Google Earth Blog
Google Earth is an amazing tool to visualize trends and growth when it comes to real estate. In the past we’ve shown you some tools that use historical imagery to show how things have changed, such as Google’s Timelapse project and this impressive visualization of urban growth in Spain.
Today we wanted to show you three impressive videos that use Google Earth to show historical real estate information in a very compelling way. They take three major american cities (Chicago, New York, San Francisco) and show the growth of them over the past 150 years. The videos begin with a flat city, then slowly begin dropping in colored polygons for the buildings in the order in which they were built.
It’s an impressive set of videos and a very effective way to show this kind of growth.
You can read more about these on The Source website.
The post Excellent property and data visualizations in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
Earlier this year we told you about Rally Navigator, a great program that helps rally riders create “ridebooks” to assist them in their events.
They’ve recently released a premium version with quite a few new features:
- Print Roadbooks with Complete Tulips and Navigation Icons
- Show and Hide CAP Headings and GPS Coordinates for each Waypoint
- Create Rally Route From Imported GPX tracks
- Utilization of Google Earth Roads & Routing Function – Snap Track to Road
- Support for Continuous Roll Print Output
- Import Captured GPX Tracks Over Existing Routes to Correct Route After Pre-run
- Export GPX Tracks of Routes to GPS Units for Pre-Running
The free version is still very powerful, but for avid fans you can now take it even further. Learn more at RallyNavigator.com or by watching the short video below:
Growing up in mid-Michigan, a popular destination for short family vacations was Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. With tons of huge roller coasters, it is an amazing place to visit.
Because of the size of roller coasters found at any theme park, they make for a great subject to check out in Google Earth. Alex Turnbull of Google Sightseeing recently dug in and found some of the best.
Beyond just looking good from above, many of the coasters have impressive 3D models in Google Earth, such as the Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey:
Taking it even further, some of the parks have been captured by Google Street View, giving you a unique look at the coasters. Here is a shot from inside of Cedar Point:
Alex has done a great job tracking down some of the best views of roller coasters in Google Earth, and I encourage you to check out his full post to learn more. You can also grab a copy of their KML file to view all of the locations from Alex’s post in Google Earth.
Last week we showed you some ways to view U.S. National Parks on Google Earth during the U.S. Government shutdown. With the government still not back in order yet, this map of “Places affected by the 2013 U.S. Government Shutdown” from MyReadingMapped is quite handy.
It’s a very comprehensive map, showing hundreds of locations that are directly affected by the shutdown.
In the words of George, creator of the map:
On one hand this map shows you just how large the government has grown. On the other hand, it shows just how much of government regulates and/or services the needs of business. Thus, you can see how much influence big business has in intervening in government, to get government to intervene in business, to the advantage of the politically influential business over its competition, consumers, taxpayers, employees and small business. Thus, your job and income are entwined in how big government has grown either because your employer intervened in government on your behalf, or because it services a government program, or because your employer sells product and services to the government, or because your customer works for or sells product and services to the government. Or, because your employer receives a government subsidy, bailout or tax break. We have the world’s largest economy in part due to the fact that we have the world’s largest government.
Great work, George!
Google Earth has long been a popular tool for religious study, as it helps provide a geographical context to the area being studied. Frank first showed off some Bible Geocoding tools more than six years ago, and since then we’ve shown you a few others such as a visualization of the parting of the Red Sea.
Mark Hoffman who writes the BibleAndStudies blog has posted a very comprehensive entry with various Biblical resources in Google Earth. He’s compiled a list of great files, such as the Bible Places file with info from ISBE and Easton Bible Dictionaries, which Mark has edited to make more useful. Here is a screenshot that shows just a fraction of what’s included in the file.
All in all, it’s an impressive and useful collection of Bible-related files for Google Earth. Go check it out on Mark’s site and leave a comment below if you know of other related collections.
