Google Earth Blog
The best stargazing occurs when you live in an area with very little artificial light, and the Bortle Dark Sky Scale is a great tool to measure it. Here is an example:
To get a rough idea of what the light is like in the areas around you, Ethan Siegel at Medium.com has put together a nice process for adding Bortle data to Google Earth. Once you follow their steps, you can zoom in anywhere in North America (or other areas with other maps) to see Bortle values for that region.
You can also try it in a browser by loading this map from Jonathan Tomshine.
If you can’t find a dark area near you, you can always use Google Earth to do your star gazing for you. The incredible night sky feature will take you to the stars, and the “starry sky” released last year gives you a beautiful view around the planet.
When you have a chance, make sure to read Ethan’s full post at Medium, as it does an excellent job of digging into the Bortle Scale and exactly how to use Google Earth to determine the Bortle value for your area.
The NASA Earth Observatory site brings us amazing images from time to time (such as some of these), and they’re back with some fresh imagery from the tornadoes that have ripped across the central United States in recent weeks.
The Mayflower tornado hit on April 27 and was rated an EF4. It left a path nearly 41 miles long and destroyed between 400-500 homes. From the Earth Observatory site:
At MODIS resolution, the entire town of Mayflower is barely distinguishable; but at ALI’s top resolution of 10 meters per pixel, it is possible to distinguish between individual buildings. In this ALI image, a trail of damaged trees and homes is visible near Interstate 40. The storm moved in a northeasterly direction, hitting the southern part of Mayflower first, then crossing I-40, and flattening neighborhoods along the shore of Lake Taylor.
Steven recently visited the Qihou lighthouse and wanted to build a new model of it, but was faced with a dilemma. You’re unable to upload new models onto Google Earth, since they’re instead simply using the 3D Imagery to show new models. The option would be to disable all 3D buildings to allow him to show only his building, but having surrounding 3D is quite useful. Steven’s solution was to create his new building using additional 3D terrain to show the lighthouse (and make it more accurate), effectively hiding the old model and allowing him to leave the other models turned out. The result works very well!
He also created a tour of nearby Kaohsiung using a massive image that he shot from on the lighthouse itself. You can grab this KMZ file to view the lighthouse, this KMZ file to view the city or head over to this blog entry to read more about the entire project.
Great work, Steven!
The post Qihou Lighthouse 360 panoramo & Kaohsiung 3D City Tour appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
We saw some amazing new Google Earth-related stories in April, and here are some of my favorites.
Frank wrote up a great article about how Google Earth imagery really works.
We took a look at the amazing massive artwork of Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada.
Google released some fresh imagery on April 16.
We took another look at the excellent Google Earth Flight Simulator.
We showed you a live aerial imagery program being used by the Compton police.
We saw Google finally release a historical imagery tool for Street View, allowing you to turn back the clock and view older Street View images.
Will helped celebrate the 40 year anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube by creating a giant model of one.
Lastly, we took a look at the great work that the End Point Corporation is doing with the Liquid Galaxy.
What was your favorite story from April?