- Downloading the
- To install Google Earth on your computer visit <http://earth.google.com/>.
Google Earth on the right side of the page.
- Click the DOWNLOAD GOOGLE EARTH button.
Follow the directions.
Once the download is complete, run the install program. This should create a desktop icon. Double click the icon to begin.
If an icon is not created find the program folder and run the program
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- MOUSE CONTROLS: When the mouse is over the globe a hand will appear. Holding down the left mouse button will grab the globe so that it can be manipulated easily. Double clicking on a point on the globe will begin a zoom inward. If the mouse has a center wheel this can also be used to zoom in and out quickly.
NAVIGATOR: At the top right of the screen a NAVIGATOR makes it possible to zoom in or out, rotate the globe clockwise or counterclockwise, pan in four directions, or tilt the angle of view.
To increase the view area, the NAVIGATOR will minimize to a compass
when the mouse is not over it. Simply move the mouse over the
compass and the NAVIGATOR will reappear.
TOOLBAR: Buttons in the toolbar at
the top of the page allow a user to quickly hide and reveal the SIDEBAR,
add placemarks, add polygons and paths (both features are available only
in the pay versions of Google Earth), create image overlays, measure
distances, email images and views, and print images.
- SIDEBAR: A panel at the left of the screen offers more choices. Here there is a SEARCH
frame, a PLACES frame, and a LAYERS frame. All of the tools in the
SIDEBAR can be minimized by clicking the arrow next to the left of
the title. In addition to hiding and revealing the SIDEBAR
from the TOOLBAR, it can also be hidden from the TOOLS dropdown
SEARCH: Type location names or longitude and latitude coordinates to find specific locations. In the United States
and some of Europe many street addresses are also searchable. Local searches of businesses and services as well as for directions from one location to another can be performed by selecting from the
tabs at the top of the panel. All the search results will be added to a list beneath the search box. This information can be moved into the PLACES area in the lower frame by clicking and dragging specific items.
- Note: The program will often behave in unexpected ways, such as finding numerous businesses in a part of the country distant from the location you intended to find. Being as specific as possible when searching will reduce erroneous responses.
PLACES: This frame is useful for organizing and saving specific locations for future access. The first item in this frame is titled MY PLACES. Any information saved in MY PLACES will be accessible
when Google Earth is launched. Beneath MY PLACES is a folder titled TEMPORARY PLACES.
When placemarks or placesets are downloaded or opened from a
location other than MY PLACES they are automatically put into the
TEMPORARY PLACES folder. Files in MY PLACES or TEMPORARY PLACES can be saved by right clicking and selecting SAVE
AS from the popup menu. Highlighted files can also be saved by using the SAVE
function from the FILE pull down menu at the top of the screen.
When exiting, Google Earth will ask if the files in TEMPORARY PLACES
should by moved to MY PLACES and saved. As always though, it
is a good habit to save files manually and frequently, especially when creating
LAYERS: The LAYERS area allows for personalizing the type of information displayed on the
globe. There are too many options to describe. Experimenting will be best way to figure out what each one does.
Simply place a check mark in the box next to the LAYER to activate
it. Some LAYERS will have dropdown menus with more specific
- Creating and
SEARCH and MARK: There
are several ways to create placemarks on Google Earth. First by
either searching in the SEARCH frame in the SIDEBAR or by manually
manipulating the globe in the view window find a place on the globe
that you would like to mark and center it in the view window.
Then click the placemark button in the TOOLBAR, press CTRL+SHIFT+P, or
use the ADD dropdown menu and select placemark. Using any of
these methods will create a placemark in the center of the view screen
titled Google Earth - New Placemark with a blinking yellow box
around it. Click the center of the placemark and drag it over
the specific spot that you wish to mark.
DESCRIPTIONS: When the
placemark appears a box for editing the placemark also appears. To change the name of the placemark, simply delete Google
Earth - New Placemark and type the new name at the top of the
box. To add a description that will appear when the location is
clicked on type text into the Description box.
ICONS: To the right of
the Name field click the button with the placemark image on it. A new
box will appear with several icon options. Pick one that is
appropriate for the placemark. Notice at the bottom of the box
the options NONE and CUSTOM are also available. Selecting NONE
allows you to add text to the map with an accessible description
without placing a mark on a specific spot. CUSTOM makes it
possible to use unique and personalized images by browsing through
files on the computer. Once the proper icon is selected, it can
be modified further by selecting the Style, Color tab from the
original Placemark editing box. Options for changing the size,
opacity, and color of the text or icon are available.
