The Google Earth Community, formed in 2002 when Google Earth was still an independent product called “Keyhole”, has been an excellent resource for Google Earth users. Not only was the community a great place to post new files that you create/discover, but you could get answers to almost any Google Earth-related question in there.
They even added a Google Earth Community layer to Google Earth back in 2005 to show off the great files that users have added, which you can still find under the [Gallery] section of your Layers.
Recently, the GEC had had some stability issues. Because it was based off of an older BBS technology, it was having increasing amounts of trouble under an ever-growing load. To fix that, Google is now moving it over to a Google Groups-based system which should help with those issues tremendously.
Right now Google is in the process of moving all of the posts and attachments to the new system. With more than 1.2 million posts on there, it’ll take some time. They’re hoping to have the data ported over by next week, and we’ll certainly let you know when it goes live.
If you have any questions or problems in the meantime, you can use the Google Earth forums already in place in Google Groups
Last fall we showed you a great file from the people at Encyclopedia of Life that tracked Bluefin Tuna across the Atlantic. They’re back with a few new files that show how a type of sea algae (known as “sea grapes”) and Arctic Terns travel across the world as part of their annual migrations.
Ari Daniel Shapiro has worked with others, including Marie Studer and Eduardo Garcia Milagros, to put together some remarkable new tours. Ari’s background is in radio, so the audio narrative on the tours is excellent. Combine that with the images, video and Google Earth content and you’ve got a very engrossing and educational result.
The tours are available below, both in KMZ format for you to enjoy:
Sea Grapes Tour | KMZ
Arctic Tern Tour | KMZ
For more, you can view all of their tours on the Encyclopedia of Life site.
Peter Olsen (who just days ago unveiled the excellent Terra Nova models) has built an incredible 3D tour of the wreck, with the entire journey animated!
The speed has been increased to save time, so you don’t have to wait 2-1/2 hours for it to finish, but it’s otherwise as accurate as possible. To see it for yourself, simply visit the Costa Concordia Disaster Animation page in the Google 3D Warehouse and choose the “View in Google Earth” link.
If you’re not familiar with using Tour files in Google Earth, simply click the “Double-click me!” text on the left to get it started, then click the play button at the bottom to step through the introductory slides, as seen here:
Fully animated tours like this are a great way to recreate events, and Peter is one of the best around at creating them.