While Tropical Storm Karen is continuing to weaken as it approaches land, it is never wise to ignore a storm of this size if you’re in the path. If you’d like to keep an eye on Karen using Google Earht, you have a few options.
While much of NOAA is shut down due to the U.S. Governmental shutdown, they’re keeping Karen-related information up and running. In fact, the KML that they provide (which you can download here) is an excellent tool for learning about Karen in Google Earth.
There are also some useful tools built directly into Google Earth. Under the “Layers” on the left side of your screen is an option for [Weather], which contains layers for clouds and radar imagery, among others.
You can also turn on the main [Places] layer on the left, which will reveal an icon in the Gulf of Mexico that can be clicked on to show more information about Tropical Storm Karen. Enabling a few of these layers will result in something like this:
If you come across any other useful tools for tracking this storm, please leave a comment below and let us know about them.
Over the years we’ve seen Google Earth used to track down crimes a number of times. It’s been used to track down illegal marijuana growing, track crime in Bangalore, reconstruct crime scenes and even potentially help solve a murder.
The latest story comes from Mississippi, where a man thought he discovered an illegal shooting house in the woods near his home via Google Earth. When the man and his son went to explore, they discovered a stolen SUV!
There are mixed reports on exactly what happened, but according to LifeChangingTechnology, the SUV was stolen from this very man seven months earlier.
Based on various news reports I’ve found, this is possibly the image in question:
You can explore the area for yourself using this KML file. I’m not convinced that is the exact location, but it seems reasonably likely.
You can read more in this link on LifeChangingTechnology or in this report from FOX10tv.com. If you think you’ve found a more likely candidate for the location in Google Earth, please share your thoughts in the comments below.
The United States National Parks may all be closed right now due to the government shutdown, but you can always visit them in Google Earth!
The best place to start is the official “US National Parks” layer. You can find it under [More] –> [Parks/Recreation Areas] –> [US National Parks], as seen in the screenshot below.
Even better, you can explore many of these parks in Street View. You can check Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, various National Parks in California, and others around the country. Here is a view from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park:
While some other online resources are unavailable during the shutdown, such as a great Google Earth KML of our local Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park that was hosted by them (and is now temporarily disabled), there is still a wealth of imagery to explore.
If you know of other great National Park resources for Google Earth, please share them in the comments below.
The post Visit U.S. National Parks in Google Earth during the government shutdown appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
With Google beginning to phase out the older 3D models and no longer adding new models to Google Earth from the 3D Warehouse, I thought it would be a good time to look at some of the best 3D models that we’ve ever seen.
Frank first showed off some 3D models more than eight years ago, and we’ve seen some amazing ones since then. Here are some of the best:
Bowling Green University
University of Alberta
University of Cantabria
University of Central Florida
University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley
What are some of the models that impressed you the most?
We’ve been big fans of the 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator for a long time. Frank first told us about it nearly seven years ago, and no other device has been able to match the quality and usefulness of it — until now.
Released today, the new SpaceMouse Wireless is the next evolution for 3DConnexion. The new SpaceMouse can last roughly a month between charges, and remains fully functional while recharging via USB. The wireless is handled via 2.4Ghz connection, similar to standard wireless mice and other devices.
Beyond that, thankfully, it remains very similar to the existing model with it’s familiar “six-degrees-of-freedom” controls that make using Google Earth a breeze.
The SpaceMouse Wireless will retail for $129 and is available today from professional CAD resellers and major online resellers. You can learn more by visiting their website or reading their press release below.
Waltham, MA, October 1 2013 — 3Dconnexion®, the global leader in advanced 3D navigation devices, is proud to announce SpaceMouse® Wireless, the world’s first wireless 3D mouse.
3Dconnexion 3D mice enable engineers, designers and architects at the world’s leading companies to deliver better designs in less time, by providing a more natural and comfortable way to interact with digital 3D content.
