Over the years, Google Earth has been responsible for helping a huge number of non-profit and other worthwhile organizations around the world. We’ve shown you how environmental groups have been using Google Earth for more than six years, how it’s been used to fight against rainforest logging, and Google Earth Outreach consistenly showcases many other amazing organizations from a variety of countries.
Similarly to the others that have used Google Earth to fight against deforestation, the Philippine National Police have been using Google Earth to fight illegal logging in the province of Laguna.
Here is their story, in their words:
On behalf of all the personnel of Philippine National Police (PNP) Laguna, I would like to express our gratefulness for the wonderful gift of your Google Earth services. It contributed a lot and it has been a great part of our efforts against illegal logging here in the province of Laguna. Nationwide, we are shocked by the effect of the natural and man-made calamities wreaking havoc to our country resulting to loss of lives and properties. Man-made calamities are greatly attributed to rampant illegal logging and deforestation thus causing flash floods and landslides. Since Laguna had been one of the most affected areas of flash floods and landslides, the Laguna PNP initiated the creation of a dedicated Provincial Anti-Illegal Logging Task Group “BERDE” purposely to ensure the implementation of OPLAN “BERDE (Boost Economic Reserves for the Development of Ecosystem). Through the help of Google Earth, we were able to locate specific targets of our OPLAN BERDE. Our operations yielded positive results on illegal logging sites like Cavinti, Laguna that was identified by using Google Earth. Initial operation last April 13, 2012 resulted to the recovery of forest products, machinery equipment, tools and conveyance abandoned during apprehension. Google Earth has been a major contributing factor to the success of our operation. Because of you and your innovative services, we can keep moving forward towards the attainment of our goals in the field of law enforcement.
As Google Earth imagery continues to become higher resolution and update more rapidly, it will become an even more useful tool for organizations like this one.
Less than two weeks after their previous update, it appears that Google has just pushed out some more fresh imagery to Google Earth. Thanks to ‘Munden’ for letting us know about it!
As is almost always the case, you can use Google Maps to determine for sure whether or not a specific area is fresh. This new imagery isn’t in Google Maps yet, so you can compare Earth vs. Maps to see what’s new; the fresh imagery is already in Google Earth, but the old imagery is still in Google Maps. If you compare the two side-by-side and they’re not identical, that means that you’ve found a freshly updated area in Google Earth!
- United States: Illinois (Neoga, Quincy), Michigan (Traverse City), Minnesota (Minneapolis, St. Paul), Ohio (Akron, Cleveland, Youngstown), Pennsylvania (State College)
Do you have a spreadsheet of locations that you’d like to see on a map? Here on the Google Earth Outreach team we talk to many nonprofits who use Google Earth and Maps to tell their stories and visualize their data. Often the data is in spreadsheets, or other tabular formats. Converting these rows and columns into a map brings the spreadsheet to life by providing geographic context and a new way to visualize the information.
Spreadsheet Mapper is a tool that enables anyone to easily create a well-designed KML file to show off their data in Google Earth and Maps. Since Spreadsheet Mapper is a Google Docs template, you fill in your data using the familiar interface of a spreadsheet, and create a great KML without any coding. It gives you all the cloud-based benefits of Google Docs, including collaborative editing and the ability to publish directly to the web.
When we released Spreadsheet Mapper 2 a few years ago, it had a number of limitations, especially with regard to the number of placemarks it could create and the available balloon templates. In response to user feedback, and taking advantage of new features in Google spreadsheets and Google Apps Scripts, we have upgraded Spreadsheet Mapper with a variety of new and improved features:
- More placemarks: Support for 1,000 placemarks and ability to add more as needed
- Flexible balloon design: Take advantage of even more balloon design templates and simplified starter templates
- Simplified publication: Just click “Publish to the web” to share your map (no more fussing with URLs)
- New customization options: Advanced users can change the default view and network link details
Ready to try it? The Spreadsheet Mapper v3 tutorial will get you started.
Over the past several months, hundreds of teams from all over the world have submitted stunning geo-models for our Google Model Your Town Competition. These examples of pure 3D civic pride are breathtaking to behold. Difficult as it was, the SketchUp team managed to pick six finalists, after which we asked the general public to vote for their favorite collection of models. Tens of thousands of you weighed in, and the talented team from the north of Spain were victorious. Zorionak! (That’s “Congratulations!” in Basque.)
The winning team is a dynamic duo: Josetxo Perez Fernandez, 36, is a professional who works in computer administration; and Pedro Domecq Aguirre, 45, is a programmer, 3D data specialist and network administrator. Those are their day jobs, anyway. It turns out that they’re actually world-class, polygon-wrangling, texture-mapping, megabyte-optimizing, geo-modeling superheroes. And now they’re bona fide local heroes, too. Thanks to them, millions of people across the globe can now get familiar with the beautiful little town of Getaria.
The beautiful coastline of Getaria
Not only that, but we’ll also be awarding US$25,000 to a local school and hosting a celebration with the town of Geteria in honor of Pedro’s and Josetxo’s accomplishment.
Getaria Lighthouse on Mount San Antón
Zorionak to the winning town, to the other five finalists, and to all the other entrants who collectively modeled almost 25,000 local landmarks that are now available for all to enjoy in Google Earth’s 3D Buildings layer. The virtual world is a richer place thanks to your efforts, and the real one is a lot better off, too.
We’ve shown you work from 3D modeler ‘PeterG’ quite a few times here on Google Earth Blog. He built one of the first great 3D interiors that we saw, some nice 3D tours of Mount Urgull, and quite a few other models.
His latest work is the remodeling of Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow, Russia. It’s a stunning model that you need to see to believe.
To go check it out for yourself, you can fly there by using this KML file. Be sure to have the [3D Buildings] layer turned on to view the building.