We’ve seen global overlay files before on Google Earth, including items such as the popular blue marble overlay. The folks at KMZmaps.com have created a variety of very high-quality overlays for use in Google Earth. They’re not free, but they’re reasonably priced and quite impressive. Here are few of them:
Natural Globe: A more realistic view of Google Earth, very similar to the blue marble overlay but of considerably higher quality.
Night Lights: Very similar to the NASA “Earth City Lights” layer.
Colored Edges: There are a variety of Photoshop-edited overlays in here as well; various blurs and effects. Here is one called “colored edges” that is pretty neat.
They also have a collection of solid color overlays. These overlays are completely solid, effectively hiding the base imagery so that roads, borders and other items are more well-defined. Here is the dark red version of that, with the “Borders and Labels” and “Roads” layers turned on.
Like most maps of this variety, it fades away as you zoom in closer to reveal the base imagery. This allows you to run your favorite overlay all the time, as it will automatically hide itself when you zoom in close enough to look at the details of a specific location. The exception is a special version of the “solid black earth”, which is set to never turn off when you zoom in. They offer both versions, so the choice is up to you.
As I said at the beginning, the big drawback to these files is that they’re not free. They cost roughly $6/each (some vary a bit), with the full collection available for $24.95. However, they also offer a demo map so you can get a feel for how it works. It’s covered with “www.KMZmaps.com” text, but you can get a feel for the quality of the imagery and the way the “auto-hide on zoom” works. You can download the sample KMZ file here. To see more of what they have to offer, visit their site at www.kmzmaps.com.
The “Great Global Treasure Hunt on Google Earth” is coming in September. They’re a few days early, but the game is now under way!
The treasure hunt is based on book that contains “a number of beautiful and complex illustrations containing textual and visual clues as to the whereabouts of the treasure”.
To enter, you need to purchase a copy of their book (it can be found on Amazon), then use the clues in the book to find the answers in Google Earth. Some of the clues are apparently very difficult, but someone is bound to figure them all out.
The content runs until March 31, 2012, so you’ve got some time to work on it. There is a €50,000 ($72,000) prize at stake. For more information, you can check out jointhetreasurehunt.com. If you give it a shot, leave a comment and let us know how it goes.
Over the past 13 years sculptor Andrew Rogers, with the help of over 6,700 volunteers, has created 47 structures in 13 different countries.
The structures are large enough to be seen using Google Earth, which is why Andrew put together a Google Earth tour to show them all off. You can download the tour here and see all of his great works of art. One great feature of the tour is that it is designed to automatically switch to historical imagery when it provides a better view of the art work, showing each piece off in the best possible imagery.
Last month, Google lost one of their own when Andria Ruben McCool passed away unexpectedly. Andria was around since the Keyhole days of Google Earth, and she was a a driving force behind the impressive “Crisis in Darfur” layer that Google introduced in 2007.
As a sharp-eyed GEB reader discovered recently, Google has built a simple in-Earth memorial to Andria in the form of a labeled body of water, as shown here:
You’ll need to make sure to have “Water Bodies” checked inside of your layers section (Borders and Labels –> Labels) to see the text. Here is a KMZ file to fly you to the exact location.
It’s nice to see Google honor her life like this, even if it’s a very small token. As far as I know, this the first memorial of this kind in Google Earth.
The world’s longest bridge over water, connecting China’s port city of Quingdoa with an airport on the other side of Jiaozhou Bay, has finally opened. The bridge is 26.4 miles long, making it the longest bridge in the world.
The building of the bridge has generated some amazing statistics:
• It stands on 5,200 pillars.
• It cost around $1.5 billion to build.
• It uses enough steel for almost 65 Eiffel Towers – 450,000 tons, along with 81 million cubic feet of concrete.
• It can withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake, typhoons, or the impact of a 300,000 ton ship.
GEC member TomKjeldsen found the bridge in Google Earth, and added a few paths to show the bridge in the “open water” areas that don’t show anything in there.
To see it for yourself, you can simply use this KMZ file.
The bridge will hold its title for about 5 years; in 2016, a 30 mile bridge is expected to be completed that links Hong Kong with Macao and Guandong province.