and other people's Google Earth data that you've downloaded from the Internet.

All data located in the My Places folder is saved for subsequent Google Earth sessions. When you quit Google Earth, and start it again, the data will still be under My Places. Data located in the Temporary Places folder are temporary, and will not be saved for the next time you start Google Earth again. To move data from Temporary Places to My Places, click-and-drag each item to the My Places folder. The data will now be saved in Google Earth. Data in the Places panel are viewable only on the computer you are using. This is similar to viewing a document in Microsoft Word -- the file is not online and public to the world -- you are simply viewing a file on your computer.

Add Content To find data to add to Google Earth, use the Add Content button in the Places panel to link to the Google Earth Gallery. You must be connected to the Internet to use this button! 1. Click on the Add Content button in the Places panel. An Internet browser opens in a frame within Google Earth. The Google Earth Gallery webpage opens. 2. Click the button at the top right corner of the Internet frame to open the Internet in an external frame, which will open the same page in your Internet browser application. 3. Search for "Africa" or another location or topic to search the Google Earth Gallery for project files about that location or topic. These are Google Earth projects that other people have created in Google Earth and then uploaded to the Google Earth Gallery webpage.

Open a Google Earth KML file To open and view a Google Earth project file that exists on your computer: 1. Go to the File menu, and choose Open...

2. Go to the CD drive, (which folder?) select Volcanoes of the World.kmz, and click Open.

3. Click on a volcano placemark. A balloon opens, displaying information about the placemark you clicked on. A balloon is a window that can display text, images, movies, tables, graphs, and other information about a location.

4. Click on other volcano placemarks to view information and images about other volcanoes.

Part 2: Creating a Map with Google Earth


You can create a map in Google Earth using the toolbar at the top of the 3D Viewer:

Creating a Placemark
To create a placemark, or point: 1. Click the Add Placemark tool button on the toolbar: 2. Place the placemark in your preferred location by clicking and dragging it to your preferred location. 3. In the "New Placemark" window that appears, type in a name for the placemark. 4. Type in a description for the placemark in the Description area, which will be displayed in the placemark's pop-up balloon. You can include HTML code in this area if you want to enhance the design of the balloon. 5. Click on the Style, Color tab, and choose a color, scale (or size), and opacity for the placemark icon and label text. 6. Click on the icon button in the top-right corner of the window, and choose an icon for your placemark.

If you want to re-edit the description text or move the icon, right-click on the placemark in the 3D Viewer, or on the placemark layer in the Places panel, and chose Properties (on a PC) or Get Info (on a Mac). This puts the placemark back in editing mode, and you can edit both the location and the properties of the placemark.

Creating a Path, or Line


You can draw paths, or lines, in the 3D viewer. Paths share all the features of placemark data, including name, description, style, color, and location. To create a path, or line: 1. Click the Add Path tool button on the toolbar: 2. Click several times on the map to form a line. 3. In the "New Path" window that appears, type in a name for the path. 4. Click on the Style, Color tab, and choose a color, width, and opacity for the path.

Creating a Polygon, or Area


You can draw polygons, or areas, in the 3D viewer. Polygons share all the features of placemark data, including name, description, style, color, and location. To create a polygon, or area: 1. Click the Add Polygon tool button on the toolbar: 2. Click several times on the map to form a polygon. 3. In the "New Polygon" window that appears, type in a name for the polygon. 4. Click on the Style, Color tab, and choose a fill color, line color and width, and opacity for the polygon. 5. Click on the Altitude tab, and move the slider to increase altitude, or height, of the polygon if desired. 6. Check the box to extend the sides, or walls, of the polygon down to the ground.

Creating an Image Overlay


To create an image overlay: 1. Click Add Image Overlay tool button on the toolbar: 2. In the "New Image Overlay" window that appears, type "Africa Map" as the name for the image. 3. Click "Browse..." and go to the CD drive, (which folder?) Select the Africa_Map.png, and click Open. (In the future, you can also enter the Internet URL to an image on the Internet.) 4. Move the Transparency slider to make the image transparent, which will assist you in placing the image in the correct location on the globe.

5. Use the center cross-hair marker to slide the entire overlay on the globe and position it from the center. (Tip: do this first.) 6. Use the diamond marker to rotate the image for better placement. 7. Use any of the corner cross-hair markers or side anchorsto stretch or skew the selected corner or side. If you press the Shift key when selecting this marker, the image is scaled from the center.

8. Click "OK" when you are finished. The Africa map is now listed in the Places panel, and can be saved with your other Google Earth project data you have created.

Saving your Google Earth Project


You can save your Google Earth project to easily share it with your friends and colleagues. 1. In the Places panel, select your project files by clicking on the Place where all your data is stored: My Places or Temporary Places. 2. Go to the File menu, and choose Save, then click on Save Place As... 3. Navigate to a location on your computer to save your Google Earth project file. 4. Give your project file a name, and click Save.

A Google Earth project file is a KML file, with a filetype extension of .kml or .kmz. A .kmz file is a zipped .kml file that stores and photos that you included in your project from your computer (if any). When you save your Google Earth KML project file to your computer, it is private. If you upload the file to a webserver, or e-mail it your friend or colleague, then it is no longer private. It is just like putting anything else (such as a PDF file) up on the web or e-mailing it to someone.

Using Network Links


A network link is a link in your Google Earth project file that links to a .kml or .kmz file somewhere on the Internet. It provides a way for people to view Google Earth data and always see any changes to the content automatically, as those changes are made. You must be connected to the Internet! To add a network link, go to the Add menu and choose Network Link 1. Go to the 'Add' menu, and choose 'Network Link'. 2. In the Network Link window, type "Earthquakes" as the name for the network link.

3. Next, you will need to find a KML or KMZ file on the web to link to.

Or simply enter http://services.google.com/earth/kmz/realtime_earthquakes.kmz.

When you set a refresh mode, data is refresh-able. It changes, or updates, every time you look at it or move the 3D Viewer, depending on which refresh mode you choose. When the data provider changes the data, the data you see in Google Earth is refreshed. For this reason, network linked KML files are dynamic, whereas the data you build in Google Earth (placemarks, paths, and polygons) are static. Remember: you must be connected to the Internet to use network links with Google Earth KML files on the web!