VIEW: With the placemark
editing box open it is still possible to change the view of the
placemark by zooming in or out, tilting the field of view, and rotating
the direction of view. After setting the view to a desirable
position, select the View tab in the editing box and select Snapshot
View at the bottom of the box. This will lock the current view as
the default view for that placemark. When a user double clicks on
the placemark, either on the map or in the SIDEBAR, the view will zoom
directly to this position. The default view can be changed at
anytime by right clicking on a placemark either on the map or in the
sidebar and selecting Snapshot View.
With the View tab
selected it is also possible to check the Center in View box.
This will keep the placemark in the center of the view screen regardless
of how the map is moved beneath it. This is a useful tool for
creating centered views of placemarks.
ALTITUDE: At times it is helpful to have a placemark that is hovering
above the ground, especially in the case of tilted views of mountain
peaks or multiple locations in a small area. Select the Altitude
tab in the placemark editing window. By typing in a number or
using the slider it is possible to lift the placemark off the
ground. In a tilted view it will visibly rise from the
ground. The pulldown menu to the right of the altitude field
allows for multiple methods of measuring the distance between the
placemark and the surface of the map. Checking the box will draw a
straight line from the point on the ground to the hovering placemark.
VIEWING PLACEMARKS: Placemarks are listed in the
make a placemark disappear, deselect the box to the left of its
name. Selecting the box will make it reappear.
SHARING PLACEMARKS: To email a placemark, select and right click a
placemark. In the menu select EMAIL and PLACEMARK. If your
email program is configured on your computer a message will appear with
the placemark in the attachment area as a .kmz file and body text with
some information about Google Earth. Simply fill in the address
and add your own text before sending. Another way to share
placemarks is by selecting and right clicking a placemark. In the
menu select SAVE AS. Save the file to a location where you can
easily find it or save it directly to a transferable device, such as a
jump drive. Once the file is saved this way, the .kmz file is
available where it has been saved to email or transfer at will.
Both of these actions can also be accomplished through the FILE dropdown
menu at the top of the screen. The SHARE/POST
option allows you to share placemarks with the Google Earth Community.
EDITING MODE: To edit a placemark after it has been created simply
select a placemark on the map or in the sidebar, right click, and select
properties. The placemark editing box will open allowing changes
to be made.
Locations in Folders
PLACESETS: Often creating a single placemark will only be one part of
a larger presentation, or placeset. To create a placeset it is
necessary to organize the placemarks in folders. To create a
folder, select MY PLACES in the SIDEBAR, right click, select ADD and
FOLDER from the menu. Folders can also be added from the ADD
dropdown menu at the top of the screen or by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N.
A window similar to the placemark editing window will appear. Use
this window to title the folder, give it a description, and select a
default view. Unlike placemarks, folders do not have a specific
locations on the map, but clicking a folder in the SIDEBAR will reveal
the description and zoom to the default view.
ADDING PLACEMARKS: To add placemarks to the folder that have already
been created, left click and hold on a placemark in the SIDEBAR and
drag it into the folder. An addition or subtraction sign
will appear next to the folder's name. Clicking this will reveal or
hide the contents of the folder. To create a new placemark in the
folder, select the folder before beginning the process of creating a
placemark. Arranging the placemarks is possible by clicking and
dragging them into relative positions within the folder.
ADDING SUBFOLDERS: To add subfolders within folders, select the
folder that you wish to create a subfolder in, and follow the same
procedure for creating a folder described above. One advantage of
organizing placemarks in subfolders is that all the placemarks in a
folder can be quickly turned on or off by selecting and deselecting the box next to the
folder. This makes it easy to quickly show all the related
placemarks on a map, compare placemarks from different categories, and
remove unneeded and obtrusive placemarks from view.
SHARING PLACESETS: Share placesets by selecting a folder and
following the same directions as for sharing placemarks described above.
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Style and Images to Descriptions
- HTML: Google Earth allows for the limited use of Hypertext Markup
Language (HTML) in the description box for a placemark or
folder. A few basic commands can be used to enhance
descriptions. HTML is a computer language and is governed by
the rigidity of a machine mind, so be careful in following the
examples. Most HTML codes are set in carats, < >,
and they typically have an opening command, such as <center>,
and a closing command, </center>. Any text that appears
between the commands will be affected.
- TEXT EFFECTS: The following basic codes will allow you to
manipulate the text:
- Bold: <b>Text</b>
- Italics: <i>Text</i>
- Underline: <u>Text</u>
- Color: <font color=red>Text</font> or <font
- --Google Earth recognizes
the following color names that can be entered into the first example: white, red,
maroon, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, navy, purple, gray, black.
- --More color options are
available through use of the hexadecimal system, as shown in the
second example. Information about the hexadecimal color system
is available at http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_colors.asp.
