Google Earth Blog
We’ve talked about crime on here quite a lot over the years, many of which we discussed in this post last year.
Scott Dickson at Bair Analytics recently wrote a post that talks about some of the ways that he uses Google Earth to help with crime analysis. He talks about some great ways to use basic features, such as:
Another feature I use quite often is the “Show Ruler” tool. This tool allows you to measure distances on your maps. There are a number of criminal law penalty enhancements in Texas that increase penalties for offenses if they occur within a specified distance of a school. This tool allows you to easily determine just how close the offender was to that certain geographic feature.
He also talks about his bigger picture use of Earth:
Google Earth also makes it very easy to export your map as an image file that you can then drop into a report or presentation. I use this feature quite often when I create briefings on crime series or other types of bulletins. The old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words is true. By including maps in your presentations or briefings you can easily communicate geographic relationships. They also make your reports visually appealing.
It’s an excellent use of Google Earth, and it’s worth reading his full post at BairAnalytics.com to learn more.
Google Earth and Google Maps used to be very different products, but over the past few years they’ve become much more similar. This is largely due to the addition of new features to Google Maps, such as support for 3D Imagery and other features that used to only be available in Google Earth.
The folks at Social Bubble recently wrote a post that discusses some of the difference between Earth and Maps. That inspired us to take it a bit further and lay out some of the differences.
To start, there are a handful of similarities between both programs. They both feature the same satellite imagery, allow you to search for locations, save places and get directions. In addition, both feature Street View imagery.
Google Maps offers a few advantages over Google Earth. It keeps your data synced across devices, has excellent turn-by-turn navigation features, and allows you to go into the past with historical Street View imagery. They recently crossed the one billion download mark, a testament to how popular it is.
While Google Maps is more convenient when you’re on the go (largely due to the turn-by-turn navigation), Google Earth has a lot of features that make it more powerful for digging in. Earth offers additional 3D content, makes it easier to stack layers of information, allows you to use special controllers such as the SpaceNavigator and the LEAP Motion, has an excellent flight simulator feature, allows you to view historical aerial imagery, and gives you additional tools such as the ruler and elevation profiles.
What is your favorite feature that you can only find in Google Earth?
The post The differences between Google Earth and Google Maps appeared first on Google Earth Blog.
(We first posted this three years ago, but sadly Louis Zamperini passed away last week so I thought it’d be a good time to check this out again. Enjoy.)
Last year, Laura Hillenbrand released a book titled “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption“, based on the life of Louis Zamperini (details on Amazon). The book has been very popular, quickly becoming a best-seller and recently being picked up by Universal Studios to be turned into a movie.
The life of Zamperini is amazing, and the book is excellent. Zamperini, a world-class runner that competed in the Berlin Olympics in 1936, is drafted into World War II. He fights a number of missions before his plane goes down and he’s trapped in a raft at sea. After 46 days at sea, he floats into the Japanese-controlled Marshall Islands, and he’s placed in various POW camps for the next few years.
In reading the book about his journey, I realized that it would pretty cool to track down his various missions and POW camps in Google Earth. I was right! However, I was unable to find a decent timeline of his life, so I spent a few hours researching it and created one myself. After that, I did more research to find all of those locations in Google Earth and ended up with a pretty cool file.
The file includes locations from his early days (homes, school), the various places he went for military training, the Pacific missions he completed, the POW camps he was placed in, and the various stops on his journey home. You can download the KMZ file here to try it for yourself.
I had hoped that historical imagery might come into play with this, but the old imagery in the Pacific and Japan doesn’t go back nearly far enough (as opposed to Europe, where many locations have historical imagery dating back to the mid-1940′s). However, one good example was Hamilton Field, where he stopped over on his way to Hawaii. The present-day imagery no longer shows a runway, but if you switch to the 1993 imagery you can clearly see the runway still there.
All of that being said, I’m sure the file isn’t perfect. If you make any corrections to it, please email me the updated version (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll update this post.
So, have you read the book? What did you think of it?
Today in the US it is Independence Day, often referred to as simply the 4th of July. Banks are closed, BBQs are being heated up, and fireworks will fill the sky for most of us today.
Speaking of firewoks, here’s a neat post I found from Rick Klau a few years ago, when he used Google Earth to determine if he’d be able to view a local fireworks display from the comfort of his home.
He determined that fireworks typically reach a height of 300m, so he drew a polygon to that height, then used Google Earth’s terrain feature to see if the polygon was visible from his house. It was, and they enjoyed a great show that evening!
If you’re looking for more fireworks, check out the thousands of geotagged photos on Panorama tagged with the words “fireworks“. If you take any yourself, be sure to upload them on Panoramio for everyone else to enjoy.
For those of you running (or watching) the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta today, our post from a few years ago shows you a lot of neat ways to view the course. The easiest is to simply load up this KML file and explore it for yourself.
Whatever you do today, have a great time and please stay safe!