Google Tools for Videographers

Workshop: Studio A in Dole Hall at 5:30 on Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Pop-quiz for workshop participants: go to this link, sign into your Google Account, click Edit in the layers pane, and add yourself to the map

1. Google Earth

Example of a K-State video project that could incorporate Google Earth Tours



Below are three examples of videos based on Google Earth Tours - the KML files are downloadable from the attachments at the bottom of this page. To view the SketchUp models used in these videos go to David Tryse's SketchUp Warehouse. More of his work can be viewed at David Tryse website and David Tryse showcase



Celebrating Arbor Day with Save the Redwoods League and Google Earth


The Transformation of Crissy Field


Earth Outreach Tutorial: Develop Grants Roundtable

Mapping Environmental Scenarios & Solutions with Google Technology


The Arctic Tern Project

Google Earth Tour file

Google Earth Basics

Open Google Earth on your computer. You do not need a Google Account to use Google Earth.


Begin by creating a folder: Click Add>Folder.

The folder will show up in your left sidebar.

You will add markers, polygons, lines, and image overlays to your folder.

Use the toolbar to add content to your map.

Your content will be saved on your computer.

You can use the search bar to find locations.

Save your file by highlighting the folder with all of your map content, then clicking File>Save>Save Place As...

Your map folder will be saved as a KML or KMZ file (the KMZ is a zipped KML file). This stands for "Keyhole Markup Language" which is the programming language for Google Earth. You can open your map file on another computer, email it to colleagues, upload it into a My Maps to embed it in a website. 

You can create a simple tour by clicking on your folder in the left sidebar, click on the folder icon, and start the tour using the tour control bar.

You can also run a tour by clicking on the items in the sidebar.

You can use the QuickTime player screen recording (or other similar software) to make a video recording of your Google Earth Tour. 


You can also record a tour and save it as a KMZ file.

The Google Earth tours for the Arctic Tern and Crissy Field YouTubes are attached to the bottom of this page. Download them to your desktop.

To open the tours in Google Earth click File>Open and select the files from your desktop.

You can control the speed (how long you stay at a location, how fast you move between locations, etc.) and other aspects of the tour by changing your preferences

Windows/Linux: Click Tools > Options
Mac: Click Google Earth > Preferences

Click on the Touring tab to get to the controls.

This will only change the behavior of Google Earth Tours on your computer, it does not change how your Google Earth Tour will operate on other computers (it is not saved within your KML file). 

2. Google My Maps

Google My Map Example

The map below is an interactive map, you can click on it to explore the controls.

Google My Maps Basics

Use either Firefox or Chrome as your browser (Safari and Explorer will give you problems). Go to My Maps

Control the embedded map by turning on and off layers, changing the base map, and using the + and - buttons in the lower left corner to zoom in and out.

The map editor in My Maps allows you to add markers, lines, and directions. 

You can add layers and you can upload files.

You can change the base map.

Use the Search window to find locations.
Map options such as exporting the KML or embedding or printing the map can be found by clicking on the three dots near the top of the editing pane.
Layer options such as naming or deleting the layer, or opening the data table, can be found by clicking the three dots next to the layer name in the editing pane.

3. Add images to Google Earth maps and Google My Maps

In both Google Earth and Google My Maps it is easiest to add images by uploading the image to your Google Drive and copying the link (you can use the URL of any image stored online as a JPG or PNG). 

Go to and sign into your account.

Click NEW>File upload and select your image (it is best if you reduce the size to 600 KB or less before uploading, otherwise it will open very slowly online).


Open the image file and right click (PC) or Control click (Mac)

Select Copy Image URL or Copy Image Link (or Image Location). Do not "copy image," you want the URL not the actual image.

In google Earth you can add an image to your map icon balloons, you can add an image overlay, or you can go to Add>Photo to get a billboard affect.

Paste the URL you copied from the image you stored in your Google Drive and click OK, then Save.

In Google My Maps, click on the icon that you wish to use (there is not overlay option in My Maps, just an option for adding an image to the map icon balloon).

Click on the pencil icon in the lower right corner of the balloon.
Click on the camera icon to add an image by URL. You can add multiple images as a slide show by clicking the + icon at the bottom of the first image window. You can also add YouTube videos to the balloon.

4. Google Map Example

You can also use Google Maps to find photos and use Street View (click "view on Google Maps" in the embedded map below to use these tools) -- but this is the base map, it doesn't give you the styling options available in My Maps. You can save simple maps with locations and add them to your website.

Google Map Example

The map below is an interactive map, you can click on it to explore the tools.

4. Advanced Google Earth Tutorials

Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Feb 15, 2015, 2:10 PM
Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Feb 16, 2015, 1:21 PM
Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Jan 31, 2015, 12:24 PM