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Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Google Earth

lun 13-02-2017

Each year we celebrate Valentine’s Day by having a look at either heart shaped objects or romantic messages in Google Earth. Last year we had a look at heart shaped islands around the world.

This year we are looking at some heart shapes formed in very different ways.


A heart shaped fish trap on Cimei island in Penghu County, Taiwan. See ground level photos here.

We came across this story about a British farmer that created a heart shaped meadow in memory of his wife. It was apparently first spotted by balloon rather than with Google Earth. It would appear that the farmer planted the trees around 1999:

And by 2014 we can see they have grown considerably but are not yet as high as the previously existing trees in the area:

And finally we have a building in Melbourne, Australia, which has a heart shaped roof:

To find the above locations in Google Earth, download this KML file.

The post Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Google Earth

lun 13-02-2017

Each year we celebrate Valentine’s Day by having a look at either heart shaped objects or romantic messages in Google Earth. Last year we had a look at heart shaped islands around the world.

This year we are looking at some heart shapes formed in very different ways.


A heart shaped fish trap on Cimei island in Penghu County, Taiwan. See ground level photos here.

We came across this story about a British farmer that created a heart shaped meadow in memory of his wife. It was apparently first spotted by balloon rather than with Google Earth. It would appear that the farmer planted the trees around 1999:

And by 2014 we can see they have grown considerably but are not yet as high as the previously existing trees in the area:

And finally we have a building in Melbourne, Australia, which has a heart shaped roof:

To find the above locations in Google Earth, download this KML file.

The post Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Protesting high speed rail with Google Earth

ven 10-02-2017

We recently came across this story about someone in the UK who decided to protest a planned high speed rail line that will go past his house by writing a message in his back yard. The high speed rail line is named HS2.


He got the ‘2’ back to front by mistake.

Download this KML file to find the above location in Google Earth.

Although his protest has not stopped the line yet, construction on that part of the line is not scheduled to start until 2026. The official map for the HS2 line does not even include that section. We did, however, find it on the map on the Wikipedia page.

As we have seen in the past rude messages or drawings are not that uncommon in Google Earth.

The post Protesting high speed rail with Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Protesting high speed rail with Google Earth

ven 10-02-2017

We recently came across this story about someone in the UK who decided to protest a planned high speed rail line that will go past his house by writing a message in his back yard. The high speed rail line is named HS2.


He got the ‘2’ back to front by mistake.

Download this KML file to find the above location in Google Earth.

Although his protest has not stopped the line yet, construction on that part of the line is not scheduled to start until 2026. The official map for the HS2 line does not even include that section. We did, however, find it on the map on the Wikipedia page.

As we have seen in the past rude messages or drawings are not that uncommon in Google Earth.

The post Protesting high speed rail with Google Earth appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

February 10/11, 2017 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and Comet

jeu 09-02-2017

There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse this weekend on February 10 or 11 depending on which part of the world you live in.

For studying eclipses, we used to recommend a site called ‘HeyWhatsThat’ but it used the Google Earth API/plugin, which was discontinued last month. Another site by Xavier M. Jubier that offers KMZ files relating to eclipses appears to be no longer being maintained and it does not include a KMZ for this weekend’s lunar eclipse.
[ Update 2017-02-10: We were incorrect and Xavier’s website is being maintained. See his message in the comments below including a link to a map and a way to get a KMZ version. ]


The eclipse will be visible from much parts of the world. Image from Wikimedia.

If any of our readers knows of a site that offers eclipse details that can be viewed with Google Earth, please let us know in the comments.

The site timeanddate.com has 2D maps of the eclipse and if you enter your location it can give you exact local times for when to see it.

The community telescope organization Slooh will be broadcasting the eclipse live on their site. As far as we can tell it will be publicly available without having to become a member.

Coinciding with the eclipse is the closest approach of green comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková. Read more about it here.

There will also be a partial solar eclipse on February 26, visible in parts of South America and Southern Africa

The post February 10/11, 2017 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and Comet appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

February 10/11, 2017 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and Comet

jeu 09-02-2017

There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse this weekend on February 10 or 11 depending on which part of the world you live in.

For studying eclipses, we used to recommend a site called ‘HeyWhatsThat’ but it used the Google Earth API/plugin, which was discontinued last month. Another site by Xavier M. Jubier that offers KMZ files relating to eclipses appears to be no longer being maintained and it does not include a KMZ for this weekend’s lunar eclipse.
[ Update 2017-02-10: We were incorrect and Xavier’s website is being maintained. See his message in the comments below including a link to a map and a way to get a KMZ version. ]


The eclipse will be visible from much parts of the world. Image from Wikimedia.

If any of our readers knows of a site that offers eclipse details that can be viewed with Google Earth, please let us know in the comments.