- Size: <font size="4">Text</font>
- --The size equivalents
for this command are as follows: 1=8 pt., 2=10 pt.,
3=12 pt., 4=14 pt., 5=18 pt, 6=24 pt., and 7=36 pt.
- Color and Size: <font color=red
- Alignment: <center>Text</center> or <p
- --Although the code is valid, "left" is the default and
would never need to be used.
- Line break: <br>
- --The repeated code <br><br> will skip a
of the difficulty in indenting, blank lines are used to indicate new
paragraphs in HTML.
- ADDING LINKS: Google Earth automatically converts any web
addresses typed into the description box that begin with either http://
or www. into active links. Simply type or
paste the address into the description. Adding a link to text can be done with the following
- <a href="http://earth.google.com/">Google
- In this example the address
would not be shown, but Google Earth
would be an active link to the address in quotes.
- ADDING IMAGES: The
code for adding an image is as follows:
- <img src="C:/Documents and
Settings/All Users/Documents/My Pictures/Northwest 2006/bayarea-ge.JPG">
- Notice that it is necessary to include the entire path name to the
image on the computer.
- To control the image size add pixel dimensions for width and
- <img src="C:/Documents/Pictures/Northwest2006/bayarea-ge.JPG"
The use of
html code in the description above will yield the popup description
below when accessed by a visitor.
- Adding the dimensions will resize the image, but if the aspect
ratio is not the same as the original image it will be
distorted. Defining just one dimension will keep the proper
aspect ratio. Images included in descriptions will be embedded
in the .kmz file if it is emailed or saved to a location
other than MY PLACES, so even though it is possible to control the
size of an image in a presentation, resizing images before including them
will keep the files as small as possible. Good free image
resizing programs can be found online at http://www.irfanview.com/
- Using some of the codes from above it is possible to center
images and add hyperlinks as well. Here is an example of a
centered image that will open a link when it is clicked:
- <center><a href="http://onlysf.sfvisitor.org/"><img
src="C:/Documents and Settings/All
Users/Documents/My Pictures/Northwest 2006/bayarea-ge.JPG"
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- Google Earth has a
knowledgeable and friendly user base that is happy to share
ideas and tips with fellow users. The following links are
useful starting points for finding tips and meeting other users who
can share their knowledge:
- Google Earth Community: http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php/Cat/0
- Collected Google Earth
- Google Earth User Guide for Version 4:
- Google Earth Blog: http://www.gearthblog.com/
- The best way to learn is
often to play, and Google Earth has numerous features which are not
worth trying to explain in this limited space. Once you have
grasped a basic knowledge of the software, explore the different
dropdown menus and features.
- FINDING SPECIFIC LOCATIONS:
Finding specific locations, especially outside the United States,
can often prove to be a difficult task. Small towns,
geographic features such as rivers and mountains, or other locations
such as ancient ruins are frequently missed by searches.
Considering the sheer volume of identifiable locations on the
Earth's surface this is certainly understandable. The Google
Earth Community is a useful resource in locating some places.
Either search the Community on the web for a specific location, or
if you know the approximate location of a site, find it on the
Google Earth globe, zoom in and turn on Google Earth Community in
the LAYERS frame of the sidebar. If someone has already
identified the location a marker will appear.
- The Internet also has
numerous sites that include longitude and latitude coordinates for
specific places, which can be entered into the SEARCH field on
Google Earth. Two particularly helpful sites for worldwide
locations are the following:
- GEOnet Names Server: http://earth-info.nga.mil/gns/html/
- Falling Rain Geonomics,
- Finding obscure locations
does involve some patience, and to insure accuracy, locations should
be verified with more than one source when possible.
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Submissions to this Community
- The intent of this community
is to create a space where educators and students from the
elementary level to university level can share quality placesets for use
in the classroom or as support material. If you have created a
placeset that relates to a work of literature, historical event, scientific
topic, or other school related subjects please
consider sharing them at this site. However, please do not
submit links to single placemarks.
- To submit a placeset, post it in
the Google Earth Community through the FILE dropdown menu in Google
Earth or by visiting http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php/Cat/0.
Once it is posted, email the web address of the post to firstname.lastname@example.org
so a link
can be added to the list.
- Be sure to include some
descriptive information with your posts. The description box
for the main folder in a placeset is a great place to include a
brief overview of the placeset and to give yourself credit for the
work. If you plan on submitting the placeset to this site
consider adding a link to http://edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/dherring/ge/googleearth.htm
in the description.
- Also, if you find effective ways of using Google Earth in
assignments, email the assignment description with one or two
illustrative placesets for inclusion in the community.
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