Now, for the first time, SpaceMouse Wireless combines 3Dconnexion’s 6-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) sensor with 3Dconnexion 2.4 GHz wireless technology to deliver the reliability of a wired device, without the clutter of cords.
The SpaceMouse Wireless has a battery life of up to 1 month1 and when it does need recharging, the supplied micro-USB cable handles data and charging at the same time so users simply connect and continue working.
“We are excited to introduce SpaceMouse Wireless, the world’s first wireless 3D mouse,” said Antonio Pascucci, vice president of products at 3Dconnexion. “It’s designed to meet the evolving needs of 3D software users by combining 3Dconnexion’s superior 3D navigation experience with optimized 2.4GHz wireless technology for a real-time connection to digital 3D content and a clutter-free desktop.”
Like other 3Dconnexion products, SpaceMouse Wireless allows users to smoothly position 3D content or camera views while simultaneously using the standard mouse as a pointing device to select, create and edit. The end result is a more rewarding 3D experience, proven productivity gains and a reduction in repetitive strain injuries caused by repeatedly clicking and moving a standard mouse.
The 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Wireless offers 3D software users the following benefits:
- Six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) navigation. Gently manipulate the SpaceMouse Wireless’ controller cap to simultaneously pan, zoom and rotate digital models or camera views for a smooth, intuitive 3D experience.
- 3Dconnexion 2.4GHz wireless technology. The SpaceMouse Wireless communicates with your computer via a micro-USB receiver (included) ensuring a discreet and reliable connection to your 3D content.
- One month of design on a single charge. The SpaceMouse Wireless’ lithium-ion polymer battery lasts up to a month connect the micro-USB cable (included) and continue working without interruption.
- Ease of use. Each of the SpaceMouse Wireless’ two conveniently positioned buttons open their own on-screen radial menu for mouse click access to application commands.
- Modern design. The SpaceMouse Wireless sports a small footprint, high-quality construction and a stylish brushed steel base.
Pricing and Availability
SpaceMouse Wireless has a suggested retail price of $129 and is available immediately from professional CAD resellers and major online resellers.
- 3Dconnexion six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) sensor
- 3Dconnexion 2.4GHz wireless technology
- Lithium-ion polymer battery
- Micro-USB connectivity (USB receiver and recharging cable supplied)
- Simultaneous data and recharging
- Dimensions (L x W x H): 78 x 78 x 54mm / 3.1 x 3.1 x 2.1 in.
- Weight: 424g / 0.96 lbs.
- 2-year warranty
Supported Operating Systems
- Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1 x86 and x64 (all editions; RTM)
- Microsoft Windows 7 (all editions; RTM and SP1)
- Windows Vista x86 and x64 (all editions; RTM, SP1 and SP2)
- Windows XP Professional x64 Edition (SP1, SP2)
- Windows XP Professional (SP2, SP3)
- Mac OS X 10.6 to v. 10.8
September was a great month for Google Earth, with many new things to discuss and show off. Here are some of my favorites:
ForeignPolicy.com looked at some of the most likely missile targets in Syria, if the United States ever decides to take action.
If you find any data errors in Google Earth, here are some quick tips on how to get them resolved.
Rich Treves launched a new site with more great Google Earth resources for teachers.
We looked at some stunning before-and-after images in Google Earth.
We shared a neat collection of “tri-bridges” that we came across in the Google Earth Community.
We uncovered a long list of plane wrecks in Google Earth from the folks at MyReadingMapped.
Peter Olsen built an incredibly accurate 3D simulation of the July 2013 train accident in Spain.
We posted a quick and fun tip on how to embed your Google+ posts directly into Google Earth.
We showed you a bunch of “things that look like other things“, thanks to ‘Diane9247′ in the Google Earth Community.
We looked at Tom Doubleday’s excellent 3D model of Don Valley Stadium.
What was your favorite Google Earth story from September?
