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University of Utah Library Guides

Google Earth: Performing an Image Overlay

An introductional guide to Google Earth with skills and tips for creating geospatial projects using the software.

Image Overlay

An image overlay is a process where a raster image, such as a scanned map or photograph, is input into a geospatial program and aligned to features found in the physical world (georeferencing).

  1. Zoom into the location where your image will be overlaid (flat on the Earth's surface or tilted for 3D views of the terrain (same view as the image))
  2. Select the Image Overlay icon from the toolbar
  3. Browse to where your image is saved on the computer or input the URL into the link field accessible online
  4. Give your image a name & description, but do not press OK at this time
  5. Using the green directional markers in the corners of your image, adjust the size until it aligns with features on the map (you may need to adjust the transparency to view both layers simultaneously
  6. Once you are satisfied with the placement of your image, click OK and your are finished
  7. Now that the image has been overlaid and georeferenced, you can move the image into your project folder by clicking and dragging it into the folder

*Repeat steps 1 thru 7 to add additional overlays

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