The site timeanddate.com has 2D maps of the eclipse and if you enter your location it can give you exact local times for when to see it.

The community telescope organization Slooh will be broadcasting the eclipse live on their site. As far as we can tell it will be publicly available without having to become a member.

Coinciding with the eclipse is the closest approach of green comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková. Read more about it here.

There will also be a partial solar eclipse on February 26, visible in parts of South America and Southern Africa

The post February 10/11, 2017 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse and Comet appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Ancient earthworks in the Amazon

mer 08-02-2017

We recently came across this interesting story about ancient earthworks in the state of Acre, Brazil. Most versions of the story call the earthworks geoglyphs but technically, geoglyph should only refer to a feature that was specifically created either as art or to have some meaning, whereas it is unknown what purpose these earthworks served. Having said that, the Wikipedia page on Geoglyph features a photo of one of the Brazilian earthworks.

We found it frustrating that most versions of the story do not give coordinates for any of the earthworks, but eventually we found this article which features a KML file with locations of 440 of them.

The earthworks have only been found where the forest has been cleared. It is possible that the ancient Amazonians preferred the same locations that the current farmers who are clearing the land do, but it is quite likely that there are still many more earthworks to be found in uncleared areas. In addition, it is notable that the extent of earthworks shown in the KML file closely matches the extent of high resolution imagery, suggesting there are many more to be found as more imagery becomes available. This fact highlights the usefulness of Google Earth as a valuable tool for archaeologists. Some nearby regions have fresh imagery from 2016 so it is probable that more discoveries are already being made.

Looking around ourselves we started to see all sorts of shapes, such as the irregular circular ditch below:

But not being trained archaeologists we have no idea whether or not this is a recent excavation or an as yet unmarked ancient site or possibly just a natural feature that looks like a man made ditch.

The post Ancient earthworks in the Amazon appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Ancient earthworks in the Amazon

mer 08-02-2017

We recently came across this interesting story about ancient earthworks in the state of Acre, Brazil. Most versions of the story call the earthworks geoglyphs but technically, geoglyph should only refer to a feature that was specifically created either as art or to have some meaning, whereas it is unknown what purpose these earthworks served. Having said that, the Wikipedia page on Geoglyph features a photo of one of the Brazilian earthworks.

We found it frustrating that most versions of the story do not give coordinates for any of the earthworks, but eventually we found this article which features a KML file with locations of 440 of them.

The earthworks have only been found where the forest has been cleared. It is possible that the ancient Amazonians preferred the same locations that the current farmers who are clearing the land do, but it is quite likely that there are still many more earthworks to be found in uncleared areas. In addition, it is notable that the extent of earthworks shown in the KML file closely matches the extent of high resolution imagery, suggesting there are many more to be found as more imagery becomes available. This fact highlights the usefulness of Google Earth as a valuable tool for archaeologists. Some nearby regions have fresh imagery from 2016 so it is probable that more discoveries are already being made.

Looking around ourselves we started to see all sorts of shapes, such as the irregular circular ditch below:

But not being trained archaeologists we have no idea whether or not this is a recent excavation or an as yet unmarked ancient site or possibly just a natural feature that looks like a man made ditch.

The post Ancient earthworks in the Amazon appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed

mar 07-02-2017

Back in 2014, Google updated the search results functionality in Google Earth. At the time we noted that there were two bugs introduced: the ‘get directions’ functionality didn’t work properly and the right-click menu in the search results box didn’t work. The ‘get directions’ problem was fixed fairly quickly. We recently heard that a few problems had been fixed to do with the search functionality. It would appear that the right-click menu is now working properly. We are not sure if it has been broken since 2014 as we have been using the buttons below the search box, which provide the same functionality.

The search results window works using embedded html so changes to it are done on the server and not as part of the client, so there is no need to update Google Earth for the fix to take effect.

When there was a problem with ‘get directions’ we noted that it did not occur in Google Earth version 6.2, so we decided to download that version to see what differences there were with search. We found that the search in version 6.2 currently doesn’t seem to work at all. A search either fails to show any results, or it shows a result that cannot be selected. Do any of our readers still use version 6.2? Is there a specific reason for not upgrading? Let us know in the comments.

We still don’t like the fact that the search functionality tends to be very minimal about results returned. For many searches it tends to return a single result only. Several years ago it used to return a lot more results, which was quite useful for some particular tasks. It also doesn’t seem to be fully context-sensitive for many searches. For example, if you are viewing Livingston, California and search for ‘Livingston’, it flies you to Livingston, Scotland.