MyReadingMapped has been doing some great work lately. A few days ago we showed you their collection of plane wrecks in Google Earth and not long before that was a great collection of sunken ships. Now they’re back with some interesting maps related to climate change, including one titled “The rise, fall, and migration of civilization due to climate change“.
Here is how the new maps came about:
Recently I discovered there is a lot of interest online concerning migration and the collapse civilization due to climate change. Just Google it and see the large volume of articles predicting the short-term future. However, one of the things these articles do not do well is discuss how climate change occurred in the past. Which leave a big opening for the anti-global warming crowd to challenge it. They all to some degree mention specific events but none do so to any great extent. They mainly focus on the future. However, these white papers and articles are less convincing because they don’t emphasize the past enough. So I decided to cover as many as I could find and created a Google Map of The Rise, Fall and Migration of Civilization Due To Climate Change.
After the map start getting some attention, they matched it up with a few other climate-related maps.
The Google Map of Climate Change which shows examples of where and how climate changed.
The Geography of the Köppen Climate Classification System enables visitors to see whether today’s weather matches the Köppen Climate Classification System of more than 100 years ago if they turn on Google Map’s weather feature. Visitors can zoom in on the geography of each classification to see how today’s weather patterns apply to the 100″ year old system.
Beyond that, they created a Carbon Capture Report using the system created by the University of Illinois. All in all, they’ve compiled a lot of data for these maps and Google Earth/Maps is a fantastic way to show it off.
Over the years we’ve seen many amazing 3D models of stadiums in Google Earth. The massive Cowboys Stadium is very impressive, and Old Trafford Stadium was remarkably well done. For pure detail, though, this new model of Don Valley Stadium may beat them all.
SkechUp user Tom Doubleday is the man behind this work. He’s built a number of other models (many of which can be found in Google Earth), but this stadium is simply amazing.
His model of Don Valley Stadium isn’t yet available in Google Earth, but you can download the files from the 3D Warehouse.
There is an old model in Google Earth, so you’ll want to hide it (or turn off 3D buildings completely) to get a clear view of his work.
Great job Tom!
The post Excellent 3D model of Don Valley Stadium in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
A while back, ‘Diane9247′ posted a great series of images in the Google Earth Community of “Some things that look like other things“. Here is a sampling of some of the amazing items she found:
Our world is an amazing place, and we’re very fortunate to have tools such as Google Earth to allow us to explore it. Check out all of Diane’s finds for yourself in this series of posts.
What are some of your favorite “things” like that in Google Earth?
The post Things that look like other things in Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
It appears that Google has just pushed out a fresh batch of imagery! Thanks to sharp-eyed GEB reader ‘Munden’ for being the first to let us know about it.
Unlike some of the other recent updates, this imagery isn’t yet in Google Maps. As a result, you can compare Google Earth to Google Maps to determine what is new; the fresh imagery is already in Google Earth, but the old imagery is still in Google Maps. If you compare the two side-by-side and they’re not identical, that means that you’ve found a freshly updated area in Google Earth!
Some of the updated areas include:
- France: Tolouse
- Italy: Palermo, Zingarello
- Japan: Maebashi
- United Kingdom: Eastbourne, West Wittering
- United States: California (Fairfield, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Saulsalito, Sonoma, Suisan Bay, Watsonville, Woodland), Minnesota (Bemidji, Park Rapids), North Dakota (Galesburg, Valley City)
If you find any other updated areas, please leave a comment and let us know!
Google recently released a feature that allows you to embed Google+ posts on your website. It works similarly to the embed features from Twitter and Facebook, and can be a nice way to extend the reach of your posts. Here is an example using one of our posts from last week:
As Adam Simmons discovered, you can also embed your Google+ posts directly inside of Google Earth! Just put the code into a placemark and the embedded post will appear in there. Here’s a screenshot of it in action:
This can be a great way to enhance the usefulness of a KML file, and reminds me a bit of the old GEboads application that I created years ago.
Great tip, Adam!
With only a few weeks left until new models in the 3D Warehouse are no longer loaded into Google Earth, we thought it’d be nice to check out a beautiful one that was just accepted. Pedro Domecq, who we often know as simply “PeterG” and who was the winner of the 2012 Model Your Town Competition, recently added the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya to the 3D Warehouse (and subsequently to Google Earth) and it is stunning.
While I can appreciate that Google is pushing more toward 3D Imagery instead of hand-built models, it will be a long time before the automatically-generated imagery can approach this level of detail. We’ll certainly miss seeing the amazing work of people like Pedro being added to Google Earth.
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Earlier this year we showed you the WiNPT, a visualization that used Google Earth terrain data to help plan wireless networks.
WiNPT has rebraned to become EngineMaps and has released a new visualization for point-to-point radio planning: the Fresnel Zones for Radio Links.
As explained by the folks at EngineMaps:
The Fresnel Zones are 3D polygons which should not be obstructed by anything. With this solution, the wireless communications operators can easily check the existence of obstacles, like buildings and terrain elevation inside the zones and analyze which frequency achieves a better signal strength without obstacles losses. The Fresnel Zones are created by EngineMaps considering the positions and distance between antennas, the mast heights, and the signal frequency.
Looking at the above image, the red line represents the direct signal link between antennas, and the 3D yellow model represents the Fresnel Zone. As an example, the image shows obstacles due the existence of buildings.
You can view an example of the 3D model in Google Earth by using this KMZ file.
We’ve had a number of emails from users lately that are complaining that Google Earth tilts their view as they zoom in, and it’s difficult to get the view “fixed”. In this article we’ll show you how to prevent that from happening, and how to fix it if it does.
First, you need to understand why Google Earth does this. As they add more 3D buildings to Google Earth (particularly all of the new 3D Imagery), Google wants to make sure people understand that they can tilt to view the 3D buildings instead of just viewing it from above.
In the early days of Google Earth, the problem was the opposite — many people assumed it was a flat view like Google Maps and didn’t realize you could tilt your view at all!
Regardless, the “auto-tilt while zooming in” can be a bit annoying at times. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to fix. Go into your [Tools] –> [Options] menu, then click the “Navigation” tab at the top. In there, click the button next to “Do not automatically tilt while zooming” and you should be good to go.
If by chance you find yourself tilted and want to get back to a vertical position, it’s very easy to do. Just press the “U” key on your keyboard (short for Up) and your view will automatically go back to being completely vertical. You can also press the “R” key (short for Reset) which will make your view vertical and also face you toward the north.
To learn more, check out this post for a full list of Google Earth navigation tips.
The post “Why does Google Earth keep tilting the view when I zoom in?” appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
A few days ago we shared the Boulder, Colorado crisis response map with you, as the area is continuing to be inundated with rain and flooding. As they continue to fight the water, another interesting battle is emerging: Falcon UAV against the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Falcon has a hand-launched drone aircraft that can fly for roughly an hour and automatically generate very accurate maps of the ground. Here is a quick video showing how the drone is launched:
As for the results, you can see a snippet of their work in Colorado below or download the KMZ file here (warning: 500MB) to see it in Google Earth. It’s quite remarkable, especially considering the speed with which the imagery can be captured, georeferenced and shared.
Unfortunately, FEMA has told them they’re no longer allowed to fly the drone. In fact, they were told that their “request to fly drones was not only denied but more specifically we were told by FEMA that anyone flying drones would be arrested.”
As IEEE Spectrum is quick to point out, we’re only hearing one side of the story. FEMA may have a very legitimate reason for grounding the drone. However, considering all circumstances it seems that it would be quite valuable to have that aircraft capturing fresh imagery for the area.
I’m hoping that FEMA releases a statement of some sort about this issue, as it’s reflecting quite poorly on them so far. Check out the full article for yourself over on IEEE Spectrum.
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