Google Earth

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

Elevation Profile

Exploring elevations of a particular path is simpler than ever with the elevation profile tool.  After drawing a path within Google Earth, the elevation profile tool is able to return analytical information regarding slope, grade and distance.  Available in multiple scales of measurement, this tool is an excellent resource for applying statistical information to your project.

Data Layers

Another helpful feature included with Google Earth are a number of data layers on a variety of topics.  Ranging from borders, places and photos to environmental, historic and current events, this feature allows you to incorporate additional information with your projects that are continuously being updated.

Earth, Sky and Other Planets

With Google Earth, your projects are not confined to the Earth alone.  With the Earth, sky and other planets tool, you have the ability to take your projects to other worlds.  With this function, you can perform the same functions on the Moon, Mars and in the sky.

Measurement Tools

Google Earth offers a number of tools that you can use to measure distances and estimate sizes.  This process is as simple as clicking an icon, selecting to draw either a path or polygon and drawing the line or geometric shape on the Earth's surface.  With multiple measurement types as well as a 3D component, the measurement tool offers an easy to use analysis feature at the click of a button.

Historical Imagery / Time Slider

With the historical imagery function of Google Earth, viewers are able to travel back in time and study changes that take place over time.  Additionally, the time slider function allows your project to be viewed at different times of the day with sunlight reflecting the conditions of that time.  Both of these functions are very useful as analysis tools in many disciplines and adds a comparative feature to your data that might otherwise be unavailable.

Flight Simulator

This tool functions very similarly to the video game of the same name and allows you to explore your project in a way represented through the cockpit of an aircraft.  This function can be operated using either a keyboard or a joystick.  It is definitely an entertaining feature for your projects, but does have the limitation of recording functions being disabled.  Despite this drawback, it is an entertaining function for viewing your data or different areas around the world.

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Justin Sorensen
Creativity & Innovation Services, GIS Services
J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 585-7349

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Subjects: Geography, GIS
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