The post Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed

mar 07-02-2017

Back in 2014, Google updated the search results functionality in Google Earth. At the time we noted that there were two bugs introduced: the ‘get directions’ functionality didn’t work properly and the right-click menu in the search results box didn’t work. The ‘get directions’ problem was fixed fairly quickly. We recently heard that a few problems had been fixed to do with the search functionality. It would appear that the right-click menu is now working properly. We are not sure if it has been broken since 2014 as we have been using the buttons below the search box, which provide the same functionality.

The search results window works using embedded html so changes to it are done on the server and not as part of the client, so there is no need to update Google Earth for the fix to take effect.

When there was a problem with ‘get directions’ we noted that it did not occur in Google Earth version 6.2, so we decided to download that version to see what differences there were with search. We found that the search in version 6.2 currently doesn’t seem to work at all. A search either fails to show any results, or it shows a result that cannot be selected. Do any of our readers still use version 6.2? Is there a specific reason for not upgrading? Let us know in the comments.

We still don’t like the fact that the search functionality tends to be very minimal about results returned. For many searches it tends to return a single result only. Several years ago it used to return a lot more results, which was quite useful for some particular tasks. It also doesn’t seem to be fully context-sensitive for many searches. For example, if you are viewing Livingston, California and search for ‘Livingston’, it flies you to Livingston, Scotland.

The post Google Earth right-click menu in “Search” fixed appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Sale of Terra Bella to Planet now official

lun 06-02-2017

Last month we reported on a rumour that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was selling their satellite imaging company Terra Bella to another satellite imaging company Planet. It is now official as announced on both the Planet Blog and Terra Bella’s home page (which directs you to the Planet Blog article). Terra Bella was formerly SkyBox Imaging and was acquired by Google in 2014.

The announcement says that the deal includes a multi-year contract between Planet and Google whereby Google will purchase Earth-imaging data from Planet. What we don’t know is what Google plans to do with the imagery. Do any of our readers know? We have not seen much in the way of Terra Bella imagery in Google Earth. We have seen some imagery from them in cases of disaster response. We assume Terra Bella has a number of corporate customers, but presumably those will stay with Terra Bella – becoming Planet customers.

Google Earth would actually benefit from Terra Bella imagery in areas where it doesn’t yet have high resolution imagery – which is actually quite a lot of places, typically hard to photograph areas such as the far north or tropical rain forests with near permanent cloud cover. Another opportunity would be more global mosaics, but this time using higher resolution Planet imagery rather than the relatively low resolution Landsat / Sentinel-2 imagery.

Over the last few years, Planet has become the world leader in medium resolution, high frequency satellite imagery. They have 60 medium resolution satellites (3-5m per pixel). That is set to more than double this Valentine’s Day when they plan to launch another 88 all at once. They also own the Rapid Eye satellites (five satellites with approx. 5m per pixel resolution) which they acquired in 2015. Terra Bella has 7 sub-metre resolution satellites and plans to launch many more. In contrast, the other major players in the Satellite imaging business have fewer satellites but higher resolution (down to 25cm per pixel in some cases).

The post Sale of Terra Bella to Planet now official appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones

Sale of Terra Bella to Planet now official

lun 06-02-2017

Last month we reported on a rumour that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, was selling their satellite imaging company Terra Bella to another satellite imaging company Planet. It is now official as announced on both the Planet Blog and Terra Bella’s home page (which directs you to the Planet Blog article). Terra Bella was formerly SkyBox Imaging and was acquired by Google in 2014.

The announcement says that the deal includes a multi-year contract between Planet and Google whereby Google will purchase Earth-imaging data from Planet. What we don’t know is what Google plans to do with the imagery. Do any of our readers know? We have not seen much in the way of Terra Bella imagery in Google Earth. We have seen some imagery from them in cases of disaster response. We assume Terra Bella has a number of corporate customers, but presumably those will stay with Terra Bella – becoming Planet customers.

Google Earth would actually benefit from Terra Bella imagery in areas where it doesn’t yet have high resolution imagery – which is actually quite a lot of places, typically hard to photograph areas such as the far north or tropical rain forests with near permanent cloud cover. Another opportunity would be more global mosaics, but this time using higher resolution Planet imagery rather than the relatively low resolution Landsat / Sentinel-2 imagery.

Over the last few years, Planet has become the world leader in medium resolution, high frequency satellite imagery. They have 60 medium resolution satellites (3-5m per pixel). That is set to more than double this Valentine’s Day when they plan to launch another 88 all at once. They also own the Rapid Eye satellites (five satellites with approx. 5m per pixel resolution) which they acquired in 2015. Terra Bella has 7 sub-metre resolution satellites and plans to launch many more. In contrast, the other major players in the Satellite imaging business have fewer satellites but higher resolution (down to 25cm per pixel in some cases).

The post Sale of Terra Bella to Planet now official appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

Catégories: Sites Anglophones