Google Earth

Google Earth differs from the other Google geotools in that it is downloaded onto your computer and houses your data on your computer rather than in the cloud. It is a powerful tool for immersive experiences, and can be used to create tours that include street view, 3D buildings, content that you add as image overlaysSketchUp models, text, lines and boundaries, placemarks and maps. You can add photos and video to the map icon balloons and create custom styling. You can even record narrated tours using Google Earth Pro. The Pro version also allows you to import GIS SHP files from ArcMap and CSV files (spreadsheets).

With Google Earth you create your own content which is housed on your computer, but you access satellite imagery that is housed in the cloud and called down as tiles for each zoom level and viewport. This means that your data is locally hosted and private, although the imagery for the basemap is called down from the Google servers so you need to be online to use it; it is possible, however, to set up Google Earth with limited functionality to work offline if there is no internet access at your site.

Google Earth is external to your browser (it does not open in a browser like Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or Safari, but rather, it works on its own). If you wish to embed a map or tour produced in Google Earth into your website, you can either download the KML file from Google Earth and use it to create a map using MyMaps or Maps Engine, or you can create a video of the tour and use either YouTube or a hosting service like Google Drive to embed the video in your website (see simple example below).

This is a video taken of a Google Earth Tour created by Pauline Sharp to showcase properties owned by the Kaw Nation. It was used in a presentation during which she described the properties and discussed a project to create a business directory for the Tribe. Information about the properties was first entered into a Fusion Table and mapped, and then for presentation purposes the map KML was exported from the Fusion Table and then opened it in Google Earth to create the tour. The Google Earth tour was then turned into a video and uploaded to Google Drive so that it could be embedded in this website (this is a Google Site).

For advanced users Google Earth API and Google Earth Pro are available.

Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Dec 17, 2014, 10:50 AM
Kaw Nation Property Tour Demo.kmz
Dr. Cynthia Annett,
Dec 15, 2014, 2